Friday, September 21, 2012

Essex Happenings...September 21, 2012

Make Trails & Sails Last All Year Long!As a member of the Essex National Heritage Commission there are many opportunities to connect to resources in this region. In September Trails & Sails offers hundreds of opportunities to explore the region, but membership makes the fun last all year long. Your connections to place foster stewardship enriching both your life and ensuring the longevity of the natural, historic and cultural treasures here in Essex County, MA. Enjoy Essex Heritage as well as featured partner events. Both offer special Essex Heritage membership rates to attend, just let them know you are a member! Join us and experience the best of the region throughout the year!
Friday, September 21 - Sunday, September 23 & Friday, September 28 - Sunday, September 30

Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks & WaterJoin us for the 11th annual Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water, September 21-23 & September 28-30, 2012! Explore Essex County's cultural, historic and natural sites during two weekends of 150+ FREE events. Enjoy a variety of guided tours, open house visits, hikes, walks, sails, paddles, and other special experiences for all ages, skill levels and interests. Search the online event listing and plot your course here!

Essex Heritage Scenic Byway
Essex Heritage is leading the planning effort for the EssexHeritage Scenic Byway, a 85-mile route linking 13 coastal communities between Lynn and Newburyport featuring scenic views, period architecture, historic sites and recreational opportunities. With the twin goals of preserving the byway’s intrinsic qualities and spurring investment in its infrastructure, attractions and amenities, Essex Heritage worked to secure state byway designation and federal funding for a comprehensive management plan that will help community and regional leaders increase cultural tourism. Learn more about the Scenic Byway.

Border to Boston Trail
Working to expedite development of the 28-mile Border to Boston Trail, Essex Heritage provides leadership and staff support to a regional partnership composed of local officials, the Massachusetts Highway Department, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, and National Grid. With portions already under construction, the non-motorized, multi-use rail-trail will provide alternative transportation links to town centers, schools, businesses, and public parklands in eight communities from Salisbury to Danvers. When completed, the trail will be one of the region’s most outstanding assets, facilitating safe, scenic and healthy transportation and recreation for all. Readmore about the Border to Boston.
Essex National Heritage Area Visitor Centers
Essex Heritage coordinates a network of ten visitor centers that provide information on the heritage resources throughout Essex County.  The centers include the National Park Service’s Regional Visitor Center in Salem, the Hall Haskell House and Visitor Center in Ipswich, and the NBC&VB’s Maria Miles Visitor Center in Salisbury. Essex Heritage works cooperatively with these centers, and the seven others located in Lynn, Lawrence, Gloucester, Haverhill, Peabody, Newburyport and Saugus, to promote regional tourist visitation. By providing consistent and knowledgeable assistance about the Area’s myriad of natural, historic and cultural attractions, the visitor centers, many run by volunteers, are a key to competing in the growing cultural tourism market. Learn more about the ENHA Visitor Centers.
Area Guides
Essex Heritage has produced a series of print and electronic thematic guides to the region.  The purpose of these guides is to make it easier for residents, visitors and future stewards to connect with area’s heritage sites and encourage regional exploration. Themes range from Art Escapes and Birding to Farms and Historic Homes and Districts. Guides are built with the cooperation of local experts and participating organizations throughout the Area. View, Download and/or Request a Printed Guide (depending on availability).

Essex Heritage Membership Program
Through the Commission’s signature membership program, area residents are encouraged to take an active role in supporting the organization’s stewardship mission while exploring the region’s unparalleled historic, cultural and natural assets. Members enjoy “behind the scenes” excursions to heritage area sites for guided tours, educational lectures and interpretive demonstrations. More about Membership.
Essex Heritage Photo Safaris
The photo safaris program connects new audiences with the region’s heritage resources. Through a unique partnership with Hunt's Photo and Video, major camera companies provide safari participants with the latest in digital camera equipment and expertise as they learn photography tips using some of the Area’s most extraordinary natural, cultural and historic landscapes as a backdrop. Learn more about the Photo Safaris.
Coastal Trails Coalition
The Coastal Trails Coalition, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist in the development of the Coastal Trails Network, a 30-mile system of interconnected foot trails and bikeways throughout the lower Merrimack River Valley communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. Launched in 2003, Essex Heritage, with early assistance from the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program and Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, has provided leadership and technical support in the areas of visioning, outreach, and project development and implementation. Visit the Coastal Trails Coalition website.
Great Marsh Coalition
Essex Heritage is a founding member of the Great Marsh Coalition, an ad hoc group of organizations and agencies promoting greater awareness and stewardship of the Great Marsh, the largest salt marsh in New England. Essex Heritage supports the coalition’s advocacy efforts, including its annual educational symposium. Learn more about the Great Marsh. 
Affiliation with the National Park Service
One of the most unique benefits that Essex Heritage provides to this region is the ability to partner with the National Park Service.  This special public-private relationship allows Essex Heritage to develop educational and interpretive programs with Park Service staff and resources that bring history and environmental stewardship to life for people of all ages and backgrounds. Essex Heritage is particularly excited about current pilot programs that are designed to engage underserved, urban youth in natural resource stewardship within and beyond the Park boundaries. Read more about our successful partnership with the National Park Service in youth engagement initiatives such as First Bloom, F1rst Jobs and America’sBest Idea.

