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.
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!