The Launch

Over at the Essex Shipbuilding Museum on Friday, these great 8th graders launched 2 more boats.  The faces on these kids speaks volumes of how much fun and educational this experience is.  The teachers who were there, I wish I had them in 8th grade.  Thank you to the Essex Shipbuilding Museum for all your experience and to Teacher Dave Brown and Amy Donnelly for your dedication to these students.  It was also so wonderful to see Harold Burnham watch some future boat builders launch their creations.

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A sewer pipe in Essex broke over the weekend, spewing raw sewage into the Essex River Salt Marsh. I am so very sorry for our local clam diggers–just as the season was getting underway–devastating. The clam flats will be monitored, at a minimum, over the next 21 days before any determination about reopening will be made.

Essex River Clammers

About the Great Marsh

“In Massachusetts, the North Shore’s Great Marsh is the largest continuous stretch of Salt Marsh in New England, extending from Cape Ann to New Hampshire. The Great Marsh includes over 20,000 acres of marsh, barrier beach, tidal river, estuary, mudflat, and upland islands extending across the Massachusetts North Shore from Gloucester to Salisbury. In recognition of these extraordinary resources, a portion of this area was designated by the state in 1979 as the Parker River/Essex Bay Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The Great Marsh is an internationally recognized Important Bird Area (IBA) as it contributes to the preservation of many breeding and migratory birds. This unique complex of natural systems add ecological, economic, recreational, and cultural value to our daily lives both on the coast and inland where land is connected by river and stream networks.” Read more about the Great Marsh Coalition here.

Essex Shipbuilding Museum Event

This should be a sell-out event so sign on-board early for a fun night. It is a benefit for the Essex Shipbuilding Museum. FOR TICKETS: Visit the Museum’s secure website:
or call: (978) 768-7541 or email:
Tickets are $50.


Lowell’s Boat Shop 

Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, will be carrying out urgent and emergency projects including the structural repair, stabilization, and shoring of facility footings and foundation piers, which are being eroded and causing the building to sag. Funding from the Essex Heritage grant program will enable Lowell’s Boat Shop to construct a proper footing that would mitigate erosion and allow them to slowly return the structure back to level and set it on a foundation pier that will be permanently stable.

Andover Historical Society

Based on a successful 2017 pilot program intended to augment a lack of local history in the school curriculum until 3rd grade or even high school, Andover Historical Society will be offering “Discovering my Neighborhood,” in which students will examine objects, photographs, and maps that tell the story of their neighborhood and the town. Students will be able to consider how Andover has changed, how it stayed the same, and how it might change in the future. The program will be tailored to each neighborhood, the historical development of Andover being reflected in its five school districts.

Bread and Roses Heritage Committee, Inc.

Taking place September 3rd in the historic Campagnone Common, Partnership Grant funding will be used to make possible The Bread and Roses Labor Day Heritage Festival, a unique event commemorating the Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912, now known world-wide as the Bread and Roses Strike. The free, family-oriented event that hosts the city’s many community organizations, educational workshops, and discussions on historical and contemporary issues aims to bridge the relationship between the immigrants of the past and present by revealing common struggle through music, theater, dance, food, art, historical tours, presentations, and family activities. Historical interpretation occurs through  guided trolley tours, walking tours, at talks and discussions at the Lawrence History Live! tent, and by exhibitors in our History and Labor area.

Marblehead Museum

With the goal of maintaining and protecting the 1768 Jeremiah Lee Mansion, the Marblehead Museum will be working to continue re-stabilizing the 20 front windows of the building using a durable putty to seal the glass to the frames and secure all framing members, effectively protecting the mansion and sealing out the elements. The two-to-four week long project will be carried out this summer, proactively preventing the glass from coming loose from the frames, and moisture being allowed to continue damaging the internal plaster and floors.

Middleton Stream Team

The Middleton Stream Team with utilize their Essex Heritage grant in order to construct an unpaved walking path in the Henry Tragert Town Common, along which they will place unobtrusive interpretive signage displaying short narratives on the natural and historical significance of the area.

