June 19, 2019

Essex Historical Society and Essex Park and Rec. Provide Recreational History

Essex Park and Rec campers on the steps of Grove Street Cemetery

Every summer, Essex Park and Recreation educates and entertains kids attending their Summer Camp. Each week-long session boasts a different theme, allowing campers to explore subjects that pique their interest, and each session features a field trip or special event which relates to the theme.

The “Stars and Stripes” session held the week of Independence Day focused on our nation’s past and featured arts and crafts, relay races and other activities related the celebration of our independence.

The field trip treated campers to history a little closer to home: Susan Malan of the Essex Historical Society and Willi Harreys of Essex Park and Rec. led the 27 campers on the ‘Essex Only Freedom Trail,’ immersing them in the tales of times past. Malan guided the group down Prospect Street and used the current landscape to both tell the stories of buildings still standing and illuminate what major changes have occurred. The last stop on the tour – Grove Street Cemetery – provided the campers with a prime example of historical preservation. Meticulously restored in 1996, the cemetery continues to be maintained by the River View Cemetery, Inc. After their stroll into the past and back, the young history buffs picnicked at the nearby Grove Street Park and were left to ponder the past of Essex that Park and Rec Summer Camp exposed them to.

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