Friday, July 27, 2012



Essex Heritage Trails & Sails Programs
Planning is underway to once again celebrate our region’s distinctive history, breathtaking landscapes and hidden gems during the 11th annual Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water, September 21-23 and September 28-30, 2012! Because these two weekends are such a wonderful opportunity for you to visit sites in this fabulous region, that I am recounting the information once again in this posting.  Mark your calendars to join us for FREE guided tours, open house visits, hikes, walks, sails, paddles, and special experiences for all ages, skill levels and interests.

Explore More... Trails & Sails 2012 Participant Challenge
Visit as many unique events as possible over the two Trails & Sails weekends and you will qualify to be entered to win a Novara hybrid bike from REI!

Ready to accept the challenge? Sign in!

The 2012 online catalog of events link will debut in just a short couple of weeks on August 1, 2012 and participants can sign-in online via the Essex Heritage Trails & Sails website. Then, over the two Trails & Sails weekends, participants will be asked to sign-in at each event they attend. Each time you sign-in at an event, you will increase your chance of winning one of two Novara hybrid bikes!

Visit one site or many over the two weekends. All events are FREE!

Essex Heritage Membership Program
You can make Trails & Sails last all year long by becoming a mission-based champion of Essex Heritage! As a member, there are many opportunities to connect to resources in this region beyond  and before Trails & Sails weekends, making the fun and discovery last all year long.  If you appreciate the unique historical, natural and cultural events offered during Trails & Sails, you will enjoy being an Essex Heritage Member! Join Today at 

Monthly Essex Heritage Newsletter
Sign-up for our monthly electronic newsletter or log-in to receive communication on the ever-growing Trails & Sails event calendar of activities. The 2012 online catalog of events link will debut August 1, 2012 and printed guides will be available in September.

I have participated for the past ten years in Trails & Sails events, and each year I have discovered new and exciting venues to explore in this region. Trails & Sails provides exciting opportunities to explore and learn about the hundreds of heritage resources that exist right in our “backyard” and best of all, during these two fall weekends, you can visit all of these locations without paying an admission fee.

America’s Best Idea Grant Recipient
The Essex Heritage was recently selected, along with 48 national parks, for a 2012 America’s Best Idea Grant.  The grant program is sponsored by the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s National Parks.  Essex Heritage formed a partnership with The House of Seven Gables in Salem, MA to apply for this grant.  The grant is funding a new project titled “Making the Caribbean Connection.”  The goal of the project is to engage underserved Latino youth in discovering and telling the untold stories of Salem and the Caribbean.

The America’s Best Idea Grant Program was inspired by the critically-acclaimed Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.  The grant program is designed to fund projects in national parks (including national heritage areas) that connect diverse, under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks and heritage areas in innovative and meaningful ways.  In the Essex National Heritage Area, this grant is being used to build stronger connections with Latino youths.  The program is designed to engage local youth in uncovering the untold stories – past and present – between their homeland islands in the Caribbean and the historic sites in Salem.  There has been trade and the movement of people between Salem and the Caribbean for centuries, and it is still continues up to the present day. The program is directly engaging 12 middle school students four mornings a week for 6 weeks this summer.  It is based at The House of the Seven Gables but includes extended visits to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Peabody Essex Museum and the Salem Public Library. A second phase of the program will be held during the fall as an after school program at the Collins Middle School in Salem, MA.   Students are exploring historical themes as well as the personal themes of being Latino, cross-cultural relationships and the feeling of belonging in a new country.

To quote directly from information provided by the National Park Foundation  - “We are proud to provide the much needed support to create unique opportunities for all Americans to personally connect with their national parks,” said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “The America’s Best Idea grants are often the catalyst for extraordinary experiences that develop into lifelong relationships with our national parks for the program participants.”  NPF also notes that they are most grateful to  L.L. Bean, DISNEY, the Anschutz Foundation, and the Ahmanson Foundation for their generous support of the America’s Best Idea program.

For a full listing of sites, parks and program descriptions that are participating in this 2012 grant program, you can go to the National Park Foundation website.

About the National Park Foundation.
All US Citizens!  - You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks. Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks. We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow. Join us in supporting your national parks -- this is your land.

For more information on the National Park Foundation or how you can support and protect America’s national parks, please visit

About the Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage)

Essex Heritage is the non-profit management entity for Essex National Heritage Area, one of forty-nine heritage partnership parks of the National Park Service. Working in collaboration with the National Park Service, Essex Heritage promotes public/private partnerships and develops and implements programs that enhance, preserve and encourage regional awareness of the unique historic, cultural and natural resources found within the Area - which encompasses Essex County, MA. For more information, visit the website at or call (978) 740-0444.

