Visit the restored Powder House
on both Trails & Sails Weekends
Sunday, Sept. 23 & Sept. 30
On consecutive Sundays --- Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, 2012 --- The Newburyport Preservation Trust presents free tours of the restored 1822 Powder House as part of this year's county-wide Trails & Sails activities coordinated by Essex Heritage.
On Sunday, Sept. 23, tours on the hour begin at 10 a.m., with the last tour at 3 p.m. Musket firing demonstrations --- at the living history Civil War encampment --- will be at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Sept. 30, tours will be at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. Musket firing demonstrations will be at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Visitors on both days are also welcome to stroll the grounds for a self-guided tour of the Powder House site at Godfrey's Hill off Low Street, Newburyport.
The distinctive circular brick Powder House was built in 1822, replacing an earlier Powder House at Old Hill Burying Ground, as a safe place to store gunpowder, flints, musket balls, and camp kettles used by the local militia in the unsettled aftermath of the War of 1812. The secure structure, built well away from homes, was also used to store gunpowder for non-military uses such as road building or construction site preparation. The Powder House was used beyond the Civil War years, but since then survived over a century of neglect. The current Powder House restoration has been a nine-year process, guided in recent years by the Newburyport Preservation Trust and funded by donations and grants. Ultimately the Powder House will serve Newburyport as a park and learning center for the edification of all.
Driving directions: U.S. Rte. 95 to Exit 57/Route 113 East. Turn right on Low Street. The Powder House (57 Low Street) is across the street from the Rupert A Nock Middle School. Park at the school parking lot. No toilet facilities are available at the site. The walk to the site includes a slight incline.
The 11th annual Trails & Sails weekends feature over 200 events and activities at various sites that showcase the region's heritage. All events are designed to give residents and visitors a taste of the region's history, breathtaking landscapes, and hidden gems. Over 4,000 attendees are expected at this year's Trails & Sails events. In addition to Newburyport Powder House tours, events include history and art walks; boat rides and paddles; farm tours, trail walks, and rigorous hikes; behind-the-scenes tours; book readings and musical performances; winery tours; and a host of authentic activities. The public is invited and all events are free. For more information about Trails & Sails activities and events, visit www.trailsandsails.org.