The Coast Guard is an extended family and the communities surrounding our units are part of this family. As we celebrate 222 years of service to the Nation this Saturday, we reached out to Newburyport, Mass., one of 14 official Coast Guard cities. Below Mayor Donna D. Holaday shares her thoughts on the Coast Guard and our rich history with her community.
It is with extraordinary pride that I acknowledge the upcoming ceremony on August 4th for the City of Newburyport to receive its designation as a Coast Guard City. I am very grateful to the Harbor Commissioners who worked diligently on our application and uncovered a wealth of history of our longstanding relationship with the Coast Guard. I would like to share some of those highlights.
Our City played a leading role in the maritime history of the early American colonies as well as the new Republic. Between the end of the Revolution and the beginning of the War of 1812 we were one of the three busiest ports in the Nation. Newburyport has been a center of commerce for almost 400 years and, in the 19th century our shipyards built some of the most famous clipper ships in history, including the Dreadnaught built in 1853 by Currier and Townsend and was once home to the “Father of Clipper Ships,” Donald McKay.
Since the early 19th century, this area has been a popular destination for warm weather recreation and in the 20th and now 21st century, Newburyport has become an internationally known tourist destination, prized for its fishing, boating, beaches, wildlife preserve, dining and shopping. While we are most certainly a small municipality, we are very proud of the contributions we have made to the lives of each generation of Americans, but none of the accomplishments would have been possible without the help of our consistent and steadfast partner over these past 222 years; the United States Coast Guard.
For over two centuries the Coast Guard has worked together with the people and City of Newburyport to protect America’s shoreline, saving lives at sea and promoting trade and commerce. We have always been aware of the critical importance of our friends and partners in its various and many forms over its long history as the Revenue Marine, Cutter Service, Lighthouse Service, Life-Saving Service and ultimately the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard has held a presence here since 1790; it has maintained and operated at least one lighthouse since that time making its presence in Newburyport Harbor indispensable for keeping the waters safe for seagoing vessels. This longstanding relationship with our trusted friend and partner, the United States Coast Guard and Station Merrimac will enable our beautiful shores to thrive for many years.
On August 4th, the birthday of the USCG, we are proud to join the ranks of 14 other cities across our country as Newburyport officially becomes a Coast Guard City.
Donna D. Holaday, Mayor