Monthly Archives: October 2017
Katie Schroeder is the owner and main yoga instructor at North Shore Restorative Yoga. She has taught yoga for over a decade at many of the wonderful studios on the North Shore and holds masters degrees in conflict resolution and psychology. Her dream and passion is to create a space where the community can find health and well-being through traditional flow yoga, restorative yoga, mindfulness, meditation and other healing arts that connect us deeper to self-love, balance and true connection to everyone in our life.
Katie considers herself a gypsy soul after a childhood of moving every couple years all over the US and abroad due to her Dad’s corporate job. Her easy going personality and love for life were the perfect mix for meeting new people and exploring new places with ease. Katie is happy to now call the beautiful North Shore home and is grateful to live in…
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Local historian Jude Seminara has authored this reminiscence of two fallen GPD officers. Thanks Jude for your scholarship and your time.
Officer John Blake
In both 1876 and 1918, the Gloucester Police Department lost officers in the line of duty. Officer John Blake died of a heart attack while making his way to a disturbance in East Gloucester in 1876 and Officer George Garland died of pneumonia after contracting the flu while stationed at a hospital during the 1918 influenza pandemic. While researching unrelated Gloucester history, I came across news articles referencing both men and submitted them to the Officer Down Memorial Page, an online database of police officers from around the nation who died in the line of duty.
John Blake was born in Maine in 1816. He moved to Gloucester sometime before 1865 where he worked at Dennis’ Wharf as a master carpenter. He was also a police officer with his beat in East Gloucester. In the evening of August 24, 1876, about 8 o’clock, while walking his beat in East Gloucester Square, he was alerted to a disturbance in “Happy Valley,” somewhat of a “red light district” in East Gloucester in the vicinity of Bass Ave. “Happy Valley,” often reported in the papers of the time as the setting for drunkenness and disorder in that part of the city, was half a mile from his post. Officer Blake made his way on foot at a quick pace to the scene of the disturbance — a fight between two women. He remarked to two girls whom he encountered on his way that he wasn’t feeling well and presumably tried to make his way to his nearby home on Hammond St. through Sayward’s pasture where he collapsed and died in a grove of trees known as Sayward’s Oaks. The girls had set out for help and two East Gloucester residents, Fred Hillier and William Merchant, found Officer Blake’s body about an hour later. Doctor A.S. Garland determined that Officer Blake died of a heart attack. He was 60 years old, and a well respected member of the police force and of the community.
Officer George A. Garland of West Gloucester began his career with the Gloucester Police as a summer constable. In 1915, at age 33, he became a reserve officer and was made a full time patrolman in 1917. He was assigned to mounted duty in the Bass Rocks and Eastern Point area.
In 1918, with the First World War coming to a close, America was ravaged by the Spanish Influenza epidemic caused by a strain of the H1N1 virus. This flu was unusual however in that, unlike many diseases which disproportionately kill children and elderly and infirm people, it was particularly deadly to adults with healthy immune systems. Some scientists believe that the virus’ rapid onset caused a storm of an immune response which was fatal to individuals with strong immune systems. Because of the deadliness of this particular strain of virus, cities across the nation took precautions to minimize the spread. Gloucester had established an emergency hospital at the old armory on Duncan Street, near the present day police station, to supplement the Addison Gilbert Hospital. Officer Garland was assigned to the hospital detail in 1918. During his time at the hospital, he inevitably contracted the virus around the spring of 1919. While he recovered sufficiently to return to duty, due to his compromised state, he contracted pneumonia — commonly associated with this particular flu — from which he was unable to recover. On May 15, 1919, Officer Garland died of pneumonia. He was a widower, and he left behind his mother, two brothers, a sister, and four children.
The Gloucester Times of May 16, 1919 remembered Officer Garland as a quiet, kind, and friendly man who was well liked by his fellow officers and the citizens he served. He was laid to rest at Beechbrook Cemetery in West Gloucester.
Below are links to both officers’ memorial pages on the Officer Down Memorial Page. One can also find biographical vignettes in Mark Foote and Larry Ingersoll’s “Behind The Badge,” the definitive history of the Gloucester Police Department, as well as in historical Gloucester newspapers.
Are there any descendants of either Officer Blake or Officer Garland now in the Gloucester area? Let us know.
Saw this beautiful gull watching over Magnolia Harbor from the pier.
fYI Oct 27 half day at O’Maley. Two (nervous) JV2 boys trying to sell raffle tickets for GHS boys soccer.
Tickets are $10
1st prize $500 2nd prize $400 3rd prize $300 4th prize $200 and so on. The drawing will be held at the soccer senior event in November.
UPDATE- they sold out their coupon books, plus some extra donations. Raffle tickets are available from the players and the coaches. How nice that local establishments like Stop&Shop offer their space for community outreach, and that so many residents and neighbors help the school teams!