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.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Essex Happenings…July 20, 2012


Essex Heritage Photo Safaris
Just case you want to attend an Essex Heritage Photo Safari, there are still two more this summer.  On this Saturday, July 21 there is one at the historic House of Seven Gables featuring Nikon and another on August 4 at The Trustees of Reservations gardens at the Long Hill Estate in Beverly featuring Cannon camera equipment.  In the last blog on July 13, there is information on how to register for these safaris.

Essex Coastal Byway Newsletter
Essex Heritage has just launched the Essex Coastal Byway Newsletter.  If you would like to receive an electronic copy, it is easy to sign up at or Google Coastal

Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence
The Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence is a new film shown daily at the National Park Service’s Visitor Center, New Liberty Street, Salem.  The 38 minute film features authentic dialogue and the latest research by renowned Salem Witch Trial scholars. Scenes depicted in the film were shot at actual locations associated with the Witch Trials of 1692, and many of the places can still be visited today.   The National Park Service has information and a bulletin on these 17th century sites available for free at the Visitor Center. This film is a must view for anyone who wants to gain a more complete understanding of the witch trial hysteria in Salem and the most current theories on the cause and effect of these terrible events.
Featured scholars are: Margo Burns, Director of the Language Center, St. Paul’s School; Dr. Mary Beth Norton, Professor of American History, Cornell University; Dr. Emerson “Tad” Baker, Professor of History, Salem State University; Dr. Benjamin Ray, Professor of Religious StudiesUniversity of Virginia; and Richard B. Trask, Historian and Archivist, Danvers Archival Center.  And special thanks go to the National Park Service’s Park Historian Dr. Emily Murphy.  The film was produced by Essex Heritage and directed by Tom Phillips.

Trails and Sails, Two Weekends of Walks and Water September 21-23 & September 28-30
219 events have been registered for Trails & Sails 2012!  For more information or to sign up to receive your own ‘hard copy’ event guide, go to Trails&  or

Join Essex Heritage’s Membership Program and enjoy Trails & Sails all year long.  Can’t wait until September?  You can make Trails & Sails happen all year long by joining Essex Heritage where you will get information and opportunities to enjoy the wonderful sites and resources that are featured in Trails & Sails weekends.  If you appreciate the unique historical, natural and cultural events offered during Trails & Sails, you will enjoy being an Essex Heritage Member.

Salem Historic Site Maritime Festival - August 3 through 5th 2012
Come join the National Park Service at Derby Wharf in Salem on Friday August 3rd and Saturday, August 4th for their annual Salem Maritime Festival, celebrating "Ships, Sawdust, Sailors & Song."  The festival is taking place at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on the water at 193 Derby StreetSalem, MA.
The Salem Maritime Festival is a community-sponsored celebration of four centuries of Salem's maritime history and tradition. Enjoy lots of free, family fun with activities and music. Find out more and see the 2012 Festival schedule online at

Parson Capen House in Topsfield Open for Tours This Summer
The Capen historic house can be visited this summer between 1 and 4 on three days per week -Wednesdays. Fridays, and Saturdays - until September 16th.  It will also be open again during Essex Heritage’s Trails & Sails weekends.  Go to Trails & for more information on this annual event.

Special Place - Special Feature:  Once every few weeks, we will feature one of the special places and organizations in the region.  This week, we would like to tell you more about the Green Meadows Farm located at 656 Asbury Street, South Hamilton. 
Green Meadows is a regular feature of Essex Heritage’s Trails & Sails weekends when they give tours of their farm yard and fields.  The llamas and baby piglets are especially appealing to many families, although I find the challenges of growing organic vegetables and the techniques for keeping destructive insects away is the most interesting part of the visit.  Whether you visit the farm as part of Trails & Sails or just go on your own, there is always much to do and enjoy during a visit regardless of your age and interests.    To quote directly from the Farm’s webpage:  Green Meadows Farm is a certified organic farm raising vegetables and fruits and also specializing in heritage livestock breeds. The farm operates a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program) and the farm stand is open daily from 8am - 6pm April through December.
It does not seem appropriate to write about Green Meadows Farm without providing some background on the history of property:  The farm has a long history as a private estate.  Portions of the main house were built in 1786 and the house was added on to by a succession of other owners.  In 1928 then Major and Mrs. George Patton, Jr. bought the property while he was an active member of the Army.  They lived in the house only occasionally until World War II at which time Mrs. Patton took up permanent residency.   Mrs. Patton expected to welcome her hero husband, General Patton Jr., home to this house at the end of the war but the general was killed in a freak vehicle accident in 1945 and so he never occupied the property.  Mrs. Patton lived at Green Meadows until her death in 1953.
It was their son, the next George Patton, and his family who transformed the property from a gentleman’s estate to a working farm.   Major General George S. Patton and his family made the property their permanent home upon his retirement from the US Army after thirty-four years of service including the Berlin Airlift and the Vietnam War.   Major General Patton decided that he wanted to make the property something more than “leisure land” – so he sought the help and advice of local farmers and agricultural and environmental experts and began to seriously farm the land.  Starting with a small blueberry operation, the produce expanded to include more fruits and then vegetables.  We are told that he named some of the farm’s fields for brave soldiers who lost their lives in service with him in Vietnam.  In 1999, when his health started to fail, his wife, Joanne, left her career as a non-profit consultant to tend to both her ailing husband and to the farm.  
The farm has matured into a full multi-crop business with organically produced and certified fruits and vegetables.   In addition to the agricultural products, there are organically raised livestock and poultry.  Green Meadows has a farm stand operation and also a CSA program which offers individuals the opportunity to purchase shares in the farm’s produce.   They also allow pick-your-own from a homegrown crop of strawberries. Birthday parties for children ages three to thirteen can be arranged and the children can tour the farm, interact with the animals, and take a hayride.   
As of this date, Joanne is still active with the farm, although she has a professional management team who run the daily operation of the farm.   Joanne Holbrook Patton is the daughter and granddaughter of a general and is a well-known for her work.   She includes in her tasks the maintenance of the artifacts from the careers of the General Pattons, and she is also a respected philanthropist to many in this region.          
To learn more about the farm, or its farm stand products go to or contact the farm directly at 978 468-3720 (office) or 978 468-2277 (farm stand)

