Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease

Old tree Rockport Road ca.1892

Dogtown is eligible for the National Register! Will Gloucester earn another major district designation?

Nov 29th, 7PM, Public Meeting

Come to a special public presentation November 29th in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, at 7pm.

Read excerpts from the press release shared by Bill Remsen, local project coordinator, and Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-chair Gloucester Historical Commission, and some Dogtown maps and memorabilia 1633-1961:

Continue reading “Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease”

What if…a section of Dogtown brush was cleared away? If you missed Chris Leahy at Sawyer Free Library last week come to a summit by Essex County Greenbelt & Mass Audubon at Cape Ann Museum March 4

“This Saturday morning forum is offered in collaboration with Essex County Greenbelt, Friends of Dogtown, Lanesville Community Center and Mass Audubon and held at Cape Ann Museum. The forum will be moderated by Ed Becker, President of the Essex County Greenbelt Association.”

Register here

UPDATE: Cape Ann TV is scheduled to film the event!

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Edward Hopper Cape Ann Pasture watercolor drawing (ca.1928) was gifted to Yale University in 1930
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East Gloucester Atwood’s Gallery on the Moors as seen on the left in 1921–open vistas at that time

 

Chris Leahy gave a presentation at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library on February 23, 2017: Dogtown- the Biography of a Landscape: 750 Million Years Ago to the Present
A photographic history through slides presented by the Gloucester Lyceum and the Friends of the Library. Mary Weissblum opened the program.

Chris broadly covered the history of the local landscape from an ecological bent with a bias to birds and blueberry picking, naturally. New England is a patchwork of forested landscapes. He stressed the evolution of bio diversity and succession phenomenon when the earth and climate change. “Nature takes a lot of courses.” He focused on Dogtown, “a very special place”, and possible merits of land stewardship geared at fostering greater biodiversity. Perhaps some of the core acres could be coaxed to grasslands as when parts of Gloucester were described as moors? Characteristic wildlife, butterflies, and birds no longer present may swing back.  There were many philosophical takeaways and tips: he recommends visiting the dioramas “Changes in New England Landscape” display at Harvard Forest HQ in Petersham.

“Isolation of islands is a main driver of evolution”

“Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester has the highest concentration* of native butterflies in all of Massachusetts because of secondary habitats.”  *of Mass Audubon’s c.40,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries statewide. “The fact that Brook Meadow Brook is in greater Worcester, rather than a forested wilderness, underscores the value of secondary habitats.”

“1830– roughly the time of Thoreau (1817-1862)– was the maximum period of clearing thus the heyday for grasslands…As farmsteads were abandoned, stages of forests return.”

Below are photos from February 23, 2017. I added some images of art inspired by Dogtown. I also pulled out a photograph by Frank L Cox, David Cox’s father, of Gallery on the Moors  (then) compared with a photo of mine from 2011 to illustrate how the picturesque description wasn’t isolated to Dogtown.

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Edward Hopper, Cape Ann Granite, 1928, oil on canvas can we get this painting into the Cape Ann Museum collection?

dogtown-cape-ann-massachuestts-by-louise-upton-brumback-o-c-vose-galleryLouise Upton Brumback (1867-1929), Dogtown- Cape Ann, 1920 oil on canvas

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Finnish Researcher – Kristi Salmi-Niklander

 

IMG_4843 (2)Deanie Hancock French showed Kristi our wonderful exhibits and art of the Finnish at the Cape Ann Museum .

Kristi is in the US performing research on the Finnish, she visited Rockport and the Cape Ann Museum. See Video below:IMG_4837

Finnish 001David Cox and I are also in the process of publishing our own research which we will be shared with Kristi on the Finnish People in Gloucester. Frank Cox, David’s father wrote several papers for the WPA (Work Project Administration) in 1938.

 

Writings by Frank L. Cox – Portuguese in Gloucester 1870 – 1938

 

During a visit to Main Street Arts and Antiques at 124 Main Street, David the proprietor, and also a GMG Contributor, showed me some old writings by his father Frank.

These writings were for the United States WPA (Work Project  Administration) around 1938

Frank Cox Writer 001David thought that I may be interested in the writings, since it was about the Portuguese. I was born in the Azores and grew up here in Gloucester. I was very much interested. We both came to the conclusion, that we should capture these writings and share with others. Well we started by scanning the pages and creating a PDF document; however the old type written pages did not scan well, it was very difficult to read. Fred Buck from Cape Ann Museum encouraged us to have it transcribed.

One day I was talking to an old friend Joyce (Mitchell) Lacerda about the writings, and if she knew anyone who could transcribe the writings, she then offered to do it..

We added some photos and maps, and did some formatting for easy reading, but did NOT change Frank’s style or wording.

The final draft was printed, we than gave some copies to Cape Ann Museum.

We even sold a few to people that were interested, for about $20, which is basically our cost.  I believe David still has a few in his shop.

Frank also wrote about the “Finns in Gloucester”, which we are currently compiling.