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TTC_04_18_18_Vol.14-No.25.p1-12

TTC_04_18_18_Vol.14-No.25.p1-12.pdf

The Region's Largest Weekly Distribution Get connected with... The Town Common PRST STD. U.S. POSTAGE PAId NEWBURYPORT, MA PERMIT NO. 51 ____________ LARGEST DISTRIBUTION ACROSS THE NORTH SHORE OF MA & COASTAL NH www.thetowncommon.com April 18 - 24, 2018 Vol. 14, No. 25 FREE Toothpick Needs a Paint Job Newburyport Literary Festival By Stewart Lytle, Reporter ––––––––––––––––– Vicki Hendrickson engaged in her passion Photo by Stewart Lytle NEWBURYPORT – It more than 70 authors and poets, takes about eight months and including 19 fiction writers, 22 almost $50,000 to produce the non-fiction writers, 20 poets and Newburyport Literary Festival 10 writers of books for children that lasts less than 30 hours and and young adults. leaves about 5,000 avid book The event-packed festival in lovers wanting more. downtown Newburyport begins Vicki Hendrickson and Jennifer on Friday night, April 27, with Entwistle gather their steering the popular Dinner with the committee “for the first time in Authors and ends with a closing September,” to begin discussing ceremony after sundown on authors and books that might Saturday April 28. be featured the next spring, “Having it all on one day creates Hendrickson said. a sense of urgency,” Hendrickson “We all come with ideas,” she said. “People leave feeling they said. “We’re all readers.” didn’t get to do half of what they Over the next few months, wanted to. They are excited to choices are made and invitations come back.” are extended. “We like to have a Authors and readers flock to mix of established writers, notso-well the festival each year to celebrate known writers and new the coming of spring and the joy writers,” Hendrickson said. of reading. This year, with the In its 13th year the Newburyport world seemingly in turmoil, she Literary Festival will showcase Continued on page 3 By Stewart Lytle, Reporter ––––––––––––––––– Larry Paul and Ben Butler’s Toothpick years since first seeing it, Paul has gathered as much information as he can find on the toothpick and its namesake, Ben Butler, a colorful 19th century soldier, businessman, governor, member of Congress and America’s Cup yacht owner. He is working with the You'll "flip" over the digital edition at TheTownCommon.com Don’t let joint pain bring you to your knees. Anna Jaques Hospital NOW OFFERS MAKO for TOTAL KNEE, Partial Knee and Hip Replacements. FIND A SURGEON TODAY! www.ajh.org/orthopedics REGIONAL – Whether you know it by its original name, the Black Rocks Beacon, or by the U.S. Coast Guard’s name, Day Beacon No. 10, or by its colorful nickname, Ben Butler’s Toothpick, the 25-foot wooden pyramid has been guiding boats and ships to safety in the treacherous Merrimack River for almost a century and a half. Standing 25 feet high on top of a stone pedestal at the edge of the Salisbury State Reservation, the beacon has been decommissioned by the Coast Guard. It was never lighted, meaning it was only useful in sunlight. But it still serves as a navigational marker for boaters and harbormasters. And if Salisbury has an icon, the toothpick might be it. At least, it is such a part of the town’s history that a photo of it graces the town’s official website. For those who are not regulars on the river, “Most people don’t know it is here,” said local amateur historian Larry Paul. Paul said Butler’s original plan was to build a second similar beacon on the Newburyport side of the river so boats could carry cargo between the two banks of the Merrimack. The toothpick has been left in place by the Coast Guard, which still owns it. But the years of wind and salt spray are taking their toll. The red paint on the wooden slats is fading and the wood is probably rotting. Paul, who lives in Amesbury, has taken a keen interest in the toothpick since he saw it on an ecology tour of the river. In the POSTAL CUSTOMER Photo by Stewart Lytle Salisbury Historical Commission to find some organization to take responsibility for maintaining and possibly restoring the toothpick. Commission Chairman Paul Turner and Larry Paul are planning to meet with Salisbury Town Manager Neil Harrington Continued on page 2 AJH_MAKO_BW_5.04x2_04.18.indd 1 4/4/18 1:54 PM

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