Great Public Works then and now | Haskell’s Pond Dam 2018 reconstruction with 1902 construction plans & wild origin story #GloucesterMA

Last month I was fortunate to glimpse the impressive Haskell’s Pond Dam reconstruction orchestrated by Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Protecting and managing water utilities can be easy to take for granted. “This not so sleepy dam by Rt. 128 continues to deliver almost 30% of the city’s water,” exclaimed Larry Durkin, City Environmental Engineer. He explained that years ago the DPW team began assessing the city’s water infrastructure and compliance requirements including what would happen during an event storm. Haskell’s Pond Dam needed attention: The reconstruction was projected to cost 2 million (based on the preliminary plans and the recent Babson Reservoir repair). Phase I and II  were contracted out to SumCo Eco Contracting and the estimates were correct. The project cost two million and the work is largely completed thanks to grants and loans from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and the Commonwealth’s Dam and Seawall Program.  DPW Director, Mike Hale, and Larry Durkin concur: “They are fabulous to work with.” Discovery was anticipated. While drilling it was determined that the Haskell Pond Dam was indeed not structurally stable, and a MAJOR fix would be required to bring the dam into compliance. The DPW team is working with the state to fund the critical work of Phase 3.

Until then, take time to enjoy its history. While checking out the 2018  progress, I pulled stories and stats from the Haskell’s Pond Dam original build In 1902. As with today, the dam work was regarded  a model project. State assistance and contracted elements were required then, too. The numerous links among these two century projects are a fascinating delve and described below. The evolving breaking news in 1902 kicked off with a bang, surprising lawsuits (next stop for one could be Supreme Court), and deft leadership. Readers and history buffs will recognize names. (Tarr ancestors were involved; were yours?)

panorama and contemporary photos – Like a mini Walden pond- Haskell’s Pond during Dam reconstruction Gloucester, MA ©c ryan July 7, 2018.  

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (1)

FAST STATS 2018 Phase 1 & 2 – $1,928,000

Scope for Phase 1 & 2: Construction of a new concrete spillway chute, concrete repairs, clearing of trees and unwanted vegetation and valve replacement at an earthen embankment dam within the City’s active water supply system, and more (A prior $175,000 grant from the state’s Dam and Seawall Program was awarded to support “engineering, permitting and the development of construction documents”  which established scope for Phase 1)

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (7)

Contractor: SumCo Eco Contracting,
Status: largely completed
Mayor: Mayor Romeo Theken
DPW Director: Mike Hale
City Environmental Engineer: Lawrence A. Durkin, P.E.
Project start (historic): 1902
Modern project start: 2013-18; RFP for Phase I issued: March 15, 2017
Total project cost: estimated to be $7 million
Funding Awarded to date: $1,925,000 

  • from State: $1,925,000 – The City has done very well with Grants and Loans from the MA Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and its Dam and Seawall Program, Mike Hale and Larry Durkin concur. “They are fabulous to work with.”
No EEA Grant Loan Comment
1 Design  & permitting grant FY 2016 $175,000 Completed 6/30/16
2 Haskell Phase 1 Construction Grant FY 2017 $500,000 Closed 6/30/17 and City reimbursed
3 Haskell Phase 1 Construction Loan FY 2018 $500,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
4 Haskell Phase 2 Construction Grant FY 2018 (Applied to Phase 1 change orders) $500,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
5 Additional FY 2018 EEA, funds applied to Phase 1 change orders $250,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
6 Haskell Phase 2 Full FY 2019 Grant, to be applied to Phase 3 $500,000 to be realized if Phase 3 goes forward in FY 2019
7 EEA Total to date $1,925,000 $500,000

Phase 3:  Some future phase was anticipated, though obviously impossible to nail down until Phase 1 & 2 were completed. The reconstruction was based on discovery put into works five or more years ago as Durkin and DPW team assessed city’s watersheds. The dam has been deemed unstable and will require a major fix to be compliant. According to Durkin, the scope for Phase 3 will include “a secant concrete wall to be drilled and concrete along the dam crest for its entire length, cored in the bedrock beneath dam for structural stability and a concrete parapet wall tied into the secant wall that provides the necessary containment for the maximum storm as defined by the state” and some exicting ancillary projects I’ll write more about in a future update. Phase 3 is estimated to cost 5 million and DPW is working on grants with the state to ensure that it happens.

