Chronicle WCVB Channel 5 shares Exciting updates from Woman owned Business on Essex Coastal Scenic Byway

These local businesses are bringing a lot of positive coverage and energy about our region. Woman owned Businesses on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway re-aired March 9, 2018, International Women’s Day, on Chronicle with a new introduction from the hosts because of the trail’s continued success and expanded special offers and plans! Johanne Cassia and Pauline Bresnahan share the news for 2018: Our “Woman owned Businesses on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway”, a full day shopping destination, is moving forward in several ways.  


  • We are currently updating our brochure, creating special events and partnering with Essex Heritage Foundation. The 2018 printing will arrive in April and  include additional “Woman owned Business on Essex Coastal Scenic Byway”. Shops will still be located on the 10 mile trail along the coast of Gloucester, Essex, Ipswich and Rowley, MA. We have developed a Calendar of Events to market our serious fun businesses. All shops will have refreshments, special products, promotions and giveaways.  Mark your calendars for a trio of 2018 seasonal outings hosted by the Woman Owned Business on Essex Coastal Scenic Byway:
  • SPRING May 5 & 12- “Moms are Everything”, a “special event” , will be held on two Saturdays, May 5 and May 12. We will honor ALL MOMS and invite them to shop with us. This is a “Women helping business Women” event as well: we are inviting other local “woman owned businesses” to bring in their products to our shops. We will give them space in our shops to sell their goods and services during this event.
  • SUMMER August 22,23 – “Harvest Festival” weekend:  Each shop will invite a local farm to partner with them. Local Farms will have tents in front of our shops where they can offer farm products, flowers and tastings.
  • FALL Sept 21-23 and 28-30 “Trails & Sails Weekends” sponsored by Essex Heritage, Salem, MA. We are partners with Essex Heritage Foundation and part of 150 events offered by Trail or Sail on the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway. Each shop will offer a demonstration event on these dates. For more information about Trails and Sails :  Essex National Heritage is in the process of building a new and better website. We’ll have our own shopping destination page and sub pages for each shop!
  • Several organizations and groups have offered mini-bus tours since we unveiled our trail
  • People ask where can you find the brochure? Contact Essex Heritage they will have the brochures, or any of our businesses. Our FB page is


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Woman owned business on byway


Robert Walsh, Artistic Director                Jeff Zinn, Managing Director

From: Heidi J. Dallin, Media Relations Director Phone: 978-281-4099 / 978-283-6688 Email:

Gloucester Stage Company: The 2018 Season

Two World Premieres, Two New England Premieres,

A Modern American Classic & A Tony Award Winner

Set for 39th Gloucester Stage Season

Gloucester Stage Company Artistic Director Robert Walsh and Managing Director Jeff Zinn, recently announced the six-play lineup for Gloucester Stage’s 39th Season of professional theater in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “We are very excited about the line-up of plays for our 39th season!”, says Walsh, “We’re thrilled to include two world premieres, two New England premieres, to honor the late Sam Shepard, and celebrate the indomitable spirit of the Mundy sisters in Dancing at Lughnasa.” According to Managing Director Zinn, “Choosing our 39th season challenged us to uphold and deepen our mission at Gloucester Stage.  “Revolutionary Women” emerges as a central motif: Madame Defarge, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Agitatorsall feature strong womenchallenging the world around them. That same fighting spirit continues with the irrepressible Cyrano, a battle between brothers in True West, and one man’s last stand against corporate greed in My Station in Life.  We’re so proud of the powerful company of artists we’ve assembled to bring these stories to life; welcoming back Lindsay Crouse, and Jacqueline Parker, and bringing Wendy Kesselman, Brenda Withers, and Ellie Heyman into the Gloucester Stage family.”

The Gloucester Stage 2018 season performance days and times for all productions are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. Single Ticket prices are $35 to $45 with discounts available for Cape Ann Night, Preview Performances, Senior Citizens, Veterans,and Patrons 18 years old and under. Gloucester Stage Flex Passes for the 2018 Season are also on sale now. For information about Gloucester Stage, or to purchase single tickets or Flex Passes, call the Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit


May 11 – June 2


Madame Defarge by Wendy Kesselman

Directed by Ellie Heyman

A passionate re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ infamous Madame Defarge illuminates this new musical by Wendy Kesselman (The Diary of Anne Frank, My Sister in This House, The Black Monk).  Set against the turmoil of the French Revolution, as Sydney Carton (“It’s a far far better thing…”) sacrifices all for his love Lucie Manette, and Doctor Manette is “recalled to life” after eighteen years in the Bastille, Therese Defarge battles oppression with longings for love, freedom, justice, and revenge. Ellie Heyman makes her Gloucester Stage debut directing this fresh musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Tale of Two Cities. The world premiere of Wendy Kesselman’sMadame Defarge runs May 11 through June 2. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm andSaturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

