The Boardwalk

The Newburyport Boardwalk 1988

The Newburyport Boardwalk 1988

For more info on the waterfront project please visit this site:

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Please add your Boardwalk Memories

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 14th, 2009 and is filed under Recreation, Uncategorized, Waterfront / Boardwalk. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “The Boardwalk”

  1. jfrost on May 31st, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Remember when it was built . Spent a lot of time fishing there as a kid …

  2. p. j. nichypor on June 11th, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    In the mid 1970s I was on my way to my “workstudy” job at Viking Welding on Rings island. For most of the distance, I would walk next to the river on the city railroad right of way. At the foot of Green St. on the former site of Diamond Lumber yards, the Corbin’s, ( the same family that had restored the Casco Bay Steamboat, Sabino ) had tied up the tugboat “Sadie Ross”,( I think that was the name…). It had been towed into the harbor earlier and docked. As I recall, the tug was sitting high next to the pier on a cold and cloudy afternoon as I passed. However, on my way home after work, I walked past the same spot and saw the heavy mooring lines leading down into the dark swirling water. The tug had apparently sunk and was still tied up to the pier… I guess it was a total loss as it was raised and broken up. Another boat associated with the boardwalk was the General Green. It was a decommissioned Coast Guard Cuttter that ended up being loaned or given to the city. The boat was moored in the then un-developed inlet that was at one time a pier in back of the fire house in Market Square. It, unlike the SadieRoss, did float. At least at high tide…When the tide was out, the hull came to rest on the mud and eel grass with a distinct “list”. The summer that the Gen. Green came to the city, I was working for what we called the “city department” along with perhaps a hundred or so of my peers. It was a work program created by then mayor Byron Mathews, to provide summer employment to us. On the last day of work, my friend and neighbor “Bill” and I,were assigned to work on the boat for a few hours. Our supervisor, one of the old time department cronies, instructed us to do a light clean up on board, take our time, and most importantly, to socialise with the two young ladies that had been hired as guides to visitors of the boat, if we so desired… Like the tug , the Sabino, the Flying Cloud, the submarine Haddock, and the Flying Cloud, the General Green had but a brief stay in Newburyport.

  3. p. j. nichypor on November 5th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    long before it was the “Boardwalk” and the “Waterfront”, the strip of shoreline from Flatiron Point to behind the old fire station, was a crumbling mess. Well perhaps it was that in the eyes of most kid’s parents in the early to late 1960’s. I was not alone in being told to “Stay Away” from the river. Those warnings only served to make us want to explore even more. One of the best opportunities to go “Rogue” was to rush out of the back yard when we heard a train on the City R.R.. The best way to meet up with our pals was to intercept the consist at any one of the several grade crossings in the South End. It was usually a single B&M diesel loco hauling two or three freight cars. With the flagman warning us to keep our distance, we would form up and follow the slow moving train as sort of a walking “Caboose”. Not too many things were as trilling as being with-in arms length of a rolling locomotive. Not only could you see this massive machine,( Massive to a 10 or 11 year old ) you could hear it, smell it, and most important of all, you could feel it. To us, getting close enough to feel the engine throbbing like a giant heartbeat was the best. we even believed that what we felt was dangerous. The loco and cars moved at a snail’s pace through the Joppa back yards and across our streets. so slow, that we had ample time to run to our houses and gather up pennies, flat washers, and the like, to place on the rails ahead of the train. The best point to do this had to have been Rangelight Marina. By the time we got there via the maze of South End streets, those who had been working on their boats in the lot there, were rolling up power cords that they had laid across the tracks from one of the outlet boxes in the boatyard. We would lay our “to be flattened” objects on one or the other rails and wait for the heavy engine to roll over them. Once done, we gathered up large and elongated pieces of copper, steel or lead. Much of the trill was gone as the train rumbled by to deposit the rail cars behind Atkinson’s. Other distractions were close by, such as the huge section of hull left over from the scrapping of the submarine U.S.S. Haddock. Slamming rocks and Muscatel or Thunder-bird bottles against the thick metal was fun for a while. But even this could get old when we ran out of stuff to throw. Further toward downtown there was a huge pile of telephone poles stacked along side the river. These were an irresistible and dangerous playground not to be overlooked. Care and balance were the rule when we compared our balance to each other by running and jumping from pole to pole a few feet above the Merrimack’s waters. At low tide, we would hunt for “Wharf Rats”. These beastly creatures were sometimes the size of a small dog. If one was spotted, the unfortunate critter was mercilessly pelted with a barrage of rocks and sticks. The very agile and equally speedy animals would retreat tot he nearest hole or crevasse for safety and self preservation. A quick stop in back of the Custom House which at the time was not a museum, but a junk yard and junk storage warehouse. There was a reasonably large and interesting array of accumulated rusty machinery at which to study. To us, it was a “Museum”. Last on our list of things not to be missed had to have been the old 1930’s vintage “City” ambulance that was parked behind the old fire station at Market Square. None of us ever did anything that would cause damage to the vehicle, it was that “cool” looking. Not much more was that interesting to command our attention unless of course the boat “Lifter” was in action at Rangelight Marina… This was not to be missed if you could be there when it was being carefully piloted out onto the two finger piers that extended over the river. The machine resembled a giant four legged table made of steel. The table top was an open rectangular crown connecting the legs to it. The assembly rode on four tires, one under each leg. Once the machine had been positioned on the piers, two giant straps were lowered into the water, the boat moved over the submerged straps, and then lifted by them as the machine’s engine roared as the heavy boat was pulled out of the Merrimack. The operator must have possessed great skill and nerve to be able to steer the awkward vehicle onto and then off of the two piers. As only a low metal rail or “flange” kept the small wheels from turning and plunging the whole thing into the water… We made things fun when we were kids. And the waterfront was certain to help provide that fun.

