Connect:

Newburyport Historic Tours – The Best Walking Tours

Hosted by Untapped History – You’ll Laugh, You’ll Learn, You’ll Drink!

A Lively Tour of Newburyport History

This summer, try something new and different: fun historic tours of Newburyport followed by snacks and cocktails inspired by the city’s history. Untapped History, one of the city’s walking tours, is run by local historians Eric Getz and Alex Cain, is just that. These two teachers who call themselves “history nerds,” go by the motto “you’ll laugh, you’ll learn, you’ll drink,” and they achieve that by concluding their walking tours at a waterfront Newburyport restaurant, where attendees try a sampling of appetizers and cocktails that have been enjoyed through the city’s four hundred-year history. These walking tours begin at the Custom House Maritime Museum, then visitors follow the tour guides, who are dressed in 18th-century merchant garb, through downtown Newburyport. The historic tours focus on the Merrimac River, explaining how the river influenced life in Newburyport – and in fact, the country – from the very beginning. The tour guides also discuss Newburyport as the birthplace of the US Coast Guard and how it was an important center of ship-building in the 18th century. These historic tours even go into some darker history as during the Revolutionary War when the city was a center for “privateers,” aka legal pirates who harassed British ships.

Those who participate in any of these walking tours, which makes sixteen stops through downtown Newburyport, get to touch and taste the history. Attendees handle hemp sailcloth fabric and rope used in the ship-building industry, and cones of sugar used in distilling the local spirits. Speaking of local spirits, the tour concludes with a celebration of Newburyport’s history as a center of rum distilleries by letting tour-goers try a rum cocktail for themselves. Partnering with a local rum distillery and a local brewery, walkers get to try concoctions like the “rattle skull,” a colonial-era beverage made with rum, applejack and lime juice, then topped with nutmeg, or something called a “rum swizzle” that features two kinds of rum, orange juice, pineapple juice and grenadine. Just the thing after a long walk!

The tour costs $40 per adult, and this includes the walking tour, appetizers and a cocktail. For more information, see the Untapped History web site. And if you have a moment, check out their blog, where Alex and Eric narrate some interesting – and less well known – chapters of Newburyport history.

Untapped History

Start Location for Tours
25 Water Street
Newburyport MA 01950
Alex@untappedhistory.com
978-355-8410

Book a Tour

Tour Details
Tours start at the Custom House Maritime Museum located at 25 Water Street, Newburyport. Please check in 15 minutes prior to your tour at the Museum Gift Shop. Tours are 75 minutes in length and include 16 stops. The cost is $40 per person. The tour will conclude with a flight of historic alcoholic drink samples and appetizers at a Newburyport waterfront restaurant.

Discover Newburyport’s Maritime History

The Custom House Maritime Museum

Experience Newburyport’s Maritime History

Are you looking to experience Newburyport maritime history? The Maritime heritage in Newburyport, Massachusetts runs deep. Newburyport has many wonderful attractions but the Custom House Maritime Museum is the ultimate destination for all residents and visitors with a curiosity about rich maritime history.

As the eastern seacoast’s first major commercial port, and the birthplace of the U.S. Coastguard, there is plenty to preserve and celebrate in Newburyport.

Much of this history can be seen at the Custom House Maritime Museum in downtown Newburyport. This includes an extensive collection of maritime art, model clipper ships and displays from infamous shipwrecks such as the Carlyle Ship Collection of Duncan McFarlane.

Built in 1835, the Custom House served as a place to promote overseas trade and tax collection of imported goods on the Newburyport waterfront.

After a long period of transition, the Newburyport Maritime Society was founded in 1968 to restore and manage the Custom House, now regarded as a premiere maritime museum.

Open year round, the museum not only serves as an educational center and research facility, but also as a meeting place for professional and social gatherings.

Custom tours and museum rentals for concerts, weddings and other special events make the Custom House a true treasure of Newburyport.

The museum also hosts a bevy of maritime events in honor of our local Coast Guard men and women who protect our waters. You can view the Maritime Museum’s calendar of events here.

The Newburyport Maritime Society devoted to, “connecting the past to the living history of today through new relationships with local artistic, business and environmental organizations.”

The Custom House Maritime Museum

25 Water Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
978.462.8681
info@thechmm.org

Open Year Round!

January-April on Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday & Holiday Mondays (12-4pm)

May-December on Tuesday – Saturday (10am-4pm) and Sunday & Holiday Mondays (12-4pm)

Parking is available at local parking lots.

