Privy to privy history: Digging outhouses! GMG reader asks what did people on Cape Ann do back in the day? p.s. Art was flush with it #GloucesterMA

A GMG reader describes area residents as “those on Cape Ann”*, compliments Joey and Good Morning Gloucester, and asks about outhouses:

“Hello Joe, nice to meet ya. I have a Cape Ann question that is a bit strange. When I was younger I used to go on digs to find old bottles on Cape Ann. Recently I saw an article that said in the days of outhouses people would throw their bottles down the hole in their outhouses. I began thinking where on my parents’ property an outhouse might have been located. Then it occurred to me: there isn’t anyplace on my parents’ property that you won’t hit ledge one or two feet down. So what did those on Cape Ann* do about digging outhouses back in the day? I said it was a strange question. All the best,

Bob Condon Jr., February 2021

Thank you for the great conversation topic, Bob. When did your parents live here and can you relay the neighborhood? The address could help describe the specific conditions at that property. Here you go!

TIMELINE: GLOUCESTER OUTHOUSES & Waste management

Outhouses were in use well into the 20th century locally. They were also referred to as: “necessaries”, privies, toilets, loos, thrones, backyard “escapes”, reading rooms, sheds, crappers, fly factories and the office. Newspaper and pages ripped from mail order catalogues worked as toilet paper. Usually they had no window, heat or light. Some were designed with access doors below seat level to clear out the contents.

Which of the following were factored into the history of local outhouse architecture?

The answer is ALL. Water and waste management are the heart of Gloucester’s city planning.

The variable terrain of Cape Ann impacted outhouse design. If one was a farmer or owned enough land with suitable soil, they might opt for a basic “dig, bury & move” or “slide & fill” solution, rotating the outhouse footprint after it filled –faster with a bigger family– like a handheld number slide puzzle.

When digging a deep enough pit latrine was not an option, or the property was solely ledge, mucking out with rake and spreading ashes (later lime) was necessary. Waste and refuse was portable. Compost could be used for backyard gardens. Whether collected from a vault hatch, pail & sawdust, custom cabinet drawer, bucket & lid sanitary ware, or chamber pot, it did not matter. Filth, euphemistically “night soil”, could be dropped off or conveyed (eventually with a license only, and off season dates) to designated collection sites near and far, sold, or even stolen (as late as 1915 – see below!). Those who could afford to hired help or contracted with a subscription company. Municipalities like Gloucester had line items in the budget for waste collection, incineration and plumbing inspectors: These were thriving businesses.

Prior to sanitary reform in Gloucester and all of Cape Ann, the surrounding streams, marsh and ocean were availed as unmitigated dumps. The natural topography of Gloucester — all that water! all those hills! – – was considered an enviable benefit for city infrastructure and street plans, and likely delayed the city’s modern sewer system. (When public water carriage lines were introduced they could flow downhill into the harbor from densely populated areas or directed into the sea anywhere along the coast, whether for public or private owners. Out of sight. Out of mind.) Dilution was the solution.

Efforts to improve municipal services– to manage public and private waste to keep it out of the water table– were increased. Separate water and sewer lines would be regulated; eventually outhouses were a thing of the past and (quality) food scrap or compost value from home garbage was reduced to nil. You have to skip ahead a full century to find the Gloucester Harbor Clean Harbor swim milestone.

Below is a chronology illustrated with famous vs. local American outhouses, and a **selection** of Gloucester’s sewer and sanitation milestones. I’ve written a fair amount about Gloucester art and public works so a few links are provided for those as well.

You have to love Public Works.

1700s– 1800s

Those who were more prosperous had better privies and hired help for cleaning and carting. Everyone used a combination of chamber pot and outdoor toilet combo.

Outhouses for the well heeled – George Washington Mount Vernon

The octagonal outhouse at the George Washington Mount Vernon estate is an example of a high end family bathroom of its time. The custom fancy shape and finished interior convey an air of refinement. The museum describes the wood paneled, “large drawers for ease of cleaning.” (I don’t know if there’s evidence of dig and move pits as well.)

