Saturday, August 18, 2007

Haverhill, MA Part 9 (John Rowlands)

Haverhill, MA is in Essex County. It was established in 1641 and pronounced "HAY-vruhl." The environs was originally called Pentucket which means "land of the winding river," by the local Pentucket Indian tribe. First settled by Europeans in 1640, and then purchased from the tribe in 1641 when the town was incorporated as "Haverhill," after Haverhill, England.

Although it began as a farming community, it would evolve into an important industrial center, beginning with sawmills and gristmills run by water power .

This is why Lovecraft thought he might see a jam packed industrial section of New England upon his visit. In the 18th century, Haverhill developed tanneries, shipping and shipbuilding. The mill town was for 180 years home to a large shoe-making industry, and still vibrant during HPL's visit, but later faded with the Great Depression of the 1930s . It also once manufactured hats. (Perhaps a Sonia Greene connection?) Incorporated as a city in 1870, Haverhill would annex part of Bradford in 1897. (Just a few decades before Lovecraft's visit.)

Haverhill was the site of the original Macy's store, established to sell dry goods in 1851 by Rowland H. Macy. It was also where Hollywood mogul Louis B. Mayer got his start in show business by operating a chain of theatres .

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