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Museum of Old Newbury Hosts Student Symposium on Local History

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April 21, 2017
Newburyport, MA – April 20, 2017: On Thursday, May 4, the Museum of Old Newbury will welcome three young historians from The Governor’s Academy to present fascinating research projects on topics in local history.  High school seniors Shea Kelly, Jack Norton, and Lia Swiniarski examined both original sources and scholars’ works in developing these projects for their Advanced Placement U.S. History class. 

The students will present their findings at a free public program taking place at the Museum of Old Newbury, located at 98 High Street.   A reception will be held at 6:30 p.m., and the students will begin their presentations at 7:00.

Shea Kelly’s project “The Legend of the Goodrich Massacre” explores a 17th century Indian raid that took place in Georgetown.  Four family members were killed in the raid, and a fifth was taken captive and later ransomed.  But legend tells of a daughter taken captive and unredeemed, a story never before examined until now.  Shea Kelly is a Byfield native and enjoys psychology and neuroscience as well as yoga and community service. A roadside marker drew her interest to this history.
Jack Norton’s project, “Honorable and Glorious: The Birthplace of America’s Navy,” took him to the National Archives, where he was assisted by the Archivist of the U. S.  Norton’s project seeks to definitively ascertain the birthplace of the U.S. Navy, an honor claimed by six different places: Skenesborough (now Whitehall), NY; Machias, ME; Providence, RI; Philadelphia, PA; Beverly, MA; and Marblehead, MA.  Jack Norton, a native of Beverly, enjoys the outdoors, ceramics, acting, and singing.
Lia Swiniarski, a lifelong resident of Byfield, enjoys history and the humanities as well as photography and community service.  Research for her project “Freemasonry’s Influence on the Values and Principles of America’s Government,” included archival materials at the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts in Boston.  Swiniarski’s project examines the influence of a small number of Freemasons on the framing and ratification of the Constitution of the United States, which embodies Freemasonry’s core principles of the brotherhood and equality of all men, as well as Masonic concepts of religious toleration, representative democracy, and federalism.
To make a reservation (recommended due to limited seating) for the Student Symposium on Local History or for more information, contact the Museum of Old Newbury at 978-462-2681 or email  This program is sponsored in part by the Institution for Savings.

Assistant Director
Museum of Old Newbury
98 High Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Emily Shafer, Assistant Director, (978) 462-2681