1979 time capsule – E. Raymond Abbott, former Cape Pond Ice owner and Gloucester philanthropist, on the history of Day’s pond, its waterlilies and a Rockport watershed

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:

stone wall repaired 2018 Day's Pond Gloucester MA_20190425_©c ryan (2)
2018 new engineered wall, railing (sidewalk pending) – read more about Gloucester DPW work here

“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.

In 1943, I decided to sell the Cape Pond Ice Company. However, before doing so, I gave the upper Day’s Pond to the city of Gloucester so that the children always have a place to skate in the winter, in the summertime provide a pond for fishing, as well as a beautiful subject for our local artists to paint. It was during this same period that I was able to acquire most of the land around Cape Pond and later gave my interest to the town of Rockport to be used as a water shed. 

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

Long Beach seawall walkway construction continues – widening and extending path to Rockport end

In 2018 Rockport widened  much of the Long Beach seawall walkway beginning at the Gloucester side and stretching past the midpoint.  Recently crews began extending this project straight through to the end point on the Rockport side. The work is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks.

Rocky explained it’s done in segments and moving right along.

Long Beach seawall walkway widening in process_20190607_© c ryan (3)

 

Long Beach seawall walkway widening in process_20190607_© c ryan.jpg

 

 

Besides this big project, the getting ready for summer bustle is in full swing. Annual staircase return? Check! Front row cottage work? Check! New patio and masonry work by the former hotel (photos 2018 vs 2019 below) where the stone patio was compromised, various yardwork and private deck repairs are visible along the promenade.

 

Brothers Brew 1923 doughnuts recipe mystery | Does anyone know who M.L.P. of #RockportMA might be?

Brothers Brew mystery recipe author_20190601_© c ryan

Does anyone know...© c ryan

Brother’s Brew coffee shop, 27 Main Street, Rockport, Ma. (978) 546-3775

Brackett’s, Rockport, Mass. http://www.bracketts.com/

Family fun tomorrow! TOHP Burnham #EssexMA party 10am-noon, and Motif #1 all day #RockportMA

TOHP Burnham Essex Public Reception Saturday, May 18 10AM-NOON

Temporary Public Art: Alexia Parker
Fun Fridays: May 10, 17, 31, June 7 4PM
Author James McKenna & Illust. Juni VanDyke If I were Series 5/10; llust. Alexia Parker Bike’s Big Adventure and Pumpkin Carving 5/17; Author & Illust. Barbara McLaughlin The Long Way Home 5/31; Author Diane Polley & Illust. Marion Hall Let’s Go! Animal Tracks in the Snow 6/7

TOHP Burnham Library, Essex
30 Martin Street, Essex, MA 01929
978.768.7410
Days/Hours: M1-7,T1-5,W1-7,Th10-5,F1-5,S10-12
https://essexpubliclibrary.org

Essex Bicentennial display also on view.

snapshot scenes from Fun Friday May 10th and today below and TOHP Burnham hall installation views, Alexia Parker paper collage series, Hometown, for Once Upon a Contest group exhibition. 

returned with her completed work to show Juni_20190517_164303.jpg

 

 

Rockport Motif #1 Saturday, May 18 all day

poster Motif #1 day 2019.jpg

 

Scenes from Literary Cape Ann special event at Cape Ann Cinema featuring Rodman Philbrick, Andre Dubus III and Stephen McCauley

Literary Cape Ann presented  a terrific afternoon, Bestseller to Big Screen, featuring Rodman Philbrick, Andre Dubus III, and Stephen McCauley at Cape Ann Cinema 21 Main Street in Gloucester May 5, 2019.

The Toad Hall wheels behind Literary Cape Ann invited Beth Pocock, Asst. Director Sawyer Free Library, to moderate the first half of the program. Literary Cape Ann co-founder Rae Francoeur directed the second part.  The Book Store of Gloucester set up shop to handle book sales. Cape Ann Cinema had trailers queued up and fresh popcorn pop pop popping which was offbeat and endearing. All went off without a hitch thanks to great questions, event coordination/collaboration and three dynamite authors who were  frank, engaging, witty and bright. Make sure to look for the next Literary Cape Ann event.

