Amesbury, MA Local Area Information

About Area

Amesbury is a suburban community with an unusual industrial and manufacturing history. First settled by Europeans in 1645, the town's earliest industries included mills, shipyards and a heavily used ferry operation across the Merrimac River to Newburyport. There were always scattered farms in the community, but unlike most Colonial settlements, agriculture was secondary to an aggressive maritime and industrial economy.

By the 19th century, the shipbuilding, shipping and fishing which had employed most of the population was giving way to textiles, ironworks, saw and grist mills that had been established on a 90' drop of the Powow River, which provided crucial water power. Among the most interesting of Amesbury's products were the carriages which achieved some renown in the area. The same company made the transition into the 20th century by converting its production into making automobile bodies, and until the Great Depression of 1929, auto body making was a major industry in the town. The same handsome stone industrial buildings that once made nails and cloth are now filled with a diversity of manufactured products and the situation of Amesbury at a transportation crossroads of Interstate 95 and 495 gives the town a good competitive edge for both residential and commercial development. Along with the sturdy 19th century commercial buildings, Amesbury is also rich in Federal-period residences, which the community carefully preserves as its link with the past. (Narrative based on information provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission)

Location

Northeastern Massachusetts, bordered by Merrimac on the west; South Hampton, New Hampshire, on the north; Salisbury on the east; and Newburyport and West Newbury on the south. Amesbury is located on the Merrimack River 10 miles northeast of Haverhill, 43 miles north of Boston, and 260 miles from New York City.

Total Area: 13.65 sq. miles

Land Area: 12.41 sq. miles

Population: 14,997

Density: 1,208 per sq. mile

Source: Mass Department of Housing and Community Development

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