Thursday, August 25, 2022

Essex County, then and now

TL;DR -- Little Essex gives unending reason for research. It was used for the purpose of discussing the gerry-mander phenomenon. This post looks at views of the county in terms of maps of its internal boundaries. There was a lot of shuffling in place, with lots of the changes happening early. We will be looking at that further. 


We have had a few posts about the subject, Essex County; two of the posts mentioned the Essex National Heritage Area. The latter has been sponsoring events related to the upcoming 400th, such as a photography contest which resulted in tremendous photos of the little county that nestles in the northeast part of Massachusetts. 

Expect that we will always include Essex County in our work as Thomas and Margaret started their American lives in Gloucester which celebrates its 400th next  year. So, there will no ending to tales of the county even when we look at the western part of the U.S. in all of its grandeur. Our work has shown us the long reach of Essex County, Massachusetts, and New England. 

Of late, we relooked, in a post, at the Gerrymanding theme which comes and goes from time to time, usually around election events. We had seen the graphic before and enjoyed knowing more about the subject. 

Today's theme is just that. Let's look at a graphic from FB. 

 For more detail on the map, see the FB images: then (1692) and now. When we were first researching the topic of Thomas Gardner (Salem Planter), we noted that the cities/towns of Essex County cover the whole thing. Out west? Many places have huge counties with cities/town sparsely around and about. So, one finds many lonely places (long roads to nowhere, some say). But, even back east, one can find the unpopulated areas. 

Back in the day, people went to the wilderness to pioneer. We have lots of examples of that, as western movement was there from the beginning: let's look at Virginia. Up north, we had Ipswich Canada fairly early. BTW, the theme of America's Lost Generation will be considered more thoroughly. It's related to the frontier and is seriously misunderstood. 

Now, back to Essex county. Notice how almost all of the larger areas were split. Salem grew into Peabody, Danvers, and Middleton. Lynn split into three. Ipswich, Andover, and Newbury were trimmed. Only Gloucester remained somewhat intact, though it lost Rockport. 

Salem suffered more loss in this sense? Not really, as the place still shines in the American imagination. Too, That was the 2nd place for Thomas and Margaret. So, many more things to look at and consider are there, awaiting attention. 

Some of the changes happened early enough that the resulting entity can celebrate their 400th no long after others. Some changes were done much later. Lots to look at.  

Remarks: Modified: 08/27/2022

08/26/2022 -- We need to mention the 400ths that are coming up, some of these have already started, such as Weymouth (Norfolk County) this year as the first one post Plymouth's celebration. Gloucester's starts in January of 2023. 

08/27/2022 -- Put link to the Lost Generation post related to the frontier. 


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