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Townleys Retiring After Over 40 Years as Caretakers of Endicott Park

Dave and Joan Townley have lived at the park for the entire time they've worked there and been instrumental in turning it into a landmark on the North Shore.

Joan Townley and her husband Dave have been the caretakers at Endicott Park since it opened to the public. Joan has been wildlife biologist and interpreter for many years. Credit: Courtesy
Joan Townley and her husband Dave have been the caretakers at Endicott Park since it opened to the public. Joan has been wildlife biologist and interpreter for many years. Credit: Courtesy
Park rangers Dave and Joan Townley have watched over Endicott Park for more than 40 years, ever since it first opened to the public in 1972.

But as of Jan. 1, the couple is officially off the job -- they're retiring and heading up to their home away from home in New Hampshire. The Townleys lived in an apartment above the Carriage House the entire time they worked at the 165-acre park and raised their family there.

Dave was the park director and chief ranger while Joan eventually became a wildlife biologist and interpreter. The two ran countless educational programs for area residents over the years while serving as caretakers of the grounds and all the animals.

The town purchased the land in 1961 from a private developer and opened it as a park about 10 years later.

The Salem News recently caught up with the Townleys to talk about their four-plus decades turning the property into a North Shore landmark. You can read that interview here.

The Danvers Recreation Department and Danvers Kiwanis is planning a party to celebrate the Townleys later this month and is inviting anyone who's enjoyed Endicott Park over the years.

A formal lifetime achievement award will also be presented to the Townleys that evening and proceeds from the event will establish a scholarship fund in their honor for Danvers students pursuing college degrees in park management.

The dinner will be held Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Danversport Yacht Club. Tickets are $40. Register by Jan. 17 at either the Recreation office at Town Hall or at Hartnett's Auto Body at 15 Water St.

You can find more details on the dinner on the Danvers Recreation website.

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