1890 Boston Globe historic houses article features White Ellery #GloucesterMA

Then and Now

woodcut illustration for 1890 Boston Globe article | photos: c. ryan, mostly 2021

The first Massachusetts home featured in this Boston Globe historic house article was Gloucester’s “Ellery house”, as a classic First Period saltbox:

OLD HOMES, OLD FAMILIES. Houses in New England, Each of Which Has for Three or More Generations Sheltered the Same Race. Romances Drawn from Wood and Brick

The Sunday Globe begins today to publish stories and pictures of old New England homesteads which have sheltered at least three generations of the families now living in them.

This is not so endless a task as some may suppose it to be. New England, no doubt, contains a greater number of old houses than any other division of the country, but it is rare indeed to find one among those that has been long in the possession of the same family. Such a shifting of ownerships may reflect the growing prosperity of the original occupants who perchance have built greater homes than those of their fathers, but often the disappearance of the inheritors of these ancestral houses signifies either the utter extinction or the scattering and breaking up of the family.

The sketches in this series opening today appeal, therefore, in a peculiar way to the public curiosity, and the Sunday Globe would thank any of its readers if they would call attention to any houses within their own knowledge which may be occupied by a family who have possessed the property through three or more generations continuously or otherwise.

There are various periods in the history of Gloucester house building, each marked quite as distinctly to the architectural student as the different strata of the earth’s crust indicate to the geologist the various periods of formation. In the case of the old houses of note it may be said that they all belonged to the upper crust.

The houses of the first settlers of Gloucester, with rare exceptions, have long since been replaced by others of more elaborate design, and the few remaining in the suburbs are small one-story edifices of no particular architectural pretensions.

In common with Boston, Salem, Newburyport and other colonial seaports, Gloucester once owned a large fleet of ships, brigs and barks, that sailed to foreign ports, exchanging the products of the town and of the county for Spanish gold and Surinam molasses, which was converted into New England rum.

These merchants built commodious residences and dispensed a hospitality commensurate with their position as leaders of the social and intellectual life of the town.

The most historic edifice in town is the Ellery house, which stands just below the old meeting house green on Washington street in Riverdale, a suburb of the town.

It was built by Rev. John White shortly after he came here in 1702 to minister to the spiritual wants of the First Parish, receiving a grant of land from the town on which to build his home. At that time the main settlement was in that portion of the community, but the necessities of commerce and fishing made it convenient for the inhabitants to remove nearer the seashore, deserting their first habitations on what is now known as “Dogtown Common,” where the remains of their cellars can still be traced today.

The type of architecture is well portrayed by the accompanying cut. On the projection which overhangs the lower story in front there were four balls pendant, a style of decoration of the times, which have long been removed.

Inside, the old-fashioned low studded style of room is at once apparent, and the antique furnishings and general air of the place make one realize more vividly the age of the house and fixtures, which are of a nature to bring joy to the heart of an antiquarian.

Some of the furniture in the parlor is about 200 years old. The house was bought in 1710 by Capt. William Ellery, and it still remains in the hands of his direct descendants, the occupants being John Ellery and his wife. Thus it will be seen that it has been in this family 150 years.

The purchaser of the house was a son of the original settler, William Ellery. The Ellery family were prominent in the social and intellectual life of the place from the first, being leading merchants. Hon. Benjamin Ellery, called in the family “Admiral,” was the eldest brother of William. He went from Gloucester and settled in Rhode Island and was the father of Deputy Gov. William Ellery and grandfather of William Ellery who signed the Declaration of Independence, the signer being a grandnephew of the first owner of the house.”

Boston Globe 1890*

Read the full article (PDF) to see the other Massachusetts homes selected for the article.

The Declaration of Independence connection was artfully slipped in. Fast facts on the signers from the National archives here.

*For current information visit Cape Ann Museum

The White Ellery House is part of the Cape Ann Museum collection. There are inaccuracies in the 1890 nutshell above. James Stevens and the tavern he operated is absent. The rum trade is acknowledged; any NE slave trade economic connections are not. [Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery. Vermont was the first to abolish (VT 1777 vs. MA 1783).] The article predates the build out of Rt. 128 which rallied a preservation relocation.

Maybe CAM might commission a set of woodcuts of the historic properties as they are now by various local artists.

Beautiful improvements on the grounds of Cape Ann Museum

note: pinch and zoom or double click to enlarge photos.

