Five Artist’s Views – The Amesbury and Salisbury Millyard from 1792 to Today
by John Mayer
Executive Director, Amesbury Carriage Museum
The shape of our city has been influenced by many factors including changes in industrial operations, development of systems that generate and distribute power, growth of transportation networks, and much more. These elements make the study of Amesbury and any other community so interesting.
To understand and visualize these changes, a study of historical maps will illustrate the story of growth and change. Maps document a particular period and show the location of property boundaries, landscape features, buildings and other man-made elements.
But variations in mapping types and styles don’t allow for comparisons between different periods. Mapping styles change over the years. For teaching purposes, it is difficult to use maps from different periods to clearly illustrate changes to the landscape.
The industrial survey team came up with a clever solution to this issue. Thanks to a talented (and very dedicated) volunteer we now have a series of five views that illustrate the shape of the millyard at different times. Our volunteer Michael Prendergast of Newburyport worked over a year on a series to produce these five renderings. We selected historical maps from different periods and Mike made the renderings with much review, research and discussion.
The selected renderings below illustrate the development of Amesbury from 1792 to today. They are based on historical maps, and a variety of written and visual sources.
A View of the Millyard in 1792
A View of the Millyard in 1825
A View of the Millyard in 1849
A View of the Millyard in 1910
A View of the Millyard in 2019
We are indebted to Michael Prendergast for the time and effort he devoted to making these maps. As a series, these views help tell the story of industry in Amesbury. We are just beginning to weave the story together. The beauty of history is that there is always more to learn.