Gloucester Public Schools then and now #GloucesterMA

Explore a selection of Gloucester school house properties built circa 1800s-1920s. There is a greater quantity of structures still standing than not.

Note: Pinch and zoom and/or click to enlarge photographs, depending upon your device. There are three galleries of images (side by side comparisons; all vintage; and all contemporary), a self-guided map for a driving tour, excerpts from James Pringle 1892 Gloucester history, and newspaper coverage of then “new” schools. Don’t miss the Boston Globe feature about the Eastern Avenue school published in 1905. There’s another wonderful piece about a very special elementary school class –which enrolled more girls than boys–offered at Sawyer school on Friend Street.

Student enrollment in 1892 was 4196

Side by side then vs. now views:

School name, year built, 2021 status

Bold indicates extant structure; italicized indicates structure no longer there; GLO = MACRIS id state’s archives- “The Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) allows you to search the Massachusetts Historical Commission database.”

  • Leonard 1834 (GLO.701), reverted to city in 1953, now Annisquam Exchange (since 1955)
  • Forbes 1844 (GLO.390), (Old Town Hall), now Lester S. Wass American Legion Post 3
  • Forbes Extension, 1851 (GLO. 417, architect Gridley JF Bryant also co-architect for City Hall 1869), leased to Gloucester G.A.R. Hall 1897; now Action, Inc 47 Washington St.
  • Forbes Extension, (GLO.414) , now Forbes apartments 37 Washington St (restored 1996)
  • Bradstreet and annex in Bayview 1850, back to city in 1956, demolished, now private home, (some old stone, grounds)
  • Parsons on Western Ave. 1850, now Girl Scouts (gsema) since 1957
  • Rogers on Elm St. 1850 (GLO.416), now private home
  • Riggs Wash. at Reynard, 1850, sold at auction in 1894
  • Bray 1852 (GLO.1068), discontinued 1949, now BSA Troop 60
  • Point Grammar Plum Street 1852, reverted to city 1955
  • Lane 1860, abandoned and turned back to city in 1966, now Rebecca’s Playground
  • Mt. Vernon 1860, reverted to city in 1958, now church real estate
  • Haskell 1862, discontinued 1949
  • Collins 1864, turned back to city 1941, McPherson Park apts.
  • Point Primary on Chapel 1867, discontinued 1946, now private home
  • Wheeler School at Stanwood 1867, now cape ann amateur radio communication center (CAARA) purchased from City in 2013
  • Wonson School on Rocky Neck 1867, Wonson School Cartesian Society in 1925, now private home(s)
  • Sawyer 1869, turned back to city 1941, now no structure, a section dedicated as playground: Edward “Gint” Middleton Playground, 1974
  • Babson 1880 Pleasant St (at time “park street”), now John W. Sheedy apts.
  • Stone Court 1882, discontinued 1946, now Stone Court apts.
  • Hildreth 1884, reverted to city in 1958, now Masonic Lodge
  • High School 1888 (GLO.317) (Principal Albert Bacheler), now Central Grammar apts.
  • Maplewood 1889, now Maplewood apts.
  • Blynman 1895 (GLO.112) new Blynman replaced old one; reverted to city in 1956; community center 1956-64, now Magnolia Historical Society purchased from city $1000 in 2013
  • Hovey 1896, now apts.
  • Eastern Avenue 1907, now commercial real estate

Then

Now

1892 School notes from Pringle

“The High school-house on Dale Avenue was erected in 1888 and ’89, the total cost, including land, being $100,000. This building, one of the most imposing and commodious of its kind in New England, is built of brick with granite trimmings.” and “The first High school-house was erected in 1851 on the southwestern corner of the present lot at a cost of $3,100 including the land. It was enlarged in 1870 and 1878, and was destroyed by fire May 11, 1887.”

“The Hildreth school-house on Eastern Avenue was erected in 1884, at an outlay of $18,000 for building and furnishing and $4,000 additional for grading.”

