The History of Marblehead’s Conservation Efforts: An “Appetizer” for the Postponed April 2020 Exhibit!

One of the Abbot Public Library’s most prized spaces is our Virginia A. Carten Gallery, named for the local artist whose bequest made the creation of this community treasure possible. Each year, a series of varied month-long exhibits is presented in the Gallery, featuring the work of area artists and other displays of interest.

A special exhibit, prepared by the Marblehead Conservancy, on the history of Marblehead’s conservation efforts was planned for April 2020. The exhibit uses aerial photographs, maps, and a video to tell the story of natural open space conservation during the development of Marblehead.

Although the Library’s closure, due to COVID-19, has required the postponement of this show, we would like to give you a small taste of its content. 

Watch this two-minute animation, produced for the April exhibit, showing how Marblehead grew and filled in, starting in 1636 and ending in 2018. As the town began to fill, far-sighted individuals started a conservation movement to set aside natural open space for future generations. The video highlights each of the Town’s natural open spaces and shows the date that conservation efforts for a particular area began.

1954 Aerial photos of Marblehead showing conservation areas on a current map of Marblehead. Courtesy of the Marblehead Conservancy.


Aerial photos overlaid on a map highlight several conservation areas. See if you can spot Hawthorn Pond (pictured in the post header), Robinson and Jermyn Farms, Turner Woods, and a corner of Seaside Park.

When the exhibit takes place, images like this will be displayed as 4 ft. wide by 3 ft. high prints. Viewers also will see detailed historical information on all the publicly accessible natural open space conservation areas of the town, showing how the areas were obtained, when, and from whom. It’s a fascinating journey through time and space — a different perspective on Marblehead’s history!

Experience Daily Life in Marblehead’s Past by Exploring the Abbot Library’s Digital Archive!

Clippings from the October 4th, 1918 issue of the “Marblehead Messenger”

This notice from the October 4th, 1918 issue of the Marblehead Messenger is just one example of the fascinating discoveries you will make when you explore the Abbot Public Library’s Digital Archive

Here, you will be able to search for topics and names in all the issues of the Marblehead Messenger and Marblehead Reporter, from 1871 to 1976. 

Whether you are working on a family genealogy project, or wondering what life in Marblehead was like at specific times in history, looking at these newspapers will directly connect you with the stories and voices (and fun advertisements!) of Marblehead’s past.

The creation of this unmatched resource for Marblehead history was made possible by a generous grant from the Harold B. and Elizabeth L. Shattuck Memorial Fund.

(Please note: Because of copyright law, access to newspapers from 1977 to 2016 in the Digital Archive is available only inside the Library building.)