The smaller middle seat was designed for children. Martha Washington, a widower, had four children from her first marriage; two died prior to their union. Their step-grandchildren, the President’s first family, were born in the 1770s. Having suffered the loss of two little ones, and both then caring for her youngest, Patsy, who suffered torrents of seizures until her death at 17 in 1773, health concerns may have informed the bathroom layout. This opulent design could handle a potty queue when nature called family members at the same time, and adults could accompany a child in need of assistance. The museum estimates that there were four on the property.

The Mt. Vernon residence was originally built in 1734 by Washington’s father. Expansions to the main building and outbuildings were completed in the 1750s and 1770s. A century later, the historic property was rescued by a women’s preservation group. A century again, the property’s historic designation status was awarded in 1960. The exterior photograph by Frances Benjamin Johnston dates from circa 1894. The interior photograph is 2018.

photo caption: Mt. Vernon octagonal privy in vegetable garden, ca.1894, photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston, Library of Congress collection
photo description: interior view of the octagonal “Necessary”, executive privy restored (original ca. 1770), George Washington mansion, Mt. Vernon – the small middle seat designed for children. photo 2018 by C. King

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933)

Calvin Coolidge birthplace in Plymouth Notch, Vermont was a more modest farmhouse example.

MONTANA

Restored Western gold rush hotel outhouse

Vintage postcard, 1970s. Two story double decker hotel outhouse, Nevada City, MT, a restored gold rush town

Gloucester | Cape Ann

Still standing – luxury outhouse

Driving around Grant Circle, you might have thought as I once did that the free standing out building on the Cape Ann Museum Babson Alling property was a shed. The fancy roof and architectural details inside and out give this tony privy much character. Years ago, Pru Fish and Peggy Flavin confirmed their hunch as to its original use. (Naturally, after hearing about this hidden history from Prudence Fish, I’ve dubbed this highly visible Mt. Vernon of Gloucester outhouses, “Pru and Peggy’s Privy”.)

Still standing – Rustic models

Whether restored, repurposed or replicated I’m not certain, but there are structures in Rockport and Gloucester that approximate the rough and modest models.

1870 debate about Gloucester owning its own water plant

1879 – “Sewers are a Necessity for Gloucester!”

Chairman of the City’s Highways Committee.

“It seems to me strange and very unfortunate for the city, that, by a general vote in 1877, an Independent Board of Health as authorized by the State Legislature should have been discarded. Our want of public sewerage has, in the most densely populated parts of the city, filled the soil with excrementitious matters and, in many places, covered the surface with drainage from sinks and cesspools. Some of our localities are filled with stenches that make the idea of repasts anything but agreeable…the shortest road to reform in this department is ample public sewerage, but if this be found impracticable, I would recommend that both should use all authority invested in it to eradicate or mitigate existing evils.”

Mayor Joseph Garland (1880)
Mayor Franklin Dyer ( Civil War surgeon) died February 9, 1879

Word for the day: “Excrementitious”

1881 Gloucester Water Supply Co. contract

for fire services

1886-87 City sewerage options and well water analysis by harvard

“With the introduction of water into our city comes the perplexing problem of how to dispose of the waste. During the year 1887 the Committee on Highways have extended the main drain to Foster street at a cost of $5800. The public health demands that a system of sewerage be established and built and it can be no longer delayed without serious danger, particularly in those portion of our city in which there is not natural drainage. Our present drain or sewer should have an outlet, approved by the State Board of Health, and permits could then be granted to enter the same and an income derived from these rights, which would go far toward defraying the expense of construction.”

Mayor David Robinson, 1887

“The complaints from foul cesspools and imperfect drainage are increasing from year to year, and with the increased use of water, consequent upon a public water supply, such complaints must continue to increase until some method of sewage is devised. Offensive privy vaults, filthy cesspools and sink drains, stagnant water in cellars and upon the surface of the ground, and decaying vegetable and animal matter in yards and upon vacant lots, are a standing menace to the public health…The disposal of filth and sewage is one problem confronting the city. The connection between public cleanliness and the public heath cannot be too forcibly urged upon the attention of our people. Equally if not more important is the question of the quality of the water used for drinking and cooking purposes. indeed, one great danger, if not the principal danger arising from the privy and sink vaults with which our territory is so thickly strewn, is their contiguity to the wells which so many of our people depend upon for water for domestic uses. The danger is the greater from the fact that the water itself may convey no warning of the hidden germs of disease and death of which it may be the medium. It may be clear and colorless, agreeable to the taste and without objectionable odor, and yet be seriously polluted and dangerous to health.

