September 10, 2019 by Carol Britton Meyer
The first of three harborfront signs depicting some of the rich history of Hingham’s waterfront was installed Monday.
The Hingham DPW has the remaining two signs and will install them soon. This is an opportunity for those who visit Hingham Harbor "to explore Hingham's pertinent history and to provide a generational conversation starter," Bruce MacAloney -- a member of the Harbor Development Committee Hingham Harbor Signage Subcommittee involved with bringing the project to reality -- told the Hingham Anchor. "The idea is to convey what has happened at the harbor since 1635."
The location of the three signs -- depicting the Inner Harbor's former lumber and fishing industries and its 19th-Century steamship wharves -- is along the recently-installed harborwalk that runs from the Rte. 3A end of the grove, along the Bathing Beach, and beyond. Each sign incorporates the town seal.
The signs were funded by a Greenbush Historic Preservation Trust grant awarded to the Harbor Development Committee and the Bathing Beach Trustees, and more will be installed in the future. The purpose of the fund is to preserve and maintain historic assets and streetscapes along the Greenbush commuter rail right-of-way and the surrounding area to enhance downtown Hingham.
“We received another Greenbush grant for the next set of three signs,” MacAloney said. “We are in the process of defining and researching the content of these signs. Our timeline is to install them (at additional locations) in the spring.”
The plan is for a total of between 10 to 15 weather-resistant signs to be installed leading up to Hingham's 400th anniversary in 2035.
Historical Commission/Historic Districts Commission Administrator Andrea Young; Hingham Historical Society Executive Director Deirdre Anderson; Hingham Historical Society Registrar Michael Achille; Project Assistant Resident Geri Duff; volunteers and interns who are in the process of digitizing the John P. Richardson Collection housed at the Hingham Heritage Museum and other paper-based collections in the Hingham Historical Society's archives; and others also played a key role in bringing the first part of a larger planned project to reality. The Engineering Department also provided assistance.
Graphic design for the signs has been provided pro bono by Karl Thompson, Hingham resident and principal/partner/creative director at GrayMatter Agency Inc., Hingham. Research for sign artwork and text was provided pro bono by Eileen McIntyre, Hingham resident, retired corporate communications executive. McIntyre also researched additional information and images for a new webpage about the harbor's history (hingham-ma.gov/HinghamHarbor).