“Lord Bros, were awarded the contract to build the Babson school-house on Park Street for $17,498. This edifice was erected on site of an old burial ground.” and “The first brick structure, the Babson school house, was built in 1881, the entire expenditure including heating, etc., being $25,944.”

Pringle excerpts, History of the Town and City of Gloucester, Cape Ann Mass. By James Pringle, 1892 (at time city’s 250th anniversary)

Washington St. at “the crotch of ye old highway”- Townhall | Forbes School | Legion

 The frame was purchased from Rockport. The citizens of that town intended to build a town house before Gloucester, but decided to abandon the idea on economic grounds. It was occupied March 17, 1845. Previous to this, town meetings had been held in the First Parish Meeting House, Union Hall, the old Collins’ school-house and other places and at Sandy Bay before it was set off. Its cost was $4200. At a town meeting held in February, 1866, it was voted by a large majority to erect a new town house. 

According to Pringle the frame of school then 1844 Town Hall / School House / now Legion was purchased from Rockport

Collins School

The Universalist edifice, as it stands now, the old First Parish church, with its pagoda like steeple, and the old Collins school house, standing on the site now occupied by the building of the same name, and the pride of the town, Tappan’s Hotel, were among the more noticeable features. Its name, like its predecessor, was derived from Madame Collins, who in the early part of the century gave the land upon which the building stands.

Pringle, 1892

1896 Sawyer School

Grammar Pupils Taught How to Box Compass

If one were to look for a school for skippers he would naturally turn to Gloucester, but he would hardly expect to find the rudiments of the fishermen’s art taught in the public schools. But such is the fact. This “skippers’ class” has been for some years part of the regular course of the Sawyer grammar school, the progressive principal of which is N.D. Tingley…The skippers recite in one of the halls of the school, in the center of which is drawn a large compass encircled by an iron railing. This compass is some four feet in diameter, and all the points are given by their abbreviations in the same manner as on the regular mariner’s compass. In addition to the pole, as given by the needle, the true north is also indicated by a black line, the variation of the needle in Gloucester being quite marked, some 13.5 degrees…The class numbered a dozen, three quarters of whom were girls from 7 to 12. But before they had finished their lessons they demonstrated that they could give their brothers “points” in every sense concerning the boxing of the compass. Possibly Principal Tingley was giving a class of new women instruction in the art of navigation, for one of the first new women of recent times is a pilot on the Mississippi, and perhaps one may officiate in a like capacity aboard of a cape Ann fishing steamer… What is one point west of south? Five pointes east of north? Six points west of south, etc…After the skippers have become proficient and have been graduated they pass the “board.” The board in this case is Mr. Tingley, and he issues to the proficient graduate this certificate, which is highly prized by the holders, as it is printed on cardboard in gilt letters as follows:

Sawyers School Skipper’s Certificate–The Bearer, John Smith, having successfully boxed the compass and answered the required practical questions upon the same is herby awarded this Certificate of honor.–Gloucester, Mass., 1996.”

Boston Globe, 1896

1905 Eastern Avenue School

“Proposed New Grammar School in Ward 2, Gloucester

After much discussion the school committee and the public property committee have selected plans for the proposed schoolhouse in ward 2. The lot where the school is to be built is especially adapted for the purpose. It is on Eastern avenue nearly opposite Day’s pond, and commands a magnificent view in all directions, including an outlook of Little Good harbor beach and Bass rocks, which, from the contour of the lands, can never be shut out by building operations. The building will be 60 x 125. it will contain two main floors and a roof section, the latter being designed for a gymnasium or large hall should such be needed. In the basement will be the usual heating apparatus, the janitor’s room and separate playrooms, with accessories for boys and girls. On the two main stories there are eight rooms…On the second floor, besides the four main rooms, there is a library and teachers’ room…The exterior will be of the colonial style, the material being red brick, with stone trimmings. The estimated cost above ground clear of the furnishings is $31,000. It is intended to have the building ready for occupancy sometime next year. Taking the cost of furnishings and everything it is estimated that the entire cost will approximate 45,000.”