“Realizing this, the board pursued a liberal policy in the way of obtaining a scientific analysis of the water from wells regarded by physicians and others as open to suspicion.  In a few cases parties desiring the analysis have paid a portion of the expense, but where there were reasons to believe that the water was dangerous, such payment has not been insisted upon. The analysis have all been made by Dr. Harrington, of the Chemical laboratory of the Harvard Medical School…”

Board of Health

Board of Health 1897 sent water samples to Harvard for testing

1888 – high end residential plumbing

Toilet design heyday hit during the Victorian age. Residential plumbing products were promoted in illustrated catalogues. (Kohler porcelain tubs were promoted as early as 1883.)

1889 Worcester built a model treatment plant

1892 Clean beaches, Burnham’s water lines & drains, and NIGHT SOIL

clean beaches

“Every person should have pride in keeping our beaches free from filth…We are especially favored in the matter of fine beaches, and during the summer our own people and visitors resort to them in large numbers for bathing and recreation…Nature has so wonderfully endowed our city in the way of beautiful scenery, that we should not spoil the effect by collections of material objectionable to the eye.”

Burnham’s Field was a vegetable garden, doctor’s pond on Mt. Vernon, and Harbor Swamp

The condition of the region on and bordering Burnham’s Field and Harbor Swamp became such in the summer, that an effort was made to secure better drainage by removing obstructions from the brook which courses through these fields, and which has in Doctor’s Pond, on Mount Vernon Hill. The Board of health personally superintended this work, and when finished, a notable improvement was manifest; …Old residents refer to the time when Burnham’s Field was under cultivation and produced vegetables of marvelous size and sweetness, but the owner died and the field went to waste. In those old days the proprietor personally drained his land by means of trenches and, in the summer time, his vegetables thrived because of the natural dampness of the soil. But the question of placing houses on the field at that time would have been a difficult problem, for the water then was present in sufficient quantity to make fair skating for the children. For building purposes this land could be filled in, but it would seem to be a farce to fill in land so high above the ocean and so near to it; yet each year sees new houses going up on the edges, and last year a tract of the swamp itself was built over, which last caused the immediate appearance of the Board of Health, who immediately ordered the lots filled up, as water had accumulated in the yards and cellars in a manner dangerous to health.

The fact is that this region is highly advantageous from central location for houses or factories, and if it could be drained would doubtless be immediately covered with buildings which would bring into the city taxes to a large amount. There is more water entering the field than in the old days, because the use of city water has added to the amount which formerly was there. If it is dangerous to have vaults full, then it must be so in this region, for water stands in the vaults full, then it must be so in this region, for water stands in the vaults here unless the land is built up above the field.

Various plans have been suggested to improve this region. The extension of the Washington street main drain into this field would be a good idea. It has been suggested that a drain could be built from Burnham’s field to the wharves, through Marchant street, which is a short distance. Other plans have been talked of, but it is sufficient for our purpose to urge the need of looking into the subject. It would be a great deal better to do something permanent than to appropriate money for temporary purposes in sums which would soon amount to more than the cost of a radical improvement.

Board of Health

Night Soil – Ward Two

“Another year has passed, and the question of the disposal of night soil is more serious than ever before. By hook or by crook the contents of the vaults have been disposed of; objections have been made by those near the places used as dumps, and a discontinuance of the practice in ordered in one or two instances. Where will our night soil and sink waste go next year? At present, a farm in Ward Two offers the only available chance; as last year, other places may be used until the objections become too numerous, but what would we do in case of cholera appearing near enough to frighten us? Would anybody want this material which would be suspicioned anywhere near them? There will be difficulty without the cholera, but with it we can only say that something would have to be done.”

There are four methods by which this material may be gotten rid of: The first by dumping on land; the second by dumping in the ocean by means of a scow; the third by cremating it by means of one of the well-known processes, as the Engle, the Simonin and others; the fourth by building a sewerage system.

As to these methods, the dumping on land accommodates many by the discomfort of others.

