AMESBURY — The Amesbury Carriage Museum has expanded its administrative space with the recent donation of roughly 500 square feet of offices at 5 Market Square, courtesy of Jay Gould of Gould Insurance.
“We have a suite with three offices,” said John Mayer, the museum’s executive director.
“This is huge. My office has enough space for committee and work group meetings,” he added. “We also have a smaller office where somebody is helping me with our administrative and campaign work. Jay has given us five years to occupy this space. So we have kind of set up a little library and an administrative headquarters.”
The museum had been making use of an extra office in the Chamber of Commerce’s Market Square suite for the past four years. But the Chamber was looking to expand and Gould’s offer came at the right time, according to museum board member Chris Deorocki.
“Jay had said we could use the space for a year, then we heard from him that it would be good for five years,” Deorocki said. “We have our own place to meet now and it is very exciting.”
Gould has also given the museum the use of the nearby historic Counting House and its window space on Main Street, where Mayer has installed a new carriage exhibit.
“This really is the beginning iterations of displays that will showcase Amesbury history,” Mayer said. “We have a carriage in there and something from Lowell’s Boat Shop. We put some hats in there from the Merrimac Hat Company and some images that show what was happening in Amesbury. Morrill Electric donated some services and we have some track lighting, so it looks really good at night.”
Mayer said he expects to place a display on the street during warmer weather to inform passers-by about city history and programs the museum will offer.
“We opened it up during the coldest part of January,” Mayer said. “So this is just another celebration of that opening.”
The museum will hold an open house for its members to showcase the new office on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.
“We want people to come see our new location,” he said. “It brings form to what has really been conceptual in the past and is a chance to get an early preview of what our vision is. I’m encouraging people to get involved with us and I don’t think we’ll be turning anyone away.”
Greg Jardis of Amesbury Industrial Supply provided roughly 2,300 square feet of space in his 19th century carriage factory building for exhibits late last year.
Visitors to the open house will also have an opportunity to see the Amesbury Industrial Supply space, which will soon be known as The Industrial History Center at Mill 2.
“We have the new Industrial History Center at Mill 2 and a new office,” Mayer said. “We are talking about a renaissance for the museum.”