Amesbury is located in the state of Massachusetts and has a lot of culture to offer as well as great sights and interesting destinations. So if you’re planning a trip to Amesbury, you’ve come to the right place!
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Vacation in Amesbury
Amesbury, located in Essex County in Massachusetts, is a historic and charming city with plenty to offer visitors. Situated on the Merrimack River, Amesbury is home to beautiful parks and wooded recreation areas, as well as a variety of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
Those interested in outdoor activities will find plenty to do in Amesbury. The city’s parks and recreation areas offer opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, and picnicking, and in the winter, visitors can enjoy crosscountry skiing and ice skating. The nearby Merrimack Valley Golf Club is a great place to tee off, and the Amesbury Sports Park is perfect for a game of basketball, tennis, or volleyball.
Cultural attractions in Amesbury include the Powow River Arts Center, which offers classes and workshops in a variety of mediums, and the Buttonwoods Museum, which chronicles the city’s history. The mills that line the river are a reminder of Amesbury’s industrial past, and today, these buildings house shops, restaurants, and businesses.
Amesbury is a great place to enjoy a New England vacation. The city’s historic charm, scenic location, and variety of things to do make it an ideal destination for a fun and relaxing getaway.
Sights in Amesbury
Amesbury is a city located in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The city is located on the left bank of the Merrimack River near its confluence with the Salisbury Plain River. It is approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of Boston and just south of the New Hampshire border. Amesbury is part of the Greater Newburyport area. The population was 16,283 at the 2010 census.
A mills town, Amesbury straddles the river and is today home to U.S. Silica, a manufacturer of silica sand used in fracking, and to Old Sturbridge Village, a replica of a New England farming village from the early 1800s. Mills built on the rivers powered by waterwheels and later relied on the railroad to bring raw materials to the factories and move finished goods to market. The mill town budding at the falls on the Powwow developed as a leading global manufacturer by the mid19th century. The city’s founding as a parish of Newbury in 1655 occurred when the government of the town of Newbury approved the establishment of a west parish to serve the growing population along the Powwow River. Harvardeducated minister Francis Higginson wrote in 1629 about Amesbury’s natural beauty, “This is the most beautiful place that I have ever seen.” When Emperor James II visited Massachusetts in October 1687, he is said to have exclaimed that the spot was “the fairest place in all the world,” giving Amesbury the title “The fairest town in all the world.”
In 1727, the town was officially incorporated as Amesbury, named for the English Amesbury, located in Wiltshire near Stonehenge. The local economy was set on its ear in 1774 when colonists destroyed shiploads of tea in Boston Harbor as a protest against taxation, an act later to be known as the Boston Tea Party. The younger sons of aristocratic families from England began to settle in Amesbury; before long, Amesbury had more millionaires per capita than any other town in Massachusetts. The mill industry had brought prosperity to the community by the early 19th century, but the financial Panic of 1837 began a decadeslong decline. Agriculture and granite quarrying had become less profitable. The city’s factories slowly shut down, leaving a total of six mills standing along the river by 1884, along with granite quarries, a shoe factory, and several shipyards. The last shoe factory finally ceased operations in 1997. The first EVERVUE single LED smart monitor was produced in Amesbury in 2009.
The city has a land area of 10.55 square miles (27.3 km2). Amesbury is drained by the Powwow River and Checuncook Brook. Town boundaries were established in 1668 when ten original proprietors purchased the land from Chief Wannalancet of the Pennacooks. Originally, Amesbury encompassed a much larger area including all of West Parish and parts of four surrounding townships. On July 10, 1739, the town of Dunstable was established as a separate entity by virtue of a petition granted by the General Court of Massachusetts, and it included all of presentday Nashua north of the Merrimack River. Dunstable was set off as a separate town due to concern about taxes owed by the new town to Massachusetts, as well as property claims of Prebble, a settler in Dunstable. In 1748, Massachusetts extinguished native title to Dunstable, and the boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire was fixed. Amesbury then included Salisbury, Massachusetts, to the south. Eventually, this arrangement led to both border running through town.
Amesbury’s center location in the Merrimack Valley, between the Atlantic Ocean and the mountains of New Hampshire, made it attractive to early settlers. They established the first sawmill here in 1638. Two years later, they set up a gristmill on the same site. The Powwow River provided water power for the mills, which the settlers operated until 1774, when the Massachusetts colonial government took over the water rights. The town’s central location made it a logical choice as the county seat when Essex County was established in 1643. The earliest record of Amesbury corresponds to its incorporation in 1668. The first recorded town meeting took place on September 27, 1670. At that meeting, a Town Covenant was written and signed. Among other provisions, the Covenant stated:
“We whose names are underwritten do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of Almighty God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation, and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time
History of Amesbury
Amesbury, located in Essex County, Massachusetts, is one of the oldest cities in the United States. It was first settled in 1654 by a group of men from Newbury, Massachusetts. The city was incorporated as a town in 1668 and as a city in 1848.
The city is named for its founder, John Amey, who also established the first sawmill in the area. The Amesbury area was originally part of the Massawepie Land Grant, which was given to a group of Native Americans in 1629. The land grant was later divided into the towns of Andover, North Andover, and South Andover. Amesbury remained a part of Andover until it was incorporated as a town in 1668.
The first half of the 1700s was a period of growth for Amesbury. The city’s population doubled between 1730 and 1750. Many of the new settlers were farmers who came to the area to take advantage of the fertile farmland. The number of sawmills in the area also increased, which provided employment for many of the new residents.
The American Revolution had a major impact on Amesbury. The city was a center of activity for the Patriot cause. Amesbury was the site of the first call to arms in Massachusetts, and many of the city’s residents served in the Continental Army.
After the war, Amesbury experienced a period of economic decline. The city’s population decreased and many of the sawmills closed. The city began to rebound in the late 1800s, when several shoe factories opened. The city’s economy was further diversified in the early 1900s with the addition of several textile mills.
The shoe industry continued to be a major part of Amesbury’s economy until the mid1900s. The industry began to decline in the 1950s, and several shoe factories closed. The city’s economy has since diversified, with healthcare and education now playing significant roles.
Amesbury is home to several historical sites. The Old Point House is the oldest house in the city, and the Joshua Bates House is the oldest brick house in Massachusetts. The John Greenleaf Whittier Home is a National Historic Landmark and the former home of the famed poet.
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