Accidental Wandering in Amesbury

I live in Upstate New York but I’m in love with New England: Amesbury, Massachusetts especially. I learned of its existence through a friend. I come from a rather small town in New York. There’s one streetlight and the “downtown” consists of the school and a tiny shopping plaza whose main businesses are a CVS, Subway, grocery store and dollar store. Businesses don’t stay in business where I come from so I fell in love with Amesbury’s beautiful, historic downtown during my very first visit.

Seeing Amesbury’s downtown with so many shops in business is a lovely thing! I can feel the residents’ pride in their community and their dedication to helping it thrive. I’ve shopped in a couple of the stores and purchased items for my daughters because even though I’m not a resident, I feel a great desire to help support the area in any way I can.

Whenever I visit Amesbury, the people there are so exceptionally nice to me I’m taken by surprise. There isn’t that level of friendliness where I’m from and most people don’t even seem to know I exist. In Amesbury, people say hi to me, give me directions when I’m looking lost and encourage me to put my artwork up even though I’m not from the town.

Yesterday evening after I was all settled and unpacked in the hotel in Seabrook, NH, I was trying to think of what I could do. It was cloudy out but still relatively warm and not raining so I decided to head into Amesbury and visit Lake Gardner beach. I wanted to see what the colors were like there and they didn’t disappoint!

The beautiful color on Lake Gardner in Amesbury, Massachusetts

The beautiful color on Lake Gardner in Amesbury, Massachusetts

The park was set to close 20 minutes after I arrived so after a bit of wandering around at Lake Gardner I drove into town and parked in the lot by Crave. It was just starting to get darker and walking around downtown with all the street lamps on was truly magical. I walked around by Powwow River Falls and tried to take pictures of things most people might not. I look at the world in my own unique way and I try to capture beauty that others overlook. I don’t know that I succeed but at least I try.

powwow falls

Looking down Powwow River Falls in Amesbury

ducks on waterfall

Mallard ducks hanging out on the falls

street lamp tree

Amesbury street lamp glowing among fall foliage

Eventually I wandered by Jon P. Mooers Artist Gallery and Studio on Main Street. I went inside during my June visit so I was just peaking in the windows at the displays. A woman walked out, greeted me pleasantly and suggested I go in because there were many lovely paintings inside. I couldn’t turn down such a suggestion so in I went. I’d only made it a few steps inside when Jon Mooers welcomed me and invited me to come into the back of the gallery because there was food and wine. I looked toward the back, saw a gathering of people, and thought that perhaps they were there to support the gallery. Unable to resist my curiosity and being rather hungry once I smelled food, I walked back. I saw Ed Justen from Workspace 36 once I got back there so it seemed safe to stay.

Inside the gallery

Inside the gallery

The lovely wine selection.

The lovely wine selection.

Plenty of appetizers!

Plenty of appetizers!

Jon Mooers serving chowder.

Jon Mooers serving chowder.

First two chowder selections

First two chowder selections

The 3rd chowder selection

The 3rd chowder selection

Jon was giving a speech about supporting local artwork instead of buying mass produced stuff from Wal-Mart and I found it quite interesting and on point. I don’t buy artwork, I paint it myself and my walls are overflowing with my creations. I truly understand the merit in buying local artwork and supporting local artists. There are tons of beautiful paintings in the gallery and I’m not sure my talent is anywhere near that level. If you live in Amesbury or are just passing through, I highly recommend you visit Jon’s gallery and take home one of the amazing creations hanging on the walls!

Once Jon was done speaking a well-dressed man in a suit started talking and I realized it was the current mayor of Amesbury, Mayor Thatcher Kezer. That’s when I realized that oops, I’d just inadvertently crashed a little pep rally for the current mayor. Rather than make a hasty exit, I remained where I was and listened to what Mayor Kezer had to say about Amesbury and the continuing efforts to revitalize downtown. I thought he made some very good points. I don’t involve myself with politics much but the fact that he was holding his rally at Jon’s gallery obviously showed his support of and belief in local businesses.

Once the speeches were finished, I chatted with Ed Justen a bit and then sampled the food and wine. There were three chowders to sample and I liked he one made by Jon Mooers the best. It had the best flavor and not too much spice. I’m not a food critic or taster; I just know what I like. There were many good appetizers there and I had one little glass of cold, sweet white wine, which is pretty much my favorite drink. I thought it was a shame that there weren’t more people there because it was a great spread and an awesome location for a gathering.

I didn’t get a chance to meet the Mayor (that probably would’ve been a bit awkward since I’m not a resident) but I did meet his wife and she was very friendly. She seemed a bit surprised when I told her I was from Upstate NY but I’m somewhat used to that reaction by now. That look of “You’re from NY? Why do you like Amesbury so much?” It’s a very understandable response. Perhaps my blog posts help explain my love for the area a bit.

As I left the gallery, Jon Mooers came out to thank me for coming and introduced himself. I gave him my first name and where I was from and he too seemed surprised. We chatted for a little bit and he told me about painting the mural across the street to cover up an ugly wall left exposed once an old wooden building was torn down. I complimented his work and we chatted a bit more before he had to go back inside and be a good host. Once outside I saw the sign I totally missed when I walked up. Apparently I’m good at seeing cosmic signs but not seeing tangible signs in big bold print…

I totally missed this sign outside the gallery. Oops!

I totally missed this sign outside the gallery. Oops!

I may not be from New England (yet) but I know what a good thing Amesbury has going and little old me will continue to do what I can to help out my favorite town.

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About Lidancie Arts

I am a single mother of two daughters and I am a tough, independent woman. My creative passion carries into my writing and jewelry design. Through blogging, I share my experience, perspective, and how I hope to improve the world one word at a time.

45 thoughts on “Accidental Wandering in Amesbury

  1. Kathleen Schell says:

    Now I want to visit Amesbury. Your writing made me feel as if I were there. Thanks

  2. Peekiequeen says:

    I truly enjoy your “eye” and what you’ve captured here is lovely. Cheers!

  3. mariekeates says:

    Sounds like a lovely place

  4. Jon P Mooers says:

    Thank you for your kind words JulieAnn, I am so proud to hear visitors speak of Amesbury and to hear they understand the truly unique community it is. Rich with History, complemented by its beauty, but truly a special community that truly provides a safe and comforting home! We look forward to your next visit!! Thanks again, Jon Mooers

  5. Joan Baptiste says:

    JulieAnn,
    Thank you for your kind words of our fair City. It’s heart-warming to read that people from other places come to visit Amesbury and find the kindness to write about us. You were indeed fortunate to meet Jon Mooers – he is an incredible advocate for Amesbury and works tirelessly to support all that is good and fair. His murals throughout the City are another way he adds to it’s beauty. Please come again and often. Joan Baptiste

    • corbingirl77 says:

      Amesbury is one of my favorite places to visit and I love writing about my adventures! Jon Mooers, his murals and his gallery are indeed treasures in Amesbury 🙂 I’ll be back again very soon!

  6. DawnMarie says:

    Hey JulieAnn, How wonderful to hear you love my hometown. The funny part is I myself live in upstate NY now.

  7. JulieAnn,
    I was at the Meet and Greet event for Mayor Thatcher Kezer. Thank you for writing this lovely perspective of our beloved town (city) of Amesbury. It is the best place in the world to live! We hope you return soon!

    • corbingirl77 says:

      I wish more people had come to enjoy all that feeling of community along with the great food, wine and beautiful artwork 🙂 I do truly love Amesbury and will be returning very soon!

  8. lois says:

    ve been here 85 years and love it

  9. Anonymous says:

    I am also from a small town in NY … Hyde Park to be exact. And I moved to Amesbury 12 years ago – so much has changed in that time … I too have fallen in live with it and I cannot imagine living anywhere else … Love the people – love the town and love the location!

  10. Paul Bibaud says:

    I was born and raised in Amesbury, schooled here, moved to southern Maine for 18 years, and three years ago, returned to my hometown. It has changed greatly from my childhood days. But through all the changes, it remains a hidden gem in the state, so pretty and unique through every season of the year, with special happenings throughout the calendar for people of all ages to enjoy. Enchanting is not an exaggeration when I think of my hometown, now a city. I picture the center in every season, and the images in my mind are breathtaking and cherished. They glow in the hearth of my heart like burning embers. Such sweet memories of times past as well as excitement for what lies around the corner in the rest of the days of our lives. Simply put, it’s HOME.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am also an upstate New York native, Goshen, to be exact. When my husband was relocated 9 years ago we searched all over the Merrimack Valley for a place to live. I instantly fell in love with Amesbury and am now proud to call it my home.The uniqueness and beauty that you mention still inspires me daily, but it’s the people who make up Amesbury’s community that really most proud of.

  12. corbingirl77 says:

    I’ve looked around at homes in the area and I love exploring all the side streets. Nothing quite compares to the charm of Amesbury!

  13. Julie Ann, really nice writing and sounds like you had a very cultural and fun filled day! The pics are wonderful. I love upstate New York Cambridge, Salem and very close to Vermont. Batten kill is a great canoe place, but I grew up in South Hampton NH right next to Amesbury. It is a great place and I am excited for all the progress there and the nature spots are still beautiful!

  14. I read your profile, JulieAnn, and I see you are a ghost writer! One interesting piece of Amesbury’s history is it’s “Ghost trains” from it’s carriage building days! Has anyone ever mentioned them to you? I just thought it is a funny coincidence and maybe it’s why you subconsciously feel a connection! Thanks for loving our beautiful city!

    • corbingirl77 says:

      Wow that’s very interesting! No one had mentioned that to me before! I’ll have to investigate 🙂 Thank you and all the other residents of Amesbury for always making me feel welcome and safe!

