In the news: as #GloucesterMA Annisquam River Bridge readies for MBTA rebuild – is there time for design?

I don’t suggest that the treacherous bridge needs to be “preserved” or want to impede progress. However, I believe there is still time to repeat my pleas (since 2012). Great design impacts future investment. Is there a small way that the design can tip its hat to Edward Hopper, Gloucester, and New England for this landmark and beacon for Cape Ann, this cherished vista across the Great Marsh?

See GMG POST September 9, 2017 for design nod aesthetic suggestions (rather than structural) The budget is good!  “Does the MBTA new design for the Annisquam River Bridge look like a prison tower to you?” 

Here’s how the bridge and new condos looked November 9, 2018 (double click to enlarge photos from the wordpress mosaic format)

 

 

January 8, 2019 article by Ray Lamont Gloucester Daily project. “READYING FOR REBUILD”

the design plans illustrated are the same as published previously

gloucester daily times ray lamont coverage new annisquam commuter bridge january 2019

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58 Prospect Street adverse possession notice

 

 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUPERIOR COURT DEPARTMENT OF THE TRIAL COURT SUFFOLK, SS. Case No. 1884CV03213C Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston VS. Maura Healey, as she is the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Free City Library Association TO: Free City Library Association You are hereby notified that a complaint has been filed against you by the above named plaintiff. This complaint concerns a certain parcel of land with building(s) known as 58 Prospect Street, located in Gloucester, Essex County, and said Commonwealth. Plaintiff seeks a judgment declaring that it owns said property through adverse possession, extinguishing any rights that you may have had to said property through the deed from

Jeremiah J. Healy to Free City Library Association dated April 24, 1900

and recorded with the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds in Book 1607, Page 259, or for such further relief as the Court deems just and appropriate. This complaint may be examined at the Superior Court for Suffolk County, Boston, Massachusetts or a copy obtained from plaintiff’s attorney. If you intend to make any defense, you are hereby required to serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney, Kimberly Kroha, Esq., Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. whose address is 300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 500, Quincy, MA 02169-0904 a responsive pleading to the complaint on or before the 31st day of January, 2019, the return day, hereof, and a copy thereof must be filed in the Suffolk Superior Court on or before said day. If you fail to do so, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. Unless otherwise provided by Rule 13(a), your answer must state as a counterclaim any claim which you may have against the plaintiff which arise out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff’s claim or you will thereafter be barred from making such claim in any other action. GT – 12,28, 1/4, 1/11/19

 

Stephanie Buck: Shadowed Lives presentation at Sawyer Free

stephanie buck talk at gloucester lyceum and sawyer free public library january 2019 gloucester ma

Stephanie Buck: Shadowed Lives

Saturday January 12, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

In conjunction with the African-Americans and Maritime History Exhibit from the Massachusetts Commonwealth Museum, From Slavery to Freedom, on view in the Matz Gallery, Stephanie Buck, a local expert on Gloucester History, will share information regarding the effects of slavery on Cape Ann.

Big news for little house: Celebrate and tour Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage at Lanesville Community Center #GloucesterMA

Don’t you love happy news! Virginia Lee Burton’s actual studio was saved and painstakingly and faithfully rebuilt and relocated to its new permanent home at Lanesville Community Center, Gloucester, Ma, with the help of many. “The rebuilding process of the Virginia Lee Burton (VLB) writing cottage has started with the much-needed help of volunteers, a Community Preservation Act (CPA) grant from the City of Gloucester, private donations and corporate donations from Dore and Whittier of Newburyport, MA, DMS Machine and Fabrication of Barre, VT and the Gloucester Building Center.”

Mark your calendars for upcoming events beginning this weekend!

The Lanesville Community Center Board of Directors invites you to

“A Celebration and Preview of the Restoration of the Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage: An  opportunity to thank funders, donors and many community volunteers, Sunday, October 21, 1pm

Family Event: “First Reading” of Virginia Lee Burton’s books with Avis Burton Demetrios and Eleanor Demetrios, Saturday, October 27, 1pm

Children’s Drawing on October 27, 1-3pm to be displayed at the Cape Ann Museum children’s room

The Virginia Lee Burton Cottage was designated a historic building by the Gloucester Historical Society. Reconstruction was funded by a grant from the Gloucester Community Preservation Act.”

Virigina Lee Burton little house actual writing cottage restored and celebrated at Lanesville Community Center Gloucester Mass_Oct 2018 ©c ryan

 

 

Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage at Lanesville Community Center opening reception celebration flyer

Learn more and enjoy before and after photographs by visiting the VLB writing cottage website. Don’t miss the 2018 interview with Lee Natti

https://vlbwritingcottage.com/

Continue reading “Big news for little house: Celebrate and tour Virginia Lee Burton Writing Cottage at Lanesville Community Center #GloucesterMA”

Timber! Iconic Edward Hopper vista in Gloucester, Massachusetts, easier to see thanks to tree removal at 316 Main Street

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TIMBER 316 Main Street _2018 Sept 26_1PM_one of more than 110 Gloucester Massachusetts houses vistas inspired artist Edward Hopper _1924 painting National Gallery of Art, DC ©Cather

HOPPER FANS TAKE NOTE

Haskell’s House, 316 Main Street, is one of more than 110 homes and vistas in Gloucester, Massachusetts, that inspired artist, Edward Hopper (1882-1967).