Admission is $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for seniors and students. Active military members and kids under 6 are free.

Museum Store

Custom House Exhibits

Maritime Museum Events Calendar

Visit

Hiking and Walking Trails in Newburyport

Experience The Natural Beauty of Maudslay State Park

Miles of Hiking and
Walking Trails

Maudslay State Park features breathtaking 19th century gardens, carriage roads and walking trails, stunning fields and meadows as well as stone arch bridges and a flowering reflection pond.  If you appreciate history and the outdoors, a trip to Maudslay State Park is a must.  Enjoy miles of hiking and walking trails and join the equestrian group if you enjoy horse back riding.

The former Moseley family estate, Maudslay is a historic site located along the Merrimack River in Newburyport, Massachusetts.

From rhododendrons in bloom to horseback riding, there is something for everyone at this impressive New England natural resource, including family picnics and a variety of renowned hiking trails.

There is a small charge for parking, or you can purchase annual passes. Permits for weddings and special occasions are also available.

The Park also features amazing cultural events held regularly throughout the summer at the Maudslay Arts Center, while the winter months are perfect for watching bald eagles roost, cross country skiing with your dogs and of course, sledding!

Maudslay State Park

74 Curzon Mill Road
Newburyport, MA 01950
978-465-7223

info@MaudslayAssociation.Org
Maudslay.Park@State.MA.US – Events

Upcoming Events at Maudlsay

Featured on Hike New England. Here is a Trail Map to help you explore!

Newburyport is the birthplace of the USCG

US Coast Guard

PART OF A LONG TRADITION OF LIFESAVERS

One of 20 stations in the Coast Guard, the Merrimack River Station in Newburyport, Massachusetts is home to the men and women protecting our waters with search, rescue and law enforcement.

As the the birthplace of the U.S. Coast Guard, our Newburyport Coast Guardsmen are responsible for some of the greatest rescues, with history dating back almost 200 years.

Born Ready, through intense surf and heavy breaking seas, these men and women maintain and handle several sea going vessels including steel hull boats, a utility power boat and Boston Whalers.

Read more about the history of the USLSS Station #1, Second District Coast Guard Station #20.

US Coast Guard

Merrimack River Station
65B Water Street
NewburyportMA 01950
(978) 462-3428

Date of Conveyance: 1881
Station Built: 1882

Coordinates 42°48′37.68″N 70°51′53.48″W

Connect

Bartlet Mall

A Scenic Park Rich in History

Bartlet Mall, a gorgeous historic park at the intersection of Pond and High Streets, is a great place for ice-skating, sledding, and enjoying nature. Its scenic views provide the setting for a wide variety of popular community events, including Yankee Homecoming Olde Fashioned Sunday, Art on Bartlet Mall, and the Newburyport Lantern Festival.

Bartlet Mall is an ideal place for taking a walk, walking the dog, having a picnic, biking or running. The Mall features a basketball court and one of the top 8 playgrounds in the Newburyport area, which means fun for people of all ages!

There are wide walkways and a series of footpaths that border the Mall and lead to the Frog Pond. It has also become a highly photographed area by many local photographers. The benches, walkways and shade trees create a beautiful setting.  And the view of Frog Pond, with its resident ducks and ornate cast iron fountain, is lovely.

Bartlet Mall dates to the 1600s when the first English settlers used the area as a place to water and graze sheep. It was also a training area for militias that would go on to fight in the Revolutionary War. The Mall was professionally landscaped in the late 1880s using plans by landscape architect, Charles Eliot. This work resulted in the beautiful paths and grassy lawns enjoyed by visitors today.

The historic Superior Court building, constructed in 1805, sits at the edge of Bartlet Mall. It is one of the oldest active courthouses in the U.S. Charles Bullfinch, who designed the Massachusetts State House in Boston, was also the architect for the Superior Court Building.  In fact, both Bartlet Mall and the Superior Courthouse are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Bartlet Mall is a shimmering and beloved jewel in the heart of Newburyport’s historic district.

Bartlet Mall

High & Pond Sts.
Newburyport, MA 01950
978-465-7223

 

For upcoming events at Bartlet Mall, check the Newburyport.com Events Calendar.

