originally part of the land grant which created "Merrimack Plantation" in
1638, later to be called Salisbury. At that time, the township of Salisbury
included all of what is today Salisbury, Amesbury, Merrimac and a half-dozen
southern New Hampshire border towns. In 1668, the land between the Powow
River and the village of Haverhill was incorporated as the town of Amesbury,
thus separating from the parent town of Salisbury. Again, in 1876, there
was a division when the western half of Amesbury separated and became
the new town of Merrimac.
An important part of
the history of Merrimac, in fact its origin, was centered around the horse carriage
industry which began here about the year 1800 and grew to relatively large proportions
within a few decades. This new industry was the primary factor in creating a
distinct community identity which culminated in a petition to the legislature
for separate township status.
the first quarter century of its existence, the town enjoyed a hey-day
of growth and prosperity based on the repuatlon of producing the highest
quality of horse drawn vehicles. In 1888, for example, there were no less
than nineteen carriage shops in town (at Merrimac center and Merrimacport)
which employed 469 men within a total population of just over two thousand.
Throughout the country, the name of a Merrimac firm on a coach or carriage
was an indisputable hallmark of good design and expert craftsmanship.
after 1900, the carriage business gradually declined and was
replaced, in Merrimac, by the manufacture of custom automobile bodies.
This new industry was carried on by the J.B. Judkins Company, the Walker
Body Company, and the Merrimac Body Company until 1930 when
the custom automobile body business ceased. Subsequently, Merrimac
has become a primarily residential community, although several industries
remain. Reprinted from 1976 Merrimac Historic Trail Guide
by Hoyt & Sweetsir.
Spotlight on Merrimac
Square Miles: 8.86
Tax rate fiscal 2008: $10.79
Government: Town Meeting; Board of Selectmen
How to contact:
Selectmen: Chair, Janet Bruno 978-346-8487
Hospital/Emergency: Anna Jacques Hospital , Newburyport 978-463-1000
Merrimack Valley Hospital , Haverhill 978-374-2000
Superintendent, Pentucket Regional School District 978-363-2280
Pentucket Regional High School 978-363-2957
Pentucket Middle School 978-343-8921
Eleanor Donaghue 978-343-8921
Sweetsir School 978-346-8319
MBTA Commuter Rail Service to Boston with stations in Ipswich , Rowley and Newburyport .
Schedules and Information: (800) 392-6100 or www.mbta.com