This year’s Trails & Sails program features a variety of events exploring the area’s rich history.
Trails & Sails, which offers 10 days of free events (Sept 17-26), is organized and coordinated by Essex Heritage, a regional nonprofit group that works to preserve and enhance natural, cultural, and historic resources around Essex County.
Events in Haverhill
Walk the Freeman Memorial Trail, a half mile loop through the fields and woods of John Greenleaf Whittier’s Birthplace at 305 Whittier Road, daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. This is a self-guided tour.
A Bella Building downtown walking tour is Friday, Sept. 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register, call Tom Spitalere at 978-376-2807.
Spiritual Quest Tours of the Hilldale Cemetery are Friday and Saturday, Sept. 17 and 18, and Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24 and 25. Hosted by the Essex County Ghost Project, gates open at 6:30 p.m. and ghost hunts begin at 7 p.m. To register, call Tom Spitalere at 978-376-2807.
The Buttonwoods Museum will host a two hour guided walking tour of historic houses and buildings around and near Bradford Center on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. To register, call 978-374-4626 or email email@example.com.
A virtual program, Haunted Tales from the Garrison House, is Sunday, Sept. 19, from 7 to 8 p.m. Paranormal expert Tom Spitalere will tell haunted tales of old folklore and the paranormal. This event will be live on the Essex County Ghost Project Facebook page.
The Buttonwoods Museum will host a guided walking tour of the 1640 Pentucket Burial Ground on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 3 to 4 p.m. To register, call 978-374-4626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour the historic Duston Garrison House on Hilldale Avenue on Friday, Sept. 24, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. To register, call Tom Spitalere at 978-376-2807.
A Civil War walking tour of the Hilldale Cemetery is Friday, Sept. 24, from 2 to 3 p.m. Tour the graves of some of the 419 local Civil War soldiers. To register, call 978-374-4626 or email email@example.com.
Tour the Whittier Birthplace on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 24 and 25, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday, Sept. 26, from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guided walking tour of the 1665 Bradford Burial Ground is Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon to 1:30 p.m. To register, call 978-374-4626 or email email@example.com.
Guided walking tour of the Linwood Cemetery is Sunday, Sept. 26, from 3 to 4 p.m. To register, call 978-374-4626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Team Haverhill’s River Ruckus is Saturday, Sept. 25, from noon to 8:30 p.m., rain or shine. This free-to-attend annual festival features live music, classic cars, kids zone, local foods, and fireworks over the Merrimack River. Check teamhaverhill.org for event day schedule.
Events in Lawrence
Twilight tour of Bellevue Cemetery is Friday, Sept. 17, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. starting at 100 Reservoir St. Visit 19th century memorials to city founders, philanthropists, Civil War veterans and Pemberton Mill disaster victims. Rain or Shine. For details, call 978-609-3191.
Crime and Urban Legends of Lawrence is Saturday, Sept. 18, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. starting at 200 Common St. Hosted by the Lawrence Civil War Memorial Guard. To register, call 978-609-3191 or email Redtears17@aol.com.
Haunted Happenings in Essex County, a live talk show on Thursday, Sept. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Lawrence Community Access Television’s Studio at 468 Essex St. Host Tom Spitalere will discuss haunted happenings. For details, call 978-686-9030, ext. 103.
Events at Lawrence History Center at 6 Essex St. are on Saturday, Sept. 25, and include:
Blacksmithing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Richard Wright (smithriversmithy.com) will demonstrate the craft of traditional blacksmithing methods, forging both iron and mild steel to create items for practical use.
Out of the Ashes, a Parish Community Rebuilds, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Learn about the history of Corpus Christi Parish at Holy Rosary Church, which suffered a massive four alarm fire on Feb. 22, 2021.
The Influenza of 1918: What does History Teach us about Crisis and Change, from 11:45 to 12:45 p.m. Professor of History at UMass Lowell Robert Forrant, PhD, will explore the history of this region, with mention of the hospital established in Lawrence on Emery Hill (now Tower Hill).
Events in Andover
West Parish Garden Cemetery Tour is Saturday, Sept. 18, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the cemetery, 129 Reservation Road. Walk the historic grounds. Visit the 1909 Romanesque style chapel with original Tiffany stained glass windows. Visit the ponds and pick hydrangeas as a memento. Parts of the tour are wheelchair accessible. No dogs please. Masking and social distancing will be in effect. For details, call 978-475-3902.
Shawsheen Village Walking Tour — East of Route 28, is Sunday, Sept. 19, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. This tour will focus on the area known as “white” Shawsheen because of its uniformly white painted clapboard homes.
Register online at www.andoverhistoryandculture.org/walking-tours.
Close Encounters: Addison LeBoutiller, a virtual event hosted by the Andover Center for History and Culture, is Thursday, Sept. 23, from 7 to 8 p.m. Learn about LeBoutillier (1872–1951), an architect, artist, and jewelry designer. Register online at https://andoverhistoryandculture.org/close-encounters.
Andover Thrives Community Day is Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the lower Shawsheen playground and track at Balmoral and York streets. Features various activities, food booths, performances, a laser light show and more. Bring chairs and blankets.
Events in North Andover
History in the Stones walking tour of the Old Burying Ground on Academy Road across from Court Street is Saturday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to noon. Hosted by the North Andover Historical Society, this tour is limited to 20 people. To register, send email to email@example.com.
Fletcher Steele Garden Tour is Tuesday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon at 660 Great Pond Road. Register online at www.rollingridge.org/event/historic-fletcher-steele-garden-tour-with-lunch-and-art-show-add-on-15281768. Morning tour is free. Lunch and afternoon art tour have a fee.
Creation of the Old Center lecture and tour hosted by the North Andover Historical Society is Thursday, Sept. 23, from noon to 1:15 p.m., at 153 Academy Road. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A complete guide to Trails & Sails events is available at trailsandsails.org.