Old Newburyport, Mass., a Federalist town

The old Federalist town of Newburyport, Mass., known for its shipbuilding.

The old Federalist town of Newburyport, Mass., known for its shipbuilding.

Once a part of Newbury, Mass., before a split in the town occurred, Newburyport is an old Federalist seaside town known for shipbuilding and two major figures in the creation of Florida’s Alantic Intracoastal Waterway.

The two major figures were Albert Perley Sawyer, an insurance and real estate agent, as well as a venture capitalist, in partnership with George W. Piper.  Other partnership interests were in mining silver and copper, and real estate development along the east coast of Florida.

While the Florida main office of the Florida waterway company was located in St. Augustine, Fla., the northern office was situated in Newburyport in the same offices occupied by Sawyer and Piper. Before Sawyer became interested in the Florida project, in 1881 the State of Florida promised the waterway company 3,840 acres of East Coast Florida land for every mile of

waterway dredged.  In addition, the state promised the firm the right to collect tolls.

By 1912, the canal company had dredged 268 miles of navigable waterway and earned just over one million acres of east coast Florida land.  The elder Sawyer never survived to see the completion of what would be become the Florida portion of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway; his son, Albert Hayden Sawyer, survived to share in the profits from the sale of the state lands earned as well as the profits garnered more from the sale of the old waterway.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s