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:
“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 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