June 8 – July 7


Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel

Directed by Benny Sato Ambush

Featuring Lindsay Crouse

Set in County Donegal in 1936 during the Celtic harvest festival, Dancing at Lughnasa, chronicles the five Mundy sisters and their brother Jack, who has returned home from the missions after 25 years away. Brian Friel’s award winning Irish masterpiece reunites veteran director Benny Sato Ambush with Academy Award nominee and Gloucester resident actress Lindsay Crouse. The pair collaborated on Gloucester Stage’s critically acclaimed productions of Driving Miss Daisy in 2014 and Lettice and Lovage in 2016. Dancing at Lughnasa runs from June 8 through July 7. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

July 13 – August 11



by Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers

Directed by Robert Walsh

Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh directs Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers’ fantastic 21st century retelling of Rostand’s 1897 classic. A cast of five plays a multitude of roles in this imaginative retelling of the story of Cyrano and his love for Roxane. Jason O’Connell and Brenda Withers’ Cyrano, runs from July 13 through August 11. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

August 17 – September 8

True West by Sam Shepard

Directed by Joe Short

Sam Shepard’s American classic, True West, explores the explosive conflict between two brothers: Austin, the successful family man; and Lee, the nomadic drifter and petty thief. Directed by Joe Short, Sam Shepard’s True Westruns from August 17 through September 8. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturdayand Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

September 14 – October 6


The Agitators by Mat Smart

Directed by Jacqueline Parker

The Agitators tells of the enduring but tempestuous friendship of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Directed by Boston’s award-winning Jacqueline Parker, this powerful story follows their 45-year friendship from its beginnings in New York, through a Civil War, and to the highest halls of government as they agitated the nation and each other.The New England premiere of The Agitators runs from September 14 through October 6. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA.

October 12 – October 21


My Station in Life by Ken Riaf

Directed by Robert Walsh

Featuring Ken Baltin as Simon Geller

From the rubble of his studio dungeon, Simon Geller, the last standing single-handed radio operator in the country, broadcasts commercial free classical music from Gloucester – the town that loves and endures his peculiar presence. In Ken Riaf’s world premiere, this local legend comes to life portrayed by Ken Baltin, with direction by Gloucester Stage Artistic Director Robert Walsh. Building on the standing-room-only response to Gloucester Stage’s 2017 NeverDark event, My Station in Life will be presented for a limited run of two weeks. My Station in Life runsOctober 12 through 21 at Gloucester Stage. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Saturdayand Sunday at 2:00 pm.



Wednesday – Saturday: 7:30 pm;

SaturdaySunday: 2:00 pm


Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA

SINGLE TICKET PRICES: Single Ticket prices are $35 to $45 with discounts available for Preview Performances, Senior Citizens, Veterans, and Patrons 18 years old and under. For detailed ticket information

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Flex Pass packages start at $158 for 5 tickets to use for any show and include early access to seating. This year also offers subscribers the ability to reserve their seats for the entire season with a reserved membership. Subscriptions can be purchased or renewed by calling the Box Office at 978.281.4433 or by

PAY WHAT YOU WISH: Gloucester Stage is committed to inclusion and diversity, including socio-economic status. Pay What You Wish performances are the first Saturday Matinee (2pm) of each production, allowing access to the arts for all. Tickets are available at the door and donations can be made before or after the show.

CAPE ANN NIGHT: Enriching our local community is key to our mission impact. Residents of Cape Ann can purchase $25 tickets on the first Friday of each production. Limit of 2 (two) per household. Discounted tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office 978.281.4433, must have a valid address.

For further information, call the Gloucester Stage Box Office at 978-281-4433 or visit

Beautiful Fish: Sunfish -By Al Bezanson


Sunfish; Mola Mola


They appear to consist of nothing but a “huge head to which the fins are attached,” as Jordan and Evermann aptly express it.

When these unlucky vagrants are sighted in our cool northern waters they have usually been chilled into partial insensibility. They float awash on the surface, feebly fanning with one or the other fin, the personification of helplessness. Usually they pay no attention to the approach of a boat, but we have seen one come to life with surprising suddenness and sound swiftly, sculling with strong fin strokes.

The sunfish lives on an unusual diet, for as a rule the contents of the stomach consists either of jellyfish, ctenophores, or salpae

The sunfish grows to a great size. Heilner describes the capture of one 10 feet 11 inches long off Avalon (Calif.), while Jordan and Evermann record another Californian specimen 8 feet 2 inches long, weighing about 1,800 pounds.  A fish 4 feet 1 inch long, caught off Boston Harbor, August 14, 1922, weighed 516 pounds.