Hamilton’s Patton Park to Conduct Effort to Rehabilitate the Community Park
A Friends of Patton Park Committee has been formed to raise funds to rehabilitate the park named in the honor of the two renowned generals.   The Town of Hamilton has already committed some funds to the effort, and this committee is now charged with raising the balance.  For more information or to make a contribution go to

Tall Ship Festival in Boston Brought Value to the City and the Region
I have heard several reports that the tall ship event held in Boston during the July 4th Independence Day Celebration brought a substantial amount of both personal business and tax revenue to the host City of Boston and the surrounding region.  In Salem we know full well that having a tall ship on the city’s waterfront is a big magnet for visitors.
Swampscott Memorial US Flag Disappears … and Reappears!
A recently donated American flag was stolen.  The flag was a gift to the Town of Swampscott from the Raymond Family whose son Jared died in the Iraq War.  It replaced a very tattered flag that flew in Monument Square.    The new flag was twenty by thirty feet, weighted 50 pounds and cost $1,000.   It was great to learn that the memorial flag that went missing showed up on the front stairs of a local Swampscott church.    We are pleased that whoever took the flag had a change of heart and returned it so that it could be flown again to commemorate the memory of this Swampscott hero.

Town of Danvers Announces Concert Schedule
The Town of Danvers recently announced a summer concert schedule being offered at the Rotary Pavilion next to the Peabody Institute Library by the Mill Pond.  The outdoor concerts will be held on certain evenings in July and August at 6 PM.   For specific information visit the Danvers Recreation web site at

City of Newburyport Hosted Tall Ship to Benefit Local Cause
Earlier this month the famous replica sailing ship HMS Bounty paid a visit to the waterfront of the City of Newburyport.  The visit was sponsored by a local insurance agency and the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce.   During its stay, the boat hosted tours of the 160-foot long replica and had other activities including an outdoor showing of the film Mutiny on the Bounty made in the 1960s.  A gala cocktail reception was held on the ship to help raise funds for a project being undertaken at Lowell’s Boat Shop. 
Lowell’s Boat Shop, Amesbury
With the help of several local High School apprentices, the boat shop is planning to build a 28 foot whale boat that will then be donated to the whaling ship Morgan.  She is the last sailing ship to venture around the world searching for whales.  She is berthed as part of the wonderful display of ships and boats at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.  They are looking to raise $100,000 to construct this whale boat.  If you are interested in helping, contact Lowell’s Boat Shop at 978--834-0050 or at
Special note:  Lowell’s Boat Shop is the oldest continuously operating dory building facility in the nation and it is a wonderful place to visit.  It is a regular feature of Essex Heritage’s Trails & Sails Weekends.  

Call for Nominations from the North Shore Elder Services
You are invited to submit nominations for North Shore Elder Services’ 2012 “We Give Thanks” Awards. These awards will bring to light examples of the care and service others provide to older persons on the North Shore and will publicly thank those whose accomplishments and contributions best exemplify and advance the mission.

North Shore Elder Services - Life. Made Easier for elders.
Call for Nominations

As you consider the award categories, please keep in mind the following guidelines in preparing your nomination:
1. the criteria for the award
2. how the nominee fits the criteria
3. what measureable impact the nominee has had on the community
4. how the nominee enhances the mission of service to elders.

