I want to thank our very own, self-professed ‘local yokel’, Ralph Ayers, for persevering in finding out about that mysterious picture. I too saw it in the calendar* and thought perhaps it was located at the intersection where the Natural Grocer is but the landmarks were all wrong.
There is nothing more frustrating than when you are told that something did not ever exist in Newburyport when in fact it had. There is something about real history that threatens some in the community. Oftentimes, the facts are most “inconvenient” to say it mildly, especially embarrassing history for example. A lot of people think to smooth things over that it would be ‘best forgotten’ to know these details. I realized this when reading histories of Newburyport that often the author’s perspective taints the work. In the wild days, privateering, underground railroads, wars and smuggling made the citizens a little less respectable than from the Historian’s views years later. A somber city with industrialists and hard laborers could hardly relate to the early, very prosperous and wild days. I’m not saying they were guilty of revisionist propaganda but probably did not put enough information and stress on Old Newburyport.
Now, we find many important questions left unanswered and who knows what exciting thing has been left ‘buried’ for us to expose today!
* For those who did not see it under As I see It in the Daily News, Mr. Ayers uncovered the location and the story behind the buildings that were displayed on the November section of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Emergency Calendar.