Heritage Tours and Events
Discover history: <clipperheritagetrail.com> Free downloadable tours, brochures, maps and free smart phone tours. An American Association of State and Local History Merit Award Winner.
Events are all free unless otherwise indicated.
Saturday, July 30, and Saturday, August 6, 10 am to 6 pm. *Can You Find Us – Oak Hill Cemetery. Brown and State Streets. Over 25 gravesites will be labeled – ministers, benefactors, sea captains including Francis B. Todd who was buried in a rum barrel, artists, and the burial site of Anna Jaques, the benefactor of our local hospital. Enjoy a stroll through beautiful Oak Hill Cemetery while learning about our local citizens of the past
Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, 11am – 4 pm (last tour at 4pm); Museum of Old Newbury. 98 High St. Tickets online at www.newburyhistory.org. Come take a 50-minute tour of this 1808 Federal period house which tells the story of the Cushing family and the greater Newburyport area. For the past 140 years, the Museum of Old Newbury has been collecting, preserving, and presenting the history of Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, Byfield, and Plum Island. With objects and documents, we tell the stories of local people from the past four centuries. email@example.com; phone: 978-462-2681.
Saturday July 30 – 10:00 – 11:00. *Newburyport’s Clipper Heritage Trail, Volume I (published 2020) and Volume II (late fall 2022). Public Library Program Room. Join Ghlee Woodworth and enjoy a visual tour of 60 images in her upcoming publication Trail Volume II. Ghlee is the creator and author of Newburyport’s Clipper Heritage Trail, a series of self-guided history tours accessed via a book, a website and smart phones: www.clipperheritagetrail.com. The Clipper Heritage Trail is an American Association of State and Local History merit award winner. Seats fill up fast!
Saturday July 30 – 12:00 – 1:00. *Newburyport and the Triangular Trade. Public Library Program Room. Join Susan McGregor Harvey is a direct descendant of the Morse family, first settlers of Newbury in 1635. The research she conducted at the Newburyport Public Library Archival Center represents the core material used for her master’s thesis in history from Fitchburg State University: Slavery in Massachusetts: A descendant of early settlers investigates the connections in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Mrs. Harvey believes we have been asking the wrong questions about slavery in New England because we had no slave plantations here as existed in the southern states. It is our economic ties to the transatlantic slave trade that implicates New England in the monumental tragedy that took the lives of millions of human beings and, in doing so, formed the basis of America’s economy. As Susan approached the topic of northern slavery, her initial questions were: was my family in Newburyport involved in the slave trade, and if so, how? These are questions that people all over New England are beginning to ask themselves as new information comes to light and new scholarship on the topic of northern slavery is published. Seats fill up fast!
Saturday July 30 – 2:00 – 3:00 pm. *Then and Now. Public Library Program Room. Join Newburyport historian Ghlee Woodworth who will discuss the past and present of many favorite spots around town including the transformation of Newburyport’s downtown in the 1970’s and 80’s. With photos and stories, Ghlee will point out similarities and differences of how Newburyport has changed over the past 150 years. Seats fill up fast!
Saturday, July 30 – Sunday, August 6. *If This House Could Talk neighborhood stroll. City residents will be displaying posters with stories about their homes. Stroll Newburyport neighborhoods and look for house stories prominently displayed. Online map: http://map.walknewburyport.com or see http://www.walknewburyport.com for details.
Saturday, July 30, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. *Newburyport Powder House Park and Learning Center, 57 Low Street (across from Nock/Molin Schools). Come and visit the restored Powder House built in 1822 on Godfrey’s Hill. View the exterior and interior restoration and original cobblestone wagon path. Members of the Acton Minutemen will be there to talk about the importance of the early militias in all the towns of the Mass Bay Colony, and to demonstrate the use and firing of the flintlock musket, and various marching maneuvers from the Revolutionary War. The Powder House is an American Association of State and Local History merit award winner.
Sunday, July 31, 10:00 am – Noon. *Superior Courthouse Open House, Bartlet Mall. Visit the 1805 courthouse, designed by Charles Bullfinch, and learn about its history and beautiful interior and exterior architecture including the courtroom where President John Quincy Adams and Daniel Webster tried cases. Presented by Essex County Clerk of Courts Tom Driscoll and the Greater Newburyport Bar Association.
Sunday, July 31, 11:00 am – Noon. *Central Congregational Church, 14 Titcomb Street, – Top to Bottom Tour History Tidbits. Take a virtual tour of the steeple- up the ladder, up the steps, to wind the clock, ring the bell, and take in the view from the top of the steeple. In the sanctuary hear about and hear the 1862 pipe organ in all its glory. Music Director, Michael Hamill, will perform on this venerable instrument and tell its story. Rev. Chris Ney will tell stories of how the unique stained-glass windows and the immense marble tablet came to be in the sanctuary. Next up, let’s go down: a virtual trip to the cellar. What’s so interesting about a cellar? Come and find out what’s hidden in the foundation. Central Church has Accessible entrances and rest rooms. Call (978) 465-0533 for more information.
Sunday, July 31, 1:00 to 3:00 pm. *Old South Church Tour, 29 Federal Street. Meet at the Federal Street front doors. Join Jerry Mullins and step right in and experience the way the church used to be in the 1700’s! Your tour will be steeped in history as you learn of Paul Revere’s bell, see spittoons in the sanctuary, descend into the crypt and discover a forgotten Founding Father buried directly under the pulpit! Call 978 465-9666 for more information.
Sunday, July 31st at 1:30-2:30 pm, Historic Graveyard Tour at St. Paul’s Church, 166 High Street. Join Bronson de Stadler for a brief history of St. Paul’s from its founding in 1711 in British America through the Revolutionary period before visiting the gravesites of prominent Newburyporters. Join us for a tour filled with local lore and Revolutionary War history during this turbulent period, as well as discussions of gravestone art, symbolism, and poetry over two and half centuries. Gather at the front doors of the church at 166 High Street, Newburyport. Call 978-465-5351 for more information.
Sunday, July 31, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, Tuesday, August 2, 11:00 – 12:30 pm, and Wednesday, August 3, 6:00 – 7:30 pm. *Clipper Heritage Trail’s Along the Water’s Edge Waterfront Harbor Tour. Boardwalk near Black Cow restaurant. Tickets go fast! Make reservations online at www.harbortours.com. Join historian Ghlee Woodworth and marine ecologist Captain Paul Aziz aboard the Yankee Clipper and enjoy a 90-minute cruise along the beautiful Merrimack River. Step back in time and hear about shipyards, Caldwell’s Rum, and a castle as we cruise upriver to Amesbury. On the return leg, the Yankee Clipper takes us along the shores of Joppa, home of clammers, fishermen, and hunters, as we discover the time less significance of our local estuary.
Monday, August 1, 9:00 to 10:30 am. *Feathered Friends and Long Forgotten Friends, Oak Hill Cemetery, main gates, Brown and State Streets. Join Sue McGrath of Newburyport Birders and local historian Ghlee Woodworth for an exciting outing at Oak Hill Cemetery. Many different species are attracted to the diverse habitat of Oak Hill and while learning to identify birds, see the graves of Newburyport benefactors, sea captains, early American photographers, and abolitionists.
Monday, August 1, 7:00 to 8:00 pm. *Bacchanalia, Murder, and the Newburyport Waterfront: The Life of Great Watt. Public Library Program Room. Jack Santos: What is “Watt’s Cellar”. Why? Who was “Watt”? What’s a “cellar”? And, most importantly, where is it? Come to hear a story predating colonization by the Newbury first settlers, where native peoples play a large role. It’s a downtown Newburyport history mystery, with sex, drunkenness, political power struggles, and little-known aspects of our colonial history that no one wants to talk about. Until now. Seats fill up fast!
Tuesday, August 2 and Wednesday, August 3, 12 pm – 4 pm, Thursday 4th, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th 10 am – 5 pm, Sunday Noon to 4 pm. *The Custom House Maritime Museum: Our House is Your Home for Maritime History, 25 Water Street. Our exhibits have a fresh new look with new objects for your education and enjoyment. Docents will be on hand to enhance your experience, should you wish. For more information, visit our website www.thechmm.org or call us at 978-462-8681.
Tuesday, August 2, 11:00 – 12:30 pm. *Clipper Heritage Trail’s “Along the Water’s Edge” Waterfront Harbor Tour. Boardwalk near Black Cow restaurant. Tickets go fast! Make reservations online at www.harbortours.com. Join historian Ghlee Woodworth and marine ecologist Captain Paul Aziz aboard the Yankee Clipper and enjoy a 90-minute cruise along the beautiful Merrimack River. Step back in time and hear about shipyards, Caldwell’s Rum, and a castle as we cruise upriver to Amesbury. On the return leg, the Yankee Clipper takes us along the shores of Joppa, home of clammers, fishermen, and hunters, as we discover the time less significance of our local estuary.
Tuesday, August 2nd at 2:00 – 3:00 pm. *Newburyport Miniatures, Public Library Program Room. Join miniaturist David Vine for a presentation on his hand-crafted scale models of historic Newburyport buildings and popular landmarks, such as the Old South Church, Angie’s Diner, Emma Andrews Library, the Screening Room, the Thirsty Whale, Oldies and others. Enjoy stories on how David became inspired to build scale models and all of the trials, tribulations and fun that went into constructing them. An exhibit of his miniatures will be on display and there will be ample time for Q&A at the end.
Wednesday, August 3rd, 7:00 to 8:00 pm Public Library Program Room. *Plum Island: A Vulnerable Gem. Join Local author-journalist Dyke Hendrickson will talk about his book, Plum Island: A Vulnerable Gem and show slides, including numerous aerial photos that have not been displayed in the past. Plum Island faces challenges. On the northern sector, many houses are vulnerable to rising seas. On the southern portion, scientists are concerned that climate change will affect the health and habits of migrating birds that frequent the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. This book is about the changing conditions at the island. In 2022, Plum Island is immersed in a significant moment of its history.
Thursday August 4th, 10 to 11:00 am. *Uncommon Ground- Pawtucket Spaces and Colonized Places on the Molodemak River Frontier. Firehouse Center for The Arts in Market Square. Join Kristine Malpica on this walking tour that explores local and regional history of Pawtucket-Pennacook spaces and colonized places on the Molodemak (Merrimack in English) River frontier. The river served as a vital intratribal conduit of socio-economic and political interaction for Native groups, as well as cross-cultural exchange and conflict with English colonists.
Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7, 11am – 4 pm (last tour at 4pm); Museum of Old Newbury. 98 High St. Tickets online at www.newburyhistory.org. Come take a 50-minute tour of this 1808 Federal period house which tells the story of the Cushing family and the greater Newburyport area. For the past 140 years, the Museum of Old Newbury has been collecting, preserving, and presenting the history of Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, Byfield, and Plum Island. With objects and documents, we tell the stories of local people from the past four centuries. firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: 978-462-2681.