Elephants on the Beach? Check out this 1950s photo and help restore Cressy Beach on Tuesday, April 2 @ City Hall

When the circus came to town in the 1950s, their elephants bathed at Cressy Beach (click photo to enlarge)

Bob Ryan, President and General Manager of CATOC (Cape Ann Transportation Operating Company) has applied to the Community Preservation Committee for funding to restore Cressy Beach to the way it was when this photo was taken.  As you can see by this photo, Cressy Beach was once a sandy beach, on which parents sunbathed while their children chased elephants.  Bob says it can be a sandy beach again and he’s done his homework.  In a nutshell, here’s what he says about the project,

The project involves the Gloucester Conservation Commission, Mass DEP, the Army Corps of Engineers and Endangered Wildlife and Species Agency. In addition, the “Beach Nourishment” project includes site preparation, topographical survey, engineering plans and bringing in 3,500 tons of sand to cover the beach above the “mean high water area.”

Letters of support are pouring in for this project, including one from Janeil C. Rey, PhD, who also sent this photo.  So if you’d like to see Cressy Beach full of sun-bathers, come to City Hall next Tuesday, April 2 and support this project.

PLEASE NOTE: There’s no guarantee you’ll be able to chase elephants into the water once the beach is restored.

8 thoughts on “Elephants on the Beach? Check out this 1950s photo and help restore Cressy Beach on Tuesday, April 2 @ City Hall

  1. Yes, that beach was lovely when I was a kid. As I remember, the city used to bulldoze the rocks once in awhile towards the end after tuff winter surf. I think the same thing is starting at Pavillion Beach these days. More & more rocks each year.


    1. I say bring back the elephants. What more fun can a kid have than chasing elephants down the beach? Heck, I’d join in on that!


  2. So is there any way to do some restoration at Good Harbor Beach after the damage from this year’s storms?

    It seemed to sort of restored itself very slowly, partway, after bad storms in past decades, but as someone on this site pointed out the other day, the high tide is now at the further cut back dunes.

    Has work been done in the past that I’m not aware of? I don’t think it needs new sand, it needs some of the sand that was flattened out to be pushed back up. Would a highway grader help?


  3. We used to plant beach grass on the dunes at Good Harbor and at Wingaersheek to help hold the sand in place. I do not know what has happened to that effort which used to take place every spring. Our conservation agent used to run the show and everyone from the shellfish warden to school kids helped.
    I believe a stone wall was erected behind Cressy beach which increases the scouring effect of waves in front of the wall during storm surges with superimposed swell breaking.
    The storms are getting more frequent and more violent, and I am not entirely confident that our old solutions would still work, but we are not even trying. I think just dumping more sand on a beach is a pretty temporary and expensive solution, but what do I know?


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