Place:Marblehead, Essex, Massachusetts, United States

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NameMarblehead
Alt namesMarble Harborsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS25007695
TypeTown
Coordinates42.497°N 70.863°W
Located inEssex, Massachusetts, United States
Contained Places
Cemetery
Old Burial Hill Cemetery ( 1649 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Marblehead is a coastal New England town in Essex County, Massachusetts. Its population was 19,808 at the 2010 census.

It is home to the Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Crocker Park, Marblehead Light, Fort Sewall, Little Harbor and Devereux Beach. Archibald Willard's famous painting The Spirit of '76 currently resides in Abbot Hall.

A town with roots in commercial fishing, whaling and yachting, Marblehead was a major shipyard and is often referred to as the birthplace of the American Navy, a title sometimes disputed with nearby Beverly. It is also the origin of Marine Corps Aviation. Three US Navy ships have been named USS Marblehead. A center of recreational boating, it is a popular sailing, kayaking and fishing destination. Several yacht clubs were established here in the late 19th century, which continue to be centers of sailing. One of the yacht clubs is called the Corinthian Yacht Club.

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Marblehead's first European settler was Joseph Doliber in 1629, who set up on the shore near what is now the end of Bradlee Road. Three years earlier, Isaac Allerton, a Pilgrim from the Mayflower, had arrived in the area and established a fishing village at mid-Marblehead Harbor on the town side, across from Marblehead Neck. This area was set off and incorporated separately in 1649.

Originally called Massebequash after the river which ran between it and Salem, the land was inhabited by the Naumkeag tribe of the Pawtucket confederation under the overall sachem Nanepashemet. But epidemics in 1615–1619 and 1633, believed to be smallpox, devastated the tribe. On September 16, 1684, heirs of Nanepashemet sold their ; the deed is preserved today at Abbot Hall in the city.

At times called "Marvell Head", "Marble Harbour" (by Captain John Smith) and "Foy" (by immigrants from Fowey, Cornwall), the town would be named "Marblehead" by settlers who mistook its granite ledges for marble. It began as a fishing village with narrow crooked streets, and developed inland from the harbor. The shoreline smelled of drying fish, typically cod. These were exported abroad and to Salem.

The town peaked economically just before the American Revolution, as locally financed privateering vessels sought bounty from large European ships. Much early architecture survives from the era, including the Jeremiah Lee Mansion.

A large percentage of residents became involved early in the Revolutionary War, and the sailors of Marblehead are generally recognized by scholars as forerunners of the United States Navy. The first vessel commissioned for the navy, Hannah, was equipped with cannons, rope, provision (including the indigenous molasses/sea water cookie known as "Joe Frogger" )—and a crew from Marblehead. With their nautical backgrounds, soldiers from Marblehead under General John Glover were instrumental in the escape of the Continental Army after the Battle of Long Island. Marblehead men ferried George Washington across the Delaware River for his attack on Trenton. Many who set out for war, however, did not return, leaving the town with 459 widows and 865 orphaned children in a population of less than 5,000.

The community lost a substantial portion of its population and economy, although it was still the tenth-largest inhabited location in the United States at the first census, in 1790.

When George Washington visited the town during his presidential tour of 1789, he knew the sailors of Marblehead well; they had served him honorably in the war. He observed that the town "had the appearance of antiquity."

At the beginning of the 19th century, wealthier citizens wanted a new bank to finance vessels, and to serve the town's fishermen and merchants. On March 17, 1831, with a capital of $100,000, they founded the Grand Bank. The name was changed to National Grand Bank on October 3, 1864.

After the Revolution, fishing continued as a major industry. The town's fishermen had 98 vessels (95 of which exceeded 50 tons) putting to sea in 1837, where they often harvested fish off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. However, a gale or hurricane in that area on September 19, 1846, sank 11 vessels and damaged others. With 65 men and boys lost in the storm, the town's fishing industry began a decline. The storm is depicted in Fireboard: The Great Gale of 1846, c. 1850 by William Thompson Bartoll. A copy of the book is held by the Peabody Essex Museum.

During the late 19th century, Marblehead had a short-term industrial boom from shoe-making factories. At the same time, the exceptional harbor attracted yachting by wealthy boat owners, and some yacht clubs established centers there. It would become home to the Boston Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club, Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead Yacht Club, Dolphin Yacht Club, and the oldest junior yacht club in America, the Pleon Yacht Club.

After World War II, the town enjoyed a population boom, developing as a bedroom community for nearby Boston, Lynn, and Salem. This boom ended around 1970, when the town became built out.

Marblehead town officials recently banned fishing off all public piers due to overcrowding. This ban was lifted after town officials approved regulations aimed at preventing the problem.

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