Saturday, December 7, 2013

ESSEX HAPPENINGS - Holiday Season - DECEMBER, 2013

Heritage Hero Award Presented to Joanne Holbrook Patton and the Patton Family
A Most Successful and Popular Regional Event
The recent event to honor Joanne Patton and the entire Patton Family was a wonderful success and the honor was most justified.   The event was held on October 16 at the Danversport Yacht Club which accommodated a sellout crowd attended by over 420 people from all over the region. This event and the award were a wonderful testament to the commitment of the preservation of the heritage of this region by the Patton family. Because of the strong military history of the Patton tradition, many of the attendees came dressed in military uniforms and this added to the festive nature of the evening along with the substantial number of supporting congratulatory toasts, messages and tributes.   In these days of reduced federal financial support for many organizations including Essex Heritage, the proceeds from this event will be used to underwrite the work of the Commission. 

Partial list of Essex Heritage Programs & Initiatives
The mission of the Essex National Heritage Commission is to preserved and enhance the historic, cultural, and natural resources of Essex County, MA. Since 1996, the Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) has championed the heritage development of Essex County by fostering public-private partnerships that enhance and promote significant aspects of the region’s history, cultural heritage and character. A few of the  most significant initiatives and accomplishments include:

Essex Heritage Grants Programs
The Commission directly invests in the Area though its grant programs.  To date, Essex Heritage has made 381 grants totaling $1,815,245 to non-profit organizations and municipalities within the National Heritage Area.  One hundred percent of the Area’s communities have received a grant; most have received several grants.  The Essex Heritage Partnership Grants initiative is the largest of the Commission’s grant programs, and it provides funding for heritage education, interpretation, historic preservation, historical records and trail development.  Acting as seed money, these grants have leveraged an additional $20,944,657 in matching investment in the Area, serving to drive economic development along with heritage preservation.

Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water
Trails & Sails is Essex Heritage’s premier partnership activity. The free event expands cultural tourism by bringing new audiences to dozens of historic sites and open spaces, and stimulating new business in the local economy. Held in late September, residents and visitors alike experience the region’s best from a wide array of events – guided walks, on-water tours, open houses – organized by the front line stewards of the Area’s historic, cultural and natural resources.

Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
Essex Heritage is leading the planning effort for the Essex Coastal 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 Coastal Scenic Byway.

Youth Jobs Corps
Essex Heritage has built a strong summer youth employment and training program through a unique partnership with the National Park Service. The program is directed towards youth ages 14-18 years. The teens are hired to work at the two national park sites in Salem and Saugus and this year the program was expanded to include Appleton Farms in Ipswich - a working farm owned and operated by The Trustees of Reservations.

Essex Heritage hires the teens for 8 -12 weeks and they work under the careful guidance and supervision of NPS staff.  At the parks, they acquire skills in historic preservation, building maintenance, natural resource management, interpretation and visitor operations. For many of these students this is their first job experience, so they are also given assistance on how to prepare for work, work place expectations, resume preparation, and career development.

The impact on these students’ lives has been substantial, and several have returned to work at the park during the fall and also in subsequent summers. “The program has taught me responsibility, appreciation for the city and its history, and opened new doors for my future,” Daniel Mondragon.

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. Read more about the Border to Boston.

Using Essex History
Using Essex History has been a highly successful program aimed at training middle school and high school teachers in ways to improve the relevancy of American history for their students by providing developmental seminars and instruction on creating curricula based on local historical assets. Using Essex History was supported by a Teaching American History grant and 130 Essex County teachers participated  in the program. Although the grant has run its course, the information remains live and updated by Salem State College’s History Department. Learn more about Using Essex History.

Essex LINCs (Local History in a National Context)
Essex Heritage was part of a team guiding a three-year heritage education initiative designed to connect Essex County elementary teachers with local primary source material. During visits to historical sites throughout Essex County and beyond teachers learn how to infuse their social studies lessons with stories, places, and artifacts that make history relevant for the future stewards of the heritage area. Other core partners include Beverly Public Schools, Salem State College, and the National Archives, Northeast Region. The project was funded with a Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Learn more about LINCs.

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 associated centers includes 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 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, most run by volunteers, are a key to competing well in the growing and lucrative cultural tourism market. Learn more about the ENHA Visitor Centers.

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

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, provides leadership and technical support in the areas of visioning, outreach, and project development and implementation. Visit the Coastal Trails Coalition website.

Heritage Landscape Inventory
Twenty-four communities participated in a unique, year-long program that brought together those interested in preserving the built environment with those working to protect land. Through a local developed inventory process, information and recommendations pertaining to threatened or unprotected heritage landscapes such as farms, cemeteries, rail corridors and "water's edge" properties are being incorporated into local and regional smart growth plans.

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 and ocean 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’s Best Idea.

Alliance of National Heritage Areas
The Essex National Heritage Commission has successfully built a thriving network of partnerships and collaborations, which have become an important catalyst for regionalism amid the independent interests of the 34 cities and town we support. The ENHC is at the table or leading the discussion on all issues of significance to the heritage resources in Essex County.
To accomplish our mission the Essex Heritage is committed to building:
• Public awareness of these heritage resources through public events and activities;
• The capacity of non-profit and public organizations who own or manage these resources;
• Connections to the next generation and to more diverse audience;
• Partnerships to develop new resources and assets for the region to embrace.
Please help us continue this tradition of excellence and leadership. Your financial investment will enable you to:
• Increase local stewardship of the Area's important historical, cultural and natural resources;
• Encourage efficiencies and effectiveness in local non-profit organizations by supporting the training programs and partnership offerings;
• Enhance and expand program offerings run in partnership with the National Park Service that promote the region’s rich Maritime Heritage.