Repairs are underway. Support the restoration of Our Lady of Good Voyage! #GloucesterMA

Efforts to mobilize repairs on the west tower blue dome of Our Lady of Good Voyage are underway. Photos show some of the damage to the inspiring tower that was sustained after the windstorm this week. If you wish to help the cause to restore, on line donations can be made at the church: https://ccgronlineolgv.churchgiving.com/ The Church, all of Gloucester & greater Cape Ann, and all the artists and admirers of Our Lady of Good Voyage around the world would surely appreciate the support!

The Portuguese church of Our Lady of Good Voyage on Prospect Street in Gloucester is resilient. The church was re-built after a catastrophic fire in 1914. Thousands attended the laying of the cornerstone on May 24, 1915. (Less than ten years later, during the year of the city’s tercentenary, parishioners celebrated the mortgage liquidation.) One of our city’s most cherished buildings, the landmark was added to the National Historic Register of Historic Places in 1990.

helping an icon people hold dear

For more about Edward Hopper work in Gloucester, Mass. see here

For more about Gordon Parks work in Gloucester, Mass. see series 2012-14 here

West Gloucester on HGTV! Farmhouse Fixer- new reno show with Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin. Look for Bob Marshall’s interview, Marshall’s Farm Stand

Marshall’s Farm Stand family history has a connection to a West Gloucester property that was chosen for the new HGTV show, Farmhouse Fixer. Partners Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin developed select properties within 50 miles of Ipswich for this new show.

Bob Marshall interviewed for episode(s)

From HGTV online:

HGTV Casting for a New Farmhouse Renovation Show: Do you have an antique or historic farmhouse in need of renovating? Do you love your home’s old charm and character but want to add some modern updates? HGTV would like to hear from you.

“HGTV and High Noon Entertainment are casting homeowners within 50 miles of Ipswich, MA for a new show with renovation expert Jonathan Knight (best known as a Grammy Nominated member of New Kids on the Block) and his partner, local renowned designer Kristina Crestin.”

Thanks Pauline’s Gifts for happy news from West Gloucester!

Gloucester in the news: Wall Street Journal covers Fitz Henry Lane and Cape Ann Museum

Pauline’s friend Gary shared a photo of his paper (Pauline’s Gifts). Beautiful- thanks for sending!

“A Luminist’s Hometown Harbor: The Cape Ann Museum Holds an Unrivaled of Painter and Printmaker Fitz Henry Lane’s work” By Willard Spiegelman Wall Street Journal March 4, 2021

“the Cape Ann Museum, a showcase for work by local artists of sometimes international reputation and a generous gallimaufry of objects relating to local history, the fishing industry, granite quarrying, and the immigrant communities that have kept Gloucester vibrant. Boats and the sea are its leitmotifs.

Founded in 1875, renamed in 2007, it is no longer the modest historical society it began as, but a real art museum.”

Willard Spiegelman WSJ article published 3/4/2021
courtesy photo Pauline’s friend Gary

wind-whipped sand on Good Harbor Beach

March 2, 2021 coming in chilly and v. windy

Low tide- frozen estuary slush patches by the Good Harbor Beach footbridge



whisper thin bands of dry sand wind-swept across low tide beach_ 20210302_Good Harbor Beach Gloucester MA © c ryan

First Civilian State Emergency Hospital Post and angel nurses from Ontario helped Gloucester fight back | 1918 influenza pandemic part 5

The United States reached a devastating milestone of 512,000 deaths claimed by Covid-19 on February 28, 2021. A year ago when I wrote about the impact of the 1918 Flu Pandemic through a Gloucester lens, the potential lethality of Covid-19 was sobering and hard to fathom. In modern times, deaths caused by Covid-19 in the United State could never climb as high as the 1918 Pandemic, right? Wrong. In this year of living grievously, 500,000 deaths is a grim new record. We are so deeply sorry to all who endure the loss of someone close, to long haulers struggling to heal, and to caregivers who face so much.


This excerpt has been adapted from The 1918 Pandemic: Reconstructing How the Flu Raged Then Flattened in Gloucester, Massachusetts when 183 Died in 6 weeks, by Catherine Ryan, March 2020. Posts like this one, Part 5, offer select weeks during the outbreak as serialized chapters.


September 20, 1918

As the death toll doubled, the local paper tried to keep pace with death notices and tributes. One week after an outbreak at the post office, the paper published an obituary for William L. Jeffery, the first local shop owner to die from influenza. His stationery store was located on Pleasant street, same as the Post Office. Another man known to many in town, George Goldthwaite, a salesman for the Gloucester Gaslight Company who acted in community theater, succumbed. “Only last July he took part in the play “Two Burglars and a Lady” at the Playhouse-on-the-Moors.”

