Must Read: John McElhenny’s Piece In The Gloucester Daily Times


To the editor:

Thank you for the Rev. Rona Tyndall’s beautifully written Midweek Musing (Opinion page, the Times, Wednesday, Feb. 8) about changes under way in the Fort neighborhood.

I don’t think what makes Gloucester special is any collection of buildings or single neighborhood.

When the houses along the harbor side of Stacy Boulevard were cleared a century ago, some people didn’t like the change. Today the Boulevard is one of the most beautiful places in Gloucester, bringing people together every day for exercise, walks with family and to see old friends.

In the 1940s and ’50s, a neighborhood of small houses grew up in Burnham’s Field. Eventually the houses fell and were removed.

For the entire piece click here

Celebrate “Fat Tuesday” & Help Y Teens Rebuild New Orleans

This year, Mardi Gras happens to be during School Vacation Week, so Lat43, Minglewood  & YMCA have cooked up a grand family party and concert to benefit the Y Teens trip to New Orleans in April.

The fun begins at noon at Latitude 43 with balloons, masks, beads, family style Cajun specials and more.

Then Charles Neville joins Henri Smith and his band New Orleans Friends & Flavours at 7pm at Minglewood.  Concert Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.  If you liked them at Celebrate Gloucester, you love this up close, personal chance to see them again.

10% of all proceeds from concert tickets, food and drink will be donated to the Y Teens Rebuild New Orleans III trip. Plus, the YMCA will sponsor barrel raffles featuring great prizes.

See the poster & list of teens going to New Orleans, below:


The following teens have committed to work diligently to help put families back into their homes:

Anti Valentines Day @ Dog Bar

Anti Valentines day @ Dog Bar


Celebrate your singleness at Dog Bar and flirt with whoever you want, because you can. We’re enforcing a strict, no love song rule for our  open mic.  At this event, you will find no hearts strewn about, no aphrodisiacs on the menu and no paper hearts or flying babies with weapons. What you will find is a collection of the best looking singles in Gloucester – don’t believe me? Have another beer. We’re keeping the kitchen open late with a special menu of single people food and will be premiering our new sophisticated single person martini, the Lux Sidecar (made with white balsamic vinegar from Cape Ann Olive Oils). Free admission to anyone not wearing red or any red variant.

Gallery Spaces Available on Rocky Neck

Rocky Neck, the oldest working art colony in the country, and one of the prettiest, historically significant, lively and fun spots on Cape Ann during the summer.  If you are a serious artists who have always thought you would like to have your own gallery in an active arts and cultural district, this is your chance.  There are 4 galleries available (3 with loft space) this season on popular Madfish Wharf.  Join Wendie Demuth, Gigi Mederos, Diana Pasquariello, Kathy Archer, Alma McLaughlin, me and the GMG Gallery crew in a great season on Madfish Wharf on Rocky Neck.  If you are interested in a space, you should contact Niki Ahearn at, and/or call or text her at 617-543-2977.  Don’t hesitate, as gallery spaces will go quickly.  Hope to see you on Rocky Neck this year. 

E.J. Lefavour

Cape Ann Painter and Photographer Group

The meeting was held this morning for the first time at the wonderful Annie Theatre, which is where future meetings will be held. E.J. gave a super presentation on marketing for artists–this is a great group for meeting fellow artists, for sharing ideas on exhibiting, resources, marketing, and for staying connected.
The Cape Ann Painter and Photographer Group meets the second Monday of each month from 9:00 to 10:30.
Evie from Pleasant Street Tea Company

Rubber Duck Escapes Off Island

She has safely returned but enjoyed the hot tub and some skiing up at Sunday River in Maine. Amazingly good snow.

Those photos are out of order. Rubber Duck never hot tubs before driving.

[edit] Gee, I just noticed I’ve been skiing with the sticker that says “Extra Large Melon” on the front of my helmet for ten years.

Saturday night on the town, part II

Last Saturday night, Fred Bodin had coordinated with the Cape Ann Olive Oil Co. (57 Main St.) so that they could both be open at the same time as he held his event, so visitors could frequent both places. I had read about this new establishment before on this blog, so I was glad for the opportunity to stop by.

I was amazed at the variety of olive oils and vinegars they sell! And you can try before you buy – there are bread cubes and little plastic cups for you to sample their luscious concoctions.