The scow system is very cheap, and could probably be rendered available here. The cremating process for night soil could hardly be given intelligent discussion just now, and cremation finds its largest use in the disposal of garbage. Sewerage would drain the central and thickly settled parts of our community and, of course, would do that well, and it is probably only a question of time, when sewerage will be introduced here.

GARBAGE – PIGS – SWILL- NIGHT SOIL: Board of Health argues for SCOWS FOR OCEAN DUMPING

The practice of throwing garbage on vacant lots and dumps still continues, but most of the swill is collected at the houses and fed to swine. Considerable material is of little value for this latter purpose, and this finds its way into the stove or to some vacant land. In view of the tendency to discuss the subject of cremating garbage, it seems wise, for all, to inquire how much garbage there is to be disposed of. If a crematory were established, it would by no means indicate that all table and cook-room waste, or even all provisions, fruit and grocery store waste, would be cremated, for then, as now, pigs would be kept in some out of the way places, as there is some profit in it, and it is not to be supposed that sentiment can soon rise to a point where prohibition of the feeding of swill to pigs, or the absolute prohibition of keeping pigs, will be ordered. This, then, leaves only a portion of the garbage of the city to be disposed of, and this could very conveniently be placed in a scow, which being absolutely tight and covered, would not cause an objectionable odor, even though it were mainly used for night soil. If a scow is of advantage for this purpose, then there is no place on the coast so favorably situated for using it as our city. Certainly the cheapness of the method and probable reduction in price per load for removing vault contents would commend it.

1892 Gloucester Board of Health – Murrow, Thurston and Dennen

Boston scenes by Leslie Jones, collection Boston Public Library [tug pulling garbage scow) 1956; and boats and garbage, no date (circa 1917-1934)]

1893 Ocean proximity deemed great for Sewer Plans. Also, Drain Burnham’s Field!

“There is no question in the minds of any of us, but that our city needs a system of sewerage. The proper disposal of sewage is one of the great questions of our age. Our city is favorably situated, being so near the ocean, for sewage disposal. It has already been surveyed for the introduction of some system, and the plans are on file and will be available whenever the action of, or financial condition of the city, will warrant such proceedings. My attention has been called to the necessity of draining Burnham’s Field and vicinity, as a sanitary measure. I would recommend that, if practical, the drain leading there from be cleared from obstruction and the natural outlet to the sea be utilized for that purpose.”

Mayor Benjamin Cook, 1893

1893 Disposal of Night Soil and Sink Waste. Burnham Field Development as one option proposed.

“The Board of Health is often obliged to order the discontinuance of dumping in certain places when too great a nuisance has been caused, while the owners of the land sometimes do the same for various reasons. It seemed in the spring as if there was no available place, and the Board appealed to the City Council, which appropriated two hundred dollars, to be used in relieving the difficulty (no pun intended). None of this money was expended for that purpose, as places were secured without the interference of the Board of health. There is a great deal of objection made to the dumping of night soil on land, and wherever it is done it generally annoys somebody. If sewerage is not soon adopted, the city must resort to some method less objectionable than the present method of disposing of night soil and sink waste…”Burnham’s Field and Harbor Swamp: It seems that there has been some disposition to investigate this region during the past year, on the part of the City Council. The presence of such a large tract of swamp land in the heart of a city must be a menace to health. Buildings are being put up all around it and even in it, and this fact must cause some attention to be given, as it increases the amount of filth which finds its way into it. Objection to acting on the score of the land being private property, would hardly seem to be altogether reasonable, as the benefit arising would be shared by the whole city. To deepen the “brook” which flows through it, or to continue the “main drain” into the district, while it would not probably be a complete system of drainage, would furnish an outlet which could be utilized by the abutters at some expense, for the purpose of draining their land. At present there are two ledges in the course of the “brook” which should be removed by the Boston & Maine Railroad Company or in some other way. The water in the swamp will not fall much below the level of these ledges. After their removal the “brook” might be deepened. The people of this region should have some way of relieving their premises from the natural fall of water and the volumes of “City water,” which must find its way into it from the surrounding houses. At present no sink or privy vault can be dug in this region.”

