Landmark Decision

To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen." On March 10, 2003, the Trustees of the Newburyport Waterfront reached a unanimous decision to restore the original name to one of the"historic wayes to the Waterside" located at the foot of Green Street. Therefore, as before, officially this place shall be called Somerby's Landing.

Somerby's Landing was granted to the Waterside Third Parish by the proprietors of Newbury on July 12, 1751. On March 10, 1751/2, the proprietors' communication was received and the way presented and accepted by the townspeople attending that annual March town meeting. This grant served to create an enforceable trust which --- along with the way on the easterly side of what was once the Middle Shipyard or Market Landing (now the area Firehouse Center across from Market Square and to its north, Market Landing park) --- was to be held in public trust forever.1

In addition to reflection of the past, the Web site shall reveal just what the "universe conspires to make happen" as a result of these decisions --- in both the present and future tense. Check back from time to time to learn about the happenings in the coming months, commencing with the rededication of the completed eastern and westernmost "historic wayes" and restored boardwalk promenade on May 18, 2003 --- and preparations for the return Home Again of the adopted flagship Misty Isles on July 23, 2003. In 2004, the Waterside community remarked a new generation with a Once in a Blue Moon opportunity.

Forwarded in a Motion of Comity during The Year of Common Ground ~ a proposal to restore the early reference to the "historic waye to the Waterside" beside Market Landing ~ to remark the generational milestone since resolution of an ongoing dispute over common lands was resolved in 1826 ~ and to inspire today's generations of the Waterside people to seek common ground with their "history in the making." The motion had been under consideration by the Newburyport Waterfront Trustees, who deferred to unanimous consent. Comity await reconsideration of this landmark decision.

1 An Appeals Court decision reached on February 22, 1980 upheld the 1751 and the 1826 grants as enforceable public trusts ~ vacating the lower court's finding and remanding the case back to Land Court for further proceedings. In an agreement thereafter, a total of five "historic wayes to the Waterside" along with the Market Landing and the waterfront promenade were conveyed as public trust land ~ with the historical and legal facts a matter of record. (With further insight reviewed on the Web page "Updating the Map."

On January 28, 1991 the Newburyport Waterfront Trust (NWT) would be established as stewards of this public trust (link within) ~ and this year marks their 15-year milestone ~ a half generation since the first five trustee's were installed as stewards of this special place where we can see our tomorrows dawn ~ along the boundary river for the Massachusetts Bay Charter which the adventurers of the Winthrop fleet had in hand when arriving in Salem Harbor in 1630. A 375-year milestone remarked last year.

It is this document which in part inspires the expression Motion of Comity ~ imparted in the opening phrase of the article which established a form of municipall self-governance with the
"nameing and setting of all sorts of Officers ... needefull for that Governement and Plantation, and the distinguishing and setting forth of the severall duties, Powers, and Lymytts of every such Office and Place ... for the directing, ruling, and disposeing of all other Matters and Thinges, whereby our said People, Inhabitants there, may be soe religiously, peaceablie, and civilly governed, as their good Life and orderlie Conversation."

Come join the "good Life and (not so) orderlie Conversation" at the Waterside community gams held at Market Landing Park ~ when and where milestones in history and "history of the making" will be celebrated and cerebrated with great enthusiasm.
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