Historical Society of Old Newbury

The Historical Society of Old Newbury will use their partnership grant to update their current museum, which was last updated in 1995 and was victim to unfortunate water damage. Partnering with five local schools to offer new programming, the museum will be turning its focus to its collections and exhibits relating to the American Revolution and Civil War to provide deeper interpretation of these two major conflicts that figure prominently in local history. The update will also ensure that these events are well-represented by the museum’s collections, and align with the curricular interests of local school groups by paying special attention to the events effects on a local level.

Theater in the Open

Theater in the Open will utilize an Essex Heritage grant to engage a qualified contractor to repair the roof and help to replace the exterior shingles of the Maudslay Gatekeeper’s House garage and garden, designed by William Gibbons Rantoul and built in 1903. The garage and garden are both highly visible from the road, making a big impact on the appearance of the Gatekeeper’s House to all visitors to Maudslay State Park. This spring, visitors will also see a completely restored entrance porch to the main house and significant improvement to the grounds.

Peabody Historical Society and Museum

Partnering with the City of Peabody and the Peabody Historical Commission in their efforts to improve Crystal Lake Park, the Peabody Historical Society will be implementing the “Witch Trials Legacy Trail of Peabody” by developing and providing three new interpretive displays clarifying witch trial history as it relates to Peabody as well as removing and re-placing two signs already at Crystal Lake Park to compliment the new design. In addition to the improved signage, the Peabody Historical Society will be developing an interactive audio tour, information for which will be displayed on the new signage.

Thacher Island Association

Thacher Island Association will replace the original c. 1850, 220-foot granite and wooden timber walkway to provide safe and easy access for the public to visit the lighthouse. This walkway has been there since 1854 but was destroyed sometime in the 1930’s. Besides its usefulness it has also been an iconic signature of the island’s profile for over 80 years. The walkway provided access from the keepers house to the lighthouse, and the rebuilt walkway will serve the same function for visitors to the lighthouse once the island is reopened to the public next year.

Hamilton Hall

Arriving in Salem from Curacao in 1798, John Redmond took up living quarters in an apartment at Hamilton Hall, serving as its caretaker upon its completion in 1805. Working as a barber, caterer, and restauranteur, Redmond became the preferred caterer and provisioner for all social events at the Hall, and over time he came to be known as “principal restauranteur” in Salem, and his family went on to be active in the early abolitionist movement. Hamilton Hall will use their partnership grant to develop inclusive narrative content about John Redmond’s life and the role that he played in Salem and Hamilton Hall’s early history, complemented by visual interpretive aids to broaden their reach to better reflect the culture and population of Salem.

Topsfield Historical Society

Originally built in 1683 and largely unaltered, the wood frame edifice of the Parson Joseph Capen House is a well-known icon arguably ranking among the most architecturally significant structures in the Essex National Heritage Area and is considered by many authorities to be one the finest extant examples of Colonial Era architecture anywhere. The Topsfield Historical Society will use their Essex Heritage grant to replace deteriorating clapboarding of various materials – including oak, pine and cedar – and prevent damage to and decay of the structure caused by allowing moisture to penetrate the frame.

Wenham Historical Association and Museum

As the Topsfield Fair marks its 200th anniversary, the Town of Wenham also celebrates its 375th anniversary and the Wenham Museum its 95th anniversary. To highlight an important and often overlooked facet of local history, the museum seeks to install this exhibition on Col. Timothy Pickering, whose legacy is common to all of these entities, this year. Using their partnership grant from Essex Heritage, the Wenham Museum will create an interactive exhibit devoted to Col. Timothy Pickering’s life in Wenham, his impact on agriculture, and his role in founding the Essex Agricultural Society, as well as improving the museum’s Pickering Library.In the exhibit, visitors will see historic Pickering Family textiles, such as a crest and wedding coat. Correspondence, reproductions of portraits, a family tree, visual interpretations of agricultural “best practices,” and text relating to the founding of the Essex Agricultural Society will also be included.

