Thoreau, Trails & Sails, and Greenbelt: this weekend’s all about taking the scenic route

Emily Levin at Essex National Heritage in Salem, MA, where she has directed marketing and events like Trails & Sails for nine years. The original painting commissioned for Essex National Heritage 10th anniversary (2006) was created by local Ipswich folk artist, Julia Purinton. It’s one of three landscapes: Seacoast ; Conservation Lands and Merrimack Valley (Industry)


Emily Levin of Essex National Heritage has directed Trails & Sails for 9 years and seen its growth. Levin told me that 2017 is “one of the largest line ups of different events coming together to showcase the region’s best places in the area. The historic road is already right there. Plus you can stop in all the wonderful restaurants and shops.” The Essex National Heritage headquarters moved to 10 Federal in downtown Salem, next to most anyplace on your visit. I’ll miss steady and affable Bill Steelman who has moved on from Essex National Heritage. Congratulations to Kate Day, Danvers former Town Manager, who has joined to lead the Scenic Byway efforts.

Essex National Heritage Trails & Sails 

is Essex National Heritage’s Essex County pep rally-  annual back to back weekends packed with 150+ FREE, fun, and family friendly events. Here’s the working list of the 2017 Trails & Sails events in Gloucester September 15-17th and September 22-24th. Don’t forget to sign in! The count helps your favorite organization and locale, and you might win a prize like $150 from Dick’s Sporting Goods. 


 Climb Up City Hall Tower, Hosted by Gloucester City Hall Restoration Commission
September 23 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM

bronze plaques in city hallTalking Walls of Gloucester Gloucester’s renowned Works Projects Administration (WPA era) murals. Hosted at City Hall by The City of Gloucester and Gloucester Committee for the Arts

September 23  12:00 PM to 3:00 PM open for self guided tour
September 23    1:00 PM guided talk and tour 


Decorative Painting Demonstration, Hosted by Pauline’s Gifts,
co founder of the new Woman Owned Businesses Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway trail map celebrating street level, local women retailers from Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich and Rowley who share a regional ‘Main Street’ – Route 133/1A, part of the gorgeous 90 mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. Several planned events for Trails and Sails.

September 16  2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
September 23  2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

L-R and #  on the Woman Owned Businesses Along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway map:
#2 Shelly Nicastro, #8 Anne Thomas and next to her one of the dealers in her shop, Connie, #4 Katrina Haskell, #5 Johanne Cassia, #1 Pauline Bresnahan, #6 Ann Orcutt, #3 Georgeanne Richards, Missing from photo #7 Lorin Hesse and #9 Cathy Reardon


Gloucester Sea Serpent Hosted by Cape Ann Museum

September 23 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Gloucester Sea Serpent Mash-Up at Maritime Gloucester

September 23 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Gloucester’s HarborWalk: Select one of three walking toursHosted by the city of Gloucester, permanent outdoor trail and exhibit (Gloucester Sea Serpent HarborWalk marker #19)
September 15-17 (self guided – Open all day) September 22-24 (self guided- Open all day)
Historic Art Trail Walk Hosted by Rocky Neck Art Colony
September 24  2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Historic Ice House Guided Tours Hosted by Cape Pond Ice Company
Sept 15 2-3PM
Sept 16 11-12 and 1-2
Sept 17 11-12
Sept 22 2-3
Sept 23 11-12 and 1-2
Sept 24 11-12


Hosted by Gloucester’s Magnolia Library & Community Center & Iris Weaver

September 23, 2017, 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

September 16 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Step on FISH NET: Gloucester’s Award-winning 300ft Street Art temporary mural Hosted by city of Gloucester and Gloucester Committee for the Arts

September 15-17 (self guided – open all day) September 22-24 (self guided- Open all day)


A Weekend With Thoreau 

weekend with throeau 2017

Two more events September 16th:

Greenbelt’s 3rd annual bicycle ‘Tour de Greenbelt’ (begins in Essex)

Paul Cary Goldberg will be giving a short talk at 1pm on Saturday September 16th at Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant Street, about his photograph series, Here Still, fitting visit during Thoreau and #TrailsAndSails celebrations

Jane Deering Gallery Pauld Cary Goldberg Here Still Thoreau weekend #TrailsandSails

Plus on Sunday September 17th

Fish Box Derby on Rogers Street at high noon

And talk back 4pm at Gloucester Stage following matinee “Flight of the Monarch”