Nominations must be received in the North Shore Elder Services’ office no later than August 10, 2012. The preferred method of delivery is email to:

Award Recipients will be announced on September 14, 2012.
For more information, please contact: Rhonda GauthierNorth Shore Elder Services 152 Sylvan Street Danvers, MA 01923 978-624-2220 TTY 978-624-2244

City of Peabody Dedicates Memorial to Holocaust Survivors Memory
A number of Peabody residents and city officials recently gathered to dedicate a Memorial to Holocaust Survivors. The community built the memorial to honor and keep the memory of holocaust survivor Sonia Weitz alive.   She was a great spokesperson for that disaster and did much to keep the event in the minds of many. She prepared a presentation each year that she provided to the St. John’s Prep student body to build their awareness of the terrible events perpetrated during that period.
Congratulations to Danvers America Little league in their District Win
The Danvers American Little League team beat a group from Gloucester for the second time in two days to claim the district championship.  They will now face Saugus in the next round on the road to Williamsport.   Both communities should be proud of the achievements of their teams, and the youth that represented the two communities. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Essex Happenings…July 13, 2012

Essex Heritage Programs & Activities

Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
This 85-mile coastal route from Lynn to Newburyport has just received a new boost with the publication of the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway rack card.  The colorful, two sided cards direct readers to the byway website where they can learn about things to see and do in the byway region.

Essex Heritage Photo Safaris
One of the most valuable programs offered by Essex Heritage is the widely attended Essex Heritage Photo Safaris offered by photography professionals under the direction of Hunt’s Photo & Video of Melrose.   The program was created and developed by the current Essex Heritage board president Richard Yagjian, COO of Hunt’s. 

Participants in the program use state of the art photography equipment and receive instruction from photography professionals from Cannon, Olympus, Sigma, Nikon and Tamron.    Essex Heritage arranges for the photo shoots at one of the spectacular historic locations in the National Heritage Area. There are two more Saturday Safaris scheduled for this summer:

Photo Safari featuring Nikon on Saturday, July 21, 2012
There are two sessions – please register for one or the other
• 8 AM - 12 PM
• 1 PM - 5 PM      

At The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970.  Photograph the site at the House of the Seven Gables - which constitutes its own national historic district on The National Register of Historic places! The property includes 5 historic houses including the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England, an 18th century granite sea wall, and two seaside Colonial Revival Gardens with spectacular views of Salem Harbor. The House of the Seven Gables is also within walking distance of Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Photo Safari featuring Canon on Saturday, August 4, 2012
There are two sessions – please register for one or the other
• 8 AM - 12 PM
• 1 PM - 5 PM

At The Trustees of Reservation’s estate Long Hill & the Sedgwick Gardens, 572 Essex Street, Beverly, MA 01915. Capture Long Hill’s blooming flower fields at this former family retreat renowned for its gardens for almost a century. The gardens at Long Hill are laid out in a series of separate garden “rooms” surrounding the handsome, Federal-style, brick house.  Each “room” is distinct in its own way, accented by ornaments and statuary.  On the property, photographers can also explore a popular loop trail through quintessentially New England woodlands dotted by vernal pools and imposing boulders.

Featured Partner Event
On Wednesday, July 18, 7:00 PM at The House of the Seven Gables there will be a lecture on the Strong Women at the Gables: Sophia Peabody and Her Sisters.  The lecture is being presented by Megan Marshall, winner of the Francis Parkman Prize and Pulitzer finalist for her book, The Peabody Sisters, Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism. This landmark book won wide critical acclaim. Her focus for this lecture will be on Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, wife of Nathaniel. Advanced reservations are required. Please contact (978) 744-0991 and let them know you are an Essex Heritage member. Admission: $10 for Essex Heritage and Seven Gables Members, $15 Non-Members.

Essex Heritage Community Partners

Heritage Area Volunteer Opportunities
Essex Heritage is pleased to highlight interesting and fun volunteer opportunities from around the Heritage Area. If you would like to share volunteer opportunities, please send them to us. Or if you are looking to volunteer, check out the following:
Marblehead Festival of Arts, Marblehead: The summer Festival of the Arts is looking for volunteers. For information visit the website or call 781-639-ARTS.

Gardeners Wanted! Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Mass Audubon, Topsfield, MA
If you are a gardener who has a few hours to spare each week, and would like to help care for our backyard bird habitat and butterfly gardens, we would love your help. Familiarity with organic gardening methods and native plants is preferred. Our small gardening group meets on Tuesday mornings April through October to work together in the gardens. To inquire about this position contact Susan Baeslack, Volunteer Coordinator at or call (978) 887-9264.

Crane Estate Saturday Work Crew, Ipswich, MA
Volunteers participate on a monthly basis as part of a regular group or sustainable team. The team works with the Trustees' northeast property superintendent and develops an annual list of projects for completion. Examples of projects are invasive species control, boardwalk construction, trellis restoration and various other maintenance activities. The group meets the last Saturday of the month. Works tasks take between 4-8 hours. Contact Tommy Gunn at 978-794-9502 ( or Nancy Keighley at 978-314-6013 ( for more information!