North Shore Medical Center in Salem has announced a plan to enhance their Salem campus
The local Salem medical facility that has served the Witch City for a number of years is improving its campus with a new state of the art Emergency Room and 90 patient rooms in a new tower building.   The Hospital that has an affiliation with the Partners Medical Group is a major contributor to the medical programs in this region.

Danvers Council on Aging and the most active Senior Center on Stone Street to Offer new much desired program
The Danvers Council on Aging is in the final stages of establishing an Adult Day Care Program on two days each week for 15 people.  For more information or to reserve a spot that are filling fast contact the Town of Danvers Council on Aging at , the director of the Center and  the new program.

New Communication Sources
The Danvers Rail Trail has created a new program. We have recently learned of a new communication program in the region created for smart phones and tablets that outline all of the features of the Danvers Rail Trail.   The program points out rest areas and travel directions.
Federal Shutdown ends just in time to help Salem as it Celebrates Halloween
The government shutdown ended just in time to be most beneficial to the thousands of Halloween visitors to the Witch City.   That was a blessing to a community so financially dependent on this time of the year.

Holiday Concerts Scheduled
In December there are a number of concerts planed in the region.  Watch for local publications for complete schedules to make your plans.  Two events and details are as follows:

St Richard’s of Danvers will hold its annual Sounds of the Season on December 8, 2013 featuring the North Shore Philharmonic at a FREE concert at the church at 4:00 PM.   The only contribution to attend is a gift of non-perishable food that will be presented to the Danvers People to People Food Pantry.  The event is sponsored by the Living Legacy Financial Group and C.R. Lyons Funeral Directors.  The event is chaired for the church by John Call who can be reached  at 978-739-900   The second event scheduled is a series of dinners and concerts priced most fairly at Peabody City Hall on December 7 and 8.

We certainly do not want to let one of the most festive of the Holiday Periods in this country pass by without offering our best wishes to all of our readers as they celebrate the end of the Year Holidays.

White House Disability Issues
As a person challenged with a disability, I present the following from the Federal Government for your information:
            On November 1, disability, veterans, civil rights and business leaders joined Vice President Joe Biden and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett at the White House for conversation regarding the Administration’s strong support for ratification of the Disabilities.  During the meeting, the Vice President pointed out that the United States has long been a global leader in promoting equality and dignity for people with disabilities. He reinforced the Administration’s commitment to carrying forward that important legacy by urging Senate approval of the Treaty. He also noted that ratifying the Treaty would help ensure that Americans with disabilities, including our veterans and wounded warriors, have the same opportunities to work, study, and travel in other countries as any other American. Click here for the readout of Vice President Biden's Meeting on the Disabilities Treaty.

For more on Vice President Joe Biden and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett Disabilities Treaty meeting please check out White House blog post by Stephen Pomper with the White House National Security Staff. In addition, Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the State Department also published a blog post yesterday.

Anniversary of the Death of President Kennedy
During the week before Thanksgiving 2013, the world paused and commemorated the 50th assignation of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas Texas.   The reminders and the services and pictures presented were most moving.  The memories of that fateful day brought back numerous reminders of the moving ceremonies and the events that marked that tragic times of that slain president.   For adults of my age the assignation of the president was a stark reminder of a most chilling time and the numerous accomplishments of President Kennedy were brought back to the top of mind awareness and many of the actions of that elected official were remembered. The entire commemoration recalled President Kennedy’s call for more public service efforts by the citizens of this country.  His famous call to service that called for us all not to ask what our country can do for us but rather what we can do for our country was recalled and featured.

Danvers Historical Society to Offer Designer Showcase at Glen Magna in Danvers
To celebrate a half century of the stewardship of the Glen Magna Mansion the Danvers Historical Society will offer a designers showcase at the historic Glen Magna Estate from December 1, 2013 until December 15, 2013 from 10 am until 4 pm.   The event is sponsored by Designer Bath, Landry and Arcaro, Fireside Catering, North East Community Bank, and North Shore Magazine.   The event will feature designs and decorations from over a dozen or so nationally known designers and artists.   Tickets to the event are priced moderately considering the quality of the show and what the society will do with the proceeds to further its mission.   To purchase tickets or for more information call 978-777-1666 or contact the Society at www. DHS a@ Danvers  Volunteers are still needed to help with their showings.  E-mail Laura at for available time slots.  Many hands make light work. 

Also new to the Museum Store in the Page House: the 2014 calendar “Celebrating 50 years of Stewardship at Glen LOCAL sports Magna Farms” and the 2013 ornament “Days Potato Chips”

Keep informed through the Danvers Historical Society  blog at

Local Sports and Other Personal Observations
Several local area high Schools did very well in the 2013 in the State Playoffs specifically Masconomet and Bishop Fenwick High Schools.  Both schools can win a division title at the super bowls.

The Danvers Falcon Field Hockey team won more games than they lost, but they did not do that well in the playoffs   We were very pleased to learn that our granddaughter Katherine Leonard was named both a Salem News and a Northeastern Conference All Star for her team play and a most productive nineteen goal regular season.  CONGRATULATIONS KATE. 

The Red Sox World series win was sensational for the region and the many fans of the team.  They clearly outperformed their potential. The Patriots had several recent wins in a slightly weakened NFL and they will have a chance to shine in the playoffs if they do not slip at the end of their season. The Winter sports teams representing Boston are off to a reasonable and expected start, but the Bruins will get it together as the season continued, but the Celtics have much work to do,

Personal Reading
I am currently reading a book written by Chris Mathews, from the staff of Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil , titled “Tip and  the Gipper” (President Reagan).   It is about the period when politics worked in Washington DC.  It should be read and emulated by every current Washington elected official. This is a book about how two stubborn Irishmen could put aside their differences to work together for the good of the citizens of the country.

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