You’ve heard the classic phrase from the Bible, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end”, Ecclesiastes 12:12 (Of which the Jabberwocky, the Book Rack and the Middle Street Book Shop are eternally thankful!*) Well, let me re-phrase it, “of Newburyport walking tours, there is no end!”
I mean there is the pitiful brochure that has been at the Chamber of Commerce for years that is but a feeble shadow of our great architecture and history. To remedy this miserable situation, great efforts have been made recently by the City, by concerned citizens, and by several local community groups. I even have a couple listed on my Visitor’s page.
There is a CPA application to re-establish the old Clipper Trail at significant points around the City by Ghlee Woodworth. When her project finally passes through the long tortuous process of obtaining CPA money; beautiful granite Clipper Markers will be located around Newburyport with brochures available indicating a map and their locations. And I might comment, adding a very classy look! We won’t see that any earlier than October if it gets past City Council approval. There are also future plans for a sophisticated ‘app’ for the phone that highlights sites around the City.
Recently, the Custom House Maritime Museum and the Historical Society of Old Newbury have combined forces to offer (and I might add it is a brilliant move) a dynamite combination: a ticket that will give access to both museums and a walking tour thrown in to boot! And just for $12! The walking tour is a great idea in that it leads our visitors up to the Cushing House Museum which often gets left out from our guest’s touring itinerary.
But if you really want to get a great grasp of ‘Complete Newburyport’ in architecture and history; then you must buy it. Two great booklets are presently available that when read and the tours taken will give you all you wanted to know about Newburyport but didn’t know whom to ask.
The first one is obtainable through the Chamber and that is the Walk Newburyport booklet produced by the Newburyport Preservation Trust. It provides great architectural understanding and indicates three self-guided walking tours to help demonstrate the point.
The second one can be purchased at the Custom House Gift Shop. You have to look for it because the museum doesn’t even realize what a treasure they possess. It is called Dooryard & Shipyard: Four Walking Tours of Newburyport. Its tours link the uptown, the shipyard area and Joppa town into a comprehensive historical understanding of what made Newburyport tick back in the 18th and 19th centuries. It’s a touch out of date but just barely and the Maritime Society aught to upgrade it it is that good.
It’s a measly $10 for the Trust’s book and $8 for the Custom House’s.
This is the time to storm both locations and get your hands on these books before they run out.
At the very least if you are pressed for time and can’t afford to absorb extensive architectural and historical information on Newburyport – these booklets will let you ‘know’ Newburyport in just a brief reading.
* Do you know that regionally, very few communities have even one bookstore? Even a large city like Haverhill has not one! Newburyport has three – what does that tell you of our demographics?