Plum Island Airport Historic Contributions to Aviation

Plum Island Aerodrome

Plum Island Airport, Newburyport MA
Image by Ethan Cohen of UAV Look

The Historic Plum Island Airport

Do you know about the impressive history of the Plum Island Airport in Newbury? Many advances in aviation occurred on Plum Island. The first flying field in New England was built on Plum Island. The original runway over the sand dunes and marshes was made of wood! The Burgess Company built over one hundred different types of airplanes at Plum Island Airport until the end of World War I.  The founder of the Burgess Company built planes for the Wright Brothers and is recognized for his contributions to aviation.

Nowadays, the runway is asphalt, not wood! The Plum Island Airport offers several services to the flying community including flight instruction, aircraft fueling station, parking tiedowns and more. Glider rides and scenic flights are available to the general public throughout the year. The Airport is also used for public services including emergency medical evacuations and Coast Guard rescue operations.

The airport is a not-for-profit organization. Volunteers are responsible for a great deal of the work at the airport. The goal of the organization is to make sure the historic nature of the Plum Island Airport is preserved and to inform the public about the history of the airport. The airport also hosts a number of community services, such as tours, for groups such as schools, youth groups, and community organizations.

There are two museums located at the Plum Island Airport. The Burgess Aviation Museum highlights the history of the Plum Island Airport and is open year-round for self-guided tours.  The Working Museum showcases restored classic airplanes and current restoration work. Visiting the Plum Island Airport and the Museums is free to the public.  See the website for more information about the Working Museum and aircraft renovation workshops. Be sure to schedule group tours and historian led tours in advance!

Plum Island Airport is a great place for plane lovers to stop and watch planes take off and land. Frequently, Metzy’s Taqueria Truck is parked at the airport and folks can enjoy delicious and authentic Mexican food while enjoying the views.

Learn more about the fascinating history of the Plum Island Airport in Newbury by visiting their website!

Plum Island Airport

24 Plum Island Turnpike
Newbury, MA 01951

Airport Operations Tours/Working Museum: 508-269-4941

Burgess Museum: 978-270-6744

Flight Instruction: 781-325-2135

 

Directions:

From I-95 take exit 57 MA-113 W Newbury/Newburyport. Follow-113 East/ Storey Ave continuing on to High Street/Rt 1A. Turn left at Rolfes Lane/ Ocean Ave. Turn right at the end of Ocean Ave on to Plum Island Turnpike. The airport will be on the right.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Historic Farm in Newbury

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is a historic 231-acre property in Newbury with events and activities for you and your family to enjoy. The property features exhibits and interactive activities that demonstrate what it was like to live on a farm throughout the centuries. Much of the land at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is still under active agriculture!

Visit the expansive open land and tour the farmhouse to see what life was like in Newbury in the 1690s! The farm was originally used to raise cattle, sheep, horses, pigs and chickens. In addition, fruit, vegetables, flowers, barley and fresh meadow hay have been grown on the land. The main house was built with local stone, most likely from nearby Plum Island. There are several outbuildings including a large barn and visitor center that was originally a carriage barn.

There are many fun outdoor events at the Farm including Vintage Baseball from May to October. It’s a lot of fun to watch baseball being played with rules from 1881!

You can also visit sheep, goats, chickens and a horse on the property. The Farm partners with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to foster these friendly animals.  The Farm Friends is a program geared toward children 3 to 6 years old. The children who sign up for this program get to spend time with farm animals, listen to a story, and create a neat craft item to bring home. Programs run at various times throughout the year so be sure to check the Farm’s website for details.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm owned and operated by Historic New England, a cultural preservation organization. The season for Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is from June 1st to October 15th, the grounds are open year round during daylight hours. It’s a great place to enjoy a stroll, ride bikes, cross-country ski, and ride horses. There is plenty of parking at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

5 Little’s Lane
Newbury, MA 01951
978-462-2634

Directions: Take I-95 to Route 113, Newburyport. Route 113 turns into Route 1A (High Road). Follow Route 1A for 3.7 miles. Turn left onto Little’s Lane.

Plum Island Light House/Newburyport Harbor Light

Guide Us Through the Channel

Plum Island Light House, Newburyport MA

The Historic Plum Island Light House

The Plum Island Light House also know as the Plum Island Light or the Newburyport Harbor Light, has a very interesting history. It was first lit in 1788 with a lantern burning whale oil. And it was the 13th lighthouse to be constructed in the U.S..  It was needed to guide boaters into the treacherous mouth of the Merrimack River and into Newburyport Harbor. The strong currents and shifting sands at the mouth of the harbor present a serious challenge to boaters to this day.

