Newburyport Preservation Week - Rediscovering Coombs and Lower Bartlet Wharves

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Rediscovering Coombs and Lower Bartlet Wharves

Witness the rediscovery of two of Newburyport’s historic wharves

Film maker, Jerry Mullins, presents a documentary on the archeological finds uncovered by the recent expansion of the Newburyport sewer plant on Water Street. 

 “People don’t realize how important the wharves were to the city,” says Jerry Mullins. “The roads were terrible and for the most part, unusable for goods to be delivered to Boston. In 1870 the train to Boston was completed which made it possible for merchandise to be efficiently transported over land.    That new development along with improving roads and the advent of the automobile and the wharves lost their importance even to the Federal government and by 1912 the Custom House was closed.  The wharves rotted and their importance forgotten by most of the city.”

Aided by overlays of historic maps, the audience will see remnants of the wharves and artifacts from Colonial buildings.  “With the rejuvenation of Newburyport, the wharves were not recognized as most had been buried and the channels next to them filled in to make land.” Mr. Mullins adds, “Even at that time, they were still not considered of any value.  We’re excited to show how significant these wharves were to the city and the new history revealed from recent archeology and research.  And the potential for new discoveries from the other, yet untouched and buried wharves.”

The documentary will be shown free of charge at the Custom House Maritime Museum on Saturday, May 19, 2012 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.  Wine and cheese reception follows.

Newburyport celebrates and commemorates historic preservation and Newburyport's Waterfront  during the sixth annual Newburyport Preservation Week, May 16 through May 20, 2012. Activities spanning five days will feature something for all ages and interests, including a walking tour and musket firing, expert panel discussion and rediscovered Newburyport’s wharves, the connection between the Newburyport Powder House, the waterfront and preparation for the War of 1812, historic photo slide shows and films, and the annual Historic Preservation Awards. Activities are open to the public and most are free. For more information, visit