The Alliance of National Heritage Areas
Essex Heritage plays a leadership role in the Alliance.  There are 49 National Heritage Areas, and the Alliance is the  national organization of that represents and advocates for these areas. Visit the ANHA website to learn more.

Preservation Mass
Essex Heritage is a member of this statewide, private non-profit preservation organization dedicated to preserving the Commonwealth’s historic and cultural heritage. View the Preservation Mass website.

Essex Heritage Corporate Memberships
As I have previously reported in this space, I am spending a fair amount of my time these days seeking new members for the Essex Heritage Corporate Membership Program.  We are proud to announce the East Boston Savings Bank and the Metro Credit Union have recently become members and the law firm of MacLean, Holloway, Doherty, Ardiff and Morse have made a generous contribution to our efforts.


Visit to Danvers and the Olde Salem Village Section of Town
I hope that you had the chance to read the profile that was prepared and printed in this BLOG about a visit to Downtown Salem either during or after the Essex Heritage Trails and Sails Weekends.  In that profile, I wrote glowingly about the community of my birth where I either lived or worked for almost three quarters of a century.

Today’s profile will take you on a tour of the Town of Danvers with a particular emphasis on the Olde Salem Village section of the community where the witchcraft accusations of 1692 first surfaced.  This section of the Town starts along Collins Street, up from the Liberty Tree Mall and continues through the classic and picturesque part of the Town that includes Glen Magna Farms.   My family and I were most fortunate to move to the Town of Danvers thirty-five years ago, first in a bedroom section of the Town adjacent to St. John’s Preparatory School and for the last decade or so on the edge of the Olde Salem Village section of the Town.

Even though the St. John’s Prep campus is not to be found on the Essex Heritage Trails and Sails agenda, this organization partners in our work.  If you have never visited the campus on the old Spring Estate at the junction of Summer and Spring Streets, it is worth a visit to view the classic New England Prep School campus that looks more like a small college campus than a High School.

The sites hosting events during the Essex Heritage Trails & Sails weekends are all planning specific programs for these free weekends, but there is still a lot to see if you decide to visit at another time of the year. 

The real flavor of the old farming community can best be felt as you return several centuries to savor where the original Witch hysteria was first exposed to public scrutiny. The first stop, though not scheduled in the Trails and Sails weekends, is the Witch tercentenary memorial that is located just beyond the First Church in Danvers on the corner of Hobart and Centre Streets just beyond a local elementary school.   The memorial site is opposite one of the two or three working farms  (Clarke Farms) still operating in Danvers.   After viewing that memorial, travel up Centre Street to Ingersoll Street and drive into a twenty-acre summer residence the famous Glen Magna Farms that was the summer house of a famous Salem sea captain and enjoy their famous gardens.   The main house is not on the Trails and Sails agenda but the Society will be offering a concert at that time at the main repository of the Society in Tapley Hall on Page Street in the Downtown section of Danvers.   The concert will be performed by the Society’s Artists in Residence, Essex Harmony. That group was an audience favorite at last 2011 Trails and Sails event.  

The Danvers Bi-Peds, who have helped to create the partially completed Danvers Rail Trail, will be holding a walk in the Danvers Woods as part of Trails & Sails.   There will also be Trails and Sails events sponsored by the Danvers Alarm group at their headquarters at the Rebecca Nurse House on Pine street, and there will be a festival event at the 1670 Judge Samuel Holten House, located at the junction of Pine, Collins and Centre Streets.    Both of those locations are great examples of the kind of history that abounds in Danvers and should be visited. 

There is much to view in Danvers whether at Essex Heritage’s Trails & Sails or before or after these weekends.   One way or another, you should place the historic section of the Town of Danvers on your list of must view venues.   You will be most pleased that you took the time to visit the numerous locations outlined in this profile or listed and enumerated in great derail in the Essex Heritage Trails & Sails brochure on line that can be obtained on line at


Town of Rowley Holds Jeopardy Game for Officials
The Town of Rowley recently planned and held a most entertaining event modeled after the television quiz show Jeopardy.  Town officials competed by being asked questions prepared by local historians about the history of Rowley.  

