, Newburyport, MA

October 8, 2012

Thanks for restoring Elbow Lane sign

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

In June, while walking through some of the historical areas of Market Square, I noticed that a familiar historical marker, a street sign and pole, were missing. The Elbow Lane sign and the pole located at the crosswalk off Market Square had disappeared! That signage had been there my entire life (almost 100 years) and back to the previous century.

The Elbow Lane signage represents a very historical area. At one time, and during my lifetime, Elbow Lane was open to foot traffic, street vendors’ carts, horse and wagons, and trucks … often the rum runners’ trucks. It was made of gravel and cobblestones and led exactly to 23 Liberty St. where The Daily News is today. For those who may not know, Elbow Lane begins at the crosswalk on Market Square alongside 14 Market Square where the outside concrete A-shaped staircases are visible. These (brick) stairs lead to the second floor units where once my father’s store was located almost a century ago and I know the stairs and Elbow Lane very well. Elbow Lane actually winds around the building (In fact, there are residents there today, who have Elbow Lane as their residential address.) and at one time it provided direct and convenient access to Liberty Street from the river’s wharves in Market Square. If that signage disappears, the lane’s significant history and original purpose eventually disappears. The sign’s disappearance was a mystery. It concerned me.

In August my daughter and I brought it to the attention of Anthony J. Furnari, director of Newburyport’s Department of Public Services. He informed us it would be replaced as soon as possible. Today (Sept. 23), while driving through Market Square, to our surprise we saw the brand-new Elbow Lane signage that replaces the missing sign. How pleased we were! The new street sign and pole look wonderful. We wish to thank Anthony Furnari and his staff for replacing this signage so quickly. Thank you. More importantly, we thank him for assisting in preserving a rather significant piece of Market Square’s history — Elbow Lane.

John Lagoulis

and Dr. Joan Lagoulis