Friday, November 11, 2011

Essex Happenings November 11. 2011


Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Sign Program and the Essex Heritage Area

In 1930, on the three hundredth birthday celebration of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a special commission aptly named the Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary Commission was created and then researched appropriate events and locations. They erected 275 commemorative historic markers painted black on silver aluminum featuring the coat of arms and the seal of the Commonwealth in identified locations all over the state. The markers identified places “which played a leading role in the history of the colony”. The signs were easily identifiable by residents as they proudly stood outside Town greens, cemeteries, on the sites of important battles, ships and fishing experiences, witchcraft matters, native American sites and paths or at the location of long vanished mills. Over these last eighty years some of the signs have been damaged or even disappeared completely and there is now a most worthy effort underway to restore the signs to their status so designated in 1930. The restoration of these important historical markers is a task that should be undertaken, as the signs are like road side museums and in my travels, I have never passed a marker either in this region or in other parts of the state without stopping to read the sign and always gained some valuable historic information from the markers. Recently, State Representative Todd Smola, a Republican from Palmer, has filed legislation calling on the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to dedicate funding to restore the markers and or have missing markers recast and replaced where they are missing. I am seeking information on how many of these important historical markers were originally installed in Essex County and how many are still in position. I will continue to research those facts. My very preliminary research indicates that there were signs dedicated in twenty-two of the thirty-four communities in this region. I also believe from what I have been able to find to date that there were about sixty-five of the historical markers erected in this area. Those totals indicate that well over twenty percent of the total number of historic markers were placed in this area It is very clear to me that these markers are an important part of this region’s heritage and should be preserved for the education of future generations. Several years ago, in the very early days of Essex Heritage, a Salem activist and preservationist, David Pelletier also brought these historic markers to my attention and I will contact him soon to learn if he can shed additional light on the number of markers still in place in the Essex National Heritage Area. I will try to ascertain those facts and will also try to identify the details of the legislation that has been filed and will provide that information to our regional legislative delegation We hope that the material provided will be enough evidence to enlist their support of the pending legislation for the benefit of this region and the preservation of the historical markers.

North Shore Elder Services Conducts its Annual Meeting

On Monday, November 7, 2012 the North Shore Elder Services held their annual public meeting at Brooksby Village in Peabody. The meeting provided the leadership of the regional organization that focuses on the needs of seniors the opportunity to provide information on the numerous programs available to the public. As has been the case every year, North Shore Elder Services provides a topical speaker who provides information on issues of interest to seniors. This year’s speaker was the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Martha Coakley who provided a most informative presentation to a large crowd in attendance. She covered a wide range of issues including health care, fund raising efforts by unscrupulous agencies, how to recognize scams and other topical matters of general interest particularly to seniors.

Town of Danvers Mandates Recycling

Similar to many other local communities that are seeking solutions to the escalating costs of rubbish removal and collection, the Town of Danvers has decided on a direction that mandates that unless some recycled rubbish is at the curb each collection day, then the other rubbish will not be collected. This is an attempt to ultimately lower rubbish collection costs. At the private residential location where I live we have instituted a voluntary recycling program and have seen the cost of general rubbish collection reduced, so the program mandated by the Town of Danvers will likely produce the expected result and could, if successful, become a model for other communities in the region to emulate.

Marblehead Preservation Projects

The Board of Selectmen from Town of Marblehead recently announced after a board meeting that they have approved the funding for two Town preservation and or restoration projects. The Town will authorize the payment of $186, 694 to North Shore Marine of Salem to construct a new pier at Gerry playground. They also committed to a $14,641 contract to Boston Chimney and Tower of Peabody to conduct a survey of the historic Abbot Hall clock.

City of Gloucester Plans Forum on Harbor Development

The City of Gloucester, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Planning Council and the Federal Economic Development Administration, will sponsor a two day public meeting to discuss methods and ideas to stimulate economic growth on that famous working harbor. The seminar aptly named: Maritime Summit-Building a New Maritime Port Economy will be held at Cruiseport, Gloucester, 6 Rowe Square from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on November 15th and from 8:30 to 5:00 pm on November 16th. The agenda will include discussions on industry innovations, ocean discovery and strategies to position Gloucester as a leading center in those fields. For more information on this important seminar contact the Mayor’s office at City Hall in Gloucester.

