NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 21, 2014

Stories of the past

Literary Festival offers an exploration of local history

Editor’s note: As Newburyprot celebrates its 250th anniversary this year, The Daily News is publishing a series of stories that looks back on the city’s history. Today we focus on events that shaped the city.

NEWBURYPORT — It’s said that truly historic communities are those that know and appreciate their own history.

That appears to be the case in Newburyport, which has numerous historical societies, preservation organizations and social events to mark important moments. In addition, City Hall is a pictorial monument to public officials who have served and young servicemen and women who have lost their lives in past wars.

Close to a half-dozen events at the ninth annual Newburyport Literary Festival this weekend will add to the exploration of local history.

The sessions are slated throughout the day on Saturday, and will meld with discussions of poetry, literature and nonfiction writing.

One presenter is Ghlee Wordworth, a local historian and author who is hosting a session titled “Then and Now.”

She will present images of a given locality the way it was perhaps a century ago, and what it looks like today. Her session is slated for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Old South Church at 29 Federal St.

“Newburyport would be just another community if it did not know and appreciate its history,” said Woodworth, who recently authored the Newburyport Clipper Heritage Trail website. “There are many people here who enjoy focusing on the city’s beginnings, and appreciate the buildings and events of past eras.”

One aspect that she will reference are historical structures that have disappeared. Though Newburyport is a city well-known for its appreciation of preservation, many remarkable buildings are gone.

“The Wolfe Tavern was a landmark here for many years,” said Woodworth, whose family goes back for multiple generations here. “It was across from the library, in what is now a parking lot.

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