2017 Essex National Heritage Trails and Sails #TrailsAndSails

Gloucester Writer’s Center May Line-up, with Our Own Joey C Discussing Blogging at the Rocky Neck CulturalCenter


Sat., May 10 7:30pm
Cultural Center at Rocky Neck
6 Wonson Street

Suggested Donation $10
No one turned away for lack of funds

Join actor/educator Jay DiPrima, for this spirited and thought provoking reading of
Henry David’s Thoreau’s lecture on



David Rich
Wed., May 14 7:30
GWC 126 East Main Street

The Hiring and Dismissal of a
Black Teacher in 1950’s Gloucester


unnamed-2Come hear, speak and see
Joey Ciaramitaro, Steve Brettler, Greg Gibson, Martin Ray and Kathleen Valentine talk about
B L O G G I N G .

Tues. May 20th 7:30
Cultural Center at Rocky Neck

Robert Podgurski
Wandering On Course to a Gestalt Poetics
Thurs. May 29th 6:30pm Ravenswood Park
Space is limited so Email Annie to reserve a spot.
Donation at will

After the walk come to a reading by Bob at the GWC at 8:00pm

Thoreau speech at Library

From the Beacon

On the 20th of December in 1848 several hundred citizens of Gloucester packed into the Town Hall to hear what was billed as an “original and highly entertaining lecture.” The lecturer was Henry David Thoreau, the gentleman from Concord. These men and women of Gloucester, who paid the not insignificant sum of one-dollar admission for a yearlong series of lectures, were perhaps somewhat starved for cultural offerings and evening entertainment. After all, they were without television, radio, movies, sports bars and none of their children were in the Little League!

On Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m., that evening in Gloucester history and the Thoreau lecture will be recreated by Jay DiPrima, who brings history to life through his dramatization of people and events. The program is being sponsored by the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, the current day version of the original sponsor. The Lyceum, which is the program arm of the Library, carries on the mission of cultural enrichment, education and entertainment.

For more information, click here.

Beauport Anthology




June 4th 8pm

Unitarian Universalist Church

10 Church Street

Gloucester, MA 01930

Admission only $5.00

The research and scriptwriting process was funded in part through a grant fromThe Gloucester School Connection.

The production was funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council administered through the Gloucester Cultural Council.

Special thanks also to Stephanie Buck and Courtney Richardson of the Cape Ann Museum for their assistance in research and dialogue.

The Beauport Anthology features nine local professional and community actors performing dramatic monologues of 16 characters from Gloucester’s history .

Cast of characters in order of appearance followed by (actor’s names) is as follows:

John James Babson (Gordon Baird) – Wrote the first history of Gloucester (1860)Narrator : History of the Town of Gloucester ©1860

Masconomet, Sachem of Agawam (Jim Buhrendorf)

Captain John Smith (Duncan Nelson) New World explorerVoyages 1605

Lord Sheffield (1623) (David Adams) – granting of Cape Ann Charter

Abigail Sommes (1692) (Nora Messier) Gloucester woman accused of witchcraft

Thomasine (Tammy) Younger – (Tina Greel) A wily Dogtown character

Easter Carter (Talia Brown) – one of the last Dogtown denizens

Rev. John & Judith Sargent Murray  (Jay DiPrima/Nora Messier)        Founders of the first Unitarian Universalist Churches in the US.

Peg Wesson (Tina Greel) Left Dogtown to tend tavern bar – “witch tale”

Fitz Henry Lane (Jay DiPrima)- renowned painter & lithographer

Samuel Sawyer (David Adams) – philanthropist & Gloucester benefactor

General Benjamin Butler (Bradley Royds) – Civil War soldier, lawyer, entrepreneur, served as Massachusetts Congressman, Senator & Governor.

Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward (Talia Brown) – writer, poet, prohibitionist, women’s rights advocate

Captain Eldridge (Gordon Baird) – sea captain, nautical chart expert (Recounts Kipling’s Captain’s Courageous 3 day visit to Gloucester)

Mason Walton (David Adams) – Hermit of Ravenswood

Howard Blackburn (Duncan Nelson) – “Fearless Fisherman,” Lone Voyager, philanthropist, builder/owner of Blackburn Tavern (now Halibut Point)

Song – Sea Serpent – a metaphor of fear vs. mystery & hope for Gloucester

Adapted and arranged by (Bradley Royds) from the children’s book – The Serpent Came To Gloucester, by M.T. Anderson © 2005.

Special thanks to Linda Stockman for costume design and construction!

