Caldwell’s Rum

Newburyport’s history is filled with signature industries that have simply disappeared.      Can you imagine Seattle suddenly being without Boeing or Microsoft?    It has happened time and again in our City.

We were leaders in the following:

Ship Building

and Rum

According to official records, in 1790, there were 70 rum distilleries in Newburyport and the greatest and the longest lasting was Caldwell.       These were all barrel-aged which gives off a butterscotch aroma.     Today, if you want to get a hint of what this rum was like, you would have to go to Ryan & Wood Distilleries in Gloucester.    You can buy their special rum, Folly Cove, in town at New England Wine & Spirits.

So, it struck me that Bossy Gillis himself, after starting up the gas station at the corner of Kent & Merrimac; would do such a professional job linking this historic area to his place of business.    A very nice touch!

Most visitors will have no idea the importance of rum so Bossy has shown the sailing ship so famous to Newburyport and the accouterments of the rum industry.

It will at least get visitors to ask questions.

If you want to know more about the rum industry in Newburyport, access the Newburyport History section on this site that tells the entire story.

It unfortunately depended on the Triangle Trade that involved slavery which is why our City though abhorring the practice of such sympathized with the South as their greatest source of wealth: cotton and molasses.       Cotton for the mills and molasses for the rum.

I, for one, will be personally boycotting this business.      I will, simply due to the antics of the owner.     I won’t ask anyone else; most people have no idea who Bossy Gillis was, is and have no idea of their antics.      

Putting up this nice picture reminds me of the actions of those who gut their historic home and then put an historically accurate brick sidewalk outside.     Sorry, things are not all well now.      You are not forgiven.

-P. Preservationist


About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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