Newburyport, a small historic seaport on the north shore of Massachusetts, has roots dating back to 1635. The Clipper Heritage Trail website celebrates this 300 year history by helping to facilitate an understanding of the historical, cultural and natural treasures of Newburyport and its impact on New England and the United States. The Clipper Heritage Trail provides easy, accessible material to local history enthusiasts, teachers, students, day trippers, and tourists in a website format. Additionally, it meets the needs of a community who cherishes its heritage and is seeking new ways of celebrating its history.
Ghlee Woodworth extensively researched Newburyport’s history through guided history and cemetery tours, presentations, and conversations with residents, visitors, and local history enthusiasts. Through these experiences she also realized that a broad audience was eager to have easier access to local history material and resources. The development of the Newburyport Clipper Heritage Trail has actively engaged residents and visitors in discovering and preserving Newburyport’s historical, cultural, and natural treasures.
The online format was chosen for its 24/7 accessibility where audiences can experience local history at their own pace and convenience. Visitors to the website have easy access to facts for 125 points of interest, including over 200 images. Consisting of a variety of learning tools, the website includes a welcome video, self-guided tours, downloadable maps and brochures, a free mobile tour, timelines, and a trail history.
Newburyport elementary and middle schools are using the website as a resource for their local history curriculum and a grant has been awarded to the schools to support the continued relationship with Woodworth and effectively expand the use of the website. To date, there have been trail articles in the Newburyport Daily News, the Boston Globe and coverage on the local radio station. Local websites, such as Newburyport Today, Essex National Historical Commission and Newburyport Info promote the trail.
Ghlee E. Woodsworth
2014 Award of Merit