From Fishes of the Gulf of Maine by Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) online courtesy of MBL/WHOI


Brace Cove Shipwreck, February 28, 1807

Once again, many thanks to Jude Seminara for this piece of local history.


The Loss of the Ship Howard February 28, 1807

The recent nor’easter of March 2nd reminds us of the power of a storm-fueled sea.  Two hundred and eleven years ago, almost to the day, a powerful gale lashed coastal Massachusetts.  Among the many vessels wrecked in the storm was the homeward-bound Salem East Indiaman Howard, which went ashore and broke up at Braces Cove.

In his entry for March 1st, 1807, Reverend Dr. William Bentley of Salem wrote of the “severe rain storm at S.E.” and the “total loss of an India Ship…in sight of our lights & off Cape Ann.”  The next day’s entry identified the ship as the Howard, commanded by Captain Benjamin Bray of Marblehead.  Captain Bray and three of his crew perished in the breakers, but the rest of the people on board were “washed ashore upon the quarterdeck.”  Captain Bray was thirty-two years old, and left a wife and two children, according to the Marblehead Vital Records.

More details of the wreck were found in the March 7th edition of the Portsmouth (NH) Oracle.  The drowned crew were identified as second mate Isaiah Leeds, seaman Alexander Sylvester (an Italian), and seaman Charles Wilson (a Swede).  Bound for Salem from Calcutta, the Howard has on board a cargo of two hundred bales of cotton and a quantity of sugar, of the total value of one hundred thousand dollars.  

Eastern Point, in those days, wasn’t marked by a beacon.  Sailors used the stand of ancient oaks for their bearings.  But, in the darkness of night and blinded by the storm, the lookout would not have seen them.  The Howard smashed into the rocks of Braces Cove and went to pieces in the pounding surf.

As the ship broke up, wreckage and cargo were strewn about the seashore.  At daybreak, the residents discovered the signs of a shipwreck. Crews were sent from Salem to recover the cargo; they reported back that the residents of Eastern Point had taken to the beach and plundered the wreck.  

The Reverend Dr. Bentley’s remarks about the demeanor of the Eastern Pointers were unfavorable: “The Shipwreck at Cape Ann has not given higher opinion of Cape Ann than we have been taught to hold of Cape Cod.  The disposition to pilfer was not easily restrained even by guards.”

However, a week later, acting on the assurance of one “Dr. Phelps of Cape Ann Harbour” [probably Henry Phelps, the first postmaster of Gloucester], Reverend Bentley recanted his accusation of the Eastern Pointers.  As it turned out, the men sent to secure the cargo, rather, had hidden it, with the intent to sell it for a profit. These “truckmen” as they were known were, according to Bentley, “the lowest class of our citizens, generally foreigners…& nothing is regarded in the choice of them but their strength.”

Among those that survived the shipwreck was one Mr. Charles Thatcher of Boston.  Historian John Babson, writing in his Notes and Additions that Mr. Thatcher was taken in on the night that the Howard wrecked and cared for by a poor old woman who lived nearby.  To repay his gratitude, every year until she died, Mr. Thatcher sent her a barrel of flour.  

Continue reading “Brace Cove Shipwreck, February 28, 1807”

Behold: The Perfect Donut

Instead of once a week I’ve been hitting the Brothers Brew Coffee Shop more frequently. My favorite donut, the Butternut Crunch was not running out by 9AM anymore. I figured maybe everyone is on a diet but since my 11 AM purchased Butternut Crunch was fresh and warm I realized that they are just making more of them since I moved to town.

Today, after having a Butternut Crunch yesterday I thought I should slow the pace down and I accidentally stumbled upon the perfect donut. There are some very good fresh donut shops on Cape Ann but hear me out. Or just look at it:

The Butternut Crunch, Chocolate, and Glaze Trifecta. Eat them in that order. Trust me.

Brothers Brew is known for their bacon donut. A donut with a big piece of bacon on top. Rubber Duck reviewed that for Good morning Gloucester several years ago. An excellent donut but not one you can pack away every day unless you want to do a Shamoo the Whale act in Sandy Bay. But the threeway can be your daily go-to donut if you bring two friends.

Corbels Around Town

No, it’s not about bird watching.  Corbels are braces used to support a portico or for decorative purposes. I have noticed intriguing ornamentation and architectural details on older houses around town and set out to learn a bit about them.  P.S. It’s not always easy to find what something is called when you don’t know what the blazes you are talking about.

But I find them beautiful and thought you might also. Some of these are mostly decorative, some are more functional.  Some are older and some are bright and shiny-new.