USS Rockport – a Mystery From Bill Hubbard


Bill Hubbard writes-

Did you now that the Town of Rockport had a ship named for it in 1917?  But, her name was changed to USS Nantucket only 115 days later.  She was first the USS Ranger, later USS Rockport then USS Nantucket (PG-23/IX-18), was a gunboat of the United States Navy.
A screw steamer with full-rig auxiliary sail, Ranger was destined for a very long 65-year career, serving first as a U.S. Navy gunboat from 1876 to 1920, and later as a training ship with the Merchant Marine Academy from 1920 to 1940.
After  completion of fitting out, Ranger was assigned to the Atlantic Station,  remaining at the Gosport  (Portsmouth) Navy Yard and Hampton Roads until 8 March 1877, when she was assigned to the Asiatic Fleet. Following a special fitting out for her new duty, Ranger left New York 21 May 1877, arriving Hong Kong 24 August 1877, via Gibraltar, Suez Canal, and Malacca Straits. The ship served on the Asiatic Station until the fall of 1879, protecting American interests and national policy in the Far East.
Later, she was assigned to protect American seal fisheries in the Bering Sea. On 31 January 1894, she relieved Alliance in protecting American interests in Central America, where she remained until placed out of commission 26 November 1895, except for temporary duty in the Bering Sea in May 1894.
Re-commissioned 1 November 1899, she was a survey ship for 2 years off Mexico and Baja California, then operated with USS Wisconsin (BB-9) off Central America, protecting American national interests. She was again decommissioned from 11 June 1903 to 30 March 1905 at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.  She departed Puget Sound 16 April 1905 for the Asiatic Station, arriving Cavite 30 May. Due to recurring maintenance problems, she was decommissioned again at Cavite from 21 June 1905 to 10 August 1908. Departing Cavite 16 August, she arrived Boston 12 December via the Suez Canal, and was decommissioned immediately.
On 26 April 1909, she was loaned to the State of Massachusetts as a school ship to replace Enterprise at the Massachusetts Nautical Training School. Her  name was changed to Rockport 30 October 1917 and then to Nantucket 20 February 1918. As Nantucket, she operated as a gunboat in the First Naval District during World War I, as well as a training ship for Navy midshipmen.  Designated PG-23 in 1920, Nantucket was re-designated IX-18 on 1 July 1921. On 11 November 1940, she was transferred to the Maritime Commission for final disposition, to be used as a school ship for the Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y. During the winter term of 1928 – 1929 the decision was made to paint the outside hull of the Nantucket black, instead of the usual white as in the past. Her four boilers were also updated.
On 30 November 1940, she was struck from the Navy list and was returned to the state of Massachusetts as a school ship.  Where is she today?  Why was she named Rockport for only 115 days?  I’ve been trying to figure that out for a year now.  Maybe one of your readers knows.
Bill Hubbard

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Noble Smith Has Some Nice Things To Say

Good Morning Gloucester:

Although a resident of Harpswell Maine, I am frequently in Gloucester where I consult with two organizations – The Schooner Adventure and the Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter,

Early on in these consulting associations well over a year ago, I asked whether there was any publication that covered the area so that I could gain more perspective of its people, what they did and how they conducted their lives.  The answer was Good Morning Gloucester.

For the past year plus and every day I read GMG which arrives on my computer at around 9:30pm.  If I fall to sleep ahead of the transmission, I always read it when I wake up in the middle of the night.

It is a great service to the community and I wish Harpswell would do the same.  When I am in Gloucester for meetings, the subject of GMG always arises and I think people are a little surprised that a Mainer is right on top of all the local news – thanks to GMG.


Noble Smith

5 Questions With @Joey_C’s Favorite Twitter Peeps- Steve Saleeba

Starting out with Steve Saleeba- @TheSteveDuJour .  Steve is one of my favorite people on twitter for a couple of reasons.  He has a sarcastic edge but also tweets interesting breaking news tidbits.  IMO there’s nothing worse than when someone gets on twitter and then just hammers the shit out of their feed with advertisements for their company.  The best twitter users highlight the best of what they come across on the web and breaking news and have a sense of humor when they do it.  There’s not many more interesting than Steve.


Five Questions-

What are your duties at WBZ?

I’m a web content producer for . I write news and features, I manage the site’s “Boston’s Best” section, I share responsibility for the site’s social media accounts, and I provide constant entertainment for my co-workers… whether they like it or not.

Why do you think you are follow worthy on Twitter?

Isn’t there supposed to be a hyphen in follow-worthy? What was the question again?

What types of tweets or twitter user drive you up a wall?

Any kind of politically partisan propaganda… It’s bad enough that I have to listen to Congress acting like a bunch of exaggerating children… Now I have to see a bunch of mindless lemmings regurgitate this crap to me on my Twitter feed? No thanks.  People need to find common ground. I love politics. I tweet about politics sometimes. But I try to keep it non-partisan. In other words – I blame them all.

Who are some of your favorite twitter users?

