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History Press



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Formerly the smallest city in Massachusetts, Newburyport is considered to be one of the architectural gems of New England. Its history, both public and private, is intertwined with and expressed by its structures. Newburyport was incorporated in 1764 when it broke away from the early settlement of Newbury, which was founded in 1635 by English livestock investors. The port supplied England with large timbers for shipbuilding in the 1700s.

As international trade grew, many merchants acquired great wealth, which in turn helped build the city. The devastating fire of 1811 prompted building ordinances requiring non-wooden material, and the beautiful, Federal-period brick structures in the downtown area are the result. Today Newburyport is an historical destination, the consummation of years of work in architectural preservation, enriched by Yankee, European, and French-Canadian cultures.

About the author | John Hardy Wright is the author of several books, including two-volume sets on Marblehead and Provincetown. Here he brings together many never-before-seen photographs from individuals and institutions to bring you the real history of Newburyport. 


Galvinzed, wrapped steel.


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