For more volunteer opportunities go here -

Heritage Area Communities and Organizational Happenings

Beverly's Lynch Park Carriage House Shines
Once the ocean front summer home of President Taft, Lynch Park in Beverly now features a newly renovated carriage house. Offering fabulous views, the city owned property can be rented for weddings and other events. For more information go to

New Exhibit House Opens at Newbury Farm
The remarkable story of a Lithuanian's family life on a New England farm is chronicled in a new permanent exhibit at Historic New England’s Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm in Newbury. Read more!

Regional News

Salem Power Station appears to be Changing Owners With a New Concept Planned

It seems that Dominion Power based in Virginia has completed an agreement to sell the coal fired Salem Power Station along with the thirty-four acre site on lower Derby Street, Salem to a New Jersey power company called Footprint Power. They report that they intend to develop a new natural gas fired facility on a portion of the site.    The Salem Power Plant was built during the 1950’s on the site of one of Salem’s best baseball facilities.  It has been one of the City’s largest taxpayers for many years, but it has also been the focus of a great deal of concern about regional air quality and pollution. The new owners expect to use a only a portion of the large, waterfront site for energy production.  The City of Salem is hopeful that other commercial development will also occur at the site including use of the deep water port facility for cruise ships.  Mayor Driscoll and Representative John Keenan have said that redevelopment of this site holds enormous promise for the future of Salem

The Town of Danvers Receives Reimbursement Funding

As a result of the efforts of State Representative Ted Speliiotis the Town of Danvers will likely receive a substantial amount of additional funding to support education and to reimburse the Town for costs incurred in transporting homeless students who have been housed in motels in the Town of Danvers.    The funding has been added to the recent State budget and only requires the signature of the Governor.     The Town has had an inordinate number of homeless families living on a temporary basis in Danvers.  Last summer through a project dubbed Camp Sunshine the Town’s social service agencies provided a safe camping environment and meals to the children from the motels and are trying again in 2012 to replicate this effort.   In 2011 many banks and local businesses came including the Senior Center and the local food pantry also provided support to these families, and The Friends of the Danvers Recreation Department is mounting an effort again.  Contributions can be made to the Friends at Danvers Town Hall

Nativity Prep Idea Proposed in Salem

A concept is being floated in Salem that could have both a positive and negative impact in the city.   A group of catholic lay people are interested in starting a Nativity Prep School in Salem.   There are currently Nativity Prep Schools operating in New Bedford and Boston and in several other locations.  The concept is to provide a tuition free middle school educational program for disadvantaged youth.   Teachers would not be compensated in the usual manner, but would be recent college graduates who would receive a small fee and some benefits including medical coverage.  Teaching and the discipline would be intense with the goal of producing entrance opportunities for attendees at the regions private high schools.   

The   group interested in this concept is considering locating the new school in a building that formally housed one of the many catholic elementary schools that at one time educated about one half of elementary school students in Salem.   The organizers are in serious discussions with the Immaculate Conception Parish that owns the former St. Mary’s School that I attended for eight years during my earliest days of education. 

The downside of this concept is that the current occupant of the building on Hawthorne Boulevard is the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem.  Although the Boys and Girls Club has for many years considered relocating their operations, this will mean that the move of the youth club will be greatly accelerated.   I have served on the Board of Directors of the club for many years and there would be severe pressure on the club, if a termination of occupancy at that location were to occur in the near future.   The club has served many disadvantaged youth over the years and Essex Heritage has worked with the club to offer enrichment programs in conjunction with the National Park Service at Salem Maritime.

The City of Beverly Works to Improve Pedestrian Sidewalk Access

The City of Beverly recently received some federal funding to improve the accessibility of the city’s sidewalks.  The mayor has made a commitment that the deficiencies will be corrected over the next couple of years.  A plan and a consultant hired by the city will be focused on the improvement issues to ensure that accessibly compliance is achieved. Anything that improves the walkability of the city is good.

People in the News

Salem News Editor Honored

Earlier this month, the Salem News honored Nelson Benton, Editorial Page Editor of the News, on the occasion of his retirement.  Mr. Benton had spent four-decades at the news.   I will not claim to have known Nelson for all of the years he has covered issues and communities in this region, but I have followed his reporting for many of those years.   He has always been the fairest of scribes and his opinions supporting initiatives important to this region have meant a great deal towards the success or failure of a project.   From the perspective of Essex Heritage, he has been thankfully outspoken in support of this regional program and his support and endorsement of those efforts has been important to our continuing success.   All of us connected with this collaborative effort to generate a more cohesive effort across the region, thank him. We wish him well in his retirement and confirm that his presence and participation in this region will be sorely missed.

Salem Mayor Named Salem State University Distinguished Alumnus for 2012

Mayor Kim Driscoll who graduated from Salem State University in 1989 has distinguished herself as both the Mayor of Salem and in her volunteer work for the school.   She has previously received two awards from the university as Volunteer of the Year in 2003 and induction into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame.   Her work as Mayor of Salem has been excellent and she is regarded by many, including her peers, as a great leader of a community that is on the move.