Swampscott Weather Vane to be Displayed
A historic Town weather vane that formally adorned the Town Hall will be displayed inside the Town Hall.   The weather vane was first mounted on the cupola of the home owned by the co-founder of General Electric, Elihu Thompson, in 1889 before the house became the Town Hall.     The weather vane was once stolen and later recovered in a Vermont Antique store.   The valuable town asset has been damaged over the years and must now be protected inside.

Danvers Historical Society hosts an Essex Heritage Trails & Sails Event
Friday Sept. 21 Concert: “Huzzah……Welcome Home!”  will feature Danvers’s Artists-In-Residence “The Essex Harmony”.  Founded by Glenn Mairo and under the direction of Tom Carmody this evening is part of the annual Essex National Heritage Commissions Trails and Sails Weekends of Events.  Free to all, 7 PM in Tapley Memorial Hall.  Parking is on Page St. or in the community lot at the corner of Page & Elm Streets.  Reservations required, contact or call 978.740.0444. Light refreshments will follow the concert.

City of Peabody Re-Locates Farmer’s Market
The City of Peabody is re-locating its Tuesday Farmers Market from the Peabody Common to the area in front of the City Hall to create more visibility and foot traffic.

Grant Award Allows Salem Residents to Visit Museum
A long standing grant made by the Read Trust will allow Salem residents the opportunity to visit the Museum of Science in Boston free of any admission fee during September 2012.

Salem Rotarian Ken Rothwell to be Roasted to Benefit local Boys and Girls Club
The party to honor Kenny Rothwell at the Boys & Girls Club's inaugural "Champions for Kids Celebration" is coming! Thursday evening, September 20th, Boys & Girls Club Auditorium, 13  Hawthorne Boulevard. Tickets are available at the Club and Ken's Kickin Chicken. Come and enjoy a fun event: cocktails at 6:30pm, buffet at 7:00, followed by comedian and roast. Join us for lots of laughs to honor this outstanding member of our community and long-time friend of the Boys & Girls Club!

North Shore Elder Services to Again Offer Power Meeting for Trustees and Staff
This fall, the conversational series, “NSES Power Breakfasts” will be renewed.  Power Breakfasts are designed for NSES Board Members, Staff, and Volunteers to have an opportunity to meet and talk with “those who help shape our communities”.  The setting is informal and the number of participants is limited to encourage dialogue.  No presentations are expected.  Rather, we look forward to a casual conversation on topics relative to aging on the North Shore and in Massachusetts.

Previous guests have included Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, Salem State Representative John Keenan, Peabody State Representative Joyce Spiliotis, Danvers State Representative Ted Speliotis, Massachusetts Older Americans Association President Bob Green, and Massachusetts AARP President Charles Desmond, Elder Affairs Secretary Michael Festa, and others.

In light of the forthcoming elections, several Power Breakfasts have been planned.  On Tuesday, September 18th, Congressional Candidate and Former State Senator Richard Tisei was our Power Breakfast guest and on Tuesday, October 2nd, Congressman John Tierney will be joining us.  We have also extended an invitation to Joan Lovely, who just won the Democratic nomination for the open seat in the Second Essex Senatorial District succeeding Senate Majority Leader Fred Berry.  She will be with us following the November 6th General Election.  We will be also inviting Peabody Mayor Ted Bettencourt who is in his first year in office.


St John’s Prep Names new Chief Advancement Officer - Michael Ebner
I am pleased to announce that on October 1 Michael Ebner will join St. John’s as Chief Advancement Officer. Mike will partner with Associate Headmaster for Alumni and Community Relations Michael Newhall ’80 to lead the Advancement office at St. John's, and he will serve on the Headmaster’s Leadership Team. Mike comes to St. John's from Phillips Academy, Andover, where he was a Principal Gift Officer during a time of unprecedented growth in the school's philanthropic efforts.

A graduate of Andover, Mike has served his alma mater in a variety of leadership roles since 1995. Most recently, he played a key role in the Campaign for Andover, a capital campaign that has raised nearly $300 million since 2005. He began his career at Andover as the school's Protestant chaplain. He went on to serve as Interim Secretary of the Academy, Director of Alumni Relations, and Assistant Director of Community Service, as well as many other roles including house counselor, faculty member, admissions interviewer, advisor and member of the school's Community Health Team. Throughout his years at Andover, Mike engaged students and adults in cultural exchanges, outreach, and service learning programs, including an alternative spring break trip to John’s Island in South Carolina, where faculty and students help to repair homes for local residents. A graduate of Rollins College, Mike was an investment manager and business owner until 1992, when he left to attend Andover Newton Theological School.


New Patriots Season Starts with Great Promise
After many long weeks of anticipation and waiting for the season to begin, the local professional football team began last week with a convincing win against a team they should beat.   They received numerous contributions from both the offense and the defense with a number of excellent performances by rookies.    The outlook for 2012 looks positive but it is many weeks between opening day and the big prize in New Orleans in February. 

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