Our community lives off our history. Our shops, our businesses, even those in manufacturing; base their business plan on all things ancient. I’ve seen job links on some of the companies out in the industrial park, “Come and work in the beautiful seaport town of Newburyport and its historic downtown, etc.” Our beautiful city with its historical architecture lures the unsuspecting visitor into our parlor. The more beautiful we are, the more historic atmosphere we imbue; measures how wide open their wallets will be and how much cash flows. Ten Center Street restaurant advertises, “Cool History” and lures in the serious diner.
So, what am I driving at? It would be a shame if the historical thread of our City was cut short and cast off like an old coat or worn shirt. That was tried by the original NRA and fortunately, the citizens rose up and stopped it.
Ghlee Woodworth is working on a Mayor’s brochure of all the significant leaders of Newburyport. When you read some of the biographies, you begin to realize how so many went on in their lives and significantly changed the Commonwealth and the Nation. Some even had international impact. Things we see around us were often transformed by the actions of Newburyport Mayors.
One of the most striking things about 60 Pleasant Street is the gaze of dozens of Mayors. It has an impact and makes you wonder, “Who were they? What did they believe? What did they do?”
Ghlee is working on the pictures and preparing the brochures. All this in the hope of having tours of our historic City Hall.
It would be a shame if her brochure came to an abrupt conclusion. No more mayors for the future, just cold administrative City Managers, lost in the blur of municipal bureaucracy. Ghlee’s tour would start with, “Newburyport used to have Mayors…”
I found out from some excited friends that the Charter Commission has finally decided on keeping the Mayoral position. Now, when the vote comes in November and hopefully the new charter is accepted, the process of writing future biographies of our Mayors will continue.
Newburyport is more than just an assemblage of people and buildings. It is framed and foundationally supported by history.
Thank you, Charter Commissioners, for keeping our history alive!