Marblehead Resident Receives Salem State University Alumni Award for 2012 for his Volunteer Efforts

Donald Brennan of Marblehead was recently awarded the Elizabeth Williams Wade Award by Salem State University.  Brennan is a special and long term contemporary of mine both in my youth and today, and he attended St. John’s Prep at the same time as I did,. This award was for his volunteer work for Salem State and its Alumni Association.   Brennan received both his undergraduate and Masters Degree in education from Salem State UniversityCongratulations Don, and great work for an important regional institution.

Community Health, Elderly Affairs & Disability Issues
Danvers Council on Aging Names New Social Service Outreach Coordinator
It is a pleasure to announce the hiring of Lisa N. Westrate, to the position of the Danvers Council on Aging Social Service/ Outreach Coordinator. Lisa is a graduate of Gordon College with a BA in Psychology. She has experience as a Social Worker/ Case Manager with the Department of Children and Families Services. Her professional experience as an advocate for families, combined with her educational accomplishments indicates Lisa will be an outstanding candidate for the job. 

The Council on Aging has announced that “Lisa will be available to listen to your thoughts and ideas as well as answer any questions you may have. She will also be facilitating the Challenges of Living Alone group and the Low Vision Support group. Hopefully, with your feedback as to day and time for meetings, she can get both of these groups up and running by August. Join us in giving Lisa a big Danvers welcome as she begins in her new role at our center.”

Beverly Golf and Tennis To Provide Handicapped Access to Clubhouse

After a complaint from a former operator of the club, the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board ruled that the City must take necessary steps to make the historic clubhouse at the Beverly Golf and Tennis Club accessible to patrons before the end of this year.   The regulatory board indicated that either an elevator or wheelchair lifts must be added and an existing wheelchair ramp needs to be repaired.    The city has elected to add two wheel chair lifts on the first floor to take people to the basement and to the second floor function room.   The lifts are an acceptable alternative to the installation of an elevator that could dramatically impact the roofline of the historic building built in 1910.  The repairs have been required since 2003 when the City upgraded the building.  The city has been aware of the need to make the building accessible and has had plans to accomplish the tasks, but this ruling may accelerate the progress of completion.  It is estimated that the repairs will cost about $500,000.00 and Mayor Scanlon has already requested the money from the City Council.   He has indicated that the funding will be repaid from future golf course revenues.    

We applaud the Mayor and the Council for their prompt action after the ruling was handed down. Essex Heritage is particularly interested that the roof on the historic building will be retained and the designation as National Register property preserved.     I would expect that the changes will be beneficial for the function hall and anything that is done to make buildings that are difficult to navigate for those of us that are handicapped is much appreciated. 

Personal Observations

Coastal Flooding a Possible Problem in Essex County

Recent reports on the rising level of the Atlantic Ocean were offered on many national and local media resources and they could prove to be alarming to many coastal entities in this region.    The reports indicate that rising ocean levels all along the coastline from North Carolina to Maine could cause coastal flooding both during storms and under more normal conditions.   This is a condition and a situation that bears watching as coastline attractions and resources which mean so much to this region could be jeopardized if this prediction becomes reality.

Boston Globe Columnist Laments Lack of Youth Bike Riding

In a recent issue of the Boson Globe, John Paul Dupont lamented that the youth of today are no longer riding bikes as they did in previous generations.   He indicated that adults are riding everywhere, but youth are not riding their bikes as much as in the past.  Having adults riding more certainly is more healthful for that generation, but I hope that the region’s bike trials the Essex Heritage is helping to get in place will be an incentive to get youngsters back to riding their bikes when they can as that activity is helpful in the ongoing fight against childhood obesity.   Organizations like the Bi-Peds in Danvers is advocating bike safety
on the road, and that may also get some youth back onto bikes.

Workshop offered for Non-Profits:  Lack of Funds is NOT your Primary Challenge
 The following presentation certainly makes an effective case of the purpose for being a not-for-profit organization like the many that I am pleased to serve.  “Come to this session to understand the definitions of nonprofit life defined by competencies and performance measures associated with each stage from idea or startup through growth and maturity. See how to apply this framework to see where your organization is starting from holistically and the typical growing pains for your stage, and understand how to set realistic performance based on expectations for your stage so you have the potential to attract donors, develop an income stream, engage your board or hire more employees. The benefits of this approach to capacity building that it is so simple, it work.”

Winter Sports:
Now that the Winter Sports Season is truly over, the local General Managers are taking care of preparing for 2013.   The Celtic’s got Kevin Garnett’s signature on a contract and now if they can convince Ray Allen to stay, maybe another run at a successful season can be in place.   The Bruins inked Tuukka Rask to a deal for the next year, and locked up several other long-term meaningful contributors for 2013.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Essex Happenings... July 6, 2012


Second Annual Pear Tree Lecture
On June 19, the Massachusetts General Hospital/North Shore Medical hosted the second annual Pear Tree Lecture in partnership with Essex Heritage and the Danvers Historical Society.  The lecture titled Herbalists. Midwifes, Nurses and Physicians: A History of Woman Healers on the North Shore presented by Dr. Karen Krag, staff medical oncologist, who did considerable original research to prepare this very interesting and informative talk on the history of women healers on North Shore.  The presentation provided a comprehensive look at the role that woman have played in this region over the period of time that the Endicott Pear Tree has flourished in its location.  Doctor Krag is an excellent example of the contributions to medicine made by woman in this country and this area.

