Local History on Display Free During Final Weekend of Essex National Heritage’s Trails and Sails

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Local history is in the air during this final weekend of Essex National Heritage Area’s 20th annual Trails and Sails.

This morning, local historian Thomas Spitalere is giving a tour of the historic 1698 Duston Garrison House at 655 Hilldale Ave., Haverhill. It belonged to the family of Haverhill’s own Hannah Duston.

This afternoon, Spitalere joins Joe Bella for a stroll through Haverhill’s Civil War history. Their walking tour focuses on some Civil War soldiers and the important battles they fought to preserve the Union. They suggest participants wear comfortable shoes.

Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill, offers its self-guided Freeman Memorial Trail Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. It is a half mile loop through fields and woods at the Whittier Birthplace. A printed or digital trail guide offers selections of John Greenleaf Whittier’s poetry and from biographies written about him at each of the 13 stops to help visitors experience the property as the poet did when he lived here. Grounds are uneven and insect repellent is suggested.

The Birthplace itself is also open for tours until 4 p.m., today; Saturday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Sunday, from 1-4 p.m. The tour starts at the blacksmith’s shed for an informational video, followed by a guided tour of the 1688 Whittier homestead and its 68 acres of farmland and woods.

Buttonwoods Museum is offering free walking tours of two historic sites. On Saturday, from noon-1:30 p.m., there is a tour of Bradford Burial Ground, a 1.5-acre cemetery established in 1665 on land given by John Heseltine to the then Town of Bradford. On Sunday, from 3-4 p.m., Buttonwoods offers a guided walking tour of Linwood Cemetery that includes the gravesites of 13 historic Haverhill notables. Addresses will be provided upon registration by emailing [email protected] or calling 978-374-4626.

There’s more information and a schedule of Trails and Sails events at trailsandsails.org.

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