Pretty sure I’ll get in trouble if I don’t say @joey_c & @JMcElhenny.  So, them. (It’s like getting to play at Fenway Park and saying you aren’t a fan of the managers.) Aside from those guys, I follow beer fans, hockey (and other sports) fans, co-workers, newsies, music buffs, cycling advocates, comedians, employees at competing news outlets, PR people, you name it.   And to be honest, they’re all great… Tough to pick just a few.

Do you have a website you would like to promote?

Yes. 3, actually. . I work there. I’d like to keep working there. Site visits = $.

If you want to read my blog, which I rarely update, it’s:  Apparently they’re going to be running a new ‘Five Questions’ series on that site. I’m sure it’ll be awesome. It’s definitely worth checking out. 

Perkins Street Fire Help

Sefathia wrires-

Good afternoon friends Jackie Hardy and myself need some help we are looking for a space, for 3 days to collect clothes, household items etc for the Perkins Street Fire victims, no stairs please. Any suggestions or ideas? Also if you would like to help out lets us know. We update you once we secure a place Thank you Sefatia

GMG: A Powerhouse of Positivity for Gloucester

In response to the commenters yesterday who implied that by virtue of contributing to GMG, we contributors are somehow tainted: As only one member of the GMG team, I speak only for myself. My policy is no public recriminations and no judgements made toward my fellow contributors, to the people who make comments, nor to Joey. I wholeheartedly choose to be a part of the GMG team and only have the utmost respect for Joey’s community-minded spirit and all he does–tirelessly, day in and day out–to support his beloved Gloucester and all her facets, including the people, the non-profits, the businesses, the maritime industry, and the arts community.  THERE IS NO ONE WORKING HARDER to strengthen our community—who also asks for NOTHING IN RETURN.

Ed, Joey, John, Mayor Kirk.

There are literally tens of thousands of examples of how Joey has helped our community. If you have a spare moment, I invite you to write in the comment section on how GMG has helped you directly, or indirectly, whether business, non profit, musician, or artist. Your comment could be as simple as thanks for posting my flyer or a thank you for the more extensive coverage you may have received through a feature story, photos, and/or video.

Joey, Felicia, Sefatia, Pat

Last October I was at Eastern Point Lighthouse photographing and met a German couple. They were traveling through New England and had only two hours earlier stepped off the plane from Germany. Their mission—to see butterflies at Eastern Point because they had read about the Monarchs on several of the contributor’s posts on GMG. Imagine—From Germany to Boston to Gloucester, because of GMG. I think this bears repeating—from Germany to Boston to First Stop Gloucester—because of something they had read on GMG.

I wish detractors would recognize GMG for what it truly is: A Powerhouse of Positivity for Gloucester. GMG is a FREE PLATFORM for your photos, community events listings, business, writing, paintings, music events; the list goes on and on. GMG is Not a glossy magazine with a large staff and big budget. GMG is the readers, the commenters, and the contributors, but it is mainly one guy typing away in his funky office (often writing and posting in between off loading lobster boats), a very hard-working guy, with the all responsibilities of wife, kids, family, business, and friends.

I feel extraordinarily blessed to be a contributor and to be part of the GMG community. Through GMG I have met some of the biggest-hearted and most fun friends I could ever hope to know. Thank you Joey with all my heart.

Joey yoga

Wednesdays with Fly Amero – Allen Estes hosting with Fozzie Hill as his guest.


Surf & Turf Specials!
Wednesdays Only!Hello everyone!
Wednesday, January 23rd
Special Guest: FOZZIE HILL!
Y’gotta just love this picture of the “Fozz”, knowing that her
spirit has not changed one single tiny little bit since the day
it was taken.  She stands today among Cape Ann’s premier
female vocalists.  Her songs are gentle, unique and highly
engaging. ~ Fly
*Guest hosting this week: ALLEN ESTES!
Photo by Joanne
Dinner with Fly Amero: 8 – 11pm
*Each week features a special, invited musical guest
Dave Trooper’s Kitchen…
Surf & Turf Dinner –  $11.95 (while they last)
Tenderloin Tips with Grilled Garlic Shrimp!
Prepared fresh weekly by “Troop”… always good!
Jan. 30: Fly Goes Solo

Feb. 6: Orville Giddings

Feb. 13: Inge Berge

Looking forward…
…to seeing you there!  🙂 ~ Fly

Rotary District 7930 will hold its 3rd annual Polar Plunge on Saturday February 9


Rotary District 7930 will hold its 3rd annual Polar Plunge on Saturday February 9, 2013 at Long Beach in Gloucester at 11:30 A.M.  The event is part Rotary International’s ongoing campaign to eradicate polio in our lifetime.

The event is expected to yield more then 250 people plunging into the cold waters off Cap Ann adjacent the Cape Ann Motor Inn.  The Gloucester Rotary Club is the host for this event.  Last year close to 160 people braved the icy waters in an effort that is considered on of fellowship, public awareness, and fundraising. Last year’s efforts yielded more then $34,000. Polar Plunge and Polio Chairman Bob Gravino of the Ipswich club has set this year’s goal at $100,000.  That amounts to $2,100 per club for 48 clubs from Boston north to Salem NH and East to the Cape Ann communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester.