About The House of the Seven Gables

The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association, a nonprofit organization founded in 1910, is the catalyst that creates valued educational opportunities for our communities by interpreting, strengthening and preserving our unique historic legacies and site, with emphasis on under-served immigrant youth and their families. The historic site features three 17th century buildings, including the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, also known as “The House of the Seven Gables,” the birthplace of American literary legend Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Colonial Revival Gardens. Proceeds from admission fees and retail sales directly support programs that serve Salem’s immigrant community.  For more information please call 978-744-0991 or visit our website at

Essex Heritage Photo Contest - Photographers get Snapping!  Deadline is
October 1, 2012
We are pleased to announce the 2012 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest!
All amateur photographers are welcome to submit images to that capture the essence of the Essex National Heritage Area or speak to Essex Heritage's role in preserving the historic, cultural and natural treasures of Essex County.  Photographs must be taken within the heritage area (Essex County, MA) and represent one of three contest categories listed below. Find the complete Rules and Requirements at

Photo Contest Categories
  • ·         Images of the Essex National Heritage Area
  • ·         The Merrimack Valley images
  • ·         In Town/Downtown images

Contest Prizes:  The deadline for submitting photos is October 1, 2012.  Winners will be notified and announced by the end of November 2012. There will ten (10) prizes awarded:
•  Grand Prize (Best of Show): Digital SLR camera outfit from Hunt's Photo & Video
•  First Prize (Each Category): Digital Point & Shoot camera outfit from Hunt's Photo & Video
•  Second Prize (Each Category): $100 Gift Certificate to Hunt's Photo & Video
•  Third Prize (Each Category): Passport® To Your National Parks: Explorer Edition from the National Park Service
•  Youth Entry (up to three (3) winners ages 5-17 in any contest category):  Gift Certificate to Hunt's Photo & Video

Prizes for the 2012 Essex National Heritage Area Photo Contest are generously contributed by Hunt's Photo & Video and the National Park Service.


Friendship of Salem
Essex Heritage works with the National Park Service to introduce the tall ship Friendship of Salem to new audiences along the coast of New England.

Friendship of Salem Facts!

• Overall length: 171’
• Masts: Three
• Height of main mast: 120’ to keel, 106’ above deck line
• Longest spar: Main yard, 52’8”
• Miles of rigging: 17 miles
• Number of sails: 21
• Area of sails: 9,409 sq. ft. (.216 acres)
• Ballast: 150 tons of lead

Friendship of Salem: A Partnership Ship
Friendship is a replica of a three-masted, square rigged East Indiaman built in 1797 by the renown ship wright, Enos Briggs.  She is the type of merchant ship that made Salem a leader in opening international trade with the Far East, Europe and Russia in the years immediately after the American Revolution.

The new Friendship was built through a unique collaboration between the National Park Service, volunteers, and the greater Salem community. More than 25% of the cost of her construction was paid for by private donations from individuals and organizations around the Essex National Heritage Area. During her construction, volunteers worked alongside NPS staff, spending hundreds of hours fashioning her rigging, building the captain’s gig, and to fitting out her interior. Today, Friendship’s ambassadorial voyages to ports in New England and last summer to New York City are made possible by the numerous volunteers who assist national park staff with sailing and caring for the ship and by the funds that are raised through the auspices of the Essex National Heritage Commission.

Where can one find  Friendship?
The tall ship Friendship is usually docked on historic Derby Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.  For more information about the history of Friendship, visit the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at  

Danvers Council on Aging Plans Massachusetts Senate Democratic Candidates Forum
Pamela K. Parkinson, Director of Senior/Social Services for the Town of Danvers recently sent out the following letter to the three candidates for the State Senate seat that will be available upon the retirement of Senator Fred Berry this fall.  
Dear Candidate:  I am reaching out to extend an invitation to participate in a candidate’s forum hosted by the Danvers Council on Aging.  In an attempt to be fair to all candidates, I am proposing 2 dates and times for the forum; the first is Tuesday, August 21, 2012 from 1:00pm to 2:30pm.  The second date is Wednesday, August 29, 2012 from 10:00am to 11:30am. 

The moderator for this event is Mr. Thomas Leonard.  Tom is a well-respected, retired banking executive with a long list of community service on the North Shore.  The program will be videotaped by DCAT for playback on the local cable-tv schedule.

Please respond with your date preference no later than Monday, July 16, 2012.  Once all interested candidates have replied, I will respond to you with the date selected by the majority.  If you have any additional questions regarding this event, please do not hesitate to contact me.

When there is a date certain for the event, I will announce the forum in this blog.  This forum is an important event to attend, as the seat being contested represents a large part of Southern Essex County region.


Beach Stickers Still Available for Cranes Beach
With many excellent weeks of summer still left, The Trustees of Reservations are still receiving applications for beach stickers at Cranes Beach in Ipswich.   There are special prices for TTOR members, but non-members can also purchase parking as well. For more information on the sticker program call 978-921-1944 ext 1800.

Town of Danvers Makes Application to State for Funding to Purchase Land on Route 114
The Town of Danvers has applied the Commonwealth for a financial grant to help them acquire the land on Route 114 in Danvers formally known as LeBels Grove.  The property has for many years hosted outings and organizational programs.  Among other things, the acquisition of the site by the community will help protect the water supply used by the town.   The large site has over 1000 feet of frontage on the Ipswich River. This makes the site value both as a recreational facility and as water protection resource.

