GUSTER HEADLINING RIVERFEST SEASIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL SATURDAY AUGUST 24TH!!!

Less than a week from Riverfest! Headliners Guster will be on from 4:30 to 6:00. GO HERE for the complete line-up and more information.

RSMF Logo

We heard you when you told us we’d outgrown the venue in Newburyport. So, we’re excited to share that Riverfest is moving to a new, larger venue — beautiful Stage Fort Park, Gloucester, overlooking Gloucester Harbor.

And we’ve also moved the event up one week from its traditional Labor Day weekend. The event will be held Saturday, August 24, 2019, 12-6pm.

But something that definitely hasn’t changed — Riverfest will continue to be free and open to the public, as it’s always been.

We’re stoked about the future for this popular, annual event, and we hope you’ll join us on August 24th for an awesome day of live music and great vibes!

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

The Riverfest Seaside Music Festival is a free show open to the public, now in it’s 18th year! Because of the popularity of this event, attendees are encouraged to get there early with blankets & chairs for a day of great live music!

Help keep Gloucester and Stage Fort Park beautiful! Please do not leave behind cigarette butts, trash, food, etc. Put all trash/recycling in proper barrels.

Dogs and other pets must be on a leash at all times.

Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in Stage Fort Park, except within the designated age 21+ area(s) specially permitted during this event.

City to handle tricky removal of graffiti nuisance tag below founder’s plaque at Tablet Rock #GloucesterMA

Blanched and illuminated area beneath the founder’s plaque was tagged with graffiti which will be ably removed by the city.

graffiti tag below founders plaque Tablet Rock Stage Fort Park_20190505_© c ryan

 

 

 

 

Days earlier it wasn’t. For comparison, here’s how the giant rock appeared May 1, 2019. Had it been on that day…

 

 

1974

Though uncommon, graffiti has been removed from this same spot before. Here’s a 1974 photograph from the Gloucester Daily Times catching a family reading the founder’s plaque. Graffiti was visible and without mention. 

1974 graffiti Tablet Rock _ maybe Charles A. Lowe photo_Gloucester Daily Times

1907

Stage Fort Park Gloucester MA Tablet Rock 1907 John Hammond SR and Natalie looking back.jpg
John Hays Hammond, Sr (1855-1936) holding hands with daughter Natalie (looking back to the camera) after the unveiling. Hammond’s involvement made this tribute happen. Natalie hays Hammond (1904-1985) had the honor of pulling back the cord for the big reveal. 1907 photograph collection Library of Congress

Gloucester’s wrap around picturesque landscape was preserved as a public park in 1898. In 1907, the monumental natural glacial outcropping was decorated with an inset of bronze plaque and stone relief commemorating the first fishermen from England laying claim in 1623. Eric Pape was commissioned for its design.

1901

 

1901 branded Battery K still visible_Tablet Rock Stage Fort Park
branded Battery K still visible 1901 photo

2016

2016 Stage Fort Park graffiti_20161228_©  c ryan.jpg
graffiti 2016 tablet rock  © c ryan

 

 

There are a few circle-A’s tagged around town of late. Also Eon

circle A graffiti tags trend_20190505_© c ryan.jpg
saw this symbol a lot in NYC many, many moons ago 

trending graffiti 2019 april_ c ryan.jpg

PLOVERS NESTING IN THE PARKING LOTS AT STAGE FORT PARK, O’MALEY, AND GOOD HARBOR BEACH

How to tell the difference between a Piping Plover and a Killdeer

This past week, we have received a half dozen reports of “plovers” nesting in local parking lots. Folks are correct, they are a type of plover, but they are not Piping Plovers. The bird is a more common sort, a Killdeer, and Killdeers, like Piping Plovers (and other species of plovers), share many similar courting, nest scraping, mating, and defensive behaviors.

Killdeer courting in the parking lot at Stage Fort Park

Killdeers have been nesting in the dunes and in the Good Harbor Beach parking lot for a number of years, and some years they even have two broods. Last year, the first brood of the season hatched from a nest in the dunes, the second brood, from a nest at the perimeter of the parking lot. For the second nest, Gloucester’s amazing DPW crew  put up a large rock adjacent to the nest, to prevent cars from driving over the nest.

