David Collins shares vintage photos of Stage Fort Ave homes near Barrett’s Camp #GloucesterMA |searching for artist Byron Brooks Part 3

In response to Searching for artist Byron Brooks (Part 1) and (Part 2), David Collins, a Good Morning Gloucester reader and amateur geneologist, was inspired to act. First he emailed a PDF family tree for artist, Byron Lloyd Brooks, and then shared vivid remembrances and vintage photographs in response to the artist’s timeline in Gloucester, Massachusetts. These are wonderful additions to filling out Brooks story and a peek into Gloucester and Stage Fort Park history. Thanks so much, David!

For a time, Brooks lived in 12 Stage Fort Avenue. Collins’ family lived in 7 Stage Fort Avenue 1940s-1960s. Does anyone know the neighbors Collins mentions or have more photographs of long gone homes and Barrett’s Camp at Stage Fort Park? I’m looking forward to scouting for that boulder.

Part 3 Searching for artist Byron Brooks – David Collins responds:

historic photo courtesy David Collins for artist Bryon Brooks research_shows Stage Fort Park Avenue ca 1940s_his sister with friend_Gloucester MASS
ca. 1950, courtesy photograph to assist with Byron Brooks research from David Collins (his sister with her friend by side entrance 12 Stage Fort Ave, Gloucester, Massachusetts )

“Hello, Catherine, Here is a little more information on the artist Byron L. Brooks, in case you are still interested. I have attached a family tree for him. It does also have some information on his two wives that I know of. I am not a professional genealogist, so don’t take the information as gospel. I grew up at what was then 7 Stage Fort Avenue (no “Park” in the address) in the late 1940s, 50s and early 60s in the house that is now 1 Anchor Lane, I believe. We moved to Connecticut in 1961 the week I turned 16. The house Byron lived in, 12 Stage Fort Avenue, was, back when I lived there, a 2-family house.  Most of the other houses in that part of the neighborhood were, or had been, summer camps. Stage Fort Avenue Y-ed at our house and both parts, one going on to one of the Park’s parking lots and the other going past us to Barrett’s Camps, were named Stage Fort Avenue. The house in front of Byron’s, the address was 10 Stage Fort Avenue back then and is now 7 Stage Fort Avenue, didn’t exist – at least not in the large form it is in now. Sam and Marion (Kerr) Johnson lived there. I think the house burned down in about 1975.

Ralph and Evelyn (DeCoste) Bradstreet lived in the downstairs part of 12 Stage Fort Avenue and several families lived upstairs over the years. Byron must have lived in the neighborhood a while before my family did. I think my folks moved to #7 about 1939 or so. I don’t know when the Bradstreets moved into #12. That said, Byron Brooks was my mother’s 2nd cousin. They share Ephraim Brooks [1818-1905] and Ruth Ward [1816-1892] of Nova Scotia as great-grandparents.

However, I had never heard of Byron until your 2nd GoodMorningGloucester article. I even collect art by people who called Cape Ann home – Charles Movalli was my best friend growing up*. I also have an extensive family tree that I have worked on for many years. Still, I had no idea Byron existed!  Of course, I had his parents in my mother’s part of our tree. I have now added information on him and his many siblings because of your articles. Thank-you! Hope this helps you, in return.” David Brooks 7/1/18

PHOTO COURTESY DAVID COLLINS_ 12 Stage Fort Avenue ca1947_razed_shared for Byron Brooks artist catalogue_Gloucester MA
photo credit: 12 Stage Fort Avenue, Gloucester, MA. ca.1947 photo courtesy David Collins

photo credit below (click to enlarge): 7 Stage Fort Avenue ca.1947-57 (L), and Stage Coach Inn vintage postcard, both images courtesy David Collins

about the photo with the girls on the rock and Stage Fort Avenue homes THEN (now gone):

“This one is of my sister and the girl (and her dog) who lived upstairs at 12 Stage Fort Avenue for several years while we lived on Stage Fort Avenue and then moved to School Street in Manchester. Her father, originally from Rockport, was a 7th cousin of Byron Brooks but I doubt he knew. The girls are sitting on a rock outside the side entrance to downstairs #12, the one the people we called Auntie Evelyn and Uncle Emerson (Ralph Emerson) Bradstreet (both cousins of each of my parents) probably used most often. It led into their kitchen. The doorway at the stairs in front (in the other picture I sent you) led into a hall, with stairs running up to the 2nd floor apartment and also a door at the left into the downstairs apartment.