Mr. and Mrs. Martin on Fort Square died from influenza within three days of each other. “The family came to this city a few years ago when the gill netter fishermen from Michigan took up their residence here.”

“The couple are survived by four children Violet, aged 9 years, Gladys, aged 7; Lilian, aged 5, and Delores, 3 years of age.”

Four orphans- sad death notice for Mr. and Mrs. Martin – September 20, 1918

September 23, 1918

On September 23, 1918 Boston reported 23 new deaths from influenza; Gloucester, 11.

At the post office where the disease had surged, nine staff still struggled. While letter carrier Hodsdon recovered from the malady, his wife Ethel (Wheeler) Hodsdon died at home.


September 24, 1918

Cases in East Gloucester ramped up September 24th. A few vessels returned with sick crew. Sawyer Free Public library closed. Physicians and nurses from other towns arrived to help. Polling locations were open for the primary, but voter turnout was the smallest on record. Church attendance was small, “on account of the large number of persons afflicted and those who kept away.”

There were so many new cases in Gloucester, officials enlarged the temporary Red Cross emergency hospital at the police station (and would again), clearing out the District Court floor.

Still, more hospital beds were necessary. The State Armory on Prospect Street seemed the ideal site to ready, however the State refused the request.

Alderman (City Councilor) Poole headed to Boston with Osborne Knowles, Christian Saunders and John Radcliffe, representatives from Gloucester’s Board of Health and Public Safety, to negotiate with state and federal officials in person.

“That the authorities were fully cognizant of conditions in Gloucester was evident from the statement of Mr. Long, who said that Revere, Quincy and Gloucester were the most infected of any in the state. Mr. Long offered the committee every assistance and relief that could be given to handle the situation…In the opinion of state officials and leading physicians the out-door method of treating the disease is the most effective and successful. So interested were the officials in the local situation that the surgeon-general’s department yesterday afternoon notified Capt. Carleton H. Parsons, senior officer of the local state guard units; instructing him to present to the local authorities the offer of the state to send to Gloucester a military hospital unit to cope with the situation.”

Lieut. John A. Radcliffe, State Guard, resident, and veteran Gloucester Daily Times (GDT) reporter of nearly 20 years & volunteer on the Board of Health for 15 prior to the pandemic

The state discussions prompted additional protective measures, informed by the best doctors in the armed services. There were more cases in Massachusetts by then than all the other states combined. Influenza cases at Camp Devens had already climbed to 11,000.

The Gloucester contingent left the Boston conference armed with a state of the art plan for a crisis team to be deployed in Gloucester: a military unit of doctors, nurses and multiple local State Guard companies. It would be the first one established for care of civilians.

All necessary presentations and votes were sorted by nightfall.

“The adjutant general’s department in Boston was immediately communicated with, and arrangements made to send tents, physicians, nurses’ field kitchen, military equipment and supplies to this city.”

John Radcliffe, Gloucester Daily Times

Meanwhile, another floor was added to the Red Cross Emergency Hospital, State Guard called out, and police instructed to enforce any Board of Health recommendations such as the anti-spitting rule and fruit stand closures. Various strict fumigation requirements were put into immediate effect and there would be no crowding on street cars. Police officers were dispatched to The Fort and to investigate sanitation conditions.

Without calling it a quarantine, mighty efforts to effectively shut Gloucester down ensued. Cancellation and support notices landed on the front page.

The City banned outdoor gatherings now, too. A women’s suffragist meeting and Liberty Loan rallies were among the first cancellations. Gloucester District Nursing Association sought volunteer drivers.  

“Gloucester calls her people to rise promptly to the emergency!” urged the Gloucester Daily Times Op Ed.

In local war news at this time, Gloucester advocates were seeking reimbursement from the federal government for vessels sunk by submarine– while pressing for flu support.

Statewide the precise number of infected cases was a guess at best. It would be a week before reporting deaths was required by state law, ten days after Gloucester so ordered.

September 25, 1918

Massachusetts established an Emergency Public Health Committee on September 25, 1918. Their first order of business was to ban all public gatherings especially in light of the upcoming liberty loan rallies and parades. It was suggested that the Federal Government was likely to take charge in Massachusetts as a war measure.