Sponsored by Bach Builders and Gloucester Writers Center

Literary Cape Ann hosts Bestseller to Big screen at Cape Ann Cinema and Stage_Main STreet Gloucester Mass-flyer

“When a book becomes a movie, a lot happens. It’s a transforming moment for an author whose book takes on a new life. Three authors share their Hollywood stories on May 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. Rodman Philbrick: The Mighty; Stephen McCauley: The Object of My Affection; Andre Dubus III: House of Sand and Fog. Free. Book signings, refreshments, film clips.”

Literary Cape Ann presents Bestsellers to Big Screen at Cape Ann Cinema | 3 bestselling authors dishing how & Hollywood

Literary Cape Ann presents Bestseller to Big Screen featuring Rodman Philbrick, Andre Dubus III, and Stepehn McCauley at Cape Ann Cinema21 Main Street in Gloucester on May 5, 2019. Sponsored by Bach Builders and Gloucester Writers Center

Literary Cape Ann hosts Bestseller to Big screen at Cape Ann Cinema and Stage_Main STreet Gloucester Mass-flyer

“When a book becomes a movie, a lot happens. It’s a transforming moment for an author whose book takes on a new life. Three authors share their Hollywood stories on May 5, from 1 to 3 p.m. Rodman Philbrick: The Mighty; Stephen McCauley: The Object of My Affection; Andre Dubus III: House of Sand and Fog. Free. Book signings, refreshments, film clips.”

Sort, Roll, Inspect, Repeat – Mary Ann’s descendant & construction progress on Long Beach seawall

Construction work continues on the Long Beach seawall at 3 compromised sections: two 500′ sections (one is closer to the Gloucester edge and the second pretty much mid beach) and a third 30′ area of trouble at the corner by the creek and footbridge. Last summer’s temporary pyres have been vastly expanded with truckloads of boulders from Johnson’s Quarry. The line of boulders helps to prevent sand from being scoured away by seas and the bottom of the wall from further erosion. The rip rap will add ballast support weight.

Besides the crew at Long Beach, the second unit labors at the quarry. It’s slow and careful going impacted by weather and tides. This week was busy. Next week’s conditions are less favorable. Extra time is allotted to make certain heavy equipment beats the tides or the very real possibility of large equipment breaks or malfunction (thankfully has not happened yet). People wondered if a jetty or two was in the works but that is simply temporary staging.

Boulders are deposited at the Gloucester entrance to the beach and transferred to repair sites. Excavators work with Rockport DPW and GZA engineers for optimum selection. (GZA was contracted for Gloucester’s Stacy Boulevard work.) “Spotters” can be seen atop the Long Beach walkway. After the boulders are dumped into piles, the excavator sorts, lifts, rolls and inspects the whole lot and singles like searching for an impossibly hard to find puzzle piece. Sometimes one boulder is turned 15x before it’s the correct pitch or timing. The sorting was remarkably graceful and reminded me of rinsing and prepping berries or beans.

One day at Long Beach I spotted a swimmer with a glorious and faithful arm tattoo of Mary Ann from Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. He was staying at Cape Ann Motor Inn. Did he know that the author and illustrator, Virginia Lee Burton, was from Gloucester? He was stunned and thrilled. She modeled the steam shovel after one she brought her son to see busy building Gloucester High School. Families with little construction fans might enjoy watching Mary Ann’s descendant shoring up the Long Beach seawall.

The timeline for permits and planning for a future sand phase have not been slated.