The building behind the girls and to the left was, at least at one time, a Barrett camp. I think sometimes people bought them and made them more permanent homes even if they didn’t live in them year-round. The family’s name sounded like Brown-eyes but I don’t remember how it was actually spelled. Oh, I do remember: William and Irene (Douglas) Brauneis. Irene Douglas’ brother (a close friend and fishing buddy of my uncle) and his wife and family and his parents lived in the large house at the top of the hill behind the camps that was not a camp. I think the Brauneis family lived in theirs, maybe even full time eventually, long after we had moved.

The next home which looks altogether different was rented out in the summer, too, but I have no idea who lived in it. In the next camp to that one, not in the picture, a Mrs. Morrison spent the summer and her daughter and family, the Kilroys, would join her for a few weeks. Mrs. Kilroy had grown up in Gloucester. I hung around with daughter Carol and brother Robert the part of the summer when they were in town…Henry and Pauline (Osmond) Garvey and family lived in the Barrett camp that abutted our property on (what was then) Stage Fort Avenue. Great family. They would summer there from Tuckahoe, New York, but both had been brought up in Gloucester. ”- David Collins

*author’s note – more on this connection later

Byron Brooks on line catalogue (updated)

 

21 thoughts on “David Collins shares vintage photos of Stage Fort Ave homes near Barrett’s Camp #GloucesterMA |searching for artist Byron Brooks Part 3

  1. Ralph Bradstreet is Evelyn DeCoste 2nd Husband. She was my grandmother. Her son Elias (Tink) Souza, my Dad, married Harriet Laurie. Her daughter Shirley Souza married Francis Kerepka.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. sharing comment from David Collins –

      “That’s pretty neat, Catherine! and
      Dear Barbara – you are a very distant (12th) cousin to my father. Your mother (Evelyn DeCoste Souza Bradstreet) whom I mentioned was a 1st cousin to one of my parents’ closest friends, Bill DeCoste who, I believe, at one time ran Barrett’s store down the hill from us at what I think is now 92 Western Avenue, he of Barrett’s Camps and a former Gloucester mayor. Our school bus stop to West Parish and Central Grammar was in front of his store.
      Barbara. your father “Tink” and your aunt Shirley are in my tree, both of whom I remember. We had Tink’s picture in our house on the TV the whole time we lived in Gloucester – I think it was his Navy picture. I remember Shirley’s son Tommy Kerepka and have a couple pictures of him at my 5th birthday party in 1950. He was almost 2.
      And I just found another picture my parents had of Tink, this time in a group that I am sure contains him from his Naval Training days (1944.) The photo has no names with it but if I remember him correctly, he is the first man in the 2nd row (perhaps.) I’m including a scan of the photo. I no longer have the other picture I mentioned which was of just him.
      I hope others do send in Barrett’s Camps photos! There were quite a few camps back there at one time.”- David Collins
      photo credit: 1944 Naval class from collection David Collins

      Like

      1. I live at what was 10 Stage Fort Avenue now 7 and have lived here since 1975 and did the transformation from smaller home to larger. I believe Mrs. Johnson died in the fire in March of 1975. Not much damage to the home at the time. When I moved here Earle and Eleanor lived next door at what was 7 but is now Anchor Lane and Donovan owned 12 Stage Fort Avenue. But the House next to 7 in the court was owned by the Garvey family and Pauline would come every summer with her adult children. In 1981 there were 3 fires in one night that destroyed some and eventually they were sold individually and many were rebuilt and all are year round homes now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “Nice! I learned a little more about my old neighborhood by someone who lives there now. The Earle and Elinore you refer to were my father’s brother and his wife who moved into our house and later bought it. They had lived up on Bond’s Hill.” – David Collins

