While ferrying plants from Cedar Rock Gardens to jobs this weekend I passed by Angie’s adorable Alpacas half a dozen times. Just had to stop and say a quick hello!I think this one is named Magnolia, for the color of her softly hued hair. She was taking a languid roll in the grass. Doesn’t she look positively angelic?Magnolia and Pippi Longstocking (please write Angie if the Alpaca’s names are incorrect).


Despite the throngs of beach goers and a full parking lot by noon time on Friday, the nesting Piping Plovers appear to be doing a-okay. Both Mama and Papa Plover were seen at the nest this morning (Saturday) at daybreak. They traded places on the nest without event.

Piping Plover volunteer monitors will be checking on the PiPl throughout the day. The parking lot attendants are keeping an eye out our feathered friends as well. With a hope and prayer, and lots of cooperation from the community, our little pair will survive the holiday weekend 🙂

At daybreak this morning, Mama left the nest to stretch her wings, forage, and take a bath, but only after Papa flew on the scene to relieve her; Papa on the nest Friday evening.

Tribute to a Fallen Gloucester Soldier

Some food for thought for Memorial Day weekend: As the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1 approaches later this year, it seems appropriate to turn attention toward a little known federal effort to provide some comfort to the the mothers and widows of fallen soldiers oversees. From 1930-33, the federal government provided almost 6700 mothers and unmarried widows of fallen soldiers to travel, all expenses paid, to visit the burial grounds of their sons and husbands oversees–mostly in France.  These trips were two weeks in length and much appreciated by the women who chose to travel. By all account, this unprecedented federal effort was run efficiently and with great care toward the comforts of the women (or Pilgrims as they were known). provides access to records indicating that there were 4 women living in Gloucester around 1930 who were eligible Pilgrims: Mrs. Effie Kittredge (son Paul); Mrs. Joseph Kite (son Clement Cresson); Mrs. Josephine Karem (son Thomas) and Mrs. Edith Cunningham (son Philip). These are the records listed by county.

Essex Co Gold Star pg 1Essex Co Gold Star pg 2

It is worth noting that by 1930, many of the widows and mothers may have moved from the original residence of the soldier.  All had certainly aged.  The health and mobility of the mothers in particular created issues for the trip planners and surely prevented some from traveling no matter how much they may have wanted to.  We do not know for certain if any of these made the pilgrimage.

One of these families appears to have had a long history in Gloucester: the Cunningham family.  William T. Cunningham and Edith (Rowe) Cunningham were native to Gloucester and had five children, including Philip. further provides access to U.S., Adjutant General Military Records, 1631-1976 which includes Harvard’s Military Record in the World War:

Philip Cunningham Harvard's Military

It seems certain Philip represented Gloucester well in his service.  He and his parents are buried at Oak Grove Cemetery. All are worth a moment’s thought some time over this Memorial Day weekend.




Four years in the making and planning stages, both Good Harbor Beach and Wingaersheek Beach have been outfitted with lovely new signs housed in the glass kiosks. We can thank Cape Ann Coffees, Neptune’s Harvest, Patti and Howie Amaral, Laurinda Butcher and the Cape Ann Photographers Club, and the Friends of Good Harbor Beach for the good work.

Patty and Laurinda installing the signs tonight.

Laurinda Butcher of Cape Ann Creative designed the bulletin boards and she, along with fellow members of the Cape Ann Photographers Club, donated the images. Photos are courtesy of the following contributors: Betty Grizz, Dave Fernandes, Skip Montello, Doug Burgess, Roger Porter, Karen Burgess, Gary Lander, Cate Partridge, Sue Ann Pearson, Glenn Bowie, James Eason, Jr., Donna Ardizonni, Kimberlee Bertolino, and Laurinda Butcher.

June 17 Mark Twain Program

Mark Twain remains one of the most frequently quoted characters in American history. His fiery views on politics and religion angered the elected and infuriated the faithful. Well, just in case you missed his wit and wisdom about 150 years ago, he’s back for one more visit.

On Sunday, June 17, Mark Twain, played by professional actor Peter Berkrot, will deliver the sermon at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church at 10:00 a.m. In this one-man presentation written and narrated by Gloucester resident Brent Wilkes, Berkrot delivers an unforgettable performance based on selected quotes from one of America’s most beloved writers. To place the narrative into historic context, the choir of the Unitarian Universalist Church will sing music of the period during the service.

Wilkes devoted extensive research into the life and writings of Mark Twain to create the narrative. He has produced and narrated the Mark Twain experience five times in three different states. “Twain was a master at exposing the hypocrisy of his time,” noted Wilkes. “His insights into the culture, beliefs, and practices of his time resonate even now with contemporary audiences.”

Peter Berkrot is a career actor who has performed on both stage and screen. He is a resident of Gloucester.

The Gloucester church was gathered in 1779 as the first Universalist congregation in the United States. For over 200 years, we have demonstrated our faith in support of justice, equity, and compassion for all. We are a Welcoming Congregation located at 10 Church Street in Gloucester. The Reverend Janet Parsons, minister. Information at