Saturday, October 25, 2014

Keeping Haverhill On The Map

Not that we thought Haverhill, Massachusetts - where John lived between 1970 and his death in 1991 - had fallen off the map, this article from the Haverhill Gazette gives a bit of history on how the town was once home to shoemakers (and/or cordwainers) and how things went downhill. But with the help of people such as Tom Bergeron, Andre Dubus III, and Erin Erler the city is keeping itself in the public eye.

For generations, Haverhill was on the map.

As a shoe-making giant, the city earned a reputation internationally as a supplier of quality women's footwear. It was an industry that allowed families to make a living for decades. It also made the city a recognizable name when it came to talk about the economy of the nation and the world.

But when the shoe industry died out here, so too did the city's reputation. The local economy suffered and the downtown became a ghost town of old, vacant factories.

It was time for Haverhill to reinvent itself.

And the community did, slowly but surely. A variety of new businesses emerged. Business parks sprung up and grew. And the downtown finally came back to life with hundreds of new apartments and condos moving into the vacant factories. Restaurants, lounges and shops also moved in.

Haverhill was back on the map as a vibrant place.

But there are other ways to further the city's reputation. Much of that comes down to its people.

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