Friday, December 16, 2011

essex Happenings 12.16.11


The following excerpts were reprinted from the recent Essex Heritage Newsletter

Take Part! Quality of Life Survey
"What is meant by the term 'quality of life' in Essex County?" and "How do we measure its value?" In response to questions posed by the Essex National Heritage Commission, Salem State University's Center for Economic Development & Sustainability is conducting a study which seeks to define the quality of life in this region and measure its economic value. You can help us by taking this very quick survey here.

The study seeks to identify what the residents, business owners and employees in this region value most about living and working in this area. Are there indicators of value that are held in common across the north shore? Let us know what you think! The research will assign economic value to these indicators and then compare the results with other regions around the world. Please participate, take this brief and fun survey.

2011 Photo Contest Winners Announced!
Photographers searched out the best and most beautiful locations for their award-winning submissions to the Essex Heritage Photo Contest. Presented by Essex Heritage and sponsored by Hunt's Photo and Video, the 2011 contest showcases the natural, cultural and historic treasures that define Essex County. Of the 140 images submitted, 13 winning images were selected by a panel of judges including representatives from Essex Heritage, the National Park Service, Hunt's Photo & Video, and photographer Robert Ring of New England Photo Workshops. The Grand Prize Winner was Marion J. Bayly of Speculator, NY for her photograph, "Early Morning Marsh." See the 2011 Photo Contest winners, click here be presented with awards at the National Park Service Visitor Center in Salem where winning images will be exhibited for one year.

Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
The 85-mile coastal route from Lynn to Newburyport
Celebrate the Holidays on the Byway!
Travel the byway to experience the best of the New England holiday season! Here is a sampling of the byway events planned to get you in the spirit. To find out more click here.

Ipswich Visitor Center Welcomes New Director

Kerrie Bates recently started as the new executive director of the Ipswich Visitor Center. She replaces Bill Nelson who ably managed the town-owned Hall Haskell House and a large corps of volunteers for the past decade. Plans include a new nonprofit organization to operate the facility which is located directly on the byway. Find out more here.

Running Tours of Salem Offered
Run, don't walk, to see some of Salem's most famous historic sites. RunSalem Tours recently began offering guided 5K running tours of the city. Grab your shoes and click here.

Partnership Grant Spotlight

Salem Athenaeum Bicentennial Book With support from an Essex Heritage Partnership grant the Salem Athenaeum has published a book commemorating its two hundred years in formal existence. Among its contents, The Salem Athenaeum in 2010: A Bicentennial Celebration presents a history of the library since its centennial in 1910 and features photographs and graphics highlighting the library's collections and decorative holdings.

As one of the few remaining membership libraries in the country, the Athenaeum is a Salem institution and houses over 50,000 volumes in its handsome historic brick building. In keeping with its mission to enrich the lives of its members and its North Shore community the library offers a wide range of learning resources, programs, and events. From more information, click here.

Generous Gift to the Town of Hamilton

One of the more famous families of the Town of Hamilton, the Patton’s, are currently working with the Town of Hamilton to learn if the family home on Asbury Street might be offered as a gift to the town. The home is a large wood frame building on twenty-seven acres with several additional out buildings and a pond. The decision to donate the property was made by the current owner, Ms. Joanne Patton who is well known not only in Hamilton, but around this entire region. For many years she has been the owner- operator of Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton, a certified organic farm growing and selling vegetables and fruit to residents of the region. Ms Patton, who is the widow of Major General George Patton and the Daughter in law of the famous World War Two General of the same name, is a long time admirer of the mission of Essex Heritage and has offered support and regular guided tours of the farm to our members. One of the final detail still to be worked out, is the need to assure that the property when in the Town’s hands will be open to the public and will produce some revenue to offset any expenses for the community. This potential gift is most generous and will be a great asset for the Town in the future.

Town of Danvers Installs Smart Meters

The town of Danvers will be one of the first local communities in this region to provide free so called smart electric and water meters to their customers. The new installation period will begin in early 2012, and will in time allow users to go on line and use their new devices to monitor their usage and even make adjustments to make the system even more efficient. In addition to the capabilities that will be offered the users, the new meters when installed will send wireless signals reporting usage to the electric division, thereby reducing the costs of reading the meters monthly. The town approved at a recent town meeting this substantial investment in new technology to be able to offer more efficient service to the residents of the Town,

Gloucester to use Social Media to provide Updates

It is certainly clear that as more and more residents in this region are using social media like face book, twitter, Linked in and other similar resources, that its was only a matter of time before a local community took advantage of these resources to better provide quick communications with its residents.

We now learn that the City of Gloucester Health Department has established a Facebook page as a method of providing health alerts. The city will offer a connection on the cities website at The community expects to offer information on emergencies like disease outbreaks or food recalls on the new Facebook site.

City of Peabody Adds more Open Space

The City of Peabody has a wonderful track record of obtaining and then using open space for the public good. The City has a proven track record of developing land into recreational uses for its residents. The recreational Trail that runs from the North Shore Shopping Center and then west to the Town lines of Lynnfield and Middleton has been an unqualified success and its use has been a boon to residents and visitors. In addition to the present asset, the City is considering expanding that resource by possibly considering a link with the Danvers Trail that would allow the potential usage from Peabody north all the way to the state border with New Hampshire.

Now we learn that the City is once again acquiring valuable open space. This time, they have allocated over $100,000 to acquire a final piece to develop a walking trail in South Peabody on a 39 acre parcel of land called Sydney’s Pond that included a pond acquired with the help of a state grant in 2008. The city will now develop a walking trail around that site. This new site adds to a fast improving recreation area that includes Cedar Grove Cemetery and the Meadows Golf facility.

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