"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, New England Bloggers!

We are one year young!!!

A year ago, Elizabeth from Thoughts From An Evil Overlord, started New England Bloggers. We are a loosely knit group of over 120 bloggers from the six New England states: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. To celebrate, we are having a blog carnival showcasing our own unique area of New England.

I would like to share my hometown of Peabody MA. I have lived here my entire life, so, it is what I know best! A little brag: the April 2009 edition of Forbes magazine ranked Peabody as the 14th most liveable city in the US!

Peabody is a city of almost 50,000 residents located on the North Shore, an area of mostly coastal cities and towns north of Boston. Peabody was settled around 1626 and was once part of Salem, famous (or infamous) at that time for the Salem witch hysteria. In 1752, the area was incorporated as part of the town of Danvers. Then, in 1855, the community broke away from Danvers to become South Danvers. Finally, in 1868, the name was changed to Peabody, after noted philanthropist George Peabody, and was incorporated as a city in 1916.

George Peabody's home, near central Peabody. Today it is a museum.

For much of the 20th century, Peabody was known the world over for it's leather tanneries. My grandfathers worked in the leather industry, though I was too young to remember any of it. To this day, Peabody retains the nickname The Leather City. In fact, our high school's sports teams are known as the Peabody Tanners. The tanneries have since closed but many of these historic buildings remain throughout the city, though sadly most are in a state of disrepair. The loss of the leather industry was certainly a blow to the economy in Peabody, but the latter half of the 20th century saw economic development in technology and retail. Peabody is located along Rt. 128, Technology Highway. Peabody is also home to Northshore Mall, one of the region's largest malls and home to many high-end retailers.

As I mentioned, I have lived in Peabody my whole life. It is all I know. Though I have traveled quite a bit, this is home. There is lots I like about Peabody, and some I don't, but isn't that the case with most people's hometowns? Peabody hasn't changed a whole lot in my lifetime, and yet it has. Still, there is a comfort in the familiar. My whole family is here. My grandparents and parents went through the same school system my brother and I went through. My family has attended the same church for decades. We have shopped in many of the same stores and eaten in many of the same restaurants. It is just...home.

Apple orchards at Brooksby Farm.

One of my most favorite places in Peabody is Brooksby Farm, which has been well documented on this blog! Brooksby Farm is a working farm and orchard owned and operated by the city. I can't get enough of this place! Though it is located just beyond a residential neighborhood and less than a 1/2 mile from Northshore Mall and the highway, once you get to the farm you feel like you are way out in the country. It is so peaceful up there. And it is just beautiful, especially during autumn, which is my favorite time of year anyway. My favorite fall craft fair takes place here in the barn every October. During the fall especially I am there at least once a week taking pictures, or getting apples and pumpkins, or just walking around with my dog. In the spring and summer I can bring my nephew there to feed the animals. Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without an apple pie from Brooksby. And in December they sell Christmas trees and all kinds of seasonal delights.

Brooksby Farm

My husbands's favorite place in Peabody is The Meadow at Peabody, an 18-hole regulation length public golf course!

Peabody is also convenient for what we do. It is near all major highways in this area. We can get to Boston in less than 15 minutes. We can be in New Hampshire and Maine in less than an hour. I can be at any number of beaches within minutes, and in the mountains in less than two hours. It has all the amenities and conveniences of a large city with the relative peacefulness of a small suburb.

What don't I like about Peabody? It has become kind of expensive to live here. It is getting a bit crowded. And parts of the city are in major need of a facelift. But, again, these few things are probably pretty common to a lot of cities and towns.

All in all, this is home. And though you never know what the future may hold, I will probably be here for a long, long time to come, if not the rest of my life. Who knows?! But even if I somehow, sometime end up no longer living in Peabody it would be VERY hard for me to imagine not living somewhere in New England. I am a New England girl through and through!


Melissa Miller said...

~WOW! Kristen your New England town is scenic and really beautiful! Sigh....I just love it!

Thank you for showing us. I enjoyed the tour.

Have a wonderful day my friend.
~Warmly, ~Melissa :)

What A Card said...

Oh, I love Peabody! And though I used to live fairly close by, I never heard of Brooksby Farm. I love apple picking...I might just make a trek back that way this fall!

Thanks for stopping by my blog...I'm having fun meeting other NE bloggers!

Diane said...

Hi Kristen...Love checking out all the posts of my fellow New England Bloggers. I'm familiar with Peabody as I use to be responsible for a nursing home in Peabody (actually all over MA) in the mid-late 90's.

Miss Tinky said...

Hi, Kristen--I visited Peabody MANY years ago to have lunch with a college friend, but I didn't know much about the town. Thanks for giving us all a hometown tour!


Terri and Bob said...

I loved this post! You have mentioned some of the very reasons why it might be more expensive to live there...close to just about everything!! I loved my visit to New England a few years ago. My photo of Bob and I that I use to identify my blog is from that trip!

Mardell said...

Wow Kristen ~ thanks for the lovely tour of your beautiful town. So rich in history. Did Kevin grow up in Peabody as well? If not, how did he end up there? Just curious. I've lived in Pavilion pretty much my entire life too. Moved away for a few yrs., but found myself right back here. It's my roots I guess.
Great post!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I'm a New England girl through and through too! Strange, since I was born and raised in California, but New England is home!

Loved your tour through Peabody. I have been there several times since my ancestor, who was accused of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials, lived in Peabody! It wasn't Peabody at the time, but now it is.

Nicolasa said...

I am a fellow New Englander and have to do my post, as the internet was not my friend last night! Great post!

kittiesx3 said...

Wow, I am a little jealous--to have lived in one town for your whole life sounds like a lot of stability! Shoot even since moving to Boston 18 months ago, I've lived in three places (although this last place wasn't by choice).

Mass Hole Mommy said...

I don't get "up north" too often to be honest. The only time I was in Peabody was about 3 years ago to fight a surcharge on my car insurance (which I won btw) and I remember driving around in circles in the center. LMAO!

Elizabeth said...

Wonderful tribute to your hometown, Kristen! I have been to Peabody once or twice, my college roommate was from Danvers.

Sandy said...

Good job, fellow New Englander!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to New England Bloggers! I've always wanted to visit and I hope I do get the chance one day soon.

Leann said...

What a great history lesson. I love that you and your family have lived there forever. It gives such a sense of history, and it sounds lovely.

Have a great rest of the week!

Mattenylou said...

Thanks for the tour of your hometown...nice! I still live in the same town I grew up in, too. It's nice to meet all the New England bloggers, fun!

Drama queens mum (Kimberly) said...

I miss Peabody. I use to live right near Peabody Square. We use to walk there. We need to get to PF Changs. Never been there & I think that's the closest 1 to us.