Charles H. Morrow, S.S. Thurston, and Wm. H. Dennen, BoH 1893

1895 residents vote to buy gloucester water supply but it’s not a done deal

$1,500,000 for “22 miles of cement lined pipes, pumping station, reservoirs and their property acquired for storage and distribution throughout the city.”

$1,500,000 for “22 miles of cement lined pipes, pumping station, reservoirs and their property acquired for storage and distribution throughout the city.”

“Percy Blake places the cost of the entire plant at not over $269, 977. He further states that the average length of satisfactory life of this kind of pipes is from 15 to 20 years, and that Somerville, Manchester NH, Fitchburg and Worcester and other places have for some time been replacing the same kind of pipe with cast iron…”

“We must undertake a system of sewerage, but a full consideration of the matter must be deferred until a settlement of the water question. We can, however, begin in a small way…

excerpts, Mayor Robinson

1895 Gloucester Ordinance – waste management

House drains, water closets, cesspools, and grease traps

An ordinance relative to the licensing of Plumbers and the Supervision of the Business of Plumbing”

  • House Drains. The portion of the house-drain which is outside of the building and more than four feet from the foundation walls shall be constructed of extra heavy cast iron pipe or of the best quality vitrified drain pipe; that portion of the house drain which is within four feet of the foundation walls, under the buildings or inside the walls, shall be constructed of iron pipe and shall have a fall of at least one-fourth of an inch to the foot; shall be securely fastened to the cellar wall or suspended from the floor in iron hangers; but when a portion is necessarily laid beneath the basement or cellar floor, that portion shall be construed of extra heavy cast iron pipe and shall be laid in a trench having brick or stone walls, of sufficient width and otherwise so arranged as to give free access to all joints.
  • The house drain shall have a hand hole for convenience in cleaning; if the trap be inside the cellar wall, the hand hole shall be on the house side of the trap (at discretion of Board of Health)…
  • When a water closet or other fixture is to be placed in a house, the house drain shall be changed to conform…
  • No cesspool shall be within twenty feet of any cellar wall except at discretion of the Board of Health
  • Suitable Grease Traps shall be constructed under sink of every hotel, eating house, restaurant or other public eating place so arranged as to be easily accessible and with suitable provision for its proper cleaning…

Sect. 15 WATER CLOSET SUPPLY

“That the regulations of governing plumbing are in the interest of public health, no better exemplification can be given than by calling your attention to the large number of jobs of plumbing and house drainage found defective by your inspector. Having examined some 200 houses where there had been contagious diseases, I found 90 percent without traps or ventilation, the gases from cesspools, escaping into the house, through the sink wastes, some houses with leaky waste pipes passing directly over cisterns, containing drinking water; and in one case all sewage matter deposited into a brick cesspool (formerly a rain water cistern), placed directly under dining room.  The water closets located in cellar directly under parlor without flush of water wand all deposits on ground with very imperfect ventilation. This was was in an outlying district. In my experience of some 35 years, I never saw a case in a more unsanitary condition…”

Plumbing Inspector for the City of Gloucester, 1895

Late 1890s – Thai delegates

From Gloucester archives – Thai delegates summer in Gloucester as early as the late 1890s. (Skip to 1916 and 1921 for more about Prince Mahidol , “Mr. Songkla”) – research by City Archives members

Gloucester – Victorian Age outhouses

Gloucester housing stock (and hotels) included luxury homes with bathrooms and water closets as well as modest solutions. Rough outhouses were common, too. Can you spot the outhouses downtown and in East Gloucester? (Reminder: you can pinch and zoom to enlarge and right click for descriptions. Some media offers option “increase file size”.)

Then (below the garden) | Now

1900 Board of Health is frustrated about the city’s sewer managment

“Sewerage is a much mooted question, which the Board of Health have tried to bring to the attention of the city council, but so far have been unsuccessful in calling their attention to a much wanted service to the city.”

Budget appropriations include two additional contractors:

  • J.A. Dennen, cleaning sewer
  • George A. Reed & Son, sewer gratings

“Dikes’ Meadow and Wallace Pond reservoirs are the only sources of supply now used…”

“Average daily use is 900,000 more than two reservoirs can supply…”

“New water plant necessary…there is water enough in West Gloucester. To supply the city a hundred years….go to Chebacco lakes and (Dikes , Wallace Lily Pond and pumping station become worthless, money thrown away)—a new pumping station at lakes (would be an)  arrangement satisfactory to town of Essex…”

“As far as purity of water all agree Haskell’s Pond stands first…” – Haskell dam to come.