The district is also utilizing an electronic fundraising process this year in efforts to help clubs and members raise the targeted $100,000.  Supporters are encouraged to log on to

and make a pledge to help Rotarians lead the way to eradicate this dreaded disease.   If you would like to help out or participate in some way please feel free to contact Committee Chairman Bob Gravino
or Josh Arnold the Event’s Public Relations Chairman at
Clubs are using social media of Facebook and Twitter to help promote their participation in the event.

Since 1985, Polio has become the signature cause for Rotary International as it has teamed up with partners including; The Global Poverty Project, The Global Eradication Initiative, The World Health Organization, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to name a few.   The disease was prevalent here in the United States in the years following the first two world wars.  Since then, efforts have been spearheaded by Rotary International to eradicate them from the Philippines in 1985.

On the success of the Philippines endeavor, Rotary International (R.I.) embarked on the mission to eradicate Polio from the world entirely.  Since that time, more then a billion dollars has been raised among Rotary clubs world wide and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  When R>I. Took on the battle against this disease more then 350,000 people spanning 125 countries were impacted. Today there are three countries left where it has not been eradicated, namely Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

The year 2012 was an historic year in the battle against polio as 429 million children have been vaccinated against polio.  Less then 300 cases of polio were reported in 2012.  That figure represents a decline of more then 60% from 2011. In order for a country to be certified as having the disease eradicated, it must sustain three successive years of zero new cases of polio reported within its population.

For as little as 60 cents your donation can make the difference in changing a person’s life.  Please support Rotarians across 48 clubs in more then 50 communities north of Boston as they brave the icy waters off Gloucester to help their fellow humankind eradicate polio in our lifetime.   The public is welcome to attend.  Hot refreshments will be served by high school students composed of local interact clubs (formerly junior Rotarians).  More then 1000 people are expected for the event.

Poll results

Well, the results of yesterday’s poll are pretty clear.  The vast majority of those who voted, were of the opinion that I should keep posting on GMG, perhaps including some disclaimer, or commentary when I disagree with something.  That’s pretty much what I was tending to think too.  Along those lines, I added a disclaimer of sorts to my profile description.

I hope that those who voted the opposite – that I should not be associated with the blog (two options to this effect were included in the poll, varying slightly on the reasons for leaving) – will understand my decision, which I think is pretty well explained by some of the comments that people posted.  Thank you for all your feedback, pro and con!

Speaking of juxtaposing very different kinds of content, here’s a photo I took of a statue of a family of Jelly Babies in front of the Gothic tower of the church of St. Germain L’Auxerrois in Paris.

Whatever, right?

Fr. Matthew Green

2nd Annual Maritime Summit at Cruiseport

Hi Joey,

We are getting a few participants and a couple of exhibitors for the 2nd Annual Maritime Summit at Cruiseport on Feb 7th. The sign up details and links for maritime summit posted on Gloucester Marine Terminal Blog (blog in early stages of development) . I have also attached the City Press release and a working overview of the Speakers which include quite a few local waterfront luminaries.

I have a few exhibitors but still nailing down the details but they include Ocean Genome (tracks ocean dna and does bar coding for seafood industry), Sea Sciences (ocean robotics), Ocean Alliance (ocean robotics), Neracoos (green chemistry), Endicott College, Interactive Oceangraphics (mapping and software), and Ocean Wave Energy. I am looking for more exhibitors who might have something cool to show and tell for the group so if you know of anyone or anything in your line of business that would be cool, let me know.



Is Anyone Else Going To Ed’s Coronation?

Ed being the modest guy he is (bwahahahahahahah) hasn’t told y’all on these pages but his big coronation party is coming up this Saturday.

He will be the new emperor at the Chamber of Commerce for 2013 after a successful year led by Mark Grenier.

I’ll be emceeing his crowning at Cruiseport Saturday night.   There are sure to be fireworks, dancing girls, flying monkeys, midget tossing, booze, music, playmates, dignitaries, and I heard Tom Brady may even be swinging by to sign autographs and let you feed his newborn, so if you would like to come and celebrate with Ed and other Chamber Folk there’s still time to buy tickets.

Contact the Chamber  to reserve your seat, contact or call 978-283-1601.

2013- The Year of Ed

This is going to be the face of the Chamber?


Don’t worry, this won’t hurt a bit Smile

Community Stuff 1/20/13


Join us for an early celebration of Valentine’s Day with a dramatic presentation of "The Love Letters of John and Abigail Adams," followed by a reception featuring a sumptuous chocolate buffet. Wearing historically accurate clothing and using period props, re-enactors Patricia Bridgman and Thomas Macy will bring to life Mr. & Mrs. Adams, reading their correspondence and interacting with the audience in this remarkable living-history performance.

Friday, February 8th at 7:30 pm

Essex Congregational Church
39 Main Street, Essex, MA
Handicapped Accessible

         $10 per person advance sale     $15 at the door     $5 students

For tickets go on-line to and mention that the event is from the Essex Historical Society and Shipbuilding Museum