Newburyport Harbor was very active and important to the U.S. for whaling, fishing, shipbuilding, and trade. There were many ships coming in and out of Newburyport Harbor. Before the lighthouse was built, fires on the beach in Plum Island were used to guide mariners. It was the business people of Newburyport in the 1780s that paid to build the Plum Island Lighthouse. President George Washington appointed the first keeper of the Plum Island Lighthouse, Abner Lowell. And three generations of Lowells served as lighthouse keepers at the Plum Island Lighthouse.

There were storms that damaged and original Plum Island Lighthouse. In addition, shifting sands meant that the Lighthouse had to be moved several times.

The current lighthouse dates from 1898. Since 1927 the lighthouse has been powered by electricity. The last keeper left the Lighthouse in 1951 when the light was automated. Today the lighthouse flashes a green light to guide boaters.  It is still very important to have this lighthouse in operation to guide boats safely through the turbulent area where the Merrimack River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

The Plum Island Lighthouse is located across from the Park River National Wildlife Refuge at the northern section of Plum Island.

Today the lighthouse is owned by the City of Newburyport. Friends of Plum Island Light lease it from the City and care for it. The grounds are open to the public. The Friends of Plum Island Light offer periodic public tours inside the Plum Island Lighthouse.

The picture perfect Plum Island Lighthouse is one of the great lighthouses to visit in New England and the North Shore.  It’s a “must see” for any lighthouse enthusiast and worth the visit if you are in the Greater Newburyport area.

Plum Island Light House

Northern Boulevard
Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 973-6935

The Friends of Plum Island Light maintain the lighthouse and sometimes open the tower. Call (978) 973-6935 to see when open houses are offered.

Directions:

From the Newburyport Harbor Range Lights on Water Street in downtown Newburyport, continue east on Water Street for 1.3 miles, where Water Street will become Plum Island Turnpike. Follow the turnpike for 1.8 miles to Plum Island, and then turn left on Northern Boulevard. Continue on Northern Boulevard for 1.3 miles to the northern end of the island, where you will see the lighthouse on your left.

 

Market Square Historic District

Newburyport Urban Renewal Project

Federalist-era architecture

Newburyport’s Market Square Historic District definitely has a past.

Once a meeting place between American Indians and early explorers from England, France and Holland, Market Square was used to trade furs and fish back in the 1700’s given it’s closeness to the Merrimack River.

This all came to an end in 1811 when Market Square was destroyed by a major fire.

As part of a 20-year HUD Urban Renewal Project the brick structures were rebuilt, giving Market Square a Federalist charm that now spotlights its beautiful 19th century architecture.

Included in this Historic District is the 1823 Market House and the Custom House Maritime Museum on Water Street, as well as the buildings on State, Merrimac and Liberty Streets.

Market Square was then listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. It is now known as the largest piece of Federalist-era architecture in the U.S. full of brick row houses with shops and restaurants below.

Newburyport – A Measure of Change

YouTube | @indyjerry77

View in detail the Square’s Master Planning by Finegold Alexander Architects.

Plus, there’s so much more to discover about Newburyport as revealed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Newburyport, MA a city rich with maritime history, is excited to host Spanish Tall Ship El Galeón from May 25th – 30th, and we can thank the Custom House Maritime Museum for helping facilitate this special visit.  The arrival of El Galeón is expected on Wednesday the 25th between 2-3 PM and will be accompanied by the Coast Guard.  She will come up through Cape Ann and into the Merrimack River offering spectacular viewing opportunities.

Come welcome her to Newburyport’s waterfront and help start a new Newburyport tradition!  As El Galeón passes, The ASpanish Tall Ship El Galeón merican Yacht Club will fire a salute to welcome El Galeón to Newburyport.  Captain Rosario Fernandez will ring the ships bell to return the salute, and the crew will sound their bosun whistles from up in the ship’s sails.  This is a wonderful opportunity to partake in the start of a Newburyport tradition.  All are invited to participate by sounding their bosun whistles.  You can purchase these beautiful copper and brass bosun whistle souvenirs at the Custom House gift shop for just $6.

