Alexander’s Fish Market 1946 painting by R.P. Fraser

Sent in by Anthony Marks –IMG_1247

Photo below Boston Public Library


In 1946 there was a bowling alley next to Alexander’s Fish Market, a year where there was enormous groundfish landings of well over 90% more than that are landed today in Gloucester MA and before there was ever a DPA. 

But as you know if you listen to the local obstructionists a bowling alley and a Fish Market couldn’t co-exist, it must have been an aberration or a mirage. 

Just like The Gloucester House Restaurant and their outdoor dining would never ever work next to a place like Fisherman’s wharf because, you know, like the obstructionists always say- those two uses can’t coexist on the waterfront. 

Of course it could never exist at Captain Carlos Restaurant and the Seafood Display Auction on Harbor Loop, it’s all just been a dream silly, those uses are totally incompatible on the waterfront. 

Or at Cruiseport where they pump out pogie boats in front of their open air deck and they are grinding steel hulls next door at Roses Marine- NO WAY, NO HOW could those two uses ever co-exist! 

Or at our dock where we load stinky bait on lobster boats and are surrounded by houses and recreational marinas- we couldn’t possibly be operating a commercial dock since 1953 here next to places where they tie up pleasure boats- the two uses are completely incompatible.  If it were to be there surely would be lawsuits and riots on the streets.

Or just like the property in the top of this photo where it sits today next to Beacon Marine where they do boat work and have living space and web design.  Same as it was back then in 1946 before the DPA and same as it is now- MIXED use. 

That R.P. Fraser must have been on acid to have imagined a bowling alley on the waterfront in that 1946 painting- that’s just crazy talk.

This painting is in reference to the photo in the Boston Public Library Archives we posted yesterday-

Mass Views: Fishing schooner and fish market, Gloucester Harbor 1940 aprox Boston Public Library

Posted on September 26, 2012 by Joey C

You see the building that says Fish Market?  That is the building where the fire was last week that the Gloucester Fire department quickly snuffed out.  Look at Jay Albert’s pictures here from the scene  His pictures are from the back of the building which is now a wood furniture maker.

Look at the stern of the the big schooner in the middle of the photo.  off the stern is The Phyllis A.  The oldest gillnetter in Gloucester and undergoing a major restoration project.

Read about and look at pictures of the restoration here in these Phyllis A posts

Thank you to Adam Gaffin at for the link to the picture.

File name: 08_06_023528
Title: Mass Views: Fishing schooner and fish market, Gloucester Harbor
Creator/Contributor: Jones, Leslie, 1886-1967 (photographer)
Date created: 1940 (approximate)
Physical description: 1 negative : film, black & white ; 4 x 5 in.
Genre: Film negatives
Subject: Fishing industry; Fishing boats; Piers & wharves
Notes: Title and date from information provided by Leslie Jones or the Boston Public Library on the negative or negative sleeve.
Collection: Leslie Jones Collection
Location: Boston Public Library, Print Department
Rights: Copyright Leslie Jones.
Preferred credit: Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

8 thoughts on “Alexander’s Fish Market 1946 painting by R.P. Fraser

  1. Well said. What makes Gloucester unique, attractive and livable are some of the very things certain self-appointed preservationists think cannot be permitted.


    1. The land the fish market was on is now the driveway into beacon marine’s boat storage area .The market was moved to were the bowling alley was after the bowling alley burned down in a fire.


  2. Great post and thank you for providing the link to Jay’s very cool website plus the photo, and Anthony’s painting. Much fun to imagine all the new businesses that could thrive alongside the working waterfront!


  3. Talk about mixed use, my grandfather John Alexander was hauling boats and smoking fish in his smokehouse out behind the fish market.


  4. I grew up in East Gloucester and vividly rember Alexander’s Fish Market and the Bowling Alley next door. When our family boat, Superior” wasn’t in, mother used to send me to the market for fresh fish from Mr. & Mrs. Alexander. I used to marvel at the swords that decorated the shop, made from Swordfish swords painted and with added wood handles.

    I also remember setting pins at the bowling alley aa a kid. If memory serves, we were paid $0.10 for each set of candle pins we set up. And boy, you got out of that pit fast before the ball came flying down the alley and pins flew everywhere. No automatic pin-setters back then.

    Thanks for posting the photo and also for posting the picture of the R.P. Fraser painting.


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