Monday, August 9, 2010

Trail and Sails Plans, Iron House, Other Rail Trail Development, City of Salem, City of Lawrence, O'Hare Leaves Danvers Herald


Trails and Sails 2010

I realize that it is still several weeks away, but from the commitment being paid to this event in the Essex Heritage offices you would think the event is this upcoming weekend. The ninth annual edition of Trails and Sails is clearly the signature event for Essex Heritage and the event in 2010 will be held on the weekends of September 17 through 19 and then again on September 24 through 26. It really seems hard to believe that in just five short weeks summer will be over and the fall 2010 will have arrived in Essex County. The arrival of fall could not be a better time to enjoy and appreciate all that the region has to offer, and participation in Trails and Sails is a wonderful way to see the region in all of its beauty. This year the staff has already lined up over one hundred free events on the two weekends and they are still working on adding more events before the two weekends arrive. This is a great opportunity to participate in a serried of walks, guided hikes, sails, historical tours, and many other adventures.

Also this year in response to your many inquires, we will produce a printed schedule of the events that will be available to those of you that want a brochure to help with your panning. The guide will become a wonderful reference document all through the year even after the Trail and Sails weekends are completed. The printed quite will be available on September 1, 2010 allowing plenty of time to use the brochure to plan your weekends. There will be a small fee of $5.00 that will be charged to handle printing and mailing and you can sign on to to both order the guide and to see all that is being planed for the two fall weekends. Please note that there will be a limited number of brochures that will be provided free of charge on a first come first serve at the Essex Heritage office in Salem or in branch offices of the event sponsors, TD Bank and Eastern Bank. We are particularly indebted to the two sponsoring banks for their commitment to this region and this event.

Iron Horse Issue

A couple of weeks ago, the Boston Globe North provided a wonderful article about the work that the Iron Horse Preservation Group has accomplished in this region. Much of the rail trail clearing that has been accomplished over the last year or so, have been achieved with the help of this organization. Trails in Danvers, Wenham and Topsfield have all benefited from the expertise and the energy of the Iron Horse group. As an organization that has devoted so much of its attention to the development of these recreational trails in this region, Essex Heritage is elated that so much has been accomplished in such a short period of time. The accomplishments of the last several months have clearly shortened the development time schedule for many communities and that has advanced the overall development of the rail trail movement and for that we are particularly pleased.

Speaking of Rail Trail Development

Two neighboring communities in the southern end of this region have joined together to begin the planning process for the development of a rail trail that would connect Lynnfield and Wakefield. Lynnfield is a community that is part of the Essex Heritage region, and the Town of Wakefield is just outside the region. The two communities received a half a million dollars from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to begin the planning effort and the Town of Wakefield is acting as the administrator for requests for proposals to begin the process. Even though the Town of Wakefield is just outside the borders of the Essex Heritage region we would be pleased to offer any assistance we can to this effort. Any effort to expand rail trails and recreational assets that help to enhance the quality of life in this region is important to us. The Town Administrator in Wakefield, Steve Maio is a former compatriot of mine when we both worked at the Salem Five Bank and he has a wonderful reputation as a real “doer” when it comes to recreational programs in the Town he manages

City of Salem Recently Profiled

The City of Salem should be pleased with story the appeared in a local newspaper earlier this month that highlighted the wonderful accomplishments that have been achieved over the last half-century. The success of the city as commercial, residential, governmental, and waterfront projects have been developed over the last five decades is substantial. Those successes can certainly be attributed to the competence of several city administrations and willingness over the years to seek support from numerous sources within the community. A perfect example of this willingness to work together has shown up over the last two decades with the collaborative efforts of the City and the public private partnership so aptly named the Salem Partnership. Congratulations to all who have had a hand in this collaborative effort.

City of Lawrence in Peril from Fire Dangers

The news from Lawrence over the weekend was most serious. Several fires broke out on Sunday, and because of the recent numerous fire station closings and firefighter layoffs in that City , Lawrence has had to rely on the mutual assistance system to fight the fires That process will be difficult to maintain as each of the communities that are sending help have many financial issues of their own to be concerned with at this time. The Commonwealth needs to address this issue quickly and with financial help as the condition in place in Lawrence is now a serious public safety issue for the residents of this proud former mill city.

Katheryn O’Hare Departs Danvers Herald

At the end of last month, Katheryn O’Hare concluded a decade long relationship with the Danvers Herald. During that time she was wonderful committed editor and reporter for this local newspaper. Every week the paper would produce a wonderful collection of local stories and information that was always valuable to the residents of the Town of Danvers. She covered events from Town Meetings to social events and always provided all of us with the information we needed to stay abreast of what was happening in town. Sometime around the time the Katheryn took over the role of Editor she asked me, through a contact with Myrna Fearer another Danvers Herald stalwart, if I would be interested in producing a monthly column regarding the activities of the Danvers Senior Center where I served as the Chairman of the Board of the Council on Aging. I continued that column for several years, and then added about seven years ago, a second monthly column on the activities of Essex Heritage. I still write that column every month and Kathryn would use her contacts to distribute the column around the region. I will miss Katheryn as she was the consummate professional and a friend. I expect that I will continue to provide the monthly column each month, but it will never be the same without Katheryn at the helm of the paper. I wish her well in whatever course she now chooses to follow. Whatever it is I am certain she will be as successful as she was as the Editor in Chief of the Danvers Herald.

As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts or any questions you may have at We are always striving to make Essex Heritage work as effectively as possible and your input and suggestions are always welcome. We can always provide more information and better communication, and one of the goals of these postings on Essex happenings is to provide that opportunity. Thank You. Tom Leonard

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