The event was timed to be part of the Endicott/Endecott Family Tenth Anniversary Reunion.  It was very well attended by a standing room only crowd of over one hundred interested members of the reunion group and members and staff of the three collaborating organizations.  Included in the audience were several re-enactors in 17th century garb.  The evening began with guided tour of the original Endicott Pear Tree, believed to be the oldest living fruit tree in North America, and followed by a visit to a scion (off-spring) of the pear tree which was recently planted in the medical center’s Norton Family Healing Garden adjacent to the cancer center.  As part of the tour, a recently dedicated bronze plaque created by Society of Colonial Dames to highlight the history of the famous Pear Tree, was pointed out to visitors.  

Ms. Elena Sierra, Executive Director of the medical center, moderated the event, and the Endicott Family presented her with a bronze plaque to commemorate planting the scion tree in the garden.  Delicious pear themed hors d’oeuvres were prepared by Claudio Sierra of Tutto Italian Restaurant in Lexington, MA 

The Endicott Family celebrated a week of activities commemorating Governor Endecott and his descendants including visiting the Endicott portrait at the State House in Boston and a symposium at Endicott College in Beverly.

It was a pleasure to host all of the members of the Endicott Family. We sincerely hope that this event and cooperative effort will be repeated in the future

History of the Endicott/Endecott Pear Tree
The pear tree was planted in its current location between 1632 and 1649 (William Bentley reports dates of 1630, 1631, and 1639 in his diary).  It was planted by John Endecott, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, one of the Colony's earliest settlers, and ancestor of Endicott Peabody—and it was likely brought from England on the Arabella in June 1630.

Tradition holds to that Endecott himself planted the pear tree in the presence of his children, farmworkers and reportedly declared: "I hope the tree will love the soil of the new world and no doubt when we have gone the tree will still be alive”.

The 1925 USDA Agriculture Yearbook, citing the memoir of Samuel Endicott—a descendant of Endecott (the spelling of the family name changed in the 18th century)—suggests that the tree may have been transplanted from Endecott's garden in Salem to Endecott’s farm in Danvers.  An article in the Salem Observer, written in 1852 by Samuel P. Fowler, lends further credence to this idea, noting that it was in Salem proper that Endecott "probably planted his famous pear tree.”  Flower also reports that Endecott was likely among the first to cultivate fruit in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

During the Centennial Celebration in Danvers, Massachusetts in June 1852, the Endicott Pear Tree was heralded as "probably the oldest cultivated fruit-bearing tree in New England." At that time the pear tree was over 200 years old. One hundred and fifty years have passed since that proclamation was made and the Endicott Pear Tree is still producing fruit. It is very unlikely that any other cultivated fruit tree in North America is as old. As this was written in August 2002, the Endicott Pear Tree is approximately 372 years old! (Today it is 382 years old.

n the USDA Agriculture Yearbook for 1925, there is a report about "the remarkable fruit tree" in Danvers, Massachusetts. This report cites the memoir of Governor Endicott's descendant, Samuel Endicott, that the tree may have been planted in its present location in 1632, or it may have been transplanted from "Governor Endecott's garden in Salem."

Essex Heritage Requests Support
If you have considered providing support to Essex Heritage it is never too late to contribute and help support our work of this region. 

Thanks to all who have generously given to our 2012 Annual Appeal.  With your help, we accomplished a great deal including the 10th anniversary Trails & Sails weekends with nearly 200 free events.  We also held several unique Photo Safaris that showcase the region's unique resources, have developed the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, and, in a strong partnership with the National Park Service, we provided opportunities for under-served youth to work at the National Parks in Salem and Saugus.  

Please donate today! A gift of any size is greatly appreciated.  All of our work is made possible by your generous support. We look forward to another exciting year together.

The Essex National Heritage Area was created, in part, to partner on projects with The National Park Service - especially at their two parks - Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Saugus Iron Works National Historic SiteSalem Maritime has several community programs planned for this summer.

July 4th Celebration
Once again Salem Maritime hosted a huge Independence Day celebration at their waterfront site.   There were vendors, music and, of course, fireworks, all with the National Park Service’s tall ship Friendship as a backdrop to the celebration.    The event drew as always a large enthusiastic crowd who enjoyed the entire presentation. If you watched fireworks at this location or some other site within the Essex National Heritage Area, we hope that you had a pleasant and peaceful 4th of July celebration.

