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The Mighty Merrimack

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010 by

This past week, our friend A.A.S. posted this great shot of the Merrimack River. It inspired me to immediately log onto Craigslist and start searching for a cheap boat to ply its waters, which are looking positively benign these days.

The Merrimack River- silent, but deadly

But, if you think the Merrimack looks compellingly placid, and you’re tempted to dip a toe in, don’t be fooled. “The place of strong current” is no misnomer- this waterway is wild and dangerous- a force to be reckoned with. Its 110 miles of twists and turns inevitably swallow  person or two each summer (pretty Merriwhack, if you ask me, River) and its waters are not immune to a few jabs at the expense of its cleanliness.

Merrimack Street panorama- Photo by A.A.S. on Flickr

But while some of us (particularly those who remember the Great Poo Flood of ’06) might be a bit hesitant to throw on a swimsuit and rush to Bradford’s new sandy beach, none of us can deny the impact the Merrimack has had on our fair city. The water power it provided during the late 1800’s put Haverhill on the map as “Queen Slipper City of the World.”

With the days at their longest and the weather at its most hospitable,  don’t forget to take a moment and sit out on one of the handful of decks jutting out towards the river, behind Washington St.  Sip your beer and enjoy not only the view, but the sound of the rushing river- a constant whispered reminder of the industrial revolution.

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