We don’t hear as much about Killdeer Plovers because they are not an endangered species. Killdeers are found in every state of the continental US, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. They are the least shorebird-like of shorebirds because they breed and dwell in many types of habitats including grasslands, fields, urban areas, gravel pits, airports, parking lots, athletic fields, and golf courses. Despite their super ability to adapt to human habitats, it is a species in decline.

Killdeers are nearly twice as large as Piping Plovers, but you wouldn’t know that unless you see them side-by-side. The easiest way to tell the difference is Killdeers have two black collar bands whereas PiPls only have one.

Killdeers have a red eye ring, two collar bands, and a black, longer bill.

Piping Plovers have one collar band, no red eye ring, and an orange bill tipped black.

The back and wing feathers of the Killdeers are a mid-shade of brown, with rust and orange under wings. This coloration more easily blends with gravel pits, grasslands, and scrubby dune habitats. The Piping Plover’s wing and back feathers are a soft pale gray, in shades of driftwood and sand; the birds are much better camouflaged for beach life.  The Killdeer has a red eye ring, the Piping Plover’s eyes are jet black. Killdeer’s bills are more elongated and are a solid black, the PiPls’s is shorter and orange, tipped in black. Piping Plovers have orangish legs; Killdeer’s legs are light buff and light gray.

The feathers of the Killdeers at Stage Fort park blend beautifully with gravel, scrubby grass, and dirt found there in the parking lot. Notice in the third photo in the above gallery how the Killdeer blends with its grassy surroundings.

Piping Plovers are camouflaged in coastal hues of sand and driftwood

The same advice that applies to observing Piping Plover chicks as does to Killdeer chicks. Watch from a safe distance that does not cause the birds to flush and never pick up or touch the eggs or chick.

Killdeer and Piping Plover chicks are precocial. That is a word biologists use to describe a baby bird’s stage of development at birth. Precocial means that shortly after hatching, the bird is fully mobile. Plover chicks are not completely mature, they still need parents to help regulate their body temperature, but they have downy feathers and can run and feed themselves within moments after emerging.  Both Killdeer and Piping plover chicks are well camouflaged in their natural habitats.

The opposite of precocial is altricial. Birds that hatch helpless, naked, usually blind, and are incapable of departing the nest are altricial. Robins and Cardinals are examples of altricial birds.

Killdeer chicks are well hidden in their habitats, as are Piping Plovers chicks in theirs.

Follow this link for more photos of Killdeers and chicks

Even though they are not Piping Plovers, we still love to hear about Killdeers and to learn more about where they are nesting in our area. Please email me at kimsmithdesigns@hotmail.com if you have any information you would like to share about Killdeers. Thank you.

Bird’s eye video | crowd joins #Adventureman Jamie McDonald finish in Gloucester Massachusetts March 27, 2019

Congratulations to Jamie McDonald, aka Adventureman, for his momentous, inspiring solo-run achievement across America~ And to his team! Little kids in the crowd sported red capes. GMG photographers are out in full force so great coverage will be coming like it’s St. Peter’s Fiesta.

Aerial no filter straight up phone video from rooftops across Gloucester Harbor. It was heartwarming to hear voices carry — from this height and battling wind–, to see the crowd stream past, pause by the Leonard Craske FisherMan at the Wheel memorial, then off to Pavilion beach by Beauport Hotel (site of former Birdseye factory) so Jamie could touch the water and conclude his generous journey. 

Adventureman Jamie McDonald finish Gloucester MA_20190327_photo copyright © catherine ryan.jpg

 

David Cox in position

photographer DAVID COX in position_Adventureman Gloucester MA finish_20190327_photo copyright © C. Ryan.jpg

 

RESULTS WEEK 2 Defending #GloucesterMA | try Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt Throwback Thursday #TBT

Gloucester High School_20190318_photo © catherine ryan.jpg
Gloucester, Mass.- Great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks. We’re taking the challenge one week after the students. Good luck!

ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY TRIVIA WEEK TWO

How did you do? Week two delved into scenes of historic battles. I’ve added some background. Stop here if you prefer to go back to see Week 2 questions only from 3/17/19 

WEEK 2: DEFENDING GLOUCESTER Location #1

  • Who was the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony? ANSWER –  ROGER CONANT
    • Go to the location of the fort named after him and take a picture with a member in it. *Stage Fort Park “Fisherman’s Field”

*“In 1623, 14 English fishermen set up the first European colony on Cape Ann here in what was then Fisherman’s Field and is now Stage Fort Park. These ramparts overlook the harbor, first built during the Revolutionary War, renewed for the War of 1812, the Civil War and the Spanish American War. Alas, those first settlers, sent across the ocean by the Dorchester Company, were unable to live off the sea and these rock-bound fields. They moved a few miles south to what is now Salem in 1626. Then, within a decade, there were enough permanent settlers on Cape Ann to incorporate the town of Gloucester. The first meetinghouse was built on the Town Green in 1642 near what is now the Grant Circle rotary of Route 128. The City set this land aside as a public park in 1898 and its Tablet Rock was dedicated by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1907.  James R. Pringle was designated to write the inscription for the bronze plaque. The execution of the design was by Eric Pape. “The nautical scheme of decorative framework and embellishment was the composite suggestion” of various committees dating as far back as the 1880s.” *see Gloucester HarborWalk Stage Fort Park marker #42  photo on marker ©Sharon Lowe. See also Stage Fort Park then/now photos in prior GMG post

Bronze tribute plaques embedded in Tablet Rock at Stage Fort Park detail the site’s history and were commissioned and unveiled at different times. The monumental and stunning Founders plaque from 1907 on Tablet Rock itself is in fantastic condition. Two DAR plaques were inlaid on the glacial outcroppings past half moon beach on the way to the cannons. The Fisherman’s Field (ca.1930) is so worn it’s nearly indecipherable, though that’s part of its charm. The plaque compels close inspection, lingering and discovery. It’s a fun family activity for anyone who likes a challenge. For those who want help reading the content, I transcribed it back in 2010. Scroll down below the “read more” break in this post to open.

 

  • During which war did it receive this name? ANSWER – FORT CONANT during the Civil War 
detail-battery-k
When you zoom in on this 1901 photograph, you can see the big ‘Battery K’-  for the Spanish American War (Camp Hobson) Fort conant during Civil War

 

Location #2

location 2 courtesy photos

 

  • Take a picture at Fort Point with the former location of the Coast Guard Aviation Station behind you (must be visible in the picture) ANSWER – TEN POUND ISLAND
  • What was the fort called on Fort Point? ANSWER – FORT DEFIANCE Fort Point Hill, Fort Lillie (Lily)
  • Name a war it was utilized in. ANSWER – Efforts to fortify as early as 1703 (see Pringle) ATTACK OF CAPTAIN LINDSAY (OR LINZEE) 1775 –population about 5000 –REVOLUTIONARY WAR, WAR OF 1812, CIVIL WAR

“In 1743, what is known as the old fort on Commercial Street, now encroached upon and surrounded by buildings, was completed. On this point, well selected strategically, is a hill which effectually commands the inner harbor. In 1742 and 1742, the General Court appropriated 527 pounds to defray the cost of fortification. Breastworks were thrown up and eight 12-pounders placed in position in the fort. The immediate cause of its erection was the fear of French incursions, but these fears were never realized. An effort had been made as early as 1703 to fortify the place, but the petition of the selectmen to the General Court for an appropriation for the purpose was refused. The petition shows that he harbor, even at that early date was extensively frequent for shelter, and was “very seldom free from vessels.”

“In order to be better prepared for future assaults breastworks were thrown up at Stage Fort, the Cut, Duncan’s Point and Fort Point. This, however was the last attack by sea or land that the people experienced.”

Location #3

  • From Fort Point go to the location of the seven-gun earthwork battery and barracks in ramparts field. Take a picture with the old towers in the background (do not go on private property) ANSWER –  EASTERN POINT FORT by eminent domain, Ramparts Field Road Fort Hill 
  • Name a war it was utilized in  ANSWER –  CIVIL WAR

“Immediate action was taken toward the erection of fortifications. Land at Eastern Point, belonging to Thomas Niles was acquired by the government, and earthwork fort erected and manned…”

Screenshot

  • Screenshot Google Earth with all three above locations in it and circle them. Submit the image.

map.jpg

Continue reading “RESULTS WEEK 2 Defending #GloucesterMA | try Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt Throwback Thursday #TBT”

EXQUISITE LAVENDER-HUED SNOW LIGHT

Whenever I’m out doing errands, if time allows, I try to take the “long” way around. The sun was beginning to shine through the storm clouds while the snow was still falling when I stopped to capture the beautiful shadowy and pale lavender-gray hues at Stage Fort Park. The pretty grays lasted only a few moments, but I was so glad to have taken the long way.