Boston Globe 1905

1920 46% of Fathers of Public School Children are Foreign-Born

Gloucester history 1920 may just be as much if not more current than 2021

Furthermore, whereas formerly the majority of the people in Gloucester were native born, now 46.6 percent of the fathers of public school children are foreign-born: 19 nationalities are represented. They include the following countries, Canada, Denmark, England, Italy, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Holland, Newfoundland, Norway, Nova Scotia, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden. The largest number are from Portugal, Italy, Finland, England.

From the standpoint of the school, this means that the educational problem is far more difficult than formerly. It means that the school must now not only teach the three R’s, but to use a much over-worked term, it must really be the “melting pot” of all these diverse elements. It must be a social agency in the community where all elements may meet on a common footing. It must be a school where the children may have the opportunity to develop the particular gifts, which all these different nationalities bring to America, rather than a dye vat where all these different vivid colors from all over the world are dyed into one monotone.

In other words, although Gloucester is a small town of only a few thousand inhabitants, yet from an educational standpoint it is faced with the same problems which confront school systems in the average city…”

1922 January

Regarding the high school on Dale and Forbes School Branches (multi building complex)

High School I claim for my administration a savings of $250,000 on the high school alone, and when completed we will have a high school building second to none in Eastern Massachusetts and at a cost of less than half what other cities are paying. And right here I wish to publicly commend and thank the teachers and scholars of our high school for the splendid spirit of co-operation and patience they are exhibiting in cheerfully walking back and forth through mud and rain. The school displaying such fine spirit deserves a good building, and I shall never forget their good and fine cooperation. Money cannot pay Mr. Ringer for his fine leadership in this school under very trying conditions, but now I wish he would confine his activities to the position he was hired for.

I think our school troubles are soon to be relieved. Mr. Fellows, our new superintendent, will, I hope, prove a second Putney. I hope to see our small neighborhood schools again running as under Mr. Putney. I believe, and I have letters from educators that agree with me, that a small school with two or three grades offers equal advantages to small children as single grade schools, as the lower grade pupils are all the time learning something from the higher grade recitations. With the completion of the Washington Street primary school, both the high and primary situation will be relieved, and those garages on the town landing will be taking out of our schools forever. And now with that building on the lot standing the city $5,000 (the cost of moving), does anyone think it should have been given away? For that is all the building stand the city—the cost of moving—for a foundation would have to have been built anyway.

Mayor Percy Wheeler Inaugural Address (2nd term)

Annisquam Exchange Update

NOTICE FROM THE ANNISQUAM EXCHANGE

In light of the National State of Emergency, and the uncertain, evolving situation, consignor packet mailings, confirmation of an opening date and other seasonal activities are now on hold until further notice. Thank you for your understanding. Well wishes for health and safety to everyone over these trying times.

For updates visit: www.annisquamexchange.com or email: info.annisquamexchange@gmail.com

 

 

Sandra Williams

 

 

A sign of spring, The Annisquam Exchange opening day

Friday May 15, 2020
32 Leonard Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

The Exchange has served the community for over 68 years by donating its profits for the maintenance of the historic buildings of the village: Village Hall, Village Church, Leonard School, Library and Firehouse. The Exchange also supports the Good Neighbors Program and the village’s Mt. Adnah Cemetery. Annisquam is one of the oldest and best-preserved villages in Gloucester. The Annisquam Exchange was established to insure that the history, architecture, art and community of Annisquam will be preserved for future generations. The Exchange began in the old Firehouse, which is now a museum preserving Annisquam’s 384 (1630) year-old history; the Exchange moved to its present location in the equally historic Leonard School in the mid 1940’s.