Congratulations to our 12 recipients, who will be working to implement a diverse range of educational, interpretive, and preservation projects throughout Boston’s North Shore and the Merrimack Valley over the next year!


Six-year-old Kiki from Essex came to Cape Ann Reads today with her Grandmom Susie to connect about Monarchs. Kiki successfully raised fifty Monarch butterflies this past summer, from eggs she collected herself in the wild. After they emerge from their chyrsalides, she brings the butterflies to places such as the Italian Garden at Crane Estate and gives them to people to release, along with a handout on how to raise Monarchs.Six-year old conservationist Kiki from Essex


From noon to four this afternoon City Hall will be abuzz with a special celebration exhibiting the work of Cape Ann children’s book authors and illustrators. Each author has a table with their projects. Come meet and talk to the authors about their original stories. The illustrators have created art coloring sheets taken from the pages of the books to give to guests. The award ceremony, hosted by Mayor Sefatia, takes place at 1:30. This is a unique and new book fair created by Cape Ann’s four library directors, Deborah Kelsey (Gloucester), Deborah French (Essex), Sara Collins (Manchester), Cindy Grove (Rockport), and art director Catherine Ryan.

I am looking forward to seeing all the artists coloring sheets. My Monarch Butterfly project and documentary film Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly first incarnation was an illustrated book, then photo exhibit, and now film.

The illustration above is of a male and female Monarch mating. The Monarchs fly up into a tree and stay joined together, abdomen to abdomen, for about four hours. The blue butterflies are a cousin of the Monarchs, the Blue Tiger of India (Tirumala limniace), but you can color your butterflies anyway you see fit–I’d love to see a pair of rainbow Monarchs 🙂

Read more about the Cape Ann Reads celebration in a post by Catherine about Gail McCarthy’s Gloucester Times article here.

Ready set sled…almost! TOHP Burnham Library Essex MA

beautiful spot to sled Essex ma TOHP Burnham IMG_20180108_163434

TOHP BURNHAM LIBRARY, ESSEX, MA is sited upon another breathtaking Cape Ann landscape with an easy family slope for winter fun.

Great effort! Sweet son gave a proper push to mom, intending to hop aboard, while his older sister raced on.

running to catch up. Almost! Great push though sledding Essex MA


OCTOBER 8TH-16TH, 2017

For more information, visit the Cape Ann Plein Air website here.


CAPA Public Calendar 2017

Sunday Oct 8:

6-8pm: Opening Reception, North Shore Arts Association, Pirates Lane, Gloucester

Monday Oct 9:

12-1pm: Demo, Dennis Poirier, Cox Reservation, Essex

Tuesday Oct 10:

12-1pm: Demo, David Curtis, Cogswell Grant, Essex

Wednesday Oct 11:

12-1pm: Demo, Don Demers, Masconomo Point, Manchester-by-the Sea

1-3pm: Public Reception for Don Demers

7-9PM: CAPA Artist Preview, Charles Fine Arts, Gloucester

Thursday Oct 12:

12-1pm: Demo, KT Morse, Rockport Art Association & Museum

5-6:30pm: Demo and Artist Talk by CAPA Awards Juror Marc Hanson, Rocky Neck Cultural Center, Gloucester, then Artist Appreciation at the Studio Restaurant.

Friday Oct 13:

12-1pm: Demo, Sergio Roffo, Beauport Sleeper-McCann, Gloucester

Saturday Oct 14:

4:30-6pm Collectors Preview, Rockport Art Association & Museum, Rockport ($150, limited tickets available, ticket price is pre-payment toward painting purchase)

6-10pm Cape Ann Plein Air Grand Awards Exhibition & Sale, Rockport Art Association & Museum, Rockport: $65 advance, $75 after Oct 13 ($65 may be used toward purchase of one painting). Special opportunity for art patrons and enthusiasts to meet the artists and purchase one of 160 fresh paintings created during CAPA week by award winning and nationally recognized plein air artists. Elegant hors d’oerves included. 6-10PM Rockport Art Association & Museum.

