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North Shore Neighborhoods

We get the scoop on what makes some of our favorite neighborhoods such a fantastic place to live.

Haverhill’s Rocks Village

Hidden Gem “This is Haverhill?” That’s a common refrain in the pretty, tight-knit, historic enclave of Rocks Village in East Haverhill, perched along a tree-lined edge of the Merrimack River just across the water from West Newbury. When outsiders think of Haverhill, their imaginations often don’t venture beyond its very urban downtown, but Haverhill’s nearly 36 square miles is hugely diverse, filled with rolling farmland, river-view estates, downtown lofts near the commuter rail and new UMass Lowell campus, and hidden-gem neighborhoods like Ward Hill and Ayers Village. “Haverhill I know to be a very hot market,” says Chris Bernier, principal broker and owner of Churchill Properties. “If you’re looking for the value place, it’s probably Haverhill.”“I think Haverhill is overlooked in general,” says Lydia Harris, who’s lived in Rocks Village for more than 20 years and conducts walking tours of the village—a designated National Historic District—in partnership with the heritage organization Historic New England. Harris and longtime neighbor Cindy Dauksewicz both love Rocks Village, not just for its history (John Greenleaf Whittier used to host poetry readings at the historic Hand Tub House) and the picturesque beauty of its quaint gardens and 18th- and 19th-century homes, but also for the closeness of the residents and the pride they take in their village. They raise money for preservation efforts and host annual community events, like a progressive New Year’s Eve dinner, a fall cleanup and feast, and a Memorial  Day potluck brunch at the Hand Tub House that is now a community building. You’re also likely to find neighbors just visiting with each other on beautiful summer evenings, sipping glasses of wine on their river docks and catching up. “I guess it’s a good little secret down here at the end,” Dauksewicz says. Photos by Doug Levy
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