Folly Cove Designs at the Annisquam Exchange

https://www.capeannmuseum.org › collections › folly-cove-designers

 

The Folly Cove Designers were a group of 45 designer-craftsmen who worked together between 1938 and 1969 producing carefully wrought designs cut into linoleum blocks and printed (primarily) on fabric. Their common interest was in producing solid designs and in good craftsmanship.
At the Annisquam Exchange they have many great gifts and treasures.  Yesterday I was there and saw some beautiful Folly Cove Designs.
To visit the Annisquam Exchange:
32 Leonard Street
Gloucester, Annisquam, MA  01930
978-281-0358

End of season 20% off at the Annisquam Exchange

The Annisquam Exchange has some great items and now some of the items are 20% off. Time to go

THE ANNISQUAM EXCHANGE

RED DOT SALE !

THE ANNISQUAM EXCHANGE

RED DOT SALE !

 

NOW 20% Off most items

until October 7

MONDAY ~ FRIDAY: 10 – 4/SAT. 10 – 1

 

32 LEONARD ST. * ANNISQUAM VILLAGE * info.annisquamexchange@gamail.com

 

 

Annisquam Annual Spring Plant & Gourmet Food Sale

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Annual Sewing Circle Spring Plant & Gourmet Food Sale Sunday, May 20, 2017 

8:30am – 1:00pm

 The Grounds of the Annisquam Exchange, 32 Leonard Street, Gloucester MA 01930

Finally – Spring!

Due to the very cold weather this Spring and other Village events the Annual ASC Spring Plant & Gourmet Food Sale will be held on SUNDAY on the grounds of the Annisquam Exchange…This event will feature a wide array of annuals and perennials from leading garden centers– including hanging plants, bedding plants and rose bushes. Go on the hunt for the perfect plants for your garden – sunny or shady. The Plant Sale also includes perennial plant treasures dug from our member’s gardens and sold at bargain prices!

Select from:

  • A wide array of annuals and perennials – including hanging baskets, bedding plants and rose bushes
  • Plants that thrive on Cape Ann – collected from Sewing Circle members’ gardens

In addition to your quest for the perfect plants and not to be missed is our Gourmet Food Table with delicious pies, cakes, and savory treats.  Many items will be prepared from recipes in our award-winning Annisquam Sewing Circle Cookbook, ” A Circle of Recipes, which celebrated the 175th Anniversary of the Sewing Circle.

Come early for the best selection at this always popular event!  The Plant and Gourmet Food Sale is held in the Village of Annisquam in Gloucester, off Rt. 127A. Turn down Leonard Street at the Annisquam Village Church and on to the Annisquam Exchange.

All profits are donated to Cape Ann community programs and given as scholarships

Web site: AnnisquamSewingCircle.org
Blog: http://www.annisquamsewingcircle.net

A new store: Adrift on Main at 284 Main St, plus a (mostly) vintage store guide

Plus a current Gloucester vintage store guide below the photographs

ADRIFT ON MAIN, 284 Main Street, Gloucester, MA (978) 515-7888

Adrift on Main, a new second-hand and collectibles destination, opened December 2016 on the east end of Main Street. Owners Ryan and Sarah Goyette reside in Byfield and chose Gloucester over their home town, Essex, and other north shore communities for their new store. Coaster sets are made by Sarah. Welcome to the neighborhood!

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Gloucester MA vintage shopping guide

2016-17. Most are a mix of then and now objects, clothing, and collectibles; some with work by contemporary artists and artisans. Three mainstays:

BANANAS 78 Main Street

MAIN STREET ART AND ANTIQUES 124 Main Street

VINTAGE 211 East Main Street

 

–and —
Adrift on Main 284 Main Street

Alexandra’s Bakery and shop 265 Main Street, (978)281-0364

Alma’s Art and Antiques, 214 Eastern Avenue (formerly on Rocky Neck) now located in “The Commons Gloucester” marketplace

Annisquam Exchange (for the the historic buildings of the village, open seasonally) 32 Leonard Street