BEAUPORT CAST BIOS (in order of appearance)

Gordon Baird (Babson/Captain Eldridge) was the co-founder and 25 year publisher of Billboard’s Musician Magazine.  He founded the West End Theater of Gloucester, the Gloucester Kids’ Theater Club and the cable TV comedy show Gloucester Chicken Shack. He is an Equity actor, singer and currently plays in the rock band, The Tide. A native New Yorker and an everyday sailor, Gordon writes a humor column for the Gloucester Times and lives on a seaside farm with three kids, a patient wife, an old tractor, 3 goats, 17 chickens and a very personable pig.

James Buhrendorf (Masconomet) grew up in a 1950s rural trailer park and a Levittown-style Cape Cod tract house, in a green Connecticut Valley town where he was allowed to drive tractors as a young farmhand. After 30 years in corporate public relations and publicity, he is now discovering he can sing, play and perform — everything from heartfelt alternative roots songs, Sufi-inspired instrumental compositions, and compelling stories drawn from personal and collective history.

Duncan Nelson (Captain Smith/Howard Blackburn) is an English Professor at UMass/Boston. Theater-wise this guy’s been tossed in a range of roles, from Malvolio to Poo-Bah, Carnes in O-klahoma, and Doc  West Side Story. Having reached his eightieth year he’s praying his crowning glory will be – to have learned, and been turned into, King Lear!

David Adams (Lord Sheffield/Sam Sawyer/Mason Walton) is a self employed arborist of Cape Ann.  He has been acting and dancing for more than 25 years.  His last role was as Antonio in Merchant of Venice

Nora Messier (Abigail Sommes/Judith Sargent Murray) has worked both on and off stage in various theatres including Gloucester Stage Company, the Boston Actors Theatre, The Firehouse in Newburyport, The West End Theatre, History Alive!, and the Boston Playwrights Theatre.  Some of her favorite roles she has enjoyed delving into are Jo March (Little Women), Lizzie Morden (Our Country’s Good), and Antonio (Twelfth Night).  Outside of the theatre she sings in a choir, dabbles on the piano, listens to her husband’s band practices, and is the residence director of a group home for adults with developmental disabilities.

Tina Greel (Thomasine Younger/Peg Wesson) grew up on the head of the harbor. She has been an actress, a visual artist and follower of the muse for many years in Gloucester. She has had minor roles in several area films and is the lead actress in the current Gorton’s commercial.

Talia Brown (Easter Carter/Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward) is a performing artist in the Boston area. Most recently she has enjoyed storytelling for children’s shows at Symphony Hall, Boston Children’s Museum and many of New England’s public schools. Talia currently teaches Theatre at O’Maley Middle School in Gloucester, MA.

Jay DiPrima (Rev. John Murray/Fitz Henry Lane) playwright and life long educator, Jay currently teaches performing arts and directs shows at O’Maley Middle School. Dr. DiPrima also teaches graduate courses in drama and education for Fitchburg State and Endicott College. One of his passions is to bring “history to life” through dramatization. Other historical dramas and monodramas that he has written include: Henry David Thoreau: Lyceum Lecturer, Mohandas Gandhi: His Majesty’s Hotel and Paul, the Aged (Apostle Paul). As an actor, he toured with the Guild Players for many years bringing historical figures and literary adaptations to school children throughout New England. Jay is most grateful to the Gloucester School Connection, the Gloucester Cultural Council and this remarkable cast for bringing these characters to life.

Bradley Royds (Benjamin F. Butler/musician) is a composer, performer, producer, sound designer and recording artist. Currently, his songs and sounds can be heard in television shows, commercials, theater, video games, and on the radio, Cd’s and the internet. He has a lifetime of accomplishment and professional experience in both the art and business of entertainment. Bradley has appeared as a guitarist in Stoneham Theater’s production of Tommy, and The New Rep’s Scapin. As General Benjamin Butler he draws on his Southern roots and Northern sensibilities. Bradley would like to thank Jay DiPrima and the entire cast!

Sneak Peek!

Sharon Lowe photo

Beauport Anthology – Dramatic monologues of Gloucester’s colorful characters 1600 – 1900. (Cast of 9) – Gordon Baird (photo above), David Adams, Jay DiPrima, Jim Buhrendorf, Bradley Royds, Talia Brown, Nora Messier, Tina Greel, Duncan Nelson – from Masconnomet to Blackburn.

Funded in part by the Mass Cultural Council – Performances on June 1st for O’Maley & GHS students.
More info coming soon!
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