Sunday October 15:

10am-3pm Quick Draw (9-11AM) and Public Reception & Sale (12-3pm), Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Essex, MA

10am-5pm: CAPA Exhibit open to public, Rockport Art Association & Museum, Rockport

Monday, October 16:

10am-5pm: CAPA Exhibit and Small Painting Monday Exhibit open to public, Rockport Art Association & Museum,

3-5pm: Meet the CAPA Artists and People’s Choice Award, Rockport Art Association & Museum, Rockport

Associated Public Events:
Look Again, plein air exhibition, Rocky Neck Cultural Center, Gloucester Thursday Oct 12 – Sunday Oct 15, 12-5PM
Charles Movalli, North Shore Arts Association, Gloucester 10AM-5PM daily
CAPA Preview Exhibit, Charles Fine Arts, Main St. Gloucester
Cape Ann Museum docent-led tours ~ painters past and present. Free with museum admission, Pleasant St., Gloucester Tuesday-Saturday Oct 10-14, 3PM


Cape Ann Plein Air sponsors, supporters, and participating artists were treated to a fabulous party Thursday evening. The event was hosted by the the lovely and generous Karen Hanson, By the Sea Sotheby’s owner, and proud sponsor of Cape Ann Plein Air, at the stunning home of Warren Waugh.

Warren’s home overlooks Eastern Point Lighthouse, Gloucester’s outer harbor, and the great Atlantic beyond. On the rocky outcroppings surrounding the home, participating Cape Ann Plein Air painters were perched with their easels, painting scenic vistas, which could be seen from every angle from this outstanding landscape. Guests at the party had a delightful time speaking with and observing the visiting artists.

For more information about the 2017 Cape Ann Plein Air festival, visit their website here.

Thank you to Mayor Sefatia for providing the terrific gallery of photos!!

Warren Waugh and Karen Hanson


Karen Ristuben and Karen Hanson giving words of welcome and thanks to sponsors and artists.


To all the Artists, Collectors, Organizers, Sponsors and Visitors,

We are thrilled to inform you that we are already well into planning Cape Ann Plein Air (CAPA) – 2017! The overall timeframe and elements of the event will be similar to 2016, occurring the week of Columbus Day and featuring a Gala Art Celebration and Sale at Rockport Art Association and Museum, community Quick Draw event, and many other associated exhibits and cultural activities.

Here is a re-cap of CAPA-2106.
Just over a year ago, the idea of Cape Ann Plein Air had been just that, an idea, a great concept aspiring to bring renowned painters to this culturally historic and stunningly beautiful place. Plein Air events, where artists travel from all corners of North America to compete for significant prize money, occur dozens of times or more every year in the United States. Yet there has never been a national level event here in Cape Ann where some of the most famous artists in US history have painted en plein air. No single region is more famously recognized than Cape Ann, which provided the creative inspiration over the last two hundred years and hosted our history’s giants like Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, Edward Hopper, and N.C. Wyeth, just to name a few.
The crucial first step to launching a Plein Air Event requires raising significant prize money. Following a meeting with Applied Materials management back in January, the Applied Material Foundation agreed to provide the underwriting necessary to take Cape Ann Plein Air from a great concept to reality. Without the support of the Applied Materials Foundation, we would not be enjoying this incredible experience right now . . . and neither would you!
With that key financial backing in place early in the year, the small group of individuals informally organized as Cape Ann Plein Air 2016 (CAPA2016) went out into the community and raised funds allowing us to sponsor 25 more awards beyond the top three prizes. The additional funding provided by Stephen and Jill Bell, Linzee and Beth Coolidge, By-The-Sea Sotheby’s International Realty and the law firm of Glovsky and Glovsky, all have given CAPA 2016 national standing among all other Plein Air competitions.
Thanks to the help of local individuals and businesses, additional sponsors and Friends of CAPA 2016, we have been provided the resources to make CAPA 2016 more appealing to artists, collectors, visitors and local businesses, much more than we originally thought possible.
There are too many to name in this letter, so please read page four in the 2016 program book for the entire list of those for whose generosity we are incredibly grateful.
Finally, we would like to offer a special thanks for those who have met once and often twice a week for the last year, and spent hundreds of hours taking care of each and every part of the design and implementation of CAPA 2016. They include but are not limited to the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce (CACC), the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (seARTS), Rockport Art Association and Museum, North Shore Art Association, Essex Merchants Group, Rockport Cultural District, and Rocky Neck Art Colony.
We also would like to thank the City of Gloucester and the Towns of Essex, Rockport and Manchester-by-the-Sea for all of the logistical support required to manage such a broadreaching geographical event. Without having to ask, we were provided marketing and hospitality to reach out to a broader group of visitors from Discover Gloucester, the Manchester Historical Society and the Copley Society in Boston. Most importantly, we owe a big thanks to project leader Karen Ristuben who stayed on top of each and every detail along the way. And there have been many.
This undertaking represents a major collaboration among the arts, business and the community throughout Cape Ann, the first of its kind. As a result the Cape Ann Community Foundation is both excited and overwhelmed by the inspirational work so many have contributed. Thank you again for your participation on every level and tireless effort to make this the first of many future successful Cape Ann Plein Air events.
Ken Riehl, CEO
Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
James Caviston, President, Society for the Encouragement of the Arts