Annual Maritime Site Festival
The Salem Maritime National Historic Site is looking forward to their annual Maritime Festival – a family event they have offered every year for the past fifteen years.   This year’s event is scheduled for the weekend of August 4-5.   There will be fun events offered for everyone in the family including music, sails, and authentic maritime demonstrations.  A complete schedule of all the events will be presented in this space and in all of the local newspapers as the event gets closer.  Put the dates on your calendars as it will be special and will highlight the work of the National Park Service. 

National Park Service Names new Captain for Friendship 
Congratulations to the first permanent Captain of the Friendship, Jeremy Bumagin.  The Friendship is a replica of the 1797 East Indiaman by the same name.  The original ship made 15 voyages to the Far East and Europe.  On her last voyage she was captured by the British off the English coast as the War of 1812 had just been declared.  Today, you can tour and visit the Friendship at Derby Wharf. Learn more about Friendship. 

Town of Essex Boat Builder, Harold Burnham, Receives One of Nine NEA Fellowships
In 2002, Essex Heritage presented Harold Burnham with a special recognition award at our Essex Heritage Annual Fall Meeting for his work as a traditional wooden shipbuilder in Essex.   We are extremely pleased to note that Mr. Burnham’s extraordinary work has now been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts.  He recently received a NEA Arts Fellowship and a $25, 000 grant for his work constructing the 55-foot schooner Ardelle.   He is only the fourth shipbuilder out of 377 recipients over the years to receive this prestigious award.    Mr. Burnham is carrying on the tradition of wooden ship building that goes back in the Town of Essex for nearly 400 hundred years.  Mr. Burnham will receive the award and the grant at a special presentation at the Library of Congress in October.   Mr. Burnham’s craftsmanship using the local materials and traditional construction methods is a wonderful example of the types of heritage resources that still abound in Essex County.  It confirms the importance that Congress placed on this region by designating Essex County as the Essex National Heritage Area.


City of Salem Art Project
The City of Salem has adorned its downtown with a dozen artfully decorated ship figureheads.   The figureheads have been painted by local artists as the ‘Lady of Salem” program to create art in the city.   The program was kicked off at the City’s art festival in June.   The figureheads will be displayed until October.  The public are being asked to vote on which they like best and the People’s Choice Award winner will be recognized at an event during the Essex Heritage’s Trails & Sails  weekends in September.   To vote for a favorite figure and to see a list of the sponsors for this effort view the program at


Town of Danvers Agrees to Purchase Open Space
The Town of Danvers has entered into an agreement to purchase the almost 22 acre parcel known as Lebel’s Grove on Rt. 114.  The purchase of the land with over 1000 feet of frontage along the Ipswich River is a long desired acquisition by the town.   This was one of the largest parcels of open land still left in the Town of Danvers, and it will be acquired as open space with funds from a variety of sources including, potentially, a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Keeping this property undeveloped is also important to the preservation of Danvers’s water supply.

Salem State Summer Theatre Schedule
For excellent summer theatre, Salem State University’s summer programs can’t be beat.  I encourage you to sample their summer offerings in air conditioned comfort in the Callahan Theater.  Here is a list of the upcoming plays: 
  • Sylvia (July 6-8, July 13-15)
    If you have ever owned a dog, loved a dog or wished your dog would take a long weekend, you don't want to  miss Sylvia by A.R. Gurney running July 6-8 and July 13-15. Meet empty-nesters Greg (David Allen George)  and Kate (Linda Burtt) whose well-planned shift to a  new phase of life is upended by stray pup Sylvia (Kate  Amory). This unique look at love and relationships also features James Fallon and is directed by William Cunningham.
  • Almost, Maine (July 20-22, July 27-29)
    What would summer in New England be without a visit  to the state of Maine?  On a cold, clear moonless night, all is not quite what it seems in the remote, mythical town of Almost, Maine. As the northern lights hover in the star-filled sky above, residents of Almost find themselves falling in and out of love is unexpected and often hilarious ways. John Cariani has created a romantic fable that explores the mysteries of the human heart. We'll spend two weekends in Almost, Maine, July 20-22 and then again July 27-29. The cast includes Angelo Athanasopolus, Brianne Beatrice, Bryan Collins, Sara Tode and Michael Zuccola. Directed by Brianne Beatrice.
  • Greater Tuna (August 3-5)What do Arles Struvie, Thurston Wheelis, Aunt Pearl, Petey Fisk, Phineas Blye, and Rev. Spikes have in common? They are all among the upstanding citizens of Tuna, Texas – the big state’s third smallest town. You will meet them if you select our Greater Tuna itinerary, August 3-5. The long-running Off Broadway hit features two actors creating the entire population of Tuna in a tour de farce of quick change artistry, changing costumes and characterizations faster than a jack rabbit runs from a coyote. Featuring: Bryan Collins and David Allen George.  
Tickets on sale now! $25 General/$20 seniors and students; Pre-show dinner available: $10 (advance reservation required/ by phone only/dinner begins 90 minutes prior to curtain) 
Purchase tickets  (individual show tickets)  
Purchase tickets by phone: 978.542.6290 (dinner/theatre package or individual show tickets)  
Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm/Sundays at 2 pm** Sunday, August 5 includes a second performance at 7:30 pm 

City of Salem Receives Two New State Grants
The City of Salem has recently been awarded two grants from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. One grant is from the Massachusetts Seaport Council for $1.75 million and it will be used to continue improving the Blaney Street Wharf.  These funds will extend the pier further and provide for some dredging.    The city also received a $1.5 million grant for a three-year period to help support the educational improvements planned at the Bentley School.   The two grants are very beneficial to Salem as they will improve the quality of life in this community and positively impact the educational development of its youth. 