33 YEARS OF SUMMER CONCERTS AT THE ANTONIO GENTILE BANDSTAND!

The summer of 2019 will mark the 33rd year of concerts under the stars at the Stage Fort Park Antonio Gentile Bandstand. Summer concerts began in 1986, founded by a group of former band students of retired Gloucester High School band director Antonio F. Gentile.

The Antonio Gentile Bandstand is located at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. David Benjamin will be posting the concert series schedule in the coming months.

 

 

ESSEX NATIONAL HERITAGE COASTAL SCENIC BYWAY RIBBON CUTTING!

Today marked the last of the ribbon cutting ceremonies for the exciting new kiosks (nine total) that have been installed by the Essex National Heritage all along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. Mayor Sefatia and Representative Ann Margaret Ferrante did the honors. The kiosk is located at Stage Fort Park near the visitor’s center. Despite the biting wind and freezing temperatures the event was well-attended. To learn more about the Coastal Byway, visit www.CoastalByway.org

Experience the Best of Coastal New England!

GLOUCESTER’S ESSEX COASTAL SCENIC BYWAY KIOSK RIBBON CUTTING WEDNESDAY AT 10AM

Don’t forget to attend the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway Kiosk Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester TOMORROW!

Essex Heritage is pleased to announce the installation of 9 informational kiosks in communities along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. The Byway is a state-designated route linking 14 coastal cities and towns from Lynn to Salisbury. These kiosks are a part of a wayfinding signage project that has been ongoing for over a decade with the goal of supporting a tourism-based economic initiative by showcasing the region’s historic, cultural, and natural places.

The 90-mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway guides visitors and residents through one of the country’s most picturesque and historically significant regions – Boston’s legendary North Shore. The route features mile after mile of breathtaking vistas, historic homes, access to world-class art and culture destinations, distinctive local businesses and visitor centers. To celebrate the installation of the kiosk in Gloucester, please take note of the event details below.

Everyone is welcome!

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 19th at 10:00am

Location: Gloucester Visitor Center, 24 Hough Avenue, Gloucester

9 ribbon cuttings! Byway kiosks

Stage Fort Park_Gloucester MA_ since 1897_ Visitors Welcome Center_20170519_©c ryan
(before)

Essex National Heritage Heather Goss, Project Manager, shares save the date notice

Ribbon Cuttings – Essex Coastal Scenic Byway Kiosk Installations save the dates

  • BEVERLY, Wednesday, December 5th, 9:30am
    Location: 191 Cabot Street, Beverly, MA 01915

    IPSWICH, Wednesday, December 5th at 1:00pm
    Location: 36 South Main Street, Ipswich, MA 01938

    LYNN, Friday, December 7th, 9:00am
    Location: Intersection of Union and Broad Street, Lynn, MA 01901

    SALEM, Friday, December 7th, 11:00am
    Location: 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970

    SALISBURY, Friday, December 7th, 4:00pm
    Location: Maria Miles Visitor Center, Exit 60 on Route 95, South Bound, Salisbury, 01952

    MARBLEHEAD, Monday, December 10th, 1:00pm
    Location: Chamber’s Information Booth, at the intersection of Pleasant, Essex and Spring Streets, Marblehead, MA 01945

    NEWBURYPORT, Tuesday, December 11th, 9:30am
    Location: Information Booth, 35 Merrimac Street, Newburyport, MA 01950

    ESSEX, Tuesday, December 11th, 1:00pm
    Location: 113 Main Street, Essex, MA 01929

    GLOUCESTER, Wednesday, December 19th, 10:00am
    Location: Stage Fort Park, 24 Hough Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930