The State Board of Health published treatment guidelines the next day because of the scarcity of physicians and nurses, and push back after bans and restrictions, which Henry Endicott defended mightily:

“…There are undoubtedly towns and cities in the Commonwealth from which the influenza has not been reported, but of course we must face the fact that the chances are very much in favor of the spread of the disease. I urge such communities to assume their part of the common responsibility, and to act as if they were already in the midst of the epidemic.

The doctors and nurses of Massachusetts who are devoting themselves to the care of the sick in this emergency are all heroes and heroines, and many of them have paid the penalty. Not one of them, as far as I am aware, has shirked in any way; they have overworked; they are without sleep—yet, still they go on. Massachusetts can never repay its debt to this noble band of men and women. We are using every effort, both through the government and outside the State to get additional help for these people… (Regarding) Cancellation of the Liberty loan meetings… It will never be said of Massachusetts that she was so immersed in her own private troubles that she for one moment failed to heed the Nation’s call to practical service. Massachusetts must and will do her part.”

Henry B. Endicott, Chairman Massachusetts Emergency Public Health Committee, established Sept. 25, 1918

Dr. Kelley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Health and a member of the state’s Emergency Public Health Committee, reached out to U.S. Surgeon General Blue. The Federal government lent army and navy doctors to take over doctor assignments. Kelley appointed a nursing Commission and assigned Miss Billings from his department as chairman. They hired 100 nurses to serve in case of emergency in the Massachusetts State Guard. Fifteen were deployed to Gloucester.

“These nurses were given the rank and pay of Lieutenant. It is believed that this is the first time such rank and pay have been given to women in the United States…” 

The state assigned about 10 more registered nurses to Gloucester as well.

September 26, 1918

The federal government released a detailed “Influenza” circular September 26. By then forty percent of Gloucester’s telephone company were absent “on account of sickness either of themselves or relatives whose care is devolving upon them.” The Gloucester Manufacturing Company “closed their plant indefinitely,” and the Ipswich mills announced a shut down. There were 49 deaths in the city, up from 11 three days prior, among them Laura Silva, Alderman Silva’s sister, who died that morning from “pneumonia following an attack of the prevailing influenza.”

Acting Governor Coolidge appealed to the President, select neighboring states, and the Mayor of Toronto for physicians and nurses:

“Massachusetts urgently in need of additional doctors and nurses to check growing epidemic of influenza. Our doctors and nurses are being thoroughly mobilized and worked to the limit. Many cases can receive no attention whatever. Hospitals are full, but arrangements can be made for outside facilities. Earnestly solicit your influence in obtaining for us this needed assistance in any way you can.”

Governor urgent telegrams disseminated 9/26/1918

The notice was carried in the Gloucester Daily Times and national papers the following day. New York Herald led with the capture of 5000 Germans and Bay State Governor asking for help on the front page; the New York Times published a notice on page 6.

The local paper featured its editorial: If You Love Your Fellow Man Then Give Your Aid in this Crisis;

September 27, 1918

With no time to spare, the State Military Unit was installed on the grounds of Addison Gilbert Hospital Friday September 27, 1918, and completed before sundown Saturday.

“In a remarkably short space of time the tents were up and the unit well established, so that this afternoon it will be ready for patients. There are 100 tents for patients, each waterproof, provided with board floor, cot and other essentials for the proper care of the sick…The field hospital is a wonderful institution and shows in a large measure what the State Guard can be depended upon to bring about. Day and night the men have worked to put the hospital in shape and to look out for the sick ones. It is simply remarkable the way the many details have been arranged to establish such a wonderful institution well worthy of the name. Electric lights, water, sewerage and floors in the tents have all been put in, chiefly through the efforts of the fine types of men that compose the State Guard.”

John Radcliffe, GDT

Another 100 tents for the state guard, plus any necessary for administration and operations, were installed as well.

Over on Main Street, the Red Cross established a children’s hospital in the Girl’s Club over Gloucester National Bank.

Anticipating great need, the public safety committee announced an Emergency Fundraising drive for the Local Red Cross administered by Cape Ann Savings Bank.

The Mayor and all but one Alderman were struck by flu—all those meetings! — and still that Monday they brought forth more precautions, seizing any and all educational opportunities and community measures possible to halt the spread. Public funerals were banned and soda fountains closed, though the latter was rescinded in one day.

Detailed flu mask (face masks) instructions were published as part of optimum patient care and prevention.

Mayor Stoddart urged fresh air and ventilation.

“Every house whether a case of disease has existed or not, should be thoroughly aired during the day…Clean up the back yards, dumps and filthy places. If your neighbor will not act, consult the Board of Health or its emergency agents and prompt action will be taken. Let everyone co-operate and assist our health officials in the excellent work they are doing.”

