Historic Heroic Story of Uraed

A recent visitor to Gloucester, Mary Louise Downey, reached out to GMG recently wondering if we were aware of a plaque somewhere in the City commemorating the 1905 arrival of Uraed, the first enclosed lifeboat to cross the Atlantic after a 5 month journey.  I immediately began to research this intriguing event. Although I have not yet found a plaque, I did find the story fascinating.

The Uraed was built in 1904 in Norway by Ole Brude in an effort to design a safer lifeboat. It was his intention to sail it across the Atlantic from Norway in time for the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904.  Apparently the voyage went pretty smoothly for Brude and his 3 man crew for the first part of the journey, but then trouble set in and the trip took longer than expected and they missed the World’s Fair. They landed in St. John’s NF first but wished to reach New York so set sail again, this time into wicked winter storms.  The Uraed and its crew landed on Pavilion Beach in January of 1905.

Brude did succeed in designing a safer lifeboat and this adventure made news headlines around the world. One of the crew, Iver Thorsesen, remained in Gloucester and became a citizen according to the Gloucester Daily Times account of the 2005 commemoration (Jan 5 2005). There is a good account and some pictures available online here. There is also a free ebook available in Google Books available  here.

Although I found no evidence (yet) of the plaque, this historic event is another marine related story that brought worldwide attention to Gloucester. Cheer Ole Brude and crew! Thanks Mary Louise for bringing it to our attention!

Gloucester Daily Times Jan 9 1905 after a bad winter storm:

Uraed arrival GDT Jan 9 1905

Gloucester Daily Times Jan 5 2005 for the commemoration:

Uraed remembered GDT Jan 5 2005

Marciano Challenge Premiere

The first Marciano Challenge Fish Filleting event was held at the Gloucester House last night in front of a good sized crowd interested in the finer aspects of fish cutting. Haddock donated by the fishermen was filleted, timed and judged for quality by Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and event creator Tina Greel. National Geographic filmed the event for everyone’s enjoyment sometime in the future. The fillets were donated. Dave Marciano was crowned Haddock King (fastest at 5 haddock in 2 min 40 sec) and was generous in sharing the honors with Samuel Sanfilippo (with best fillet) because (as he says) that’s what we do in Gloucester, we share. Thanks Tina, the Gloucester House, the fishermen and fish cutters!

Love Our Library!

Have I mentioned recently how much I love Sawyer Free Library? As a librarian myself, I have made it a point to visit and use as many libraries and library services as I can. Sawyer Free stands out among the very best. I am sometimes there for research and have the opportunity to overhear exchanges between patrons and workers. The staff has been unfailingly patient and helpful. If you haven’t been there recently, I suggest you make a visit. Maybe I will see you at the microfilm machines!

Sip and Sunflowers at Mile Marker

Audrey’s Flower Shop hosted a Sip & Sunflowers event last night at Mile Marker. About 20 aspiring floral designers attended and had an opportunity to hear Audrey’s Flower Shop proprietor Heather Peatfield demonstrate arranging sunflowers and greens to their best advantage. Artistic efforts are not my forte but I was made to feel I was a floral genius! Thank you Heather and I look forward to the October Drunkin Pumpkin event!

Gloucester Map 1937

A lovely map of the Gloucester/Rockport area is a bonus find from the 1937-38 Gloucester City Directory. Here’s a small portion of it which generates a few observations:

The current Tavern on the Harbor was previously the site of a home for “Aged Women”!

Trask Oaks appears to have been a neighborhood in the vicinity of Trask Street. Were there prominent oak trees nearby perhaps?

It’s interesting to note that many of the wharves are named.

So many schoolhouses! I don’t think those kids walked “five miles uphill both ways in the snow and rain” , though it may have been uphill!

Do you notice the steam ferry route?

I hope you like looking at old maps as much as I do!

Gloucester map 1937 directory

Summertime at the Beach

I am hoping someone with sharp eyes can verify which Gloucester beach is shown in this photo of my grandmother Catherine Pierce Ryan and her son Paul Jr. taken probably early 1930s. It might be Long Beach? I like seeing the bathing fashion of the day, which apparently included beaded necklaces and just-so hairstyles.

Catherine and Paul Ryan 1930 Long Beach

Coolerator from Cape Pond Ice

An interesting ad from the 1937-38 Gloucester City Directory showcases the “Coolerator” from Cape Pond Ice and I love the selling point that “only ice is trouble free”! Perhaps some of our followers remember these ancestors to the current high tech refrigerators? This one makes ice cubes too. Anyhow, the ad makes me feel cooler just looking at it so I thought I’d share it.

Cape Pond Ice Company ad 1936 directory

Fine Shack Dining

Cape Ann offers an amazing variety of dining options, varied in both atmosphere and cuisine. Among the most popular are these very casual restaurants where the atmosphere seems unrefined but the food astounds. With only love and absolutely no disparagement, I refer to them as “fine shack dining”…..Woodman’s aptly calls it eating “in the rough”. This represents only a selection of what’s available on Cape Ann.

New Find: Paul’s Closet on Center Street

We were delighted to discover Paul’s Closet on Center Street. It’s an eclectic collection of vintage, new and unique pieces. Located in the former Post Historic Studio at 6 Center Street, Paul calls is an artisan retail shop. You can see Paul’s reflection in the mirror below! It’s aptly named Closet as it is a bit small, but definitely worth a stop just to see what’s new.

Time Travellers Welcome at Curiosities

Curiosities is the new name for the former location of Cape Ann Auction, which was Fred Bodin’s shop prior to that. The name is most appropriate to describe what the visitor will find inside. Stock rotates frequently and is always intriguing. It’s worth noting they are always looking to add to their inventory.

CK Pearl in Essex

We stopped for an early lunch one day at a place we’d never been: CK Pearl on the river in Essex. It was quite delightful, even though it was nearly empty so early in the lunch hour.

Jim had the fish tacos and I had the fish sandwich. There’s covered and enclosed outdoor seating along with open outdoor tables in addition to traditional indoor dining. It was very comfortable, staff was friendly and helpful and we loved the food! We’ll be going back someday.

Baby Hawks Growing Up

What a difference a month makes for young hawks! You may remember we have 3 young hawks in a nest near our house that we have been watching. This was taken just about a month ago:


And these were taken in the last few days. I believe them to be “our” youngsters growing up. They grow up fast, don’t they?