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The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce last month formally announced it merged with the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce to become the “Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce,” serving Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester, Essex and now, Ipswich.  It makes sense, then, that the first networking event for the…

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Imagine a theatrical play that explores the nexus between creative genius, the pursuit of money and security. Sounds serious, right? Well, it’s not.  It’s a comedy—a very funny one—playing now at an idyllic outdoor theater, with the seats and stage settled beneath tree canopies on a rustic p…

Perhaps you have noticed the dashed lines that appeared last summer on School Street between Central Street and Lincoln Avenue; they were hard to miss.  They arrived overnight.  Wandering.  Errant.  Totally out of order.  They zigged and zagged somewhere near the center of the road where the…

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Of all the gifts you can give yourself or someone else, it’s the one-of-a-kind, crafted items that offer true, personal impact.  This weekend in Manchester, Festival By The Sea is happening with more than 70 local artisans participating.  But Cape Ann is full of hand-made gems, sold at local…

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Kory Curcuru is back with his history series, Timeline Cape Ann.  This time, he tackles the unique Manchester story of the thespian Booth brothers, specifically Junius Brutus Booth, Jr. and his hotel, The Masconomo House, the 103-room grand (and grandly successful) establishment overlooking Singing Beach, built 12 years after his brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.  The Cricket partners with 1623 Studios for this feature. 

When the newspaper went to press last week, the final list of winners in the Manchester 375th Anniversary Parade had not been complete, so we’re including them here this week for good measure.  After all, a lot of time and effort went into creating this year’s unique and beautiful float designs, and those who worked on them deserve recognition and our thanks for putting on such a great show for the community.

Hammond Castle Museum in Magnolia has a long history of Halloween season (yes, it’s officially now a “season”) events and special programming.  This year brings a bipartite exploration of John Hays Hammond Jr.’s science-fiction stories with a comedic creature feature, a live adaptation of Hammond’s “The Termite Monster” and a correlating temporary exhibit.

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The 1661 Cemetery is literally carpeted in mushrooms these days.  Their mystical stature seems to add to the sheer spookiness of our historic old cemetery, with its dark slate tombstones as Halloween approaches.  One wonders if they are actually growing up out of the old ancient corpses long decomposed in the soil.  Or maybe they are up to some sinister mission decaying the century old trees living there. 

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This week, our features editor Kris McGinn introduces readers to Thaddeus Beal, the Essex artist who started as a white shoe attorney and has ended up an inspiring artist, merging physics with chaos theory and a beautiful order.  Oh yes, and his work is at the MFA and other prestigious artistic homes.

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Frank McClelland is soft spoken.  Listening to him quietly explain how he carefully prepared a dish of local mussels and lobster with perfectly in season cherry tomatoes, how he took the clam wine and the tomato juice and reduced it down until it was rich and essential and gorgeous, then poured it back over the dish — you understand; the chef, who lives in Essex, cares.  Deeply.

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Hen of the Woods is a friendly little name for a very common mushroom in our area and their season is just beginning.  It ranks right up there with other “Poultry of the Woods,” like Turkey Tails, Chicken of the Woods, Hawks Wings and other fowl names. 

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On Friday, September 10, the COA van will take our monthly mystery ride.  The van driver heads for an undisclosed establishment somewhere on the North Shore; it could be ice cream, pastries, sandwiches or all of the above and only the van driver knows! A little hint will be given, so all can be prepared!   Pick-up will begin at 1 p.m. and return will be by 3 p.m.

The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce last month formally announced it merged with the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce to become the “Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce,” serving Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester, Essex and now, Ipswich.  It makes sense, then, that the first networking event for the newly expanded organization was at True North Brewery in Ipswich.

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Program from Essex Heritage’s Annual Trails & Sails inspires residents and visitors to get out and enjoy the hundreds of incredible places that make up the Essex National Heritage Area, with 150 free events over 10 days, this year held from Friday, September 17 through Sunday, September 26.

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Porcini mushrooms are among the most prized mushrooms in the world and they don't just grow in Italy.  They might even grow in your own front yard.

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Weeks ago a gentleman visiting the Essex Shipbuilding Museum inquired about a man by the name of William Luscomb, otherwise known as “Catnip Bill”.  This led Jim Witham, the Curator at the museum, to inquire around town. It seems that Catnip Bill was a well-known and somewhat beloved Essex resident with a rather wonderful story.