          Like

  2. David,
    Thanks so much. This is wonderful to see. I can fill in some details of Stage Fort Avenue ( now Anchor Lane). Mayor Barrett owned the camps up from us. Some great families spent summers there. The Browneis daughter Beverly and family had the camp behind #12 (the Donovans). Their daughter Lee married into the Strong family and lives up on Bonds Hill. A family from North Carolina, the Melvins, had the next one up. The next one up was the Maloney clan. Across the street and up from #9,the Garvey house was a camp occupied by the Winkler family. I remember you David even though I was young when you moved. Some of these post-dated your departure from the neighborhood. The great poet, Charles Olsen, lived up the street with his mother. When my pals and I would go fishing over the fort above Half Moon Beach, he would come by and observe. He had returned to Gloucester after years away. Great summers and great memories. Worthy of a short story. By the way, I know exactly where that rock is because we used to use it as home base during our games of tag!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Bob!

      I am amazed that we get to “meet again” after all these years! My family thought the world of your family and spoke warmly of you folks for years after we had moved.

      My father had worked at LePage’s until it changed hands the 2nd or 3rd time and his job as a buyer was eliminated. He commuted to a new job in SW Connecticut for a while and came home one Friday in April, 1961, and told us we had to have everything packed up and ready to move by the next week-end.

      It was a school vacation week, so we didn’t have much chance to say good-by to many friends, let alone people such as your family who were there mostly in the summer. I don’t remember much about that week – just us going to see my friend Charles Movalli and his family who lived on up Western Avenue and taking my ROTC uniform back to GHS. I did go back to Gloucester for visits when I could, especially when my aunt and uncle lived in our old house and to visit my grandmother and Charles’ mother, but I missed ever seeing you and your family again, Bob.

      Even though I lived in Gloucester only about 15 years, I still consider it my “hometown”.

      Thanks for the information on some of the other people in the neighborhood. I knew that Charles Olson had lived there some summers but assumed it was before I lived there.

      Oh, I love that you remember that rock. But, since you missed winters there, you can’t remember sledding down the hill on the (harbor) side of it. Sometimes (as in rarely), if the conditions were just right (icy), we could sled to the bottom of that hill, across Stage Fort Avenue, and on down the next hill which had “the big bump” in it and then keep on to go under the white fence at the sidewalk along Western Avenue. Then they put in the baseball field.

      Great memories!
      David

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi David!
        Wow…talk about a voice from the far past. i hope life has been fair to middlin. I remember what a lovely woman your mom was. She was a peach. Do kids have anything like those endless, free summers any more?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Bob, for writing and sounds like you cherish time there like David. Maybe you can show me that rock and have some more photos? Interesting for those of us who weren’t there to read more about Stage Fort Park and this cluster of neighbors. You’ve added more surnames now, like WINKLER and MELVIN. David mentioned Charles Olson and his mother being there a few summers, too.

    A question for you both- can you describe a bit more for GMG readers what was meant by the term “camp” with these (mostly summer then?) homes, to you and your family, others?

