About three hundred years ago in 1638, Simeon Bradstreet, Samuel Dudley and several other prominent citizens laid the plans for "Amesbury, the Beautiful." May 1639 was the first recorded meeting, although it appears that there were undoubtedly many meetings held prior to this time.
About the year 1645, Thomas Macey, George Martin, John Hoyt and others found themselves in the clutches of the law, due to the violation of a town by-law. This by-law forbade the Cutting down of trees and having been convicted, they were fined twenty shillings. Not being able to pay the fines with money, they were ordered to deliver to the constable, pipe-staves, corn, or cattle to the value of twenty shillings.
With the progress of time, this by-law of the community became in-operative like many of the old "blue laws" of the early Colonial periods and large numbers of our beautiful trees were destroyed.
It has become the duty of the Amesbuiy Improvement Association to replace and add to the trees that have been destroyed in past years and this is being done as well as the planting of a town forest. If more interest is not created in these commercial forests the generations to come will be handicapped by an acute shortage of lumber.
In 1886, Doctor Horace G. Leslie, John C. Risteen, John F. Johnson, George W. Catc and others organized the Amesbury Improvement Association, with Dr. H. G. Leslie as its first president. Mr. John F. Johnson and Mr. Cyrus W. Rowell, each served the Association for many years as secretary.
In the year 1905, at its re-organization, Mrs. Emily B. Smith was elected clerk, and has served in this capacity continuously, and through her untiring efforts the Association has accomplished many worthy objects.
AIMS AND OBJECTS
1. To awaken and encourage in the community a sentiment which will act for the common interest.
2. To create and stimulate in the individual a lively legard for the improvement of the community.
3. To secure better hygenic conditions in homes, and their surroundings.
4. To improve streets, sidewalks, and public grounds.
5. To protect natural scenery.
6. To build up and beautify Amesbury so as to increase its attractiveness.
7. To preserve the historical spots and memories of the Merrimac Valley and submit the same to our descendants.
1. "Historical", Amesbury Improvement Association, Its Officers, Objects, and List of Members, 1927, pages 3-4.
Amesbury Improvement Association 1927 Membership