Location(s): West Gloucester
Priority:  Mayor Romeo Theken’s Office-City consider water highest priority – this one continues to provide 1/3 of the city’s water

Before / After

before photos courtesy DPW ca.2014  /  after photos ©c ryan 2018

 

 

ORIGINAL 1902 PLANS AND PROPOSAL

Plate 14 West Gloucester showing Haskell's Pond_from Gloucester MA Dept Public Works archives

Reviewing the ordeal that was constructing the dam– one hundred and six years ago –is a fascinating read, and helped me appreciate the major job it’s been in 2018. The original dam construction was contentious and hence the top news story of 1902 and years prior. While researching its beginnings, I was struck by just how many areas of concern and themes of city governance from 1902 remain relevant in 2018. Here’s a short list: the financial condition of the city (“revaluation”), suitable allocations, considering work on Rogers Street, water costs, heroic solo sails, possible steel bridge over Annisquam, Burnham Field play ground, pros and cons of tourism, disagreement over what is considered sound development, new theater on Main Street, announcing state grants, eminent domain, boundary lines, Gloucester Fresh, cut bridge in bad condition, aiming to keep work in town when possible, Stage Fort Park tributes, environmentally friendly innovations,  sustainability, access and oodles of local politics-  Office of Mayor and City Council, city staff, committees, and commissions.

The excerpts below pertain to Haskell’s pond dam from 1902 Gloucester Daily Times  archives that I pulled from reels at Sawyer Free and transcribed for easy access.  Plans and maps are courtesy of Mike Hale and the Department Public Work team. Links to high resolution versions are provided at the end of the post.

January 4, 1902 – MAYOR FRENCH LOSES: Aldermen Vote to Exonerate Water Commissioners

Continue reading “Great Public Works then and now | Haskell’s Pond Dam 2018 reconstruction with 1902 construction plans & wild origin story #GloucesterMA”

Art of fatherhood: Gloucester artists and writers

A small selection of images and words about and by fathers, with Gloucester ties. What would you add? Happy Father’s Day!

Edward Hopper portrait of artist's father
Edward Hopper, portrait of artist’s father, Whitney Museum

 

Air

They took my father’s father from the mines

and laid him, broken, on the kitchen table,

the wake singers lifting their lines

above the water heater he had often mended.

 

My father always dreamed of him alive,

able to whittle an oak peg for every split thing.

all my father lost at the age of nine

enclosed his life, his air.

 

In my flood dream, I carry my father

piggyback–easier than a kid’s coffin–

to safety from the Susquehanna River

as light as a dollhouse, now, or violin.

Joseph Featherstone, from his book of poems, Brace’s Cove

 

Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman's son
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman’s son.” Library of Congress, FSA collection

 

Caitlin

To be seven when a brother dies–

to have shared a room.

Her silence frightened us.

 

One night she rose from the table

and climbed to the top of the stairs.

We heard the small voice

 

singing each of the songs

from the funeral service.

The next morning in school

 

she announced to her class,

“I am ready for questions now.”

by Joseph Featherstone, from Brace’s Cove

 

Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father's home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration--including the chosing of an Imperator, and
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, MA. Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home…” Library of Congress

full title for the Gordon Parks photograph above: “Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration–including the chosing of an Imperator, and visiting, eating, drinking, and worship in the home, culminates in a parade and blessing by the priest–originated with ancient Portugeese fisherman, drought-stricken, who prayed for assistance and received it.”

 

John_hays_hammond_and_natalie_hays_hammond library of congress
John Hays Hammond with daughter, Natalie Hays Hammond. collection Library of Congress

Captain’s Courageous was published in 1897. “During the winter of 1897-98 I made another trip to South Africa, and on the same boat with me were Rudyard Kipling (Rudyard was named after a place where his father and mother first met), his wife, and his father, Lockwood Kipling, the artist. They proved excellent traveling companions and we have maintained our friendly contact ever sense.” – John Hays Hammond 

John_Lockwood_Kipling_és_Rudyard_Kipling
John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard Kipling

The Kiplings collaborated: the artist John Lockwood Kipling illustrated many of his sons’ books.

