Visit the restored Powder House
on Trails & Sails Weekends, Sunday, Sept. 30
On the second Sunday of Trails & Sails weekend, the Newburyport Preservation Trust again presents free tours of the restored 1822 Powder House as part of the county-wide activities coordinated by Essex Heritage.
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 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.