Mayor Stoddardt, September 30, 1918
Mayor John Stoddart served 1917-19

The deadline for the Draft Registration questionnaire was postponed until a future time when influenza was vanquished. One bright note that bleak weekend: ten “angel” nurses arrived from Ontario, Canada, and five from the state thanks to the commonwealth’s plea and Gloucester’s hustle. Unlike other locations during the 1918 Flu Pandemic, folks rushed here to help rather than away.

Continue reading “First Civilian State Emergency Hospital Post and angel nurses from Ontario helped Gloucester fight back | 1918 influenza pandemic part 5”

Gloucester artists at auction- Sotheby’s American art sale closing March 3 features Mulhaupt, Kroll, Schoonover, Mellen and more

The Sotheby’s sale Two Centuries American Art closing March 3, 2021 highlights work by artists inspired by Gloucester and/or with Gloucester ties including these few: illustrations for Harper’s and Redbook by Frank E. Schoonover; work by Leon Kroll including a Good Harbor Beach scene; and views of Gloucester harbor by Frederick John Mulhaupt and Mary Blood Mellen:

Lot #16: Leon Kroll Figures on a Beach, o/c, circa 1919 (about 9″ x 11″ unframed), pre sale est. $3,000-$5,000

Lot #87 Frank Earle Schoonover Approaching Camp oil on canvas 1924 31″ x 25″ unframed
auction presale est. $15,000-$25,000 

Lot #58: Frank Earle Schoonover 1877 – 1972 “Take Her!” 1914 oil on canvas 25 x 34 unframed – (illus. for WD Steele story in Harper’s published 1915) presale estimate $4,000-$6,000

Mary Blood Mellen, Moonlight Seascape, Gloucester Harbor, oil on canvas, 12 ¼” x 17 ¼” unframed, presale estimate $10,000-$15,000

Lot #33: Frederick John Mulhaupt, Harbor Scene, oil on canvas, approx. 25 x 30 unframed presale estimate $30,000-$50,000

More Mulhaupt Gloucester Harbor

Gloucester Harbor, a central panel from one of Mulhaupt’s monumental mural masterworks, has been on display at Gloucester’s O’Maley school for decades. The center panel was commissioned under the auspices of the WPA-era programs and ultimately moved from its original site at Central Grammar to City Hall in 1972, and then again to O’Maley. Other sections of this mural were disconnected and dispersed within City Hall in 1972, and not all on display, which has confounded understanding of the sections individually and as a whole. All will be reunited one day–temporarily or permanently– back to the artist’s original, immersive art experience intent. Here are several photos of the mural to compare with the artist’s treatment of the harbor scene at auction.

Photo of Gloucester Daily Times article – Catherine Ryan research

Head to Cape Ann Museum

Fine examples by all the artists coming up at auction can be found at Cape Ann Museum within the permanent collection and/or special temporary exhibits.

photos c ryan: installation views at Cape Ann Museum (double click or pinch and zoom depending upon your device; right click to see credit info)

Update on Byron Brooks #GloucesterMA artist active in the 1960s

People continue to share photographs of Byron Brooks oil paintings since a request back in 2016. Some images show paintings that were bought directly from the artist at his gallery in East Gloucester. Others were passed down through a family for generations. Still others were discovered at auction or estate sales across the country. One turned up in Arizona.

People google the artist and find their way to Good Morning Gloucester in search of biographical information. As more and more people share snapshots, a fuller picture of the artist and favorite motifs began to emerge. For instance, because of new additions from one collector, it’s clear that Brooks painted favorite scenes beyond Gloucester, “greater Cape Ann”, and in all seasons. Besides photographs, GMG readers have expressed memories of the artist, as well as Gloucester and relevant neighborhoods at the time he was active here. These contributions help us to have a better understanding of what it was like to visit his home studio gallery and learn more about him as a person.

selection snapshots from new contributions:

Byron Brooks, Lobster Boat, Rockport, private collection, courtesy photo
Byron Brooks, Harvey House, West Gloucester, oil on canvas, circa 1960s, private collection, courtesy photo

Here is a link to the Byron Brooks resource- updated as of January 2021.