Eric and Lauren Negron, the owners (photo below), said business is going pretty well, and I am not too surprised after tasting their wares.  I bought a six-bottle oil & vinegar sampler pack for just $20.

If you like olive oil, you really should visit, if just to treat yourself to a taste these of great infusions.

Who Was the Solomon Jacobs of Solomon Jacobs Park? From Chet Brigham, Goose Cove

Who Was the Solomon Jacobs of Solomon Jacobs Park?
Today he is almost forgotten. Yet the Boston Globe said that Capt. Solomon Jacobs was “known among the English speaking people of two continents as the most daring and intrepid master mariner that sails a fishing craft.” The Gloucester Daily Times said that he was “in Gloucester’s long list of fishing skippers, the most famous … around whom could be woven sea tales so full of dash and dare, of luck, pluck and chance, as to almost pass belief.”
Sol Jacobs, from an old Newfoundland fishing family, came down to Gloucester as a young man. Within three years he was a highline captain and, for the next forty years during the great schooner age, set records for fast trips and big catches, and was known in every port as “king of the mackerel killers.”
He was often controversial – like the time he waved a pistol to protect his seine, and his treaty rights. The dispute escalated into an international incident, but the British foreign secretary finally agreed that Sol was in the right, and overnight the skipper who had been called a disgrace to the Gloucester fleet became its hero.
Capt. Sol commissioned, owned and was master of three of the most remarkable vessels in the Gloucester fleet. He sent schooners around Cape Horn, and joined them to pioneer the halibut fishery of the Northwest Coast. Indirectly he launched Ireland’s mackerel export fishery.
He was first in the Gloucester fleet to adopt wireless telegraphy, first to commission a schooner with an auxiliary engine, first to build a seining steamer.
Sol was game for any adventure at sea. In his “clipper schooner, Ethel B. Jacobs,” he commanded a bird-watching expedition to the subarctic where, it was reported, he was “on friendly terms with many of the Indian and Eskimo chiefs.” He took passengers on mackerel trips. A Col. Russell from Minneapolis so enjoyed his cruise on the Ethel B., and the hospitality of the vessel’s master, that he was “eager to repeat” the experience. He brought his wife and son aboard for a trip the following year.
Ashore, Sol was devoted to family, church and community. He was elected a director of the Gloucester National Bank, and as an alternate delegate to a national presidential convention.
In World War I, when schooners manned by his old shipmates were being blown up by German submarines, Capt. Sol volunteered and – at age 70 – was sworn in as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Coast Patrol. Right to the end he personified the undaunted Gloucester captain.
Thanks to a lady named Mary Favazza, we have the Solomon Jacobs Park on the inner harbor between the Coast Guard station and Maritime Gloucester. Mary had complained to her husband Sal that, while Howard Blackburn had a traffic circle  named after him, and Fitz Henry Lane’s house had been preserved, there was no memorial to “the most famous” Gloucester schooner captain. Mary died, but when Sal became Executive Secretary of the Gloucester Fisheries Commission, he campaigned relentlessly until the park in Sol’s name became a reality in 1975.
Today we have the park, but Sol Jacobs remains a name known to few. In my new book, “On Opposite Tacks” (Whale’s Jaw Publishing,, I recount the captain’s astonishing career – with the hope that we can turn the corner in giving Capt. Sol the recognition he deserves. So that fewer people will be asking, “Hey, who is this park named after?”
Chet Brigham

Bearskin Neck has its Own Website! Update From Angela Cook

Some of the merchants on Bearskin Neck created a great new website with photos provided courtesy of Angela Cook of Oasis Rockport (near Helmut’s Strudel at the end of the Neck). Check it out for maximum information on all things ‘Neck-related in Rockport,, and be sure to tell ’em you heard about it here on GMG!

Clarification from Angela Cook-

Hi Joey

I heard that you posted about the BearskinNeck.Net site.  Thank you.  One thing that I want to clarify, though, is that this was not set up by the merchants.  It was a joint effort between Oasis Rockport and WebWeDoIt.  This is a site that offers a source of information for people visiting the area and listings for all the merchants.  It will be a valuable resource and a great method of generating more business for the downtown Rockport merchants.  Prior to the start of the season, there are some great promotions going on for enhanced listings and online promo packages for merchants.  There are plans for growth and expansion of the site as time goes on and a focus on activities in the area as well as featured businesses listed on social media sites associated with BearskinNeck.Net.  It will be the go-to place for all things Rockport.