Essex Coastal Scenic Byway Essex National Heritage new kiosks 2018About the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway kiosks:
The Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage) is pleased to announce the installation of 9 informational kiosks in communities along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, a state-designated route linking 14 coastal cities and towns from Lynn to Salisbury. These kiosks are a part of a wayfinding signage project that has been ongoing for over a decade with the goal of supporting a tourism-based economic initiative by showcasing the region’s historic, cultural, and natural places. Envisioned as a sustainable form of economic development, the route of the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway was established by the state legislature in the mid-2000s. The 90-mile Essex Coastal byway is one of 15 state-designated scenic byways in Massachusetts and guides visitors and residents through one of the country’s most picturesque and historically significant regions – Boston’s legendary North Shore. The route features mile after mile of breathtaking vistas, historic homes, access to world-class art and culture destinations, distinctive local businesses and visitor centers. With the addition of these kiosks to the existing wayfinding signage, travelers of the byway will be able to access visitor- related information about the communities and the Essex National Heritage Area, stimulating the exploration of the byway region’s extensive heritage sites, recreational resources, and visitor services. Additionally, these kiosks list byway access routes from local major highways and are an accessible resource for the public year-round. From south to north byway communities are Lynn, Swampscott, Marblehead, Salem, Beverly, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, Ipswich, Rowley, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. “Essex Heritage is working to support our local economy and the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway is an excellent vehicle for promoting tourism within these communities,” said Essex Heritage CEO Annie Harris, “The kiosks help bring attention to our enduring local landmarks and demonstrate how heritage sites continue to financially benefit the businesses and residents of this coastal region.” The wayfinding signage and kiosk system was funded by a grant from the Federal Highway administration (FHWA) with matching funds provided by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). The hardware and panels were designed by Omloop Design based in Framingham, with strong support and direction from stakeholders within the represented communities*. The kiosks were fabricated and installed by Design Communications Ltd (DCL). Essex Heritage is organizing ribbon cutting ceremonies for each community receiving a Byway Kiosk. 

*In Gloucester most recently those assisting ENA with the Kiosks include Marie Santos, Gloucester’s Community Development (and Voice of Gloucester HarborWalk narration), and Elizabeth Carey, Director Discover Gloucester.

About Essex Heritage and the Essex National Heritage Area:
Essex Heritage is the non-profit organization that manages the Essex National Heritage Area by developing programs that enhance, preserve, and encourage recreation, education, conservation and interpretation projects on Boston’s North Shore and the Lower Merrimack River Valley. The Essex National Heritage Area is comprised of the 34 cities and towns of Essex County, MA. For more information, visit http://www.EssexHeritage.org or call (978) 740-0444. 

HarborWalk marker installed 2012_Stage Fort Park_Gloucester MA_looking across Visitors Welcome Center to Gloucester Harbor_20170519_©catherine ryan.jpg
Gloucester HarborWalk marker (#42) was installed at Stage Fort Park in 2012

kiosk for Essex Coastal Scenic Byway coming to Stage Fort Park

Essex National Heritage has helped Gloucester produce 2D informational signage at the Stage Fort Park Visitor Center; one large arts focused placard has served multi use as a screen.  These new kiosks are the first ‘in the round’ wayfinding markers for Essex National Heritage area and a natural progression for the Scenic Byway. The highway wayfinding signs for the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway have been in place and successful and took years to coordinate. David Rhinelander and others helped facilitate that endeavor in Gloucester and Cape Ann.

Save the date- Ribbon cutting December 19th

Essex Coastal scenic byway in Gloucester _ribbon cuting Dec 19th.jpg

Essex Heritage is pleased to announce the installation of 9 informational kiosks in communities along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway at the end of November-early December. The Byway is a state-designated route linking 14 coastal cities and towns from Lynn to Salisbury. These kiosks are a part of a wayfinding signage project that has been ongoing for over a decade with the goal of supporting a tourism-based economic initiative by showcasing the region’s historic, cultural, and natural places.

The 90-mile Essex Coastal Scenic Byway guides visitors and residents through one of the country’s most picturesque and historically significant regions – Boston’s legendary North Shore. The route features mile after mile of breathtaking vistas, historic homes, access to world-class art and culture destinations, distinctive local businesses and visitor centers. To celebrate the installation of the kiosk in Gloucester, please take note of the event details below.

Date/Time: Wednesday, December 19th at 10:00am

Location: Gloucester Visitor Center, 24 Hough Avenue, Gloucester

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!”