This is Part 5 from series, Searching for Artist Byron Brooks

More Cape Pond Ice House #GloucesterMA history in Alton Bay NH

GMG reader Carolyn R. passes on more local history from Alton Historical Society, Alton, NH

 Alton Historical Society, Alton, New Hampshire – This building was for the workers at the Cape Pond Ice House, Mt. Major Park at Woodmans Cove. The photo was taken a couple of years ago.

| Alton Historical Society Facebook link here: More Cape Pond Ice House history in Alton Bay

Prior posts here and here

February 15 – Bruce J. Anderson Foundation Grant deadline is fast approaching!

Reminder from Paola-

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

This is a friendly reminder that the  Bruce J. Anderson Foundation’s application deadline is Monday, February 15, 2021. Applications must be submitted online. Please find the application and a list of prior grants made from the Bruce J. Anderson Foundation here.

We hope you will consider taking advantage of this Bruce J. Anderson Foundation funding opportunity. Questions regarding program eligibility can be directed to the attention of Kristen Whelan at kwhelan@tpi.org.

Have a great weekend,

Paola Villatoro

Boston Globe good news – art critic weighs in on Cape Ann Museum walking tours and #GloucesterMA planning

Boston Globe “Walking Through History With Some of History’s Greatest Artists” by Murray Whyte published 2/9/2021

“Gloucester’s rich history feels carved into the very stone that lines its harbors, and the Cape Ann Museum has done well to seize on all of those elements this winter to craft a series of walking tours that fix the town firmly with its cultural heritage.”

Murray Whyte for Boston Globe on Cape Ann Museum winter walking tours, 2/9/2021

“…an around-town stroll to the many houses and scenes painted by Edward Hopper on his five extended painting journeys here. They’re captivating, and in one case, crushing: The spectacular mansard-roofed captain’s house perched high on a Rocky Neck cliff that Hopper painted in 1924 now shares its view of Gloucester Harbor with a sprawling McMansion next door whose aesthetic might best be described as haute Florida strip mall.”

Register for Cape Ann Museum upcoming walks like Feb. 20 (Spiritual history) and Feb. 27 (Edward Hopper) HERE

Happy to see the Cape Ann Museum guided walking tours featured!

Not to worry! The historic house on Clarendon is gorgeous. Edward Hopper customized his take on Gloucester vistas, as did artists before him.

Here is the Gardner Wonson home (built circa 1873) in horse and buggy days, a scene cropped for commercial keepsake photographs published by the Procter Brothers who were flying high in the 1870s [collection New York Public Library].

This home was an architectural attraction Hopper may have seen before he stepped foot off the train for his first visit to Gloucester.

In 1846 entrepreneurial publishing dynamos and developers, brothers Francis with George H. Procter, set up a book and printing shop. By 1850 they moved to Main Street. As the business grew, their news dispatch morphed from “Procter’s Able Sheet” to “Gloucester Advertiser” to “Cape Ann Advertiser”, and then in 1888 to “Gloucester Daily Times”. By 1892 the printing press for the newspaper branch alone could churn out 4000 papers, eight pages long, every hour (see Pringle). Any small business operating for decades and successive generations will suffer its share of adversity. Procter Brothers was leveled not once but twice by fire, and rebuilt. They published or were the go to printers for all manner of media: books, periodicals, photographs, lithographs, even a circulating library from their headquarters in 1874; building back and then some after that 2nd conflagration. The Wonson home was featured in a tourist photograph series, “Cape Ann Scenery”.

Snowrise sunrise, Winter in #GloucesterMA

Today’s snowrise sunrise fit the “snow’s coming!” forecast. Classic winter sky. Cloudy and color blocked pale yellow and blue-greys.

photos: Winter in Gloucester landscape scrolls

Snowing got going about 1pm.

Does this happen to you? On the telephone line where Thatcher is split by the marsh–near Good Harbor Beach– birds of prey are regular sightings.

winter in Gloucester, a snowrise sunrise

donut – snow day #GloucesterMA

Good morning Gloucester snow day scenes , February 8, 2021. Road crews and volunteers made quick work of clean up.

About Fishermen’s Wives statue by Morgan Faulds Pike here and Morgan Faulds Pike website here

About Fitz Henry Lane statue by Al Duca here

Long Beach seawall to be replaced #RockportMA in the news

Michael Cronin piece in today’s Gloucester Daily Times, “Long Beach seawall to be replaced: Rockport must pay 25% of $2.6M Long Beach project”- here

ROCKPORT — Work to replace more than 400 feet of Long Beach’s dilapidated seawall is expected to start next year.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced last month it will cover 75% of the project’s estimated $2,580,000 cost through Public Assistance Program funding via the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency “to reconstruct a seawall, revetment, and beach access stairs.” 

