, Newburyport, MA


February 1, 2013

Change is what we make of it


Indeed it was, and she was able to draw on existing histories of her lifetime. So are we.

My earlier favorite has been that of Newburyport’s Mrs. E. Vale Smith — the only female newspaper editor of her time — not that the histories of others are of less value.

She, as did Sarah Smith Emery, however, puts flesh and blood together with details that transport us to the life and times in which they lived, with those of means moving upward in both class and residence to the high ground and ever westward as it was with the creation of new parishes.

It was ever thus with settling in across this nation, but sometimes things don’t seem to change that much.

I was born on Dove Street in Newburyport in 1921, and it remains unchanged, as do most of those in the old neighborhoods of old Newburyport. They suffer in bad times as they did in the recession. They certainly haven’t in most or the city during the last quarter-century.

But much has changed in the North End of the city, and in parts of Newbury as well.

We built our home on Hay Street, Newbury, in 1952 when there were only 11 houses from High Road to the Turnpike. There are several times that number today.

High Road was mostly farmland back then and yet to be “developed” as we know it today.

Change has been with us since the first settlers landed. Preservation isn’t what they were about.

The purpose of Sunday’s gathering was to broaden preservation interests for what remains of the first settling in the area of those come to Newbury from Ipswich in 1635. Those of generous heart have already done that with significant generosity of both spirit and purse on much of Hay Street, even as Florence Bushee did on Newman Road.

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