Local Historian Spitalere Previews Haverhill’s Free ‘Trails & Sails’ Fall Events

Haverhill's Hilldale Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Essex Heritage.

Haverhill’s Hilldale Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Essex Heritage.

The Essex National Heritage Area’s annual “Trails & Sails” weekend events are set for September 21-23 and 28-30, with nine of the 150 free events taking place right here in Haverhill.

On the September 10 “Open Mic Show,” local historian Tom Spitalere—who serves as a tour guide for several events—joined hosts Bill Macek and Bill Ellis to preview the walking tours, paranormal experiences and other events on this year’s agenda.

A sampling of Haverhill’s “Trails & Sails” Events include:

A Spiritual Quest Weekend at Hilldale Cemetery: Friday, Sept. 21, Saturday, Sept. 22 and Friday, Sept. 28 from 7-10 p.m. – Representatives from the Essex County Ghost Project are among the experts who will guide locals through one of New England’s most haunted cemeteries.

Bella Building Walk: Friday, Sept. 28 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. – Spitalere hosts a stroll through downtown Haverhill and details the district’s Italian culture and architectural history.

C.W. ‘Tryout’ Smith Commemoration and Headstone Dedication: Saturday, Sept. 22 from 1-6:45 p.m. – 97.9 WHAV FM hosts the unveiling of a Hilldale Cemetery headstone for the local celebrity and amateur journalism pioneer. The graveside dedication takes place at Hilldale, with a reception and exhibits planned at Buttonwoods Museum.

Civil War Walk at Hilldale Cemetery: Friday, Sept. 21 from 2:30-3:30 p.m. – The Hilldale Cemetery Board of Trustees join local historian Joe Bella for a walking tour that commemorates Haverhill’s Civil War history, paying tribute to the 419 local soldiers buried there.

For more information on local events and to sign up, visit TrailsAndSails.org.