“The 25% matching funds will need to be approved at Town Meeting,” said Rockport Public Works Director Joe Parisi. “It will be included in an article at this spring’s Town Meeting.”

From there, the town will pursue hiring a construction company to do the work. Parisi said design and permitting would begin this year and construction will most likely start in 2022.

Michael Cronin reporting for Gloucester Daily Times 2/1/2021


photos below – looking back – selection Long Beach seawall maintenance series, c. ryan

photo: Feb. 1, 2021- sand covers rip rap come summer

Sand Streak- Oct. 29, 2019

cute little digger racing the tide- see BEAT THE CLOCK | ADDING SAND TO SHORE UP LONG BEACH AND SEAWALL posted on  

this end Long Beach today_20191029_©c ryan.jpg
Little digger_20191029_Long Beach.gif

The sand came by rail from NH then by truck (carted by Bentley Warren trucking, Ipswich). The staging was from the Gloucester edge.

November 2019

2020 June

I find the annual sand migration on Long Beach a fascinating natural mystery. It’s dramatic every year. 

July 14, 2017 GMG post

Snow’s a no show. Wind and rain #GloucesterMA

photos Gloucester and Rockport, Mass. – About 1:30pm, an hour or so before high tide, winter storm, first day of February 2021, windy 38 degrees. No black clouds and raining by 3pm. Views of Salt Marsh at back of Good Harbor; from Ledgemont, Portuguese Hill; Long beach, Rockport. (double click or pinch and zoom to enlarge to full size)

No snow, yet.

Winter fun- skating sledding surfing birding #GloucesterMA

Last day of January 2021 was a sunny one, cold enough for ponds and craggy coast puddles to freeze over.

photo caption- few scenes from Long Beach, Stage Fort Park, Buswell Pond, Fernwood Lake, Days Pond. No action at Le page

 

Boston Globe good news | Gloucester House Grace Center story #GloucesterMA

How this Gloucester Restaurant Transformed into a haven for homeless people by John Laidler Boston Globe published January 29, 2021 – Gloucester House during Covid-19, the city and Grace Center

“A popular Gloucester seafood restaurant known for its fresh seafood and harbor views has taken on a new role this winter as a temporary haven for people in need of daytime shelter, meals and other support.”

“This was the most selfless thing that anyone can do,” Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said of Gloucester House owner Lenny Linquata’s willingness to welcome homeless people to “this beautiful waterfront function hall, [a place] that makes you feel like a princess when you get married there.”

– Mayor Romeo Theken, John Laidler Boston Globe article 1/29/2021


More GMG reader Cape Pond Ice reminiscences – Alton, New Hampshire & #GloucesterMA 🧊☃️❄️ and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic

Hearty thanks to David Collins, a GMG reader and avid genealogist, for sharing his Gloucester history message and personal family photo concerning Cape Pond Ice in response to yesterday’s post!

“As always, I have been enjoying your posts on the Good Morning Gloucester blog, especially those that explore Gloucester’s history.

the story on Cape Pond Ice of Gloucester and Alton Bay, NH, brought back several family memories. 

Remember when I wrote you about my grandfather dying in the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918? I told you he was working at Lepage’s when he took a leave to take care of his brother who had come down with the flu and died first. 

Well, before he worked at Lepage’s, my grandfather had worked at Cape Pond Ice. Here is a picture of my grandfather, Millard E. Collins, with his Cape Pond Ice wagon. The toddler on the horse is my father, also named Millard E. Collins.

During the 1950s, my family summer vacationed for a week or so each year at Mastine’s Sunset Cabins on Paugus Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee. The cabins there were very basic. We brought everything we needed with us from Gloucester, including bedding, pots and pans and heavy clothing because even over 4th of July week, it could get cold there. The very first thing we would do once we arrived and unpacked would be to go to the Alton Bay branch of Cape Pond Ice to get a block of ice to put in the ice box in the cabin and then shop and get milk that came in a sort of upside-down megaphone or cone-shaped container.”

David Collins, 2021 January 20

courtesy photo from Dave Collins

photo caption: “Here is a picture of my grandfather, Millard E. Collins, with his Cape Pond Ice wagon. The toddler on the horse is my father, also named Millard E. Collins.”

Dave has generously shared Gloucester history family stories and photographs with GMG before. Check out Stage Fort Park here. Dave shared another family photograph from a different angle in March of 2019 here.

