The eight history-minded institutions in Amesbury are not all facing the same issues. The Rocky Hill Meetinghouse, for example, is owned by Historic New England, a well-funded organization that owns historic structures throughout New England. The Mary Baker Eddy House is owned by the Longyear Foundation, which meticulously maintains its properties. Through hard work, a good business plan and a strong board of directors, Lowell’s Boat Shop has managed to become a local success story, if not a destination. So too with the Whittier Home.
Others are still struggling to find a way. The Bartlett is certainly the most recent case. The Amesbury Carriage Museum hopes to one day open its doors in the Lower Millyard, but for now it doesn’t have the resources to do so. It is hard to find the financial resources and volunteers to support them all. And the more institutions there are, the more thinly spread the money and volunteers are.
Amesbury can be proud of the many cultural institutions it holds. This includes a wide array, such as the many parks and monuments that are cared for by the Amesbury Improvement Association, and the numerous artistic organizations that have formed in recent years.
We hope that residents and businesses will help keep Amesbury’s impressive cultural resources, such as the Bartlett -- vibrant. It doesn’t take a big effort. Membership dues to most local organizations are inexpensive, and volunteering can be manageable, especially if spread over a healthy-sized group.
Membership has other advantages. The opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and to support a worthwhile institution are rewarding.
Many hands, each doing a little something, will make the difference.