Good Morning Gloucester received a nice note of appreciation from Cape Ann Trail Stewards president Nick Holland. I went to their website to learn more about Cape Ann Trail Stewards. They are a non-profit, all volunteer coalition founded in 2012 and their primary focus is on helping municipal landowners and conservation organizations protect, maintain, and expand Cape Ann’s trail network. They match volunteer trail stewards to trails in need of stewardship, and organize trail work parties.

I am super excited to learn more and looking forward to exploring some trails with Nick. Thank you for writing and letting us know!!

Cape Ann Trail Stewards Mission Statement: Trails, from meandering paths to stony fire roads, connect Cape Ann communities across borders, public and private land, and diverse natural landscapes. CATs helps to maintain existing trails, improve access and promote the responsible and safe use of the Cape Ann trail system and recreational areas. CATs works with municipalities and like-minded conservation organizations to protect and preserve land for its recreational and ecological values. CATs promotes the understanding of the wildlife and natural resources of our woodlands and wetlands.









Sunday and Monday schedule are as follows:


8:30 am
Skippers Meeting
This meeting is required for all Schooners sailing in the Mayor’s Race.  Meet at Solomon Jacobs Park, immediately adjacent to the U.S. Coast Guard Station on Harbor Loop.

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Reception and Awards Ceremony
for captains, crews and invited guests (ticketed event).

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2017 10:30 am

Parade of Sail Viewing Party at Beauport, the Sleeper McCann House.
Visit Beauport for some of the best views of the annual Gloucester Schooner Festival’s Parade of Sail. Watch schooners sail to the Eastern Point Light breakwater to begin the Mayor’s race for the Esperanto Cup. Coffee and light breakfast refreshments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bring blankets and/or chairs and other refreshments if preferred. The house is not available for tours during this event. $10 Historic New England members, $15 nonmembers. Registration is required. 978-283-0800

10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Parade of Sail as Schooners proceed from Inner Harbor, past the Fishermen’s Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, to the race starting area off Eastern Point.

11:00 am to 1:30 pm
Shuttle Bus to Eastern Point Light, from Eastern Point Gate (Eastern Point Boulevard at Farrington Avenue) to watch the start of the Mayor’s Race. Free ofCharge, courtesy of Cape Ann Transportation Authority.

Start of Mayor’s Race for the Esperanto Cup, Columbia Trophy, Ned Cameron Trophy; and Betty Ramsey Trophy off Eastern Point.

Monday evening is an impromptu gathering, but not official as of yet.


Here you go–the list of 26 schooners participating in the Gloucester 2017 Schooner Festival! Thank you to Len Burgess for sharing, and it is also Len’s beautiful photo in the poster.
Please check for updated info and schedule.