ArcWorks Classes to Begin in Peabody

The ArcWorks community arts Center on Foster Street in Peabody recently announced that it would be offering a schedule of classes for fall and winter. These are the first ever classes to be offered at this recently opened facility. The class line up will include printmaking, rubber stamping, stencil making, mask making and watercolor painting. Classes are open to all area residents and skill levels, with a small fee charged for each class. To obtain a full schedule or to sign up for a class visit www.arcworkdns,org or call 978-531-0666.

Danvers Bi-Peds NEWS
From time to time, I have reprinted the information provided monthly by the organization responsible for much of the work that has been accomplished to promote bike use and safety in the Town of Danvers. Excerpt of that report follows:
November News and Events

November 14, 2011, Monday, 7:00 - Danvers Bi-Peds regular monthly meeting - will be held in the Carriage House at Endicott Park, 57 Forest St., Danvers. Bring your ideas and expertise. Be a part of planning monthly walks, activities and efforts to make Danvers a safer place to bike and walk for all ages. All are welcome. Trail access construction is on the agenda. Hope to see you there.
November 17, 2011, Thursday - Danvers Rail Trail Advisory Committee - 6:00P.M.. Monthly meeting is held in the Toomey Room at Danvers Town Hall. Contact Kate Day, 978-777-0001 ext. 3029 or contact for more information.

November 19, 2011, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. - Thanks to All Stroll - Meet at the Hobart Street parking lot to CELEBRATE all the people and organizations that have worked on Danvers newest recreation area, the Danvers Rail Trail. Hike the cleared rail bed and enjoy seasonal refreshments and a raffle of a $25 McKinnon's Market gift card great for the Thanksgiving dinner. Contact Laura Cilley at or call (978) 777-4661 for more information.

December 1,2, and 3, 2011, 10:00 to 5:00 p.m. - Third Annual Parade of Trees - Last year the Bi-Peds were the beneficiary of the money raised by the Parade of Trees. This year the funds raised will go to the DEEP Technology's Campaign but the Bi-Peds will donate one of the trees. If you have items such as gift certificates or biking or walking related items that can be used to help decorate our tree, please contact Ingrid Barry at or 978-774-8159. Ingrid will be donating the artificial Christmas tree with lights. The trees are raffled off and the winner takes all, tree and all. The event is held at Tapley Hall on Page Street. The Danvers Historical Society helps to coordinate the event. They are looking for volunteers to help sell raffle tickets during the event. If you can help, please notify Ingrid or Cathy Gareri at The money raised by last years Parade of Trees is helping the Bi-Peds pay for the mile markers on the rail trail.

Town of Danvers Veterans Agent Participates in Local Veterans Day Observance

Peter Mirandi who serves as both the Danvers Veterans Agent and the Director of Public Health for the town provided valuable veterans information to a gathering of residents of Olde Salem Village this past weekend. The program was scheduled to provide information on veterans services and to celebrate the holiday that was once known as Armistice Day that commemorated the end of the first world war, that holiday was subsequently changed to be called Veterans Day. The observance at the popular residential condominium project focused on a couple of patriotic readings, music and the recitation of the names of residents who had a military connection in their past. Mr. Mirandi provided some pertinent information on services available and offered one on one meetings with his office to anyone with specific questions. We are all most appreciative of the effort expended by the veterans agent who feels that one of his obligations is to reach out to former Danvers servicemen and woman to provide information and to field inquires.

Happy Veterans Day

In an earlier posting to this presentation, I offered some thoughts about veterans, but it seems appropriate to note on this Veterans Day our personal appreciation of all that our veterans have done to protect the freedoms so important to the citizens of this country. I am proud to have served my country during a four-year enlistment in the United States Air Force and during that term, I learned respect for authority, how to follow orders and how important the military is to the defense of this country. I offer my sincere thanks to all who have served, and offer a particular thank you to those who have put themselves in harms way in many encounters around the world.

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