‘Whittier’s Barefoot Boy’ Subject of Talk Sunday, June 10

Lisa Greenleaf discusses her book, “Whittier’s Barefoot Boy,” during the 135th annual summer meeting of the Haverhill Whittier Club this Sunday.

The summer traditional meeting is open to members and guests Sunday, June 10, at 2 p.m., at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill.

There will also be a reading of a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. Book signings and refreshments follow the meeting. There is no charge.

Reusch Discusses ‘Nuggets from the Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier’

Whittier Birthplace Curator Augustine “Gus” Reusch will discuss “Nuggets from the Letters of John Greenleaf Whittier” during the 134th Annual Meeting of the Haverhill Whittier Club Sunday, Oct. 29.

Reusch speaks at 2 p.m., at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill.

The public is invited and admission is free. Refreshments will be served following the meeting.


Whittier Club Plans 133rd Summer Meeting

Whittier Birthplace Trustee Jay Cleary discusses the “Re-Creation of the Whittier Trail” when the Haverhill Whittier Club meets for its 133rd Summer Meeting, Sunday, June 11.

In 1965, a system of 15 signs about Haverhill native and abolitionist poet John Greenleaf Whittier were erected at historically significant sites throughout Haverhill. Over the years, the signs disappeared and the “Whittier Trail" was largely forgotten. Cleary is spearheading a project to create new replacement signs to be installed throughout the city and republish a guide book. The Essex National Heritage Commission has awarded the project $2,000.

Retired members of the club’s Board of Control will be honored, including Elinor Cameron and Catherine Latourelle. Cameron, a longtime past president, has served the club 40 years and Latourelle, a former vice president and secretary, the last 12 years.

Whittier Club members and the public meet Sunday, June 11, 2 p.m., at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road. Refreshments will be served after the meeting. There is no charge, but new members and donations are welcome.


‘Murder Among Friends’ new anthology, debuts May 7

A number of local and regional authors will be on hand Sunday afternoon, May 7, at Whittier Birthplace, to sign and sell copies of “Murder Among Friends,” a new anthology of stories inspired by poet John Greenleaf Whittier.

As they did last year with the release of the anthology, “Snowbound with Zombies,” editor David Goudsward and authors donated their works. Contributors include Amesbury’s Edith Maxwell, “Murder in the Summer Kitchen;” Pete Rawlik, “On the Black Ice;” Victoria Weisfeld, “The Flock;” Ken Faig, “The Goodwife and the Bookseller;” David Bernard, “The Death Clock;” Susan Oleksiw, “Miss Larcom Meets the Neighbors;” Kristi Petersen Schoonover, “Cricket in the Wall;” Gregory L. Norris, “Antiques;” Rock Neelly, “Cane Fishing;” Judi Calhoun, “Exposed for Murder;” and D.G. Critchley, “Skeleton on the Ski Lift.”

Those expected to sign books and participate in readings are Goudsward, Norris, Calhoun, Maxwell and Oleksiw. Authors will also sell some of their other titles.

Besides the new works, “Murder Among Friends” includes classic entries from John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Murdered Lady” and “A Mother’s Revenge;” William Cullen Bryant, “The Murdered Traveller;” Lucy Larcom, “The Murderer’s Request;” and Celia Thaxter, “A Memorable Murder.”

All sales proceeds from “Murder Among Friends” benefit Whittier Birthplace of Haverhill.

Authors will assemble between 1 and 3 p.m., Sunday, May 7, at Whittier’s shoe shop, on the grounds of Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill.


‘Snow-Bound Weekend’ takes place Feb. 11 and 12

Snow-Bound Weekend, a dramatic re-creation of John Greenleaf Whittier’s famous poem, “Snow-Bound,” takes place Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11 and 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the poet’s birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill.

The cast includes Augustine J. Reusch Jr. as John Greenleaf Whittier. Watch the snow-bound Quaker family and friends, in full period dress, play the scenes from the famous poem. Enjoy light refreshments, apple cider and coffee as you listen to music and poetry in the warmth of the shoe shop.