  4. p. j. nichypor on November 25th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    I was reading ” Newburyport, the Bombed Look” on one of the N-port blogs listed on this sites contents headings. Interesting to see some of the taxpayer funded projects so well described in that text. The boardwalk it seems, was only expected to last the thirty years it has since being started in the late 70’s. Some very funny tax dollar wasting buffoonery has been as usual in Newburyport planning and projects, quite out in the open. A “Corrosion Expert” the report says, was hired to conduct a special study of the suspicious corrosion eating away at the steel shielding at the boardwalk. Turns out that the study reveals it to be a substance called”Rust”… You’ve got to be kidding me. Public funding was actually wasted to come up with this finding. It was also stated that the structure and its components have lasted as expected. They will need to be replaced in order to last an other generation or so… Again, who’s blowing smoke up who’s bottom? Look a quarter mile or so to the west. There are massive cut granite blocks and slabs being removed bu the tons each day at the old B&M rail embankment the railroad bridge… Hmmmm, I wonder where it’s being hauled off to? And why hasn’t this very durable material, ( Thousands of years ) been considered for use in the reconstruction of the boardwalk. Instead of steel in a tidal, salt water application. Take a look at the block wall along the Fort Point Channel in Boston. It has been in place since the late 1800’s. Still looks good too. More Newburyport and Commonwealth waste or a combination of waste and graft?

  5. Chris Becker on May 25th, 2010 at 1:39 am

    One evening I went to the Boardwalk and snuck down onto one of the docks that were against the more eastern side. I have no idea how I did it, but I managed to knock my new-ish eyeglasses off my face and right into the drink. I got in trouble for that, I think my mom was secretly wondering how I managed to be so klutzy. I laid in an early bed that evening, thinking about my glasses which were only two blocks away ( I lived on Pike street at the time), quickly being pulled out to sea by the swift current.

  6. Earle (Mike) McIntyre on January 17th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    How well I remenber the area from the (back of the) old fire house 1950-1957) to the LIME ST playgrounds. It was a special place for a lot of us kids that lived on Liberty st and Center St. We all learned to swim in the Merrimac river. We also did a lot of ELL fishing from the OLD postings that extended out into the river (worn out piers). Use to do our swiming (about 20 of us) behind the (now)Starboard Galley and upward toward the firestation. All day and into the evening. Boys & girls alike. Everyone watched out for everyone. Use to catch & cook the Ells, and eat them. They were good. Can’t remenber the name of the place that sold CRABS (5 cents apeice) just to the left of the (Now) Starboard Galley. We would cook them down there also. A lot of GOOD memories from that place.

  7. Pat frost on January 17th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Mike was that yerxas or how ever it was spelled ? there was also a place down the wharf that sold them too. was that Charlie Rowes?

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