1902 haskell dam construction

For a deep dive into Gloucester’s water utilities, read about Haskell Dam history here

1905 Board of health presses its case

“…menaced, by contagious diseases which threaten to become epidemic…resources at the command of this board, very largely inadequate, would be materially strengthened by a suitable building for the detention and isolation of contagious diseases*, such as diphtheria, scarletina and measles…

Very many nuisances have been investigated and abated during the year and the number has been augmented by the foul odors arising from catch basins along our principal streets. After thorough investigation by its Agent, it is the opinion of the Board of Health that such foul odors arise from the contents of sink and privy vaults which empty into said basins. This condition, deplorable indeed, is unavoidable so long as the present unsanitary condition, due to lack of sewerage, obtains.

And again the Board repeats its annual recommendation to the City Council to take immediate steps to remedy this condition and thus thwart the danger with the absence of a proper system of sewerage in a city approximating 28,000 inhabitants persistently presents…”

Board of Health, Gloucester, MA, 1905-

*see Gloucester’s 1918 Flu epidemic (resulting Braewood purchase)

The Mayor lobbies for dredging Annisquam and for more playgrounds for children.

1910 – a better year for the city’s waste management. Centennial dump plans

”Wherever a vacant lot is found, it is liable to be used by the neighborhood for a dumping ground for rubbish, tin cans and other unsightly objects and sometimes animal and vegetable refuse; the owners of these lots are often unable to prevent such use of the property. The Board of Health has paid especial attention to these places and a great improvement has been made. If Gloucester could establish a reputation for cleanliness, we believe it would be of great financial value to the city. The city dump on Centennial Avenue is available for all kinds of ashes and rubbish and is well cared for; in time this land will be available for public use, but large quantities of good filling material will be needed; however, satisfactory progress has been made and a large quantity of material has been already deposited.”- Board of Health

collection: c. ryan

Walter Cressy’s land on Bond’s Hill was taken for a new reservoir.

1911 Sewage outfall report

1911 Modern plumbing catalogue

1912 Richard T. Crane, Jr. builds a summer cottage in ipswich

(see 1925 – Crane Jr. expanded his family’s industrial frim, booming throughout the Gilded Age, into a global powerhouse by the 1920s. They manufactured ironworks, cooking stoves, bathroom fixtures product lines.)

1915 – water commissioners report- hotel & Summer resident impact (more bacon)

Gloucester population was estimated to be 24,478 in 1916 and to increase up to 36,000 in summer. The estimate of residents on the city’s pipe line, “including summer takers”, was 35,000 and water consumption 46.2 gallons per inhabitant (479,370,834 gallons total per day).

One city budget line item for 1916 that became obsolete was (extra) waste removal help.

  • Union Water meter company- waste stops (like bus stops)
  • Arthur G,. Osboro – oil and waste
  • Royal Mfg. Co. – waste
  • Lewis E. Tracy Co, – waste

“DUMPS: The practice of using the nearest vacant lot for the dumping of paper and filth continues; this is often done at night to prevent detection. People should place such materials in barrels or other receptacles and have them removed, as it would prevent a good deal of ill feeling in neighborhoods.

VAULTS (night soil): Neglect to clean out privy and sink vaults is a common cause of complaint. It is unfortunate that owners of them cannot enter suitable drains, but it not excusable to neglect them until they overflow or emit a foul odor, which vaults are apt to do in the summer months.

Summer residents increased concerns.

SWILL: “The large quantity of house waste in summer due to the influx of summer population at hotels and the relatively small quantity in winter creates trouble. If all swine could be slaughtered at the end of the vacation season, much trouble would be saved; but, as it is, swill is often not collected in the center of the city in summer and so numerous are the collectors in winter that complaints of swill stealing are frequent. The Board of Health has little power to correct these conditions, as only under a contract system can the collection of house waste be controllable.”