Gloucester merchant, public official (city councilor / state representative), and Master Mariner, Melvin Haskell (1848-1933), commissioned the house in 1884.

Hopper and artist, Jo Nivison (1883-1968), were married in 1924. They nicknamed the fancy house high atop the hill the Wedding Cake House. The famous drawing was originally purchased by American master painter, George Bellows (1882-1925), from a sensational Hopper solo exhibition held in the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery in 1924. The watercolor changed hands and was eventutally gifted to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, by Mr. and Mrs. Herbert A. Goldstone in 1996.  Hopper depicted the house in two other works, both side views from Prospect street rather than this view from Main Street.

The house was listed for sale at $830,000 throughout the spring and summer of 2018. Landscaping today involved major brush and tree removal. The result will be a scene closer to the one experienced by artists Edward Hopper and Jo Nivinson in the 1920s. The scenic locale is a power spot: down the block from the Crow’s Nest and across the street from Gloucester’s Inner Harbor, Beauport Hospitality’s Cruiseport and Seaport Grill venues, Cape Ann Whale Watch, and Gorton’s.

BEFORE 2011

 

 

BEFORE July 2018

316MAI~3
July 2018: 316 Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, obscured by towering pines and heavy brush The 1884 house inspired Edward Hopper to paint a watercolor in 1924 that is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Hopper painted more than 110 vistas in Gloucester, Ma. All photos ©Catherine Ryan

 

AFTER 2018

Tree and heavy brush removal underway September 26, 2018, 316 Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, revealing a scenic vista closer to the one that inspired Edward Hopper back in 1924 ©Catherine Ryan

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Aymar, Jimmy, Edgar and Pedro were some of the adroit and brave tree climbing removal crew with ALZ Landscaping and Tree Service out of Lynn, Massachusetts. The unwieldy trees grew threateningly high.

EDWARD HOPPER all around GLOUCESTER MA

short video: Edward Hopper Haskell’s House in Gloucester Mass is easier to view after tree removal Sept 2018 © catherine Ryan

 

Continue reading “Timber! Iconic Edward Hopper vista in Gloucester, Massachusetts, easier to see thanks to tree removal at 316 Main Street”

Ken Riaf’s new play My Station in Life premieres October 12th thru the 28th at Gloucester Stage. Go!

kenny.jpg

Great news from multitalented creative Ken Riaf: 

“The premiere of My Station in Life a new play I wrote about Simon Geller, America’s last one-man radio broadcaster. Geller, the radio recluse who brought classical music to a hardscrabble fishing port, fights for survival against powerful forces that want what little he has. Actor Ken Baltin and supporting cast bring Geller’s quirky persona and corkscrew saga to the stage from October 12th through October 28th. ”

Produced by the Gloucester Stage Company and directed by Robert Walsh, Ken Riaf’s My Station in Life tickets are available now at My Station in Life.

You can bid on 1909 Taft presidential memorabilia created for Gloucester: Canterbury Pilgrims Pageant and historic house fundraiser at Stage Fort Park welcomed thousands!

August 4, 1909, Gloucester Day brought an audience of 20,000 to Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The 1909 pageant of “The Canterbury Pilgrims” by Percy Wallace Mackaye was touted as the “greatest open air performance ever attempted in the country”.

Stage Fort Park was the magnet which attracted thousands of people at the close of the grand afternoon parade yesterday, the procession in that direction, commencing early and continuing all through the evening, until between the hours of 7 and 8 o’clock, there was a continuous mass of moving color along both sides of the boulevard, with the middle of the street almost covered with the swifter moving carriages and automobiles. This scene was most inspiring, giving one something upon which to build an imagination for the greater display to come, when the play and pageant were presented for their consideration. The vast amphitheatre, with its great stage, were soon filled, the latter by nearly 20,000 spectators, in the boxes, on the seats and in automobiles, while the wings of the latter were filled with (thousands of) players.”

William H Taft (1857 – 1930), the 27th President of the United States from 1909-13, planned to be in attendance, thanks to host, John Hays Hammond, Sr.,  his boyhood friend and college classmate at Yale. The Mayor of Gloucester at the time of the 1909 pageant was Hon. Henry H. Parsons. Artist Eric Pape (b.Oct 17, 1870 San Francisco – d.Novembre 7, 1938), Master of the Pageant, directed the Canterbury performance. He was the lead design for Gloucester’s enormous bronze plaque and granite bas-relief commemorating the Founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony set in tablet rock at Stage Fort Park and dedicated in 1907.

1909 Gloucester MA Canterbury Pilgrim Pageant Medal with PRESIDENT WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT photo

Few days left to bid! Link to more photos of the collectible and sale found here: sale on capeanntiques, ebay seller

July 30, 1909 Gloucester Day Badge – Unique Design to Commemorate Event

“The Gloucester Day badges  have arrived and are certainly worthy of the occasion. The special gold badge to be presented to the president is fo the same design as the others. It consists of a bar, backed by anchor stock, with the cables running along each side, and in the center a miniature of President Taft, flanked by the dates 1623-1909. Suspended from this bar by two chains is the embossed shield, the central figure of which is a Georges handline fisherman, riding at anchor under bare poles. On either side, clinging griffin-like to the inner circle dividing th ose parts is the inscription, “Gloucester, mass. Settled 1623. Incorporated, 1642” and beneath this is a representation of the Roger Conant house, with the word “built” on one side and the date “1623” on the other, and the inscription, “Roger Conant House,”  beneath.”

“May be worn as badges or watch fobs…Design selected after keen competition.” They were pre sold for 50 cents.

coverage about 1909 pageant Stage Fort Park Gloucester Ma

John Hays Hammond Sr with Taft family from his autobiography.jpg
John Hays Hammond Sr. 2nd row with Taft family and driver
August 4 Gloucester Day Edition detail
Pageant benefit to possibly rebuild Roger Conant House at Stage Fort Park

 

Continue reading “You can bid on 1909 Taft presidential memorabilia created for Gloucester: Canterbury Pilgrims Pageant and historic house fundraiser at Stage Fort Park welcomed thousands!”

Fishing Schooner Columbia launch 1923 then and now

Columbia was designed by Starling Burgess. Shown here under construction at the Essex boat yard (Arthur Dana Story ship yard), launched, and sailing to Gloucester 1923. Leslie Jones photographs, from glass negatives Boston Public Library collection. It sank in 1946.

columbia at Essex boat yard

The new Columbia is participating in the Gloucester Schooner Festival 2018 – download the fantastic program here- handy information about each boat and all the special events

2018

2018 Gloucester Schooner Festival Parade of Sails – Columbia 

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Parade of Sails Schooner Columbia rebuilt 2014 returns for Schooner Festival 2018_low tide ©c ryan.jpg

Taking care of seniors: 136 Eastern Ave. “Fishermen’s Home” 1911 gift of John Hays Hammond, Sr.; and 110 Prospect St. purchased by Gloucester, Mass., in 1887

House History then and now for two former ‘old age homes’:

136 Eastern Avenue (Rt 127) 1911 and today- was a retirement home for fishermen

 

 

1911, Gloucester, Mass. “WILL OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY Several Old Sea Toilers Will Eat Christmas Dinner There Monday: Everything is in readiness for the opening of the Fishermen’s Home, formerly the Colby House, on Eastern avenue, and on Christmas day, a gathering of aged and disabled fishermen who have toiled their best days on the banks, but are no longer able to follow this hazardous occupation, will spend one of the happiest days of their lives and eat their first dinner in the new home…It would be a rather difficult undertaking to find a happier man today than Judge York. Two years ago after a conference with Dr. John Dixwell of Boston, who becoming interested in the work raised a fund among his friends for the relief of this class of men, who without friends or home were obliged to seek shelter in the house of coreection. Judge York went to Ipswich and secured the release of eight old fishermen, who were brought to this city and cared for at boarding houses during the winter months. Last winter the work was continued through the efforts of Dr. Dixwell and Judge York, and lately, their efforts were further crowned by the splendid gift of Mr. Hammond, who presented the home. The seven men who will become inmates of the home on Christmas Day are John Ryan, Joseph Alcott, John Nichools, Harris Atwood, James Halley, Robert Fraser and Henry Gormley.” article in the Gloucester Daily Times

The prior year “J. Hammond deeded lots for indigent fishermen at Beechbrook Cemetery.”- 1910 Gloucester Archives 

After writing about his friendship with Captain Blackburn, “one of the most undaunted sailors America has ever had…I was proud to be one of the honorary pallbearers at his funeral…” John Hammond Sr. concluded his autobiography with more about Gloucester:

“I look back with the greatest pleasure on the hours I have spent with other old Gloucester fishermen. In the winter of 1910 several of these old fellow appeared before the district court and pleaded guilty to vagrancy. Without other means of gaining food or shelter, they were seeking some sort of sustenance  in the poorhouse for the winter. In Washington, I read about this in the papers and got in touch with Judge York, Dr. Dickswell, Fred Shackelford, and others who were interested. We established a home to provide for these old fishermen. I learned to appreciate the fine traits of these men who were given refuge there. Often it was exceedingly difficult to persuade them that they were too old to stand the hardships of deep-sea fishing. Their truck garden faced the sea, and from there they could watch with their telescopes for the fishing vessels as they left and entered the harbor.  Sailors, like miners, are notoriously spendthrifts and these of Gloucester were no exception. They would arrive at the Home in a destitute condition. Because they no longer went to sea, and there was no chance of their reaching the traditional sailors’ grave, they had a great dread of potter’s field. For that reason I provided a cemetery where all could be assured of decent burial. Above the gate is inscribed:

And here rest, brave toiler of the sea,
sleep undistrubed,
God’s peace be with thee. 

Many of the inmates were choosey about the location of their graves. There were two in particular, bunkies since boyhood, who quarreled daily and, I fear, nightly, but who exacted from me a promise that they might be buried side by side.”

 

110 Prospect Street ca 1900 and today – was a former retirement home for senior women

 

Huntress Home 110 Prospect Street Gloucester Mass photo credit Ben and Sally D'Antonio for PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY OF GLOUCESTER VOLUME 3

 

 

Gloucester bought 110 Prospect Street in 1887 for $12,000 to establish the “Huntress Home for Old Ladies of Native Birth.” I’ll write more about this one later.

Here’s how both senior housing options were described in the 1913 Gloucester Directory (from Gloucester Archives):

Gloucester archives_Gloucester Directory 1913 charity

David Collins shares vintage photos of Stage Fort Ave homes near Barrett’s Camp #GloucesterMA |searching for artist Byron Brooks Part 3

In response to Searching for artist Byron Brooks (Part 1) and (Part 2), David Collins, a Good Morning Gloucester reader and amateur geneologist, was inspired to act. First he emailed a PDF family tree for artist, Byron Lloyd Brooks, and then shared vivid remembrances and vintage photographs in response to the artist’s timeline in Gloucester, Massachusetts. These are wonderful additions to filling out Brooks story and a peek into Gloucester and Stage Fort Park history. Thanks so much, David!

For a time, Brooks lived in 12 Stage Fort Avenue. Collins’ family lived in 7 Stage Fort Avenue 1940s-1960s. Does anyone know the neighbors Collins mentions or have more photographs of long gone homes and Barrett’s Camp at Stage Fort Park? I’m looking forward to scouting for that boulder.

Part 3 Searching for artist Byron Brooks – David Collins responds:

historic photo courtesy David Collins for artist Bryon Brooks research_shows Stage Fort Park Avenue ca 1940s_his sister with friend_Gloucester MASS
ca. 1950, courtesy photograph to assist with Byron Brooks research from David Collins (his sister with her friend by side entrance 12 Stage Fort Ave, Gloucester, Massachusetts )

“Hello, Catherine, Here is a little more information on the artist Byron L. Brooks, in case you are still interested. I have attached a family tree for him. It does also have some information on his two wives that I know of. I am not a professional genealogist, so don’t take the information as gospel. I grew up at what was then 7 Stage Fort Avenue (no “Park” in the address) in the late 1940s, 50s and early 60s in the house that is now 1 Anchor Lane, I believe. We moved to Connecticut in 1961 the week I turned 16. The house Byron lived in, 12 Stage Fort Avenue, was, back when I lived there, a 2-family house.  Most of the other houses in that part of the neighborhood were, or had been, summer camps. Stage Fort Avenue Y-ed at our house and both parts, one going on to one of the Park’s parking lots and the other going past us to Barrett’s Camps, were named Stage Fort Avenue. The house in front of Byron’s, the address was 10 Stage Fort Avenue back then and is now 7 Stage Fort Avenue, didn’t exist – at least not in the large form it is in now. Sam and Marion (Kerr) Johnson lived there. I think the house burned down in about 1975.

Ralph and Evelyn (DeCoste) Bradstreet lived in the downstairs part of 12 Stage Fort Avenue and several families lived upstairs over the years. Byron must have lived in the neighborhood a while before my family did. I think my folks moved to #7 about 1939 or so. I don’t know when the Bradstreets moved into #12. That said, Byron Brooks was my mother’s 2nd cousin. They share Ephraim Brooks [1818-1905] and Ruth Ward [1816-1892] of Nova Scotia as great-grandparents.

However, I had never heard of Byron until your 2nd GoodMorningGloucester article. I even collect art by people who called Cape Ann home – Charles Movalli was my best friend growing up*. I also have an extensive family tree that I have worked on for many years. Still, I had no idea Byron existed!  Of course, I had his parents in my mother’s part of our tree. I have now added information on him and his many siblings because of your articles. Thank-you! Hope this helps you, in return.” David Brooks 7/1/18

PHOTO COURTESY DAVID COLLINS_ 12 Stage Fort Avenue ca1947_razed_shared for Byron Brooks artist catalogue_Gloucester MA
photo credit: 12 Stage Fort Avenue, Gloucester, MA. ca.1947 photo courtesy David Collins

photo credit below (click to enlarge): 7 Stage Fort Avenue ca.1947-57 (L), and Stage Coach Inn vintage postcard, both images courtesy David Collins

about the photo with the girls on the rock and Stage Fort Avenue homes THEN (now gone):

“This one is of my sister and the girl (and her dog) who lived upstairs at 12 Stage Fort Avenue for several years while we lived on Stage Fort Avenue and then moved to School Street in Manchester. Her father, originally from Rockport, was a 7th cousin of Byron Brooks but I doubt he knew. The girls are sitting on a rock outside the side entrance to downstairs #12, the one the people we called Auntie Evelyn and Uncle Emerson (Ralph Emerson) Bradstreet (both cousins of each of my parents) probably used most often. It led into their kitchen. The doorway at the stairs in front (in the other picture I sent you) led into a hall, with stairs running up to the 2nd floor apartment and also a door at the left into the downstairs apartment.

The building behind the girls and to the left was, at least at one time, a Barrett camp. I think sometimes people bought them and made them more permanent homes even if they didn’t live in them year-round. The family’s name sounded like Brown-eyes but I don’t remember how it was actually spelled. Oh, I do remember: William and Irene (Douglas) Brauneis. Irene Douglas’ brother (a close friend and fishing buddy of my uncle) and his wife and family and his parents lived in the large house at the top of the hill behind the camps that was not a camp. I think the Brauneis family lived in theirs, maybe even full time eventually, long after we had moved.

The next home which looks altogether different was rented out in the summer, too, but I have no idea who lived in it. In the next camp to that one, not in the picture, a Mrs. Morrison spent the summer and her daughter and family, the Kilroys, would join her for a few weeks. Mrs. Kilroy had grown up in Gloucester. I hung around with daughter Carol and brother Robert the part of the summer when they were in town…Henry and Pauline (Osmond) Garvey and family lived in the Barrett camp that abutted our property on (what was then) Stage Fort Avenue. Great family. They would summer there from Tuckahoe, New York, but both had been brought up in Gloucester. ”- David Collins

*author’s note – more on this connection later

Byron Brooks on line catalogue (updated)

 

See amazing 1901 historic photos from Bruce Roberts: Gloucester crews worked on Haskell’s dam

City of Gloucester officials are working towards a Phase 3 for the Haskell Pond Dam reconstruction which I wrote about last week (Part 1). I included information about the original monumental build. In response, Bruce Roberts was kind enough to share these amazing photographs of the impressive crews at the Haskell Pond construction site 1901. Bonus: they were annotated by his grandfather in 1958.  West Gloucester families may recognize a surname or two, maybe a family resemblance. Please help ID if you can.

Bruce Roberts explains: “My grandfather, Edward F. Roberts, identified the individuals back in 1958.  There are some folks he didn’t recognize, since he would have been pretty young when these images were taken.  The first picture has the most identified individuals. One thing that has always been remarkable to me in the second image is how much Chester Andrews, my g-grandfather, resembled my father, Eugene Roberts, at that age.”

 HASKELL’S POND CONSTRUCTION ca.1901-02 – (Individuals ID’d by Edward Roberts in 1958)

Clearing Haskells pond late 1901 © courtesy historic photo collection Bruce Roberts

Photo 1, Dec 1901 (in snow): “Wood Choppers at Haskell’s Pond, December 1901”
Front Row, L-R: 1. Otis Lufkin, 2. Matt Poland, 3. Loren (sp?) Harris, 4. Melvin Wilkins, 5. Jim White

Back Row: 1.Asa Sargent, 2. unknown, 3. Ed Lufkin, 4. James Chadbourne, 5. Joseph Abbott, 6. unknown, 7. Joshua Roberts, 8 & 9. unknown

Clearing Haskells pond late 1901 © courtesy historic photo from collection Bruce Roberts

Photo 2 (late 1901 or early 1902):

Front, L-R: 1. Loren Harris, 2 & 3. unknown, 4. Asa Sargent

Center, w/ white shirt: Eps Walter Haskell

3rd row: (Right side, behind Asa Sargent, in light coat): Chester Andrews

(2nd to left from Chester Andrews): Fred Jeffs

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (4)

read more:

Continue reading “See amazing 1901 historic photos from Bruce Roberts: Gloucester crews worked on Haskell’s dam”

Join in planning now for #GloucesterMA 400th Anniversary in 2023!

All are invited to have fun, join in, share ideas for Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary possible celebrations in 2023. A public meeting will be held at City Hall on Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 1-3pm. Can’t attend? Email your input to the 400th steering committee: email gloucester400@gmail.com  and check out the 400th Anniversary Facebook page For More Info

“Although Gloucester’s 400th Anniversary is five years away, we know that those years will go by quickly.  400 years deserves a year long celebration in 2023 and a steering committee has been meeting for the last six or seven months to get the process started. Three Captains have been chosen to lead the group:  Bruce Tobey, Bob Gillis and Ruth Pino. The Committee is sponsoring a public meeting on Saturday April 28, 2018 in City Hall Auditorium…What should happen during 2023? What would you participate in? What would you miss if it didn’t happen?” 

With so much advance notice, it’s fun to ruminate. Three words come quickly to mind for one idea: Virginia Lee Burton. Burton was one of the most influential children’s book author-illustrators of the 20th century and Folly Cove textile designer and founder. She received the Caldecott medal in 1943 for The Little House. Whether for the 400th Anniversary or not, I hope one day that there are tribute commissions for Virginia Lee Burton’s beloved characters Katy from Katy and the Big Snow and Mary Ann from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel at Stage Fort playground.  Life Story and Song of Robin Hood were also informed by landscape and her life in Gloucester. (The Burton tributes could be massive, interactive and accessible bronze sculptures. Tom Otterness commissions were completed at this scale. Why not Burton? They don’t have to be. Also bring back the monumental sea serpent and the big truck. These memorable imaginative expressions were wood in the past and maintained for years. Perhaps they could be recreated with modern decking materials. And add in Burton’s Little House! )

 

Archives

May 1923 Gloucester Daily Times covers down to the wire plans tercentenary Gloucester Mass.jpg

Gloucester has a history of producing major anniversary celebrations which makes looking back through archives* inspiring for future plans. Here are a few I’ve pulled:

*digitizing Gloucester Daily Times and Gloucester’s municipal archives is another oft repeated plea of mine and others–am sending that one along to a 400th dream wish list…

1892

Link to Gloucester’s 250th memorial celebration BOOK: https://archive.org/stream/memorialofcelebr00glou

1942

August 16, 1942– the city’s second (!) Tercentenary Celebration.

 

1923 Fighting for public art –  the Fisherman at the Wheel memorial commission

On May 21, 1923, the Gloucester Daily Times published an article about the appropriations and planning for the city’s 300th Anniversary which is remarkable in content and its late date–the celebration was just months away!  The idea itself and related costs concerning a public art commission –the one that would become Gloucester’s renowned Fisherman at the Wheel Memorial– were hammered out at a heated City Council meeting. Here’s the nearly complete transcription:

COUNCIL RECONSIDERS AND VOTES $5000 TO CELEBRATION: Equal Amount Will Be Reserved for Permanent Memorial Fund–Executive Committee Held Prolonged and Animated Session Saturday Evening. May 21, 1923 (*note ______ indicates illegible copy)

After three hours of discussion and a conference of the municipal council behind closed doors lasting about three-quarters of an hour on Saturday evening, it was voted to reconsider their action whereby the $10,000 appropriated for the anniversary committee should be alloted for a permanent memorial and voted for _____ committee to expend a sum not exceeding $5000 for the celebration, and the other $5000 to be used for the creation of a permanent memorial.

The agreement as finally reached is ______________ provide for the dedication in whole or in part of a permanent memorial to be erected and paid for jointly by the _______ city of Gloucester. “The municipal council agrees that a sum of $5000 of the amount appropriated by the city for the celebration will be for the general purposes of the committee if necessary, with the understanding that all expensea for additional police protection incurred by the  committee on public safety will be paid for by the anniversary committee. And with the further understanding that the anniversary committee will do all possible to have this sum of money applied to the permanent memorial in addition to the sum reserved ____ by the municipal _____ surplus after the celebration is over, this surplus also to be for the purpose of a permanent memorial.” The meeting opened at 8.15 o’clock, with a reading of the records by Secretary Harold H. Parsons, and following this there came without hesitation_____ ing of the celebration from those present, and for a time, one was reminded of the old town meeting days. ___________ A Piatt Andrew ___________ carnival parade by members of the art colony of the city were accepted and adopted. 

Plain Talk by Chairman Barrett-  Chairman Barrett then arose and addressed the members present and said: “I sent a communication to the municipal council some time ago to find out just what standing this celebration had with them. The letter I received was not

Continue reading “Join in planning now for #GloucesterMA 400th Anniversary in 2023!”

Senator Tarr on NPR and MA legislators unite

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Senator Tarr, Mayor Romeo Theken, Angela Sanfilippo, Feb 27, 2018 (Mayor Romeo Theken shared this photo)

Feb 28, 2018 – Senator Tarr’s voice came through my car radio on the way to work this morning on WGBH 89.7 “stories we’re following”.  I’ll add a link to the audio if they add it to the website. The story concerned off shore drilling and the senate resolution. Here’s the opening (you can find the complete resolution here  http://www.tarrtalk.com/). Mayor Theken shared photos, and Governor Baker’s letter of support  (see below the “read more” break)

Senator Tarr- Senate Resolution Calls for Protection of Massachusetts’ Waters

 Concerned about the potential for oil and gas drilling off of the coast of Massachusetts? Here is the text of the Senate Resolution that I sponsored with Senator Mike Barrett. The Senate adopted it unanimously. MEMORIALIZING THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR TO LIMIT THE PROPOSED EXPANSION OF THE NATIONAL OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF OIL AND GAS LEASING PROGRAM AND TO PROTECT THE WATERS OFF THE COASTS OF THE COMMONWEALTH AND NEW ENGLAND. Whereas, on January 4, 2018, the United States Department of the Interior announced the publication of a draft proposed program in support of its national outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing program; and…”

In 1979,  Attorney General Francis Bellotti and Sarah Bates and Douglas Foy of Conservation Law Foundation brought suit against the government’s plan to sell oil-lease tracts on Georges Bank.

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JJ Clarke, Angela Sanfilippo, Douglas Foy-  November 24, 1981
Senator Tarr 2000 cenotaph dedication photo gloucester archives
In 2000, throwback photo of Tarr from the Gloucester archives at the dedication of the cenotaph

Continue reading “Senator Tarr on NPR and MA legislators unite”

James A Ryan map of Gloucester / Rockport quarries displayed at local dentist office

I like how area businesses display art and historic ephemera. The waiting area of Dr. Powers’ dentist office features a fascinating poster of the Gloucester Rockport Quarries © July 2017, a working document created by James A Ryan*, Reg / Prof Civil Engineer from Gloucester, MA, based on “2011 aerial surveys provided by Gloucester DPW Engineering Department and Rockport counterpart”

I know Dr. Powers is a history buff and that’s why it’s displayed. (I had a chuckle thinking about these are the first fillings at a dentist that I don’t mind learning about :))

(*no relation)

2011 map quarries (2)2011 map quarries

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Repairs Gone Wrong – botched cleaning on City Hall Honor Roll plaques require corrective restoration

And the qualified help that’s needed is underway!

What do you do when your home repair goes very wrong? Upon evaluation, sometimes you just have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes. In the fall of 2014 memorial honor roll plaques in City Hall received some cleaning. The monuments were due some attention. Over time the names were no longer legible and the surfaces were grimy defeating their noble purpose. Gloucester’s outstanding City Archives and the Cape Ann Office of Veterans Services were and are able to help with research for those who can’t come in person or see them clearly.

photo caption: BEFORE photograph of one of four WW1 honor rolls in the rotunda City Hall, ca.2014

©C Ryan bronze plaque city hall 2

 

The 2014 project was not handled by the city nor administered through its committee for the arts, of which I am a member. Funds were raised privately to work on the plaques. Though well intentioned, those restoration efforts were botched (and costly at the time, so I’m told.)  The names were made more visible, but the plaques were damaged and results are scratched, streaked and blotchy.

photo after poor bronze plaque cleaning splotchy © C Ryan 20170719

A small annual budget (FY2018 $4000) that’s set aside for care of City arts and culture and monuments as part of its mission must now be redirected to fix the fix. Yes, “Sometimes you have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes,”  frustrating, but necessary. Perhaps the 2014 group will reimburse this cost.

Throughout 2018, you may see specialists from Skylight Studios repairing plaques within City Hall through the Committee for the Arts on behalf of the City. (Gloucester residents may recall that Skylight Studios was hired by the Commonwealth to restore the bronze doors of the Abram Piat Andrew Bridge; the doors were temporarily displayed at Cape Ann Museum before being reinstalled.)

The detailed work on the City Hall plaques will be completed in brief, focused intervals. One plaque in the rotunda will be restored last, because it’s a great opportunity to show before and after examples of contemporary restoration projects- the good, the bad and the quality. As the plaques are repaired, the detail of the raised carving and borders and most importantly the names of so many veterans will become easier and easier to read and remember.

Gloucester Ma Veterans Honor Rolls and Monuments

*author note- this post is listing interior Honor Rolls within City Hall; it’s not a complete list for all tributes in Gloucester 

GROUND FLOOR, CITY HALL
Spanish American War- “Men of Gloucester who served in the War with Spain volunteers all 1898-1902. Gloucester ‘s men, serving on land and sea won for their city  the honor of giving to her country the largest per capita of men in this war. Erected by the City of Gloucester 1930.

Honor Roll War with Spain City Hall cleaning needs to be redone  ©c ryan 20180221_095556.jpg
2014 wonky cleaning needs repair (Honor Roll to be repaired sometime 2018)

World War I Honor Rolls (rotunda and upstairs)
World Ward II Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Korean Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Vietnam Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office; Brian Hamilton 1980 painting of fisherman)

just outside Kyrouz Auditorium, FIRST FLOOR, CITY HALL
“Civil War (1861 1865)This tablet records the service of Company G 8th Regiment MVM in the Civil War; and War with Spain (1898 1899) occupation of Cuba; and World War 1917 1919″ Corrective repairs are underway on this trio Honor Roll. Waxy build up added in 2014 is being removed all over, and names in a small lower right corner have been attended.

 

The multi story memorial to Gloucester fishermen lost at sea was a major public art project led, designed and hand painted by Norma Cuneo, with Irma Wheeler and Ellen Ferrin in 1978, a beautiful shrine lighted by day by two tall windows. Mark Newton, then city clerk-historian, and Jerry Cook were lead researchers; the team eventually compiled a card index that could be accessed by the public along with checking this massive lost at sea mural. Research incorporated historic materials like The Fishermen’s Memorial and Record Book, by George H. Procter, published by Procter Bros. in 1873, printed matter, family archives, and newspapers. Volunteers and historians amend the sources and statistics over time. The sense of the power of a name and life is inspiring. The response and need to a tangible, accessible record was tremendous. Their work was the basis for the cenotaph installed in 2000 by the Fisherman at the Wheel memorial on Stacy Boulevard, a sacred place and pilgrimage site accessible day and night.

 

detail City hall interior Gloucester MA with detail of Gloucester IMG_20180222_125029.jpg

Happy President’s Day: FDR in Gloucester, Carrancho family and FSA photos

 

FDR in Gloucester MA.jpg

2015 Manny and Joanna Carrancho, Trib and Ken Joyce and extended family visiting from VA and elsewhere for reunion stop at the HarborWalk exhibition Fishermans Wharf  to see manny panel.jpg

You can find a historic panel about Roosevelt’s visit included as part of the HarborWalk Fisherman’s Wharf display. I’m posting this in tribute to Manny Carrancho. The photographs and history shared by Manny Carrancho (1923-2017), Ken Joyce and their family for the Fisherman’s Wharf exhibit make the FDR plaque incredible. The 2015 photograph above shows the beautiful Carrancho family at Fisherman Wharf by the historic plaque vastly improved by his photos, knowledge and stories.

Manny Carrancho on Fisherman s Wharf exhibition Gloucester MA
Photo caption UL: 1933 En route to ME, President Roosevelt visits Gloucester Harbor.  Ben Pine and others on board the yacht, Amberjack, present an Emile Gruppe painting of the racing schooner, Gertrude L Thebaud, to commemorate their advocacy sail to Washington DC just two months prior. Photo caption UR 1942 Ben Pine’s vessel, Old Glory, at Fisherman’s Wharf. Some of the crew continued with Pine’s vessel the Puritan. Credit: Howard Liberman, September 1942, FSA/OWI photograph collection, Library of Congress.  Photo caption LR: 1943 On a first voyage, young deckhand, Manuel “Manny” Carrancho, mends nets with twine man, first mate Mario Vagos on Ben Pine’s vessel, Old Glory.  Captain Oscar Riberio and Manny became close friends; the Captain and his wife, Irene, were Best Man and Maid of Honor at the wedding of Manny and Joanna Carrancho, née Cecilio. Manny Carrancho helped identify the Howard Liberman photographs in the Library of Congress after a GMG post I wrote in March 2014!

you can click thumbnails to enlarge

 

 

$750,000 #NEH grant opportunity for Gloucester…so many possible ideas and projects!

Archival documentation of a federal grant awarded to Gloucester and nationally recognized for its innovation at the time: reclaiming the City dump for an atheletic field at the High School. Photographs of the project included a sweeping vista from atop Hovey Street. Innovative public works dump reclaimed as Gloucester High School track WPA Annual Bulletin

overlay-banner2_originalShared projects and working together are a focus for a new 2018 NEH grant opportunity.

Contact Mayor Romeo Theken’s arts & culture hotline sefatia4arts@gloucester-ma.gov  by Febraury 28 to add to a list of potential projects for Gloucester for this NEH Deadline, March 15, or to consider as other funding opportunities arise.

