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Perspective of a New Resident in Newburyport

A few weeks ago, we hosted local historian, Ghlee Woodworth, and her presentation on the Urban Renewal in Newburyport during the 1970’s.

As a six year resident of Newburyport, it was eye opening to see the rollercoaster of history that this town has endured. When my wife and I moved here, we called it ‘the quintessential New England town’ and our realtor told us ‘if you live here, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation every day!’

Six years later…we still feel this way.

A few years after living here, we were shocked to hear that our quaint little town had a rough and tumble past.

Wait…the Tannery was an actual Tannery?

All these stores were boarded up?

You could buy a mansion on High Street for less than a million dollars?!

Ghlee’s presentation was both eye opening and inspiring. To think that our city was built up, torn down, built up, burnt down, boarded up and rebuilt is absolutely astonishing. It made me think, no wonder lifelong residents of this city have such pride in what they’ve created! As one attendee joked to me “I’ve lived here for 40 years and I’ve applied for citizenship, but was denied…”

The purpose of this post is to say thank you to those that made the right decisions in 1970 and also to motivate the ‘newbies’ in this town to continue the tradition of being both innovative and respective of the history of Newburyport. We live in a really really REALLY special place.

Chris Johnston
Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry

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