There are many festivities that will take place during the Maritime Days celebration including:  general public tours, student toursPirate Night Costume Party, Flamenco Evening (sold out), Breakfast on a Tall Ship and the Children’s Pirate Party!  Tickets to tour Spanish Tall Ship El Galeón can be purchased online or at the Custom House gift shop.  General public tour tickets will also be available at the waterfront kiosk but we recommend purchasing tickets as soon as possible, as this exciting event is expected to bring large crowds to Newburyport.

Whether you are local to the Newburyport area or just planning a visit, this is a special experience that you don’t want to miss.  Come tour Spanish Tall Ship El Galeón, Newburyport MASpanish Tall Ship El Galeón and we highly recommend a visit to the Custom House Maritime Museum as well.

If you enjoy our maritime history and would like to help support the Custom House efforts, consider purchasing a Newburyport VIP Card online or this weekend outside on the back lawn of the Custom House.  The VIP Card allows you to enjoy discounts EVERY TIME you visit 180 participating Greater Newburyport restaurants and shops and $10 of your $25 card purchase will help support the Custom House Maritime Museum.

 

 

Did you know that there was a gold rush in New England in the mid 1850’s? The Vermont Gold Mining Company was established in 1854 and they erected a crushing mill with crushers, stampers and washers, experimenting with how to separate the gold from the quartz matrix. Gold Prospecting was a passion and source of income for many.

Gold can be found in all of the 6 New England states! Since the price of gold spiked in 2012 and those “gold fever” reality shows hit the airwaves, there has been a modern gold rush. But the gold here in New England is a bit tougher to find than out West or up in the Yukon.

The key to enjoying the unique and exciting world of gold prospecting is to know what you are doing. During my first year of prospecting in New Hampshire, I found virtually nothing. As time passed, I learned some valuable techniques from local prospectors and everything changed…Gold Fever had me in its grip!

Now 12 years later, I have the privilege of helping those who also want to enter this exciting activity through American Gold Prospecting Adventures. Our 3-hour gold prospecting class is a hands-on learning experience up on the rivers of New Hampshire.

For more information, go to www.AmericanGoldProspectingAdventures.com See how you can get “the fever” and start finding your own gold!

American Gold Prospecting Adventures 2nd Post Image Additional Image

Its that time of year again…another class has wrapped up its four years at Newburyport High School and is preparing to graduate.  A proud Newburyport tradition for all graduating seniors of NHS is the week before graduation.  It is referred to as “Senior Week” and includes various fun activities.  Activities include a senior banquet, a Sox game, a trip to Giggles Comedy club, the senior prom and traditional activities like Vespers, Ivy Day and the Senior Sing out.  It’s a great week of final bonding with classmates and last hurrahs with lifelong friends.  The last day of senior week is graduation, happening this year on June 7th at 1pm at NHS’s Stadium.  The graduation itself is very traditional, starting with the procession of graduates entering under the “arch of roses” and wrapping up with the singing of the Alma Mater.  Growing up here makes the whole senior week so special; being able to celebrate the same NHS traditions with my children.  This is my second one to graduate from NHS and it sure is special watching them participate in these age-old traditions.

I sometimes wonder about living someplace else and not being able to send my children to a school that has such a long history (my grandmother went to NHS, as did both of my parents!).  Newburyport itself dates back to 1635, but became an official city in 1851, prospering in fishing, shipbuilding and silverware manufacturing.  Many of the large clipper ships were built right here in Newburyport (hence the mascot of NHS being the “Clippers”).  We have many historical homes for sale highlighting amazing architecture and historical features from a bygone era.  Our entire downtown area was restored with the utmost care to preserve the beauty and elegance, while still being functional and liveable, with numerous retail shops, restaurants, bakeries and even our own theater.  Its no wonder most people who hear I live in Newburyport tell me how lucky I am…and I get it.  It’s a beautiful city with a deep history and we ARE lucky to call it home.

Newburyport 250th Anniversary

Year-long Celebration | Events, News & Happenings

Treasures in the Archives

One of the city’s final events in celebration of our 250th Anniversary.
Treasures in the Archives: Newburyport 1764-2014
Sunday, December 7, 2014
Public Library Program Room
1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Trace your genealogy, view early maps and photographs, and learn about Newburyport’s part in several historic wars.

The city will also display a slideshow on shipyards and gravestone restoration. If you have photos to contribute to the presentation, please call the Archival Center at 978-465-4428 x 231.

Newburyport 250th Anniversary

Incorporated in 1764 with a population of 2,800, Newburyport was the smallest town in the province of Massachusetts Bay.

The City of Newburyport now welcomes you to celebrate a century of culture and history with pride.

Notify Mayor Holaday

Contact the City.

It’s important to Mayor Holaday and our City Officials to receive constructive criticism.

Announcement from Mayor Holaday

“Mayor Holaday and the Institution for Savings are pleased to announce another exciting event to celebrate Newburyport’s 250th! On Saturday October 18th, there will be a community-wide scavenger hunt and community fair at the Bartlet Mall. Vendors will be at the Mall from noon to 4PM to showcase their businesses. The scavenger hunt will wrap up with a pasta dinner in the auditorium at City Hall later that evening – more details to follow.”

newburyport 250th anniversaryNewburyport 250th Anniversary Clambake, August 2014

What a turnout for the Newburyport 250th Anniversary Celebration at Plum Island Point yesterday.

Travel was made convenient, parking at the Plum Island Airport and getting shuttled to the event free of charge.

Once there, the music was pumping all day long featuring several bands including The Holaday Project with Joe Holaday of Beatlejuice.

Our pals from the U.S. Coast Guard were also front and center, allowing kids on their mobile watercraft for an up close look at what it takes to navigate our Newburyport area waters.

All this activity made us work up a hunger, so it was over to the tent for some David’s Seafood lobsters and clams, as well as hotdogs, hamburgs and corn on the cob from Tendercrop Farm served up by Newburyport.com VIPs Starboard Galley and Port City Sandwich Co.

Thanks goodness Mill River Winery and Newburyport Brewing Company were also on hand, because there was plenty of cheers to be had when Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday unveiled Newburyport’s new flag – a clean boat on a brilliant blue background to represent our beautiful coastal city.

Kids also enjoyed kite making and flying, as well as a little beach volleyball, before Dianne’s Fine Desserts presented us with an enormous spread of delicious cakes and cheesecake. Thumbs up!

Last call was aboard the nearby Captain’s Lady cruise ship for families to travel the Merrimack River, greeted by a cool ocean breeze.

Thank you to all that donated their time to make this event such a wonderful experience!

Stay in the loop on even more #NewburyportNews, Events & Happenings!

Things to Do

Top-rated attractions, National Parks and historic tours are among the many things to do in Newburyport.
Featured Video Play Icon

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

From the Plum Island beaches to the Maritime Forest, the Parker River Wildlife Refuge is a top quality bird watching destination. Parker River is a nationally recognized Wildlife Refuge for over 300 species or resident and migratory birds as well as a large variety of mammals, insects, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

Newburyport High School Graduation, Newburyport MA

NHS Senior Week….The Tradition Lives On

Its that time of year again…another class has wrapped up its four years at Newburyport High School and is preparing to graduate. A proud Newburyport tradition for all graduating seniors of NHS is the week before graduation.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is a historic 231-acre property in Newbury with events and activities for you and your family to enjoy. Much of the land at Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is still under active agriculture! Visit the expansive open land and tour the farmhouse to see what life was like in Newbury in the 1690s!

This Thanksgiving the Newburyport High School football team will have the opportunity to play its traditional rivalry game against Amesbury High School on the newly renovated turf field atop of Mt Rural.  Mt Rural, as the hill was called where the magnificent NHS now sits, is home to one of the grandest high school stadiums in the entire state, World War Memorial Stadium.   Built in 1930, during FDR’s administration, the stadium took three years to build and employed many men during the Great Depression.

My grandmother was a member of the first freshman class at NHS and was able to enjoy this amazing stadium from the very beginning.  The building of this stadium gave the community a newfound sense of pride and the entire community would come out each weekend for the games, seating as many as 8,000 fans in the stadium!  Over the years, the stadium has been home to concerts, various sporting events, numerous NHS graduations, as well as community events.

The stadium was built for longevity, however, after over 60 years, in 1999, the visitor side of the stands were deemed unsafe and the wear and tear of the years of usage started to show.  A group of concerned alumni, parents and community members decided to form a group called RESTORE and set off on a long journey to raise the necessary funds to renovate the stands and provide todays students with a state of the art turf field.

It took over 10 years, but this Thanksgiving we can all join together to celebrate the efforts of the RESTORE group and watch the historic game vs Amesbury on our new field.  The new field will be dedicated to legendary football coach and long time Athletic Director, Jim Stehlin, who was around when I was at NHS.  The history behind NHS and the entire City of Newburyport continues on for all to remember and enjoy!  Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Skip to toolbar