One of the individuals planning Preservation Week rolled their eyes about the upcoming symposium, “The Wharves of Northern New England” (Sunday, 3-5, at the Custom House) and exclaimed, “How interesting” in the most sarcastic way.
Well, it made me think. What IS so exciting about a bunch of wharves? It wasn’t for prettiness – take a look at some of these pictures!
But they were a whole different world from the rest of the City.
- This was the point of contact for exotic goods from all over the world.
- This was the point of contact for exotic people coming from all over the world.
- This was where the hum of commerce grew hottest and drew a flurry of human activity.
- It was the wharves that put the Port into Newburyport.
In fact, so much history about Newburyport has to do with prominent characters who owned some part of the warehouses or in some cases, the wharves themselves, that shaped our history.
So just for fun, I thought I would list the wharves in order without much historical commentary just so we can see how many there were. I couldn’t get a map that encompassed all of them at once but you can roughly estimate where they are by the names they mention. These are West to East.
Currier Wharf (1872)
Jackman Wharf (1872)
Pillsbury Wharf (1851)
Richard’s Wharf (1851), Browns Manufacturing Co. Wharf (1872) (Towle Building)
Caldwell’s Wharf (1851, 1872)
Essex Mills Wharf (1851), Emerson’s Wharf (1872) (Waters Edge Condominiums)
Williams Wharf (1851), N.V. Varina Wharf (1872), Tournament Wharf (Michael’s Harborside)
Patches Wharf (1851, 1872)
Horton’s Wharf (1851), A. Currier Wharf (1872)
Brown’s Wharf (1851, 1872) (Black Cow Restaurant)
Mercantile Wharf (1872)
Central Wharf (1851, 1872)
Hales Wharf (1851)
Ferry Wharf (1851)
Granger’s Wharf (1851)
Garrison’s Wharf (1851)
Coal & Weed Wharf (1851), Custom House Wharf (1872)
Commercial Wharf (1851, 1872)
Cushing’s Wharf (1851, 1872)
Stanwood Wharf (1851)
Bailey’s Wharf (1851, 1872)
De Fords Wharf (1851)
Haskell’s Wharf (1851)
Bartlett’s Wharf (1851, 1872)
Johnson’s Wharf (1851), W.S. Coffin Wharf (1872)
Coombs Wharf (1851, 1872) (Privateer’s Wharf) (Roughly where American Yacht Club is located)
Company Wharf (1851), Huses Wharf (1872)
Many are filled in and many of us have walked unawares over the buried remains.