Town of Rowley Opens a Farmers Market
A market will open every Sunday on the Town Common through the end of September and will provide a shopping experience and local produce to the residents of this region.  We encourage all of you to look into markets operating in many Essex National Heritage Area communities.   There are markets open on weekends and during the work week - so you have your choice of what is most convenient.   The Salem Farmers Market is held in downtown Salem from 3-6pm every Thursday behind the historic Old Town Hall.    When I was a youth in Salem there was a gathering of vendors in that spot all summer.   I hear that the market in Salem is exceeding expectations for 2012 as both the number of vendors and potential shoppers is higher than expected.

Library in Peabody Focuses on Adult Reading
The Peabody Institute Library in Peabody is offering a summer reading program for adults.   This is a departure from the norm as usually we see more and more local libraries offering programs to encourage area youth to do more summer reading.   In this case, the Peabody Institute Library is offering incentives, such as entry into local raffles, when members over the age of eighteen years check out and read books from any of the three Peabody branches of the library.

City of Peabody to Transport Seniors to Farmers Market
It seems that each time, I prepare a posting there is news about another local farmers market.   Now the City of Peabody will be transporting seniors from ten elderly projects to the city's weekly market which will  build awareness of the market and add more shoppers.


Adaptive Sports Program Offered by Spaulding North Hospital
The  first adaptive cycling event was held on Wed. July 11th and there are more scheduled.

Kathleen Comfort Salas, PT, MHA, the North Shore Coordinator for the Spaulding Adaptive Sports Program offered the following:

We hope to see returning participants as well as new faces.  We will again partner with the wonderful Northeast Passage of UNH, who provide a great variety of equipment to accommodate literally all needs (from safe to sporty) along with their highly professional recreational therapy expertise.
This year we will try various locations in search of ideal spots.  For adaptive cycling this means morning introductory/beginner sessions in a blocked parking lot at Spaulding North; afternoons we will meet at the Peabody Centennial bikepath, which allows longer smooth rides of varying distances according to your needs.  We will provide directions for you when you register.  The bicycles are all recumbent 3-wheelers, and tandems are available.

Similarly various kayaks are available including tandems and footpedaled boats, and we can adapt/modify grips and seating as needed.  We will paddle 3 Fridays in August at Forest River Park, as well as our first expanded paddle on Saturday August 25th at a location to be determined (probably the Ipswich River or Chebacco Lake).

As always, you are welcome to sign up for 1 event or all!  Also please know that finances should not be a barrier to your participation.  If you find the $20 "co-pay" for instruction and equipment use to be overly challenging, please discuss this with me so you can attend.  We again offer 3 sessions for $50.

We hope to get you back outdoors this summer enjoying the cameraderie and personal challenges available to all.

A New Local non-profit organization Formed in Region
The North Shore Elder Services has inaugurated a new organization called Aging and Disability Consortium of the North Shore.   The organization made up of many local groups aims to promote a coordinated system of information and education in this region.

Essex Heritage welcomes the new Ipswich Town Manager, Robin Crosbie, to this region.    Ms. Crosbie brings decades of experience in the management of communities like Ipswich.    She will become the new town manager starting on August 1, 2012 for a three-year term.   We welcome her to the Essex National Heritage Area and pledge to do all we can to make her stay a pleasant and productive one.

Morley Piper spoke at Wenham Museum on D-Day
Morley Piper, a local writer, presented a lecture as part of military day at Wenham Museum.   His talk focused on his D-Day experience as a platoon leader when he participated in the invasion landing on the coast of France.   In addition to the Piper lecture, the museum offered a number of additional exhibits.  I had hoped to visit the museum particularly to hear the lecture, but due to a late conflict I was unable to attend.  I am sorry I missed the event.   I hope that the day was a large success for the Wenham Museum.

Town of Wenham Extends contract
The Town of Wenham has extended the contract with Town Administrator, Mark Andrews, through June 30, 2013.  Andrews  has had previous experience  in community administration in Wareham MA. He has been performing well and the selectmen believe that he is an excellent continuing choice for the Town of Wenham.


World War II in the Pacific
I have just finished reading a book called The Admirals authored by Walter Borneman.  The book focused on the exploits of four “Five Star Admirals” that together led the American forces during World War II in the Pacific Theatre.  The book focused on the wartime Admirals Nimitz, Halsey, Leahy and King.  As as an individual who was alive during that period, but have only a limited recollection of the war years, I have read all that I can about that period.   For others of the same age, I would strongly recommend this book.    In this period the US Fleet grew from 790 to 6,768 vessels and the number of sailors and marines under arms swelled from 383,150 to 3,405,525.  It was a time when submarines and aircraft carriers became very important  to the US Navy and they changed the way that wars were fought at sea as battleships became less critical for winning.  It was a fascinating read.

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