1916

As of 1916, Gloucester residents were still encouraged to fill the public dump on Centennial for a future playground. (A generation later, this repurposed transformation would receive national recognition as a WPA project. See 1930s.) The City’s Plumbing inspector lobbied for a modern sewer. DPW was praised.

“The streets of the city have greatly improved in appearance and cleanliness and the chairman of the highway committee should be highly commended for the great interest he has displayed in street cleaning.”

Mayor John Stoddart reviewing 1916 and a shout out to DPW

Appropriations detail that the Union Water Meter company made waste stops and Arthur G,. Osboro oil and waste; Royal Mfg. Co. waste; Lewis E. Tracy Co, waste

1916 boston globe prince mahidol

Prince Mahidol of Siam enrolls at Harvard to study public health.

“The Prince, or “Mr. Songkia,” he prefers to be known in this country, has been staying at Gloucester for some weeks.”

read the article: “Brother of King Mahidol…” Boston Globe, September 1916

While studying in Cambridge he stayed in the house where “Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, was living when the news of his father’s assassination was broken to him.” The Prince continued to spend his breaks and summers in Gloucester (Bass Rocks) which inspired his public health thesis.

1917 Art studios

Scattered throughout Cape Ann, converted outbuildings for art studios likely included outhouses.

“One day we were motoring through Gloucester and, always interested in art, were going from studio to studio to see what the artists were doing and to purchase some pictures for our home on Chebacco Island. We found many of the artists tucked away in dark little lofts, old outhouses, chicken coops, stables, tiny rooms, poorly-lighted and unattractive makeshift places such as one might find in an old-time fishing village–little spaces that had been discarded by the fishermen. We were inconvenienced by the difficulty of seeing the pictures and thought others might be. We felt in this active summer colony there might be many like ourselves who would welcome an opportunity to see what the artists were doing. Here was our chance — beautiful pictures, a leisure public anxious to see them. We would provide the place.’ ” 

Emmeline Atwood quote, 1917 Boston Herald article by Gustav Kobbe – about Atwood’s Gallery on the Moors published on the occasion of its 2nd annual season

1916+ Outhouses in early Stuart Davis

1919

US Public Health Service illustration example

US Public Health Service- 1919 view of a single seated sanitary privy (rough bucket & lid ware)

1919 City Sewerage Plan

“The most important matter that this city faces in the immediate future is the question of sewerage. The action of one of the leading fishing firms of the city, who own a large part of the business water front, in notifying all persons who have had the privilege of the use of their docks for sewerage, that such privileges will cease within five years, will undoubtedly be followed by similar action by the owners of every other dock in the city. This action was to be expected, and the wonder is that it has not been taken before. But such action brings to a head the question of what Gloucester and its inhabitants who have had such privileges so long, will do, and that question can only be answered by saying that Gloucester will now have to do something that it can no longer delay. Five years will quickly pass, and before that time something tangible will have to happen. It is a big question, the question that involves the expenditure of a large amount of money, and requires far-sighted action.”

Mayor Brown

1920 Sewerage Question is a matter of public heatlh

“We must meet this sewerage question this year. I recommend that an entrance fee of $1 per front foot on all property on the line of any public sewer be collected and used for the extension of sewerage, or for the payment of the interest on a sewer loan. This should give us perhaps $15,000 for this purpose this year. But no sewerage plan which does not provide for the cleaning of the dead water of our inner harbor should be considered. This is a growing menace to our health, and to our future as as summer resort, for in July and August our inner harbor is filthy. I am glad to say that one of our summer residents, a man of great wealth and knowledge, has written me a fine letter of congratulations on my election and offered his assistance in working out a plan without much cost to the city. I have great hopes of something good from this. ”

Mayor

1921 – Sanitary Survey of the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts

“Sanitary Survey of the City of Gloucester, Massachusetts”, 1921 by M. Songkla | Prince Mahidol

He concluded the city’s sewer management and all those outhouses very much still in use were the primary source of disease, not summer residents and tourists.

See Sarah Dunlap’s research, Gloucester Archives, to learn more about Prince Mahidol.

“He himself went to many schools to survey their heating, food, health and toilet facilities, — he went to the Lane, Sawyer, Collins, Western Avenue (Parsons) schools and the High School at the time (the brick building just across the street), and he went to the Haskell Reservoