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Merrimac was originally part of the land grant which created "Merrimack Plantation" in 1638, later to be called Salisbury. At that time, the township of Salisbury included all of what is today Salisbury, Amesbury, Merrimac and a half-dozen southern New Hampshire border towns. In 1668, the land between the Powow River and the village of Haverhill was incorporated as the town of Amesbury, thus separating from the parent town of Salisbury. Again, in 1876, there was a division when the western half of Amesbury separated and became the new town of Merrimac.


An important part of the history of Merrimac, in fact its origin, was centered around the horse carriage industry which began here about the year 1800 and grew to relatively large proportions within a few decades. This new industry was the primary factor in creating a distinct community identity which culminated in a petition to the legislature for separate township status.




During the first quarter century of its existence, the town enjoyed a hey-day of growth and prosperity based on the repuatlon of producing the highest quality of horse drawn vehicles. In 1888, for example, there were no less than nineteen carriage shops in town (at Merrimac center and Merrimacport) which employed 469 men within a total population of just over two thousand. Throughout the country, the name of a Merrimac firm on a coach or carriage was an indisputable hallmark of good design and expert craftsmanship.



Soon after 1900, the carriage business gradually declined and was replaced, in Merrimac, by the manufacture of custom automobile bodies. This new industry was carried on by the J.B. Judkins Company, the Walker Body Company, and the Merrimac Body Company until 1930 when the custom automobile body business ceased. Subsequently, Merrimac has become a primarily residential community, although several industries remain. Reprinted from 1976 Merrimac Historic Trail Guide by Hoyt & Sweetsir.



Spotlight on Merrimac

Population: 6,200

Square Miles: 8.86

Tax rate fiscal 2008: $10.79

Government: Town Meeting; Board of Selectmen

How to contact:

Selectmen: Chair, Janet Bruno 978-346-8487

Hospital/Emergency: Anna Jacques Hospital , Newburyport 978-463-1000

Merrimack Valley Hospital , Haverhill 978-374-2000


Superintendent, Pentucket Regional School District 978-363-2280

Pentucket Regional High School 978-363-2957

Pentucket Middle School 978-343-8921

Eleanor Donaghue 978-343-8921

Sweetsir School 978-346-8319

MBTA Commuter Rail Service to Boston with stations in Ipswich , Rowley and Newburyport .

Schedules and Information: (800) 392-6100 or


Stone Ridge Properties   Sonja Shine, REALTOR®
Stone Ridge Properties
One Merrimac St., #2 • Newburyport, MA 01950 Map it
Direct: 978-609-1534 • Phone: 978-463-4322 
Cell: 978-609-1534 • Toll Free: 800-798-0059 
Fax: 978-463-0052

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