1918 Flu EPIDEMIC – “collins”

“Thank-you for your time in reading this, Catherine, and for continuing to shine such a wonderfully informative light on the history of Gloucester. I forget whether I wrote you about your 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic series of articles. They really hit home to me as my father’s father and uncle both died from that flu within a matter of days of one another in October of 1918, my grandfather having taken care of his brother and then succumbing himself, leaving 2 widows and 7 very young children behind.”

David Collins

I asked Dave if either man had been serving in the military at the time. His thoughtful response incorporates Gloucester surnames, sites and businesses readers may recognize, and he has graciously granted this share:

“As for the Spanish flu and my family, neither my grandfather (I was adopted but he was my sister’s birth-grandfather) nor his brother were in the military when they contracted the flu.

My grandfather, Millard E. Collins, Sr., [1888-1918] lived in Gloucester and worked as a laborer at LePage’s where my father later worked as a purchasing agent when I was young and we, too, lived in Gloucester before we moved to Connecticut after one of the take-overs of Lepage’s.

My grandfather had also worked for Cape Pond Ice as a delivery man. 

My father’s brother, Jacob Buswell Collins [1886-1918] lived in North Attleboro MA and I have no idea what he might have done for a living.

The brothers were born in Salisbury MA and my grandfather followed another brother, William Warren Collins [1885-1937], to Gloucester in the very, very early 1900s. I also have no idea why either went there but William ended up living with another Collins family who lived at the foot of Bond’s Hill (on the right). I have never been able to connect them to our Collins family, although the wife was a distant cousin of ours through the Barrett family in the neighborhood (a cousin to Homer Barrett.) There has to have been some sort of  a connection but I cannot find it. 

William Collins became a postman and married Edna Bray who lived with her aunt and uncle at the foot of Bond’s Hill in the house that was right behind Strong’s gas station (so on the left side of Bond’s Hill) when I was a kid. Edna’s mother and her aunt were both of the Parsons family of Gloucester. I remember going to that house from where we lived on Stage Fort Avenue, probably without my mother’s knowledge of it, to get cookies from Edna back in the early 1950s. That is the house that the Parsons family thinks may have been the original Parsons homestead moved there from Western Avenue when the boulevard was created. Mary Sibbalds once asked me what I remembered of the inside of the place when they were trying to authenticate it but I wasn’t able to help much. And, apparently, carbon-dating of the wood in the house didn’t help with the identification either. I don’t know where the validation stands these several years later. Mary Sibbalds has since passed away but left us two wonderful volumes of Parsons family history. 

Anyway, back to William Collins’ – his name was on the list of postal workers you had in your GMG contribution about the post office’s connection to the Spanish flu, I believe.  

I have not figured out why my grandfather went to North Attleboro, away from his family (wife and 3 children) in Gloucester, but a cousin of mine says that our grandmother had told her that most of the Collins family had the flu, and by that I assume she meant the 2 brothers and their siblings (and families? They all were adults by 1918 and married.) Also, according to my cousin, my grandmother had begged Millard not to go to help his brother because he would likely “catch it”, too. So, that part of the story is a little confusing – did they all have it after all? Did Millard before going to Attleboro?  I also do not know where my grandfather died, although indications are he was back in Gloucester.

William Collins and the sisters, Annette, Flora and Elizabeth, all survived the pandemic and died years later – 1937, 1968, 1972 and 1970…

My grandmother’s father may have died of the Spanish flu, too. He died in January of 1919 but was very much out of the young-men’s age range that was so affected by it. When we lived in Gloucester, my great grandmother lived in our neighborhood, across from the Washington Cemetery. She died in January of 1959 when I was 13. She was very much a part of my younger life and I have often wondered what it would have been like to have had a great-grandfather, too. He was William Simpson Swift ([1856-1919] and, apparently, he was an inventor of sorts, among other things. Mary Palmstrom* unearthed several patents with drawings of inventions he came up with.

David Collins correspondence with Catherine January 2021

I hope to tease out more details surrounding the flu pandemic in Gloucester and perhaps with that more information for Dave.

*Mary Palmstrom is a Shute descendent, retired teacher, history buff and genealogist enthusiast. She created the outstanding Shute and Merchant compilation resource: http://www.shuteandmerchant.com/.

Collins in the 1915 Gloucester city directory

To learn more about Gloucester during the 1918 Flu Pandemic see here: 1918 PANDEMIC: RECONSTRUCTING HOW THE FLU RAGED THEN FLATTENED IN GLOUCESTER MASSACHUSETTS WHEN 183 DIED IN 6 WEEKS.