Warm weather allots time for quick “on the queue to do” projects. This Gloucester DPW sidewalk project by Days Pond should be through tomorrow.
Read more about the history of Days Pond here
Read more about the DPW project here
Next time you’re heading in the direction of Wolf Hill, Good Harbor Beach or Rockport thank E. Raymond Abbott when you pass Day’s Pond, a historic man made pond in Gloucester about 1 acre in size. In 1978 Abbott wrote about his family’s association with the pond:
“On reading a recent article in the Gloucester Daily Times (July 1979) which made reference to the ‘so-called’ upper Day’s Pond off Eastern Avenue it occurred to me that the people of Gloucester might be interested in a brief history of the pond.
Years ago there were two Day brothers who owned a large tract of land which extended from the beaches and marshes all the way up to the old Rockport Road. This land, including the upper Day’s Pond, was later sold to a lawyer named Webster who lived in and owned a hotel on Pleasant Street. Later on the Webster property which also included land around Cape Pond in Rockport, came up for sale at a public auction. My father, James Abbott, bought it in June of 1905 and went into business which was later known as the Cape Pond Ice Company. In 1922, my father retired and I took over the ice business.
I will always remember a young girl, Harriet Wonson, who lived just above the upper Day’s Pond, coming to me asking if she could beautify the pond by planting water lilies in and around it. Of course, I gave my consent.
It is my sincere hope and desire that the upper Day’s Pond will continue to provide as much enjoyment for the children of the future as it has in the past.
E. Raymond Abbott, Gloucester Daily Times Letter to the Editor, July 16, 1979
Twenty years later, Gloucester dredged Day’s Pond “as part of a watershed management plan to stabilize the pond’s ecosystem.” Massachusetts Department of Environmental Mangement awarded $2500 for the project in 1998. Marilyn Myett wrote a persuasive My View column about the pond’s vital impact in the neighborhood.
Cape Pond Ice was the subject of Mr. Goulart scavenger history challenge for 9th grade GHS students see results & historic photos here
How did you do? Week one delved into the history of Cape Pond Ice. More than one player “had to call a friend”, Scott Memhard, owner of Cape Pond Ice and City Councilor. He kindly shared supplemental archival material included in this post. Stop here if you prefer to go back to see questions only from 3/10/19 Week One trivia questions
Continue to scroll for the answers.
1)In 1848 a blacksmith named Nathaniel R. Webster started a company by damming a local brook. What did the brook become known as? ANSWER. VETERANS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAMPUS
2)What did Webster’s company become known as? ANSWER. CAPE POND ICE
3)Take a picture at the present day location of the company
4)Take a picture of the street named after him with a member in it. ANSWER. WEBSTER STREET
5)What is in place of the brook today? MATTOS FIELD- ABOVE = FRAT CLUB AND BELOW EVENTUALLY LEADS INTO LITTLE RIVER AT GOOD HARBOR BEACH
6)Take a picture at the location of the old dam with a member in front. ANSWER. THE SCHOOL
7)A competitor to Webster named Francis W. Homans in 1876 created a 32 acre man-made lake. What is the lake known as? ANSWER. FERNWOOD LAKE
8)Submit a screenshot of a map of the lake (Google Maps or Google Earth)
9)What year did the two companies merge? ANSWER. 1908
Courtesy photos below from Scott Memhard, Cape Pond Ice, Cape Ann Museum
Courtesy photo from David Collins-
“My grandfather, Millard Collins, Sr., worked for one of the ice houses for a while. He died in 1918 at age 29 in the Spanish Flu pandemic. At that time he was working for LePages’s and had taken a leave of absence to care for his brother, Jacob, who had contracted the flu first. Jacob died October 17, 1918, and my grandfather died October 28, 1918…”
“I’m enclosing a picture of my grandfather and his horse-drawn ice wagon. You can see the word “ICE” faintly written on the inside back of the wagon. The youngster atop the horse is my father, who was born in July,1912, so I date the picture to about 1913 or so.”
3/10/19 Week One trivia questions
Another Gloucester DPW project began last week along RT 127, near Wolf Hill, at Days Pond. The fence and wall have been damaged over the years from simple wear and tear, and even automobile accidents. “A recent one took it from more than just an eyesore to potentially dangerous,” Mike Hale explained. The wall is being replaced and raised. The crew will be there a couple of weeks this December to complete all that is doable in winter, and return in the spring to finish the job. Since the crew began the pond has frozen over and thawed. Note the stone work.