Back at the turn of the last century (i.e., 1900), the coming of railroad lines to Winthrop, designed originally to bring summer visitors to our town (which at that time was one of the principal summer season destinations north of Boston), fueled the growth and development of Winthrop to such an extent that it became one of the fastest growing municipalities in Metropolitan Boston for the next 20 years.
Although today there is barely a square foot of open space in our town, what does matter is property values. The ceremony held last Friday at the Town Landing for the groundbreaking of the new ferry terminal building and the ceremonial start of ferry service in the town for the new season can be heralded as the start of a new era in Winthrop which likewise could change the face of our community much as the railroads did more than 100 years ago.
With the commuter ferry making the trip to Boston both quick and pleasant, it is only a matter of time before this enhancement will attract those who work in downtown Boston to view our town as a highly desirable place to live. Moreover, the ferry terminal project is only the start of the numerous possibilities that exist to make that area of town welcoming to both Winthrop residents and tourists. Is it unrealistic to believe that with additional federal funding and the support and leadership of the Winthrop Chamber of Commerce and its executive director Eric Gaynor, Winthrop can become a destination spot for tourists visiting Boston and area residents?
Our town manager, James McKenna, has outlined the possibilities that exist for the Shirley Street area and other locations near the Town Landing. McKenna has visited Rockport numerous times and understands what the future of Winthrop can be, but it’s going to take time, energy, creativity, and initiative to get Winthrop to the mantle of greatness that McKenna believes is possible.