Whittier originally conceived Snow-Bound as a means of conveying to his niece, Elizabeth, the challenges of life in early nineteenth century Haverhill. Similarly, visitors to the birthplace during Snow-Bound Weekend will experience the warmth emanating from the poet’s own farmhouse hearth as they savor the scent of apples roasting by the fire,” say organizers of the event.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for children 7 to 17 and free for children under 7.  Parking is not be allowed at the birthplace, but free parking and a shuttle are available at Biggart’s Ice Cream, just off I-495 at Exit 52, Route 110. No reservations are necessary. For more information, call 978-372-8351.

Snow-Bound was first published Feb. 17, 1866.

And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.


Whittier Descendant to Discuss Poet’s Early Genealogy

Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, 2 p.m.

A descendant of Haverhill’s favorite son, John Greenleaf Whittier, addresses the 132nd annual meeting of the Haverhill Whittier Club later this month.

Mandy Whittier Breton presents “The Early Genealogy of John Greenleaf Whittier,” Sunday, Oct. 30, beginning at 2 p.m., at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill.

Whittier Club President Margaret A. Toomey will preside over the annual tradition. Breton is secretary of the club, formed in 1886 to keep alive the life and work of the famous poet.

For more information, email Whittier Club President Margaret Toomey at [email protected] or call (978) 373-3979.


Award-Winning Video to be Shown at Whittier Meeting

Sunday, June 12, 2016, 2 p.m.

Thomas Gradzewicz presents his video, “The Abolitionist Poet: John Greenleaf Whittier,” during the 131st summer meeting of the Haverhill Whittier Club Sunday, June 12.

The documentary recently earned Gradzewicz and his wife, Fran, of Methuen, a second place award from Northeast Region of the Alliance for Community Media. It features interviews with well-known teacher-curator at the Whittier Birthplace, Augustine “Gus” Reusch and former Amesbury Whittier Home Museum President Cynthia Costello.

The presentation, open to the public, takes place Sunday, June 12, 2 p.m., at Whittier Birthplace, 305 Whittier Road, Haverhill. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, email Whittier Club President Margaret Toomey at [email protected] or call (978) 373-3979.

Whittier’s Birthplace—Paintings and Photographs

March 4-April 5, 2014

Whittier’s Birthplace—Paintings and Photographs
by caretaker Mark Reusch

Sponsored by the Northern Essex Community College Art & Design Dept.

March 4-April 5, 2014
Bentley Library—ArtSpace
Northern Essex Community College
100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830

Opening Reception & Artist Talk

Wednesday, March 12, 3-5 p.m.
Artist will be present until 8:30 p.m.

Bentley Library—ArtSpace hours:
Monday-Thursday: 2-9 p.m.
Friday: 2-5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m.-1p.m.
Sunday: Closed

Mark Reusch is a freelance illustrator and instructor at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and has lived in the 326-year old house of famous poet and abolitionist John Greenleaf Whittier as caretaker since 2011. For more information, visit

Artist Statement

With this new body of work focusing on the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace in Haverhill, MA, I am taking advantage of my unique position of being a painter as well as a year-round caretaker of this beautiful and historic landmark. Living in the Whittier family’s 326-year old farmhouse, set on 69 acres of open fields and deep woods, and witnessing the foliage and wildlife throughout the four seasons has been a daily source of inspiration since I moved here in 2011. And as an artist who almost always preferred working from imagination rather than from any kind of observation, these paintings have been a new direction for me.

Living in such an idyllic setting that’s remained largely unchanged for over three centuries has had a pronounced effect on my way of thinking and artistic goals, especially after having lived in the Boston and Providence areas for 20 years. I work primarily from home as a freelance illustrator, and spend time outdoors each day and night, walking the fields and woods with my dogs, observing and appreciating the natural world around me. These new paintings and photographs are a record of what I see each day.