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Published: 07/28/2006    print this story   email this story  

Amesbury: A jewel on the Merrimack

By Harlyn Aizley

The recent revitalization of Amesbury's Market Square is the culmination of 25 years effort to transform the former mill town into a cultural oasis on the Merrimack River. The endeavor has paid off. In the last eight years the square's former textile mill has become the center of art, culture and business.

Flourishing downtown Amesbury also boasts brick sidewalks, a gazebo in front of the public library, and numerous restaurants.

Riverwalk, Amesbury's scenic pedestrian walkway and bike path, winds along the Powow River providing a "greenway" along the old Boston & Maine rail bed from Amesbury's historic downtown Upper Mill Yard and Market Square to the Carriagetown Marketplace along Route 110. In the 1980s Amesbury was added to the historic register and more recently has been included as one of the 100 milestones mentioned in the 10th anniversary of Essex by the National Heritage Commission.

In addition to the physical beauty of Riverwalk - a tour of the city's plentiful green and open spaces - its downtown portion offers a slice of Amesbury history, one rich with activism and invention. The hidden treasures brought to life by revitalization not only capture the charm of a classic New England community, but also enable local artists and businesses to continue this dynamic history and provide a vision for the future of Amesbury.

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