Newburyport is a small city in northeastern Massachusetts of over 17,000 residents. The city is in Essex County and is bordered on the north by Salisbury and Amesbury, on the west by West Newbury and on the south and east by Newbury. Originally settled as part of Newbury in 1634, Newburyport separated as an independent town in 1764 and was incorporated as a city in 1851.
As an early shipping center Newburyport launched hundredss of ships from its shipyards and was a vital port in neutral trade with Europe. Prosperity disappeared after Jefferson's Embargo and "The Great Fire" of 1811. The Great Fire destroyed over 250 buildings and was due to arson. In the mid 19th Century Newburyport became industrialized with the help of Irish immigrants and steam mills. During this era the city was the "Rum Capital of the World."
Newburyport is the birthplace of the United States Coast Guard, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, and shipbuilder Donald McKay, the father of the American Clipper Ship. The first photograph in the US was taken by city native in 1839 and the first suspension bridge in the US was built here.
The city is a model for urban renewal that was started in the 1950's under Mayor Andrew J. Gillis. It now has a varied economy thanks to retail downtown, tourism, and the Lord Timothy Dexter industrial park.