Beverly Receives Federal Grant
A recently announced Federal grant will pay for half of the $1.5 million that it needed to help this community address a serious flooding problem in the “Farms” section of the city.

Newburyport Planning to Extend Pedestrian and Bike Trail
The City of Newburyport recently held at public meeting at the Firehouse Theatre to outline and receive public input into the 1 ½ mile extension of the Clipper City Rail Trail and Harbor Walk along the Merrimack River.   The current trail is very popular and heavily used.   The trail links up to the larger Border to Boston Rail Trail, the eight town trail that Essex Heritage has supported for many years.    The development of recreational trails is an important element of Essex Heritage’s strategy to enhance the quality of life in the region. To offer input about the project to the community contact Geordie Vining, senior project manager, at 978-445-4400.

City of Peabody Plans New Park
The City of Peabody has awarded a contract in an amount just over $1 million to complete phase one of the enhancement of an old factory site on Wallis Street.   This phase is expected to take about two months to complete and includes making certain that the site is clear of any contamination.   The second phase of the project will involve building a park that will include benches, a bridge to connect the street and a walking path.   The project is part of Mayor Bettencourt’s plans to beautify the city.


Dukakis Helps to Mark Home Care Law’s Anniversary
Elder Affairs Committee co-chairs Rep. Alice Wolf and Sen. Patricia Jehlen recently helped celebrate the 40th anniversary of the state’s home care laws. According to Mass Home Care, the Massachusetts Home Care System, created during the administration of Governor Frank Sargent, is one of the largest in the United States.  The $335 million in state and federal funds managed by Mass Home Care agencies help to reduce nursing home expenses in the state Medicaid program. The typical home care client is an 81 years old woman, living alone, and 45 percent of home care clients live at or below the poverty line.  Home care specialists typically assist clients with eating, bathing, dressing and toileting to enable individuals to remain living in their homes rather than transitioning into nursing homes. Michael Dukakis addressed the group and said that the Commonwealth’s care system is “considered by many as the best ‘human services’ governor in the state’s history.” Dukakis was introduced by Paul Lanzikos, Executive Director of North Shore Elder Services in Danvers and elder affairs secretary during the Dukakis administration.

North Shore Elder Services Officer Receives Award
During a recent ceremony at the State House, State Treasurer Steve Grossman helped honor Gerald Stepner of Peabody, for his important contributions as a longtime volunteer with the Massachusetts Money Management Program, co-sponsored by the AARP Foundation, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and Mass Home Care.  As a Money Management volunteer, Stepner - and more than 1,000 others in the Bay State - donates his time and energy to help lower-income seniors stay financially independent.  AARP Massachusetts State President Linda Fitzgerald commended Stepner and the corps of Money Management volunteers.

"To you, our volunteers, I say: Thank you for your service, your passion, caring, and compassion," Fitzgerald said. "In addition to helping vulnerable seniors manage their weekly budgets and pay their bills, you are also there for those who may feel isolated and alone. You are their social connection and that is invaluable. On behalf of AARP, I thank you."

The Massachusetts Money Management Program is a free service that assists low-income seniors who might be at risk of losing their independence due to their inability to pay basic rent, food and utility bills on time. Volunteers help as bill payers, representative payees, and monitors.  For more information, visit

North Shore Music Theatre
Last Spring my wife and I attended a presentation at the North Shore Music Theatre where the theatre was of great help to the North Shore Elder Services as a fundraising event.   We were able to watch that performance from a handicapped section of the theatre and as result of that experience we reasoned that we could attend the theatre for regular shows too.  The North Shore Music Theatre is a most important component of the cultural life of this region, and that element is most important to Essex Heritage and its mission.  We purchased tickets at that time to attend two future shows scheduled for later in 2012.   We are looking forward to attending shows in July and August and encourage you to view the theatre schedule to learn if a day or an evening at the theatre might work for you.   Details of the shows and concerts available or to purchase tickets visit

Salem News Produces Excellent Synopsis of Title IX
Congratulations to the publisher and the staff of the Salem News for a first class presentation of the effect that the enactment of US Title IX has had on woman’s sports both in this country and the region.   The coverage offered by the News was in their June 23 edition of the paper.  The Act has opened the doors to many more young women who are having a chance not offered at one time.   I have two young granddaughters who are clearly the beneficiary of this opportunity that is now forty years old since its enactment.