From the Director's Desk - December News

December 20, 2016
A Note from John Mayer, Executive Director
Farewell 2016! Hello 2017!

I can be pretty hard on myself.  Maybe like you, I always want to see progress and accomplishment. Or at least to have something substantial to show for my work. Sometimes that isn't always possible and things happen in a more incremental way. I tell myself to remember, "it's not a sprint, it's a marathon."

This has been very true for my work this past year for the Carriage Museum. Our progress has been slow and steady.  My hopes for 2017 are to follow through on our plans, offer programs of interest, and build an organization that engages more people in our community.

Our program calendar is being developed.  Details are not confirmed, but here is a look ahead. We'll build on what we offered in 2016 and add more. In March we'll offer the "History on Tap" program, in April the Bailey Family Lecture, in May a walking tour, in June we'll be part of Amesbury Days & Car Show, and in September we'll offer an industrial archaeology program and our 32nd annual meeting. To this we'll add special programs with historians and authors, the launch of our school curriculum, and I hope - an exhibit opening.

I couldn't be more excited and hope to see you at our programs in 2017.

A Little Amesbury History from 1792 - the Banks of the Powow River were Bustling!

A small volunteer group meets monthly to collaborate on an industrial survey of Amesbury. We began meeting in April and regularly the team finds unique documents that we have saved into a reference file. We draw from this material for our building histories and various public programs.

Following is an excerpt from a recent discovery that provides an interesting picture of the early-industrial activity present along the Powow River at the close of the 18th century.  

From Topographical Sketches of the County of Essex (published January 1792);

"Another small village, there called Amesbury formed around the lower falls of Powow River.  At this place water falls about one hundred feet within the distance of fifty perches (a perch is 5 1/2 yards), and in its decent carries one bloomery, five saw mills, seven grist mills, two linseed oil mills, one fulling mill, and one snuff mill, besides several wheels, auxiliary to different labours. The rapid fall of the water, the dams at very short distances crossing the river, the various mills arising almost immediately one after another, and the very irregular and grotesque situation of the houses and other buildings on the adjoining grounds, give this place a romantick appearance, and afford in the whole one of the most singular views to be found in this country." 

While these early industrial buildings have all been lost, the Powow River continues to be a focus for the downtown of Amesbury. It is quite a history.

2016 Annual Appeal - Help us Meet (Surpass?) our Goal!

In November, we launched our first ever annual appeal.  This is a common method for nonprofit organizations to raise operating funds from their supporters.  We had never done this before and boldly we set a goal of $5,000.  

Thanks to gifts from 53 people - we are almost there.  So far we've raised $4,750.  Your gift could be the one that helps us meet our goal - or just maybe - exceeds it!

Gifts to the annual appeal are in addition to membership donations, provide critical support for our operations, and are fully tax-deductible. If you have donated to the Annual Appeal - thank you so much! If you haven't - your support can make the difference. If you are interested, please send your donation to P.O. Box 252, Amesbury, MA 01913 - or you can donate through our website - here's the link:
Again - thank you all for your generous support!

And in closing - Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

Please get in touch with me with any thoughts or questions about the Carriage Museum.  I appreciate your interest and look forward to a great year in 2017!

Best wishes to you all for the season.

John Mayer
Executive Director
(978) 834-5058

Meghan PetersenComment