    Like

    1. Well Catherine,
      The term “camp” referred to a small house that families would rent and summer in year after year. Hence the term “summer camp.” They were not winterized cottages. At best they had localized heating. Families would furnish them with retired pieces from their year round homes or from flea markets. They became treasured memories as the years passed. Some summer camps were great houses…referred to as such because they were the summer retreats of the wealthy. Just a term from the “old America.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. THE COLLINS FAMILY LIVED NEXT DOOR TO US AT 7 STAGE FORT AVENUE. WE WERE THE GARVEY FAMILY AT NO. 9. WE WERE VERY FORTUNATE TO HAVE SUCH WONDERFUL NEIGHBORS AS THE COLLINS ALL THOSE YEARS. ACROSS FROM US WERE THE DONOVANS AND BEHIND THEM WERE THE ANDERSONS. ON OUR OTHER SIDE WERE THE LISKERS AND NEXT TO THEM WERE THE COHENS. AT THE TOP OF STAGE FORT AVENUE WERE THE MORRISONS.
    THE BIG HOUSE AT THE TOP OF THE HILL LIVED THE DOUGLAS AND BROWNEYE FAMILIES. THE ROCK WAS ON THE GRASS NEAR THE ANDERSON FAMILY ACROSS FROM THE BASEBALL FIELD WHERE EVERY NIGHT WAS A GAME HELD WITH ALL OF US.
    WE WERE A VERY FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD. AFTER MY FATHER, WHO WAS A HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY N.Y., PASSED WE CONTINUED RETURNING FOR MANY YEARS.
    WHEN MY MOTHER PASSED WE SOLD OUR CAMP. EACH YEAR MANY IN THE FAMILY RETURN TO GLOUCESTER SINCE IT WAS HOME TO MY PARENTS GROWING UP. WE HAD THE ZAGER COUSINS IN GLOUCESTER AND WE ADORED THEM. EACH YEAR I RETURN TO THE OLD NEIGHBORHOOD WHEN VISITING AND I HAVE A HARD TIME RECOGNIZING IT. IT IS A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my goodness! This is like a big old neighborhood reunion!

      On behalf of my family, thank-you, Katherine and Bob, for the kind words.

      And thank-you for the information on some of the other families.

      To my way of thinking, there were about 20 (maybe more ?) camps of all sizes and shapes. Some, as I remember, may have been 2-story. Most had a (screened) porch. They went up both sides of what was then Stage Fort Avenue that sort of Y-ed and down what is now Windsor Lane.

      Another family who lived in a camp off our back-yard, that I remember as being their year-round home they having winterized it and bought it, I assume, were Richard and Betty Nutbrown. They continue the theme of being great neighbors in a wonderful neighborhood. I think Betty’s sister and her husband (I don’t remember their names, I am sorry to say) lived in another winterized and purchased camp next to them. Again, very nice people.

      Wow! Thanks so much for the memories!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes David…the best of memories on a very special cape. My family considers Gloucester our tribal homeland. You can leave Gloucester but Gloucester never leaves you. Being older than me, my sister Kathy has slightly different memories of the families. Families would leave and be replaced. I knew the families of the early to mid sixties. She obviously knew earlier ones and the camps they occupied. This has been a gas David. Keep trucking!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Bob and Kathy,

          As you may have read about me in one of the earlier parts of Catherine’s post about Barrett’s camps, I am into genealogy (an enthusiastic amateur) and for the past while I have been trying to connect your family to my parents’ family trees, either side. I had started this little project years ago but ramped it up after yesterday’s wonderful interchanges with you.

          I am afraid I have not been able to make that family connection which is sort of unusual because my parents’ families seem to be related to so many people in Gloucester and on Cape Ann and in Essex County and New England in general.

          I was able to connect over 250 of my classmates from the GHS Class of 1963 (my classmates had we stayed in Gloucester, that is) to each of my parents’ family trees, most as cousins or as someone who married a cousin of one of my parents – that’s 250 out of 300 GHS ’63 graduates. I am probably wrong about that in many cases, I realize, but to have “any” others than the 1st cousins I knew of in the class seems amazing. You just don’t normally think about that happening.

          But I did discover something almost as good for us. I believe your father may have been the 1st cousin of Don Sheedy of Gloucester. Don and Hester Sheedy were very good friends of my parents, coming to our house many, many times, and the four of them often went to square dances together, all over New England.

          Small world!!

          David

          Liked by 1 person

        2. David,
          My grandmother, my father’s mother, was a Sheedy. I could spill out all the extended tribal names I know of. My sister knows much more I’m sure. We would be happy to oblige.

          Bob

          Liked by 1 person

Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s