, Newburyport, MA

July 4, 2013

History written in stone

Newburyport unveils its Clipper Heritage Trail mobile tour


---- — Local historians and city officials are using modern technology to access centuries-old history.

The Clipper Heritage Trail mobile tour created by author Ghlee Woodworth was unveiled yesterday, and it will enable those with iPads, tablets and smartphones to download the free program and read about 26 historic points of interest.

Pedestrians would walk to a granite paver (embedded marker) installed in the brick sidewalks and access that site on the tour.

Developers say that the information provided includes background on the city’s history, including shipbuilding, silversmithing, fishing, soldiering and the development of the Coast Guard.

The careers of the city’s most accomplished citizens are described.

“For years the city did a terrible job in telling our story,” said Mayor Donna Holaday, who spoke at a ribbon-cutting. “But we have a very rich history, and Ghlee has given us an amazing opportunity to make this history available.

“Visitors can learn more, and those who live here can also benefit.”

Woodworth, a historian who has written a definitive book about the city’s history through depiction of its cemeteries, said, “Those with mobile devices can access this, but all the information is available on the website.”

She said those interested can print out pages from the website and carry a “hard copy” if they don’t use mobile devices.

The mobile tour is another phase of the Clipper Heritage Trail project. (This has no connection to the city’s rail trail.)

The website includes a welcome video and 12 self-guided history tours describing 125 locations with more than 200 historical images and maps. Quotations from local historic figures are included.

“The more we know about our history, the more we will appreciate the city,” said state Sen. Kathleen O’Connor Ives, D-Newburyport.

“This is an important moment, because a lot of people worked together to make this happen. I encourage everyone to check out the site, and spread the word that this is a valuable resource.”

The site can be accessed at

Sponsors included Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, Institution for Savings, the Provident Bank, Gayden W. Morrill Foundation, Essex County Sheriff Frank Cousins, Newburyport Rotary Club, the Greater Newburyport Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the city of Newburyport.