Long Beach seawall Gloucester Rockport Ma_20190315_© cryan

 

 

Heavy surf and high tide rough on heavy equipment at Long Beach

Views today were taken an hour before the afternoon high tide. Prior high tide left its mark, and I expect more tomorrow with such high winds predicted.

heavy equipment pulled off_ heavy surf high tide_winter surf_20190224_Long Beach Gloucester Rockport Mass © catherine ryan (4).jpg

 

2019 winter repairs

Feb 8 prepping for repairs

Try the hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows at Blume in Rockport Massachusetts!

Step through the cheery pink door of Blume Coffee (“Flour Shop”) aside Mayflour Cakes & Confections at Whistlestop mall in Rockport Friday through Sunday for specialty coffees, teas, and hot chocolate (with to die for marshmallows), and not to miss Mayflour Confections daily bake treats.

homemade marshmellows_Flour shop _2018 april 21_Whistlestop Mall Rockport Mass © catherine ryan

 

 

 

 

Cape Ann has so many great scone options with its stellar bakeries–there could be a scone trail!

Quite a DPW project! heavy equipment brought in for Long Beach seawall repairs

heavy equipment_Long Beach_ Cape Ann Motor Inn_walkway winter 2019 repairs on beach side_20190208_Gloucester Rockport Mass© Catherine Ryan a

Dog walkers and surfers crossed paths with Kevin and Gary from K & R Construction and Rockport Department of Public Works (DPW) on site setting up a new phase for Long Beach seawall repairs. Two roughly 500 feet lengths of rip rap extending out 15-18 feet (tapered) will be built up beginning just past the first stairs near red cottage 20 Long Beach. Sand will be added later as part of this phase. A steel road plate path was set in at the Gloucester Mass staging entrance so equipment won’t get stuck. Last year smaller forklifts and dump trucks shuttled boulders for patch rip rap.

 

Slow and steady– truck is LOADED (and another sets up straight away)

 

Winter repair is coming | new holes, cracks, and breaks along Long Beach seawall

separation_20190203_ Long Beach walkway Gloucester Rockport Mass© catherine ryan

Michael Cronin writes about upcoming seawall repairs_Gloucester Daily Times front page feb 2 2019

Town Begins to shore up Long Beach seawall, by Michael Cronin, Gloucester Daily Times

 

Long Beach view from Gloucester Mass side_BEFORE winter seawall repairs_more beach for staging this side of beach_20190203_© catherine ryan
JANUARY 2019 (BEFORE REPAIRS) Long Beach looking from Gloucester Mass side to Rockport- this edge of the beach has more tide to stage construction from. Construction crews will contend with tides as they did last year.

Plenty of prior GMG posts (search “Long Beach seawall”); here are a few:

REPAIRING LONG BEACH ROCKPORT MASS AFTER STORM DAMAGE|BUSY NEW ENGLAND DPW CREWS April 2018

Seawall damage coverage GMG post May 25, 2018

FILL RAKE AND ROLL- NEXT STEPS IN THE LONG BEACH SEAWALL STORM REPAIR June 2018

November sunset waves like Turner seascapes | Long Beach Gloucester and Rockport MA

So this is November at Long Beach, views mostly from the Gloucester edge approximately two hours post high tide which was at 2:00PM November 27, 2018.

sun drops fast November surf_4PM_Long Beach looking back to Gloucester MA edge_20181127_©c ryan

sunset November surf_Twin Lights Rockport MA from Long Beach Gloucester MA_20181127_©c ryan

High tide was here

 

30 second video clips

 

— when sunlight broke through spin drifts tossed rainbows

Rockport Fire Department responds to Long Beach cottage 🔥 fire smoke call

Area residents murmuring that the smoke is possibly due to a refrigerator electrical fire. Rockport firefighters are assessing the situation on the ground. Simultaneous scene of spectators and beachgoers

Smoke visibly rising front row cottage Long Beach Rockport Mass Gloucester_Sept 2_2018_131229©c ryan.jpg
smoke rising visible from a distance- from window of front row cottage Long Beach