John Lockwood Kipling Jungle Book

jungle book 2

John Lockwood Kipling White Seal
John Lockwood Kipling, The White Seal

 

William Foster Biddle Cecilia Beaux PAFA gift of Sandwith Drinker
Cecilia Beaux, portrait sketch of William Foster Biddle, Pennsylvania Academy Fine Art, gift of Sandwith Drinker  (Biddle like a father to Cecilia)

 

William Morris Hunt Prodigal Son Brattleboro library
William Morris Hunt, Prodigal Son, Brattleboro Library

Hunt purchased a former barn and adjoining carpenter’s shop in Magnolia. “…in three weeks the old, unsightly buildings were converted into a picturesque structure with galleries on the outside, one of them ending in a seat in an old willow-tree. The carpenter shop was turned into a studio, the chief light coming from the wide-open door…The barn was two stories in height, the lower portion being occupied by the van, a phaeton and a dog-cart, as well as by stalls for two or three horses. The upper room was known as the “barracks”, and half a dozen cot-beds were arranged around the sides, as seats by day and beds by night…In a single afternoon his celebrated Gloucester Harbor was painted, and he returned to Magnolia aglow with enthusiasm. “I believe,” he exclaimed, “that I have painted a picture with light in it!…Go out into the sunshine, and try to get some of its color and light. Then come back here, and see how black we are all painting!”

William Morris Hunt Gloucester Harbor MFA 1877
William Morris Hunt, Gloucester Harbor, 1877, MFA Boston

 

sargent house museum john singer sargent portrait of father.jpg
John Singer Sargent portrait of the artist’s father, Sargent House Museum

 

Paul Manship and family Isabel Manship xSarah Janet x Elizabeth x Pauline x John Paul x Paul
Family portrait: Isabel Manship, Sara Janet, Elizabeth, Pauline, John Paul, Paul Manship

 

lee kingman natti002-001

Lee Kingman, Peter’s Pony, 1963, with illustrations by Fen Lasell

 

Leon Doucette
Leon Doucette, portrait of the artist’s father

 

Milton Avery March drypoint 1933
Milton Avery 1933 drypoint (March, his daughter)

 

Winslow Homer captures the waiting and watching experienced by so many families in Gloucester. Homer’s father, Charles Savage Homer, left for extended start-ups: to California for gold, to Europe.  Winslow Homer’s mother was a professional and gifted artist who raised three stellar boys solo, a lot. The Homer family remained tight knit.

Dad's Coming, 1873, NGA
Winslow Homer, Dad’s Coming, 1873,  National Gallery of Art

 

Friday Nights at the A&P

By Ruthanne “Rufus”  Collinson

When I was a kid

there were Friday nights to get lost in.

There was Mama

to take me shopping,

the smell of outdoors on her wool coat.

There was the A&P on Main Street,

the long spread out time

to wander the rolling floors

and smell the oranges and the coffee grinding.

There was no talking with Mama and me

She chose the food and I thought,

the long time of thinking away from Mama

in the A&P.

I watched the women

with heavy faces and deep frowns

weighing out their fruits

I thought about how bad they looked,

but I knew they didn’t want to die

because of the way they cared

about stacking the apples.

Sometimes I lost Mama and her sadness

but she would find me and take me

to the check out

where I picked up Daddy’s Pall Malls

and then stayed close to her wide sleeve

as we carried our lumpy brown bags

past Paul T. Reddy’s Dancing School.

I heard people dancing upstairs

Shadows in the window suggested music

and the end of time laid out like that.

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Kipling In Gloucester Book and Event Video With Anne Robinson

click the picture and then pause the video- wait for the video to load by watching for the red line to fully load and then press play for smooth playback

Kipling In Gloucester Book and Event Video With Anne Robinson, originally uploaded by captjoe06.