Cape Ann Auction 82 Main Street (formerly Fred Bodin’s Historic Photo)

Cape Ann Thrift Shop Trinity Congregational Church 70 Middle Street

DIVA 161 Main Street

Dogtown Book Shop 132 Main Street

The Dress Code 159 Main Street

Eastern Point Lit House 261 Main Street

Fireflies Boutique  100 Main Street

Gloucester estate buyers, 45 Main Street

goodlinens, 130 Main Street (featuring some reissued classics)

Lynzariums  flowers and … 186 East Main Street

Mystery Train Records 21 Main Street

Past Present Shoppe,  30 Railroad Avenue

Pop Shop 67 Main Street (vintage nod and inspiration)

RAD estate Jewelers, 45 Main Street

Second Glance (thrift shop of the Open Door) 2 Pond Road

St. John’s Episcopal Church Thrift Shop 48 Middle Street

St.Vincent de Paul Society of Gloucester and Cape Ann (donations for charity ‘Clothes Closet’ and food pantry at St. Anne’s)

The Urchin Exchange 214 Eastern Avenue, Unit 8, located in “The Commons Glocuester” just after Pond Road

 

Gloucester Cape Ann: history of fall art fairs and events

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October is gorgeous!  And it’s teeming with parallel exhibitions and cultural events. What an exciting environment to view and buy vital work from living artists and artisans– emerging, mid-career and established.

Founded in 2016-  Cape Ann Plein Air October 10-16– beginning next week!

Founded in 2015- Brace Cove 2nd Annual Art Market (one day only!) 1pm till dark.

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Founded in 2015 – Pumpkin Carving at Cape Ann Art Haven, October 29, 2016

Founded in 2012- Paint Essex annual Plein Air moved from summer to fall to coincide with Cape Ann Plein Air in 2016

Founded in 2009- the Annual DoctoberFest Documentary Film Festival curated by Cape Ann Cinema & Stage (estab.2008) runs Oct 14-20. Busy schedule includes  3D Flight of the Monarch Butterflies co-hosted with Kestrel Educational Adventures and Screenagers co-hosted with Sawyer Free and evenings with filmmakers.

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Founded in 1984- Annisquam Arts & Crafts show Oct 8 & Oct 9, 10-5

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Founded in 1984-  Annual Art Auction, Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library, held October 5, 2016. October book reading with Anna Solomon October 13, 2016

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Founded in 1983-  Cape Ann Artisans Studio Tour (the oldest in the country)- Oct 8 and 9th featured as part of Artweek Boston Sept 30-Oct 9

 

Founded in 1979- Gloucester Stage is world class professional American theater in our country’s oldest seaport. Premiering this month- Man in Snow, the newest play by Israel Horovitz through October 23rd. GMG Podcast

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Founded in 1873- Cape Ann Museum is a top notch American art museum. The must see exhibit Design/Build closes October 9th. Voicing the Woods- Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker opens October 20. Recent Acquisitions continues into December.

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More scenes from October 2016 Annisquam Arts&Crafts fair, Annisquam Exchange, and Brace Cove Art Market and links to other fall happenings!

 

Founded in 2006- Cape Ann Farmers Market outdoor market Thursdays into October.

Founded in – Oktoberfest at Cape Ann Brewing Company

Founded in 1972- Annual Essex Clamfest October 22 (rain date Oct 23)

Founded in 2016- Look for Magnolia Sip and Stroll nights –  “Enjoy complimentary food, beverages and live music while visiting the wonderful shops on historic Lexington Avenue in Magnolia, MA” October 7th was the last one.

Founded in 2012- Fall Fest at Mile Marker 1 by Bridge Cape Ann October 4th. Look for this fun event next year!

Annual American Craft Week held in October

The list above gathers special events and festivals that run annually each October.  At the same time, look into the monthly art gallery exhibitions, live music, performances, and readings going on in the many art and culture venues as well as non-traditional spaces, businesses, organizations, accommodations, and restaurants.