  15. Joan Miller says:

    Our family moved to Amesbury 16 years ago from Virginia when our boys were 5 & 7. We were excited about Dad’s new job, but a little nervous as southerners moving to New England whether we would be welcome here. From day one everyone was wonderful to us & this absolutely gorgeous little town has truly become our home. Our neighbors are amazing & are our New England family. So much to offer in such a small package – that’s Amesbury! We love it & feel fortunate that we landed here. Think it was meant to be!

    • corbingirl77 says:

      That’s so great that you were welcomed! It always catches me off guard how friendly people in New England are compared to where I’m from. It’s just a warmer feeling throughout 🙂 Meant to be is a wonderful thing!

  16. cyntheses says:

    I’m also from upstate NY and have lived in Amesbury for 17 years. I moved here so my daughter could attend high school, and because of the local arts community. The safety of this city was also a huge consideration. and I found the people here to be a lot “warmer” than those I met when I first moved to the Boston area in 1990. Your observations are wonderful – it is a great little place with wonderful restaurants, warm and caring people, and breathtaking scenery from Po Hill to the Merrimack River. It may sound silly, but when I stand by the waterfall in the millyard and close my eyes, the water smells just like my home (Niagara Falls) to me. The spirits of the people who have lived and worked here over the centuries continue to watch over us all. We have our share of problems (disproportionately high taxes, lost real estate values) but it’s nothing we can’t overcome with work and time. Thank you for sharing your appreciation for Amesbury.

    • corbingirl77 says:

      I do love Boston but I often feel invisible there. That’s okay because I’m good at exploring on my own but there’s something truly special about the way Amesbury welcomes visitors and new residents with open arms and hearts. The waterfall is one of my favorite spots, I stand on the bridge for a long time trying to memorize it all so I can take it back to NY with me. I’m confident Amesbury will continue to thrive and overcome any obstacles!

  17. Melissa LeBlanc says:

    My home town! Thankyou for all the kind words. Amesbury is a great place to live i have lived here my whole life and now i own my parents house and am raising my daughter here! What a great little city we have!

  18. corbingirl77 says:

    My pleasure! It’s easy to say kind things about such a great little city! That’s wonderful that you’re raising another generation in your family’s home 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for highlighting this great town, I am a townie, grew up here and moved back with my family to raise my children in this community. My children love it here too we feel safe and like you mentioned people are friendly. Its the kinda place where you can borrow butter or eggs from you neighbor now that’s the kinda place I love.

    • corbingirl77 says:

      I definitely wish I could raise my girls there but my circumstances don’t allow it. We will be spending time there this summer and I look forward to showing them more of Amesbury and all the interesting places to explore. That feeling of community needs to be cherished, preserved and encouraged! 🙂

  20. What a wonderful view of our little community. Thank you for sharing your unique perspective.

  21. Susanne says:

    Amesbury is our home-it’s a great lil’ town!

  22. corbingirl77 says:

    It’s a little town with a lot of potential!

  23. I found this article by following a picture link on Pinterest, and I am so glad I did. I grew up in Amesbury and have missed it very much since moving to TX. I learned to swim in Lake Gardener, and actually lived on the hill in the background of that picture. I fed those ducks by the falls. I practically lived in the library as a child. Next time you get a chance to visit, make sure you try out Hodgie’s Ice Cream. That’s what I miss most.

    • corbingirl77 says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this article! I’ve written about my adventures in Amesbury quite a bit since I started visiting there 🙂 It’s a truly unique and beautiful place and I’ve spent a lot of time in their library too. We went to Hodgie’s during our summer family trip and we could have split one dish of ice cream between the four of us! It was the perfect treat at the end of a warm day 🙂

  24. JulieAnn, I also am from a small area in upstate NY, Horseheads / Big Flats. I have been here in the Amesbury/Salisbury area for almost 30 years now and my heart and body are usually in Amesbury but I live in near by Salisbury. Thank you so much for pointing out the beauty of or area and how much you enjoy it. I am afraid that most of the natives just take it for granted just because they have been here forever. You are always welcome and there is much more to see and people to talk to. If you are around on a Thursday,stop in the Amesbury Sports Park for lunch with the Amesbury Rotary Club , my treat ! 🙂

    • corbingirl77 says:

      I’ve driven through Horseheads many times actually so I know where that is 🙂 My heart is in New England most of the time so I’m always happy to get back there! Amesbury truly is lovely and anyone who takes it for granted should spend a day in NYS sometime. Then they’d realize how good they have it 😉 I do always feel welcome when I visit and I’m looking forward to returning to the area this coming week. Next time I’m in Amesbury on a Thursday that isn’t Thanksgiving, I’ll stop in. Thank you for the offer! 🙂

  25. What a delightful peak at Amesbury from an out of towner! I have lived here twenty years, from another MA farm town, and I am constantly impressed with the town, the people, how they sustain and fortify each other, whether new arrival or old timer! The history begins early and shows the strength and determination of generations- who continue to smile and welcome others. We have so many talented, creative, and giving residents. It was great to see it through your eyes!!

  26. […] no denying his love of and passion for art. I wrote about one of his gallery events in my Accidental Wandering in Amesbury post back in October of 2013 and thanks to him publicizing that post, it was my most popular […]

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