Mayor Romeo Theken shares the 2018 press release from the Commonwealth:

Activities supported by National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant funds include:
 capital expenditures such as the design, purchase, construction, restoration
or renovation of facilities and historic landscapes;
 the purchase of equipment and software;
 the documentation of cultural heritage materials that are lost or imperiled:
 the sustaining of digital scholarly infrastructure;
 the preservation and conservation of collections; and
 the sharing of collections.

The grant below is a new grant from NEH and could be a great opportunity to enhance your local cultural or historical organizations. Please share it far and wide. And let us know if we can provide a letter of support for an application from your community.  Regards, Rick Jakious

Good afternoon, 
The National Endowment for the Humanities has just announced a new grant program to support humanities infrastructures. Cultural institutions, such as libraries, museums, archives, colleges and universities, and historic sites, are eligible to apply for grants of up to $750,000.
 
These challenge grants, which require a match of nonfederal funds, may be used toward capital expenditures such as construction and renovation projects, purchase of equipment and software, sharing of humanities collections between institutions, documentation of lost or imperiled cultural heritage, sustaining digital scholarly infrastructure, and preservation and conservation of humanities collections.
 
The application deadline for the first NEH Infrastructure and Capacity-Building Challenge Grants is March 15, 2018. Interested applicants should direct questions about grant proposals to challenge@neh.govor 202-606-8309. 
 
Please consider sharing this exciting new funding opportunity with cultural institutions in your district.
 
Thank you,Timothy H. Robison
Director of Congressional Affairs
National Endowment for the Humanities
400 7th Street, SW  4th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20506
(202) 606-8273

Innovative and worthy contemporary Gloucester possibilities abound: shared Archives (NSAA, Rocky Neck, Sargent House, City Archives, CAM, Legion, Libraries, Wards historical societies, etc); Digitize City Archives; Digitize Gloucester Daily Times archives; building and historic landscape projects city owned (City Archives, City Hall, Legion, Fitz Henry Lane, Fire Station, Stage Fort, beaches, etc) or in partnership; DPW work; on and on.

Additional grant opportunities, news, and deadlines: Continue reading “$750,000 #NEH grant opportunity for Gloucester…so many possible ideas and projects!”

Can major Gloucester paintings by Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer come back home? Appealing to Bill Gates and private collectors: please remember Gloucester!

Legions of fans visit local, national and international museums to see icons of American 20th century art by Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer. Some of this art was inspired by Gloucester, MA. One more Hopper or Homer Gloucester scene in any collection would be welcome, but in Gloucester it would be transformative.

The City of Gloucester boasts a world class museum that would be the ideal repository for a major Hopper and Homer of Gloucester. It hasn’t happened, yet. It should! I feel not enough of a case has been made for having originals right here in the city that inspired some of their most famous works and changed their art for the better.

Edward Hopper Captain’s House (Parkhurst House), one of the few original Hopper works remaining in private hands, is slated as a promised gift to Arkansas’s Crystal Bridges Museum of  American Art. Crystal Bridges opened in 2011 and will have acquired 4 examples of Hopper’s art — 2 paintings, 1 drawing and 1 print–with this gift. (I think Arkansas would have been ok with 3.)

Edward Hopper Parkhurst's House Captain's House 1924 watercolor private collection 100+ Gloucester homes and vistas inspired Hopper

 

The only known Winslow Homer seascape painting still in private hands is a great one inspired by Gloucester. Bill and Melinda Gates own Lost on the Grand Banks, 1885.  I saw it at the auction house back in 1998 just before the sale.  What a fit for Gloucester and Homer if it found its way back here!

 

Winslow Homer Lost on the Grand Banks 1885

 

Edward Hopper’s Gloucester Street also went to the west coast, purchased by Robert Daly. I’d love to see this one in person! The corner hasn’t changed much since 1928 when Hopper painted the street scene.

 

Gloucester Street edward hopper painting

Gloucester street painted by Edward Hopper TODAY.jpg

 

Hopper’s downtown Gloucester scene, Railroad Gates, is not on public display.

Edward Hopper Railroad Gates Gloucester MA

I’m surprised and hopeful that there are paintings of Gloucester by Hopper that could be secured. There are tens of drawings including major works on paper. I saw this Gloucester drawing, Circus Wagon, by Edward Hopper at the ADAA art Fair back in March 2016.

20160304_153938 (2).jpg

Davis House (25 Middle Street) was sold at auction in 1996.

Edward Hopper Davis House, Middle Street Gloucester MA.jpg

I’m keeping tabs on most of them. The only way they’re going into any museum is through largesse. Why not Gloucester?

Homer and Hopper watercolors in private collections can’t be on permanent view due to the medium’s fragility. (Exciting developments in glazing and displays are being developed that go beyond the protective lift.) The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester, MA, cares for works of art as well as any institution.

 

 

1938 no-nonsense classroom film New England Fishermen shows Gloucester, schooner, steam, and diesel trawlers

At the dawn of talkies, ERPI (Electrical Research Products Inc) sought to “bring the world to the classrooms” via 16mm A/V equipment and a catalog of films. ERPI was a subsidiary of AT&T and a forerunner of Encyclopedia Britannica Films.

They produced GLOUCESTER FISHERMEN (under 9 min) in 1938 with backing from Clark University. The film’s narrator was James Brill. There was also a 1938 film titled Shell-Fishing. 

from the A/V Geeks archive youtube channel

1938 ERPI film

Here’s James Brill narrating and before the camera in the 1946 film: FROM DEMOCRACY TO DESPOTISM, 1946, Encyclopedia Britannica Films.