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November First Friday 2019

November 1, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Members of the Custom House Maritime Museum are cordially invited to our First Friday Social on November 1, 2019 at 6:00pm featuring Skip and Marge Motes.

William Bartlet: A Maritime Merchant and His Georgian Mansion

William Bartlet was descended from four generations of cordwainers, and educated in the common schools of Newbury. Raised in a strict Calvinist household, William endured apprenticeship under his father until 1760, finishing at the age of nearly 22. William sold small articles and apples from his shoe store earning enough to engage in a trading voyage, and then to buy a ship. By 1794, he was the wealthiest citizen in Newburyport, with a fleet of eleven ships trading in the both the West Indies, and in Europe.

Local researchers Skip and Marge Motes will present the story of William Bartlet’s rise as Newburyport’s most successful federal period merchant, and a history of his Federal Street Georgian mansion. According to Newburyport historian John J. Currier, William Bartlet built his Federal Street Georgian mansion in 1798. Here, the Motes will seek to demonstrate that Mr. Currier’s account of Bartlet’s rise, and the 1798 date of his house are incorrect. They will also provide a history of the mansion as a property of the Catholic French Church (la Pariosse de Saint Louis Gonzague), from 1902-2002.

About the presenters

Skip and Marge Motes have been researching, writing, and lecturing on Newburyport’s maritime and industrial history since moving to Newburyport in 1995. The Motes are special project volunteers with the Newburyport Public Library Archival Center where they completed, among other projects, an inventory of 15,000 items in the Center’s archives. Their book, Laurens & Newberry Counties, S.C.: Saluda and Little River Settlements, 1749-1775, won the National Genealogical Society prize for methods and sources. They recently published Harbor Range Lights: Newburyport Massachusetts, and their book, William Bartlet, Esq.: A Man of Iron Frame and Iron Nerves is forthcoming.

Skip has given lectures for the Newburyport Preservation Trust, Newburyport Literary Festival, the Custom House Maritime Museum, the Museum of Old Newbury, and the Newburyport Public Library History series.

Marge answered queries for fourteen years for the Museum of Old Newbury, and has published four books on Newburyport History. She loves research and answering the unknown. Marge’s newest book is, Memories of Newburyport by Henry Bailey Little (1851-1957).

Skip and Marge received an achievement award for historical research and writing from the Newburyport Preservation Trust and a Distinguished Service Award from the Mayor of Newburyport accompanied by proclamations from the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate.

Come and enjoy a sampling of wines— along with fine craft beers from Newburyport Brewery — the official beer of the Custom House Maritime Museum!  Refreshments will be served.

Please, remember to bring your membership card with you!

Whether you are a new, recent or longtime area resident, if you’d like to learn more about the Custom House Maritime Museum and experience a Newburyport Maritime Society First Friday Social — please contact the Museum in advance at 978-462-8681


November 1, 2019
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:
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