Welcome to Newburyport, a charming coastal city located in Essex County, Massachusetts, just 35 miles northeast of Boston. With a population of 18,289 as of the 2020 census, Newburyport is a historic seaport with a vibrant tourism industry. The city includes part of Plum Island and is known for its mooring, winter storage, and maintenance of recreational boats, both motor and sail, which still contribute a large part of the city’s income. A Coast Guard station oversees boating activity, especially in the sometimes dangerous tidal currents of the Merrimack River.

Newburyport is conveniently located on a major north-south highway, Interstate 95, and the outer circumferential highway of Boston, Interstate 495, passes nearby in Amesbury. The Newburyport Turnpike (U.S. Route 1) still traverses Newburyport on its way north. The Newburyport/Rockport MBTA commuter rail from Boston’s North Station terminates in Newburyport. The earlier Boston and Maine Railroad leading farther north was discontinued, but a portion of it has been converted into a recreation trail.

Newburyport has a rich history dating back to 1764 when it was established as a separate and distinct town from Newbury. The town prospered and became a city in 1851. Situated near the mouth of the Merrimack River, it was once a fishing, shipbuilding, and shipping center, with an industry in silverware manufacture. The sea captains of old Newburyport had participated vigorously in the triangular trade, importing West Indian molasses and exporting rum made from it. The distilleries were located around Market Square near the waterfront. Newburyport once had a fishing fleet that operated from Georges Bank to the mouth of the Merrimack River. It was a center for privateering during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Beginning about 1832, it added numerous ships to the whaling fleet. Later, clipper ships were built there. Today, the city gives little hint of its former maritime importance.

Things to do:
Newburyport is a great destination for those who love the outdoors. Several parks and beaches dot the city, including Plum Island Point Beach, Simmons Beach, Joppa Park, Waterfront Park, Woodman Park, Cashman Park, Moseley Pines Park, Atkinson Common, and March’s Hill Park. Newburyport Forest is located in the southwest corner of the city, and Maudslay State Park lies along the northwest part of the city, along the banks of the Merrimack.

For history buffs, the city’s historical highlights include the Cushing House Museum & Garden (c. 1808), Newburyport Custom House Museum (1835), and the Newburyport Superior Courthouse, the oldest continuously active courthouse in Massachusetts.

Literary interests:
Newburyport is also of interest to literary enthusiasts. It was referred to in the H. P. Lovecraft story, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, as being located near Innsmouth. Lovecraft, in fact, based his depiction of Innsmouth largely on Newburyport. The city was also the subject of the most ambitious community study ever undertaken, the Yankee City project conducted by anthropologist W. Lloyd Warner and his associates.

Historic preservation:
Newburyport is often cited as an example by preservationists of how to maintain a city’s architecture and heritage while still having it remain functional and livable. Despite its former prosperity, in the 1950s and 1960s, Newburyport’s center fell into disrepair because of several factors, most notably strip malls taking away from local business and increased use of the automobile. At this time, construction of major highways brought larger cities such as Lawrence and Lowell into shopping range. Consequently, by 1970, Newburyport’s historic downtown section was scheduled to be razed prior to reconstruction with federal money. Ideas to rebuild the city’s downtown were numerous, ranging from hotels and new stores to, ironically, a strip mall, with few buildings left for historical reasons. At the last moment, however, the city changed its mind and signed a federal grant that allowed it to keep most of its historic architecture. Renovation and restorations began during the early 1970s and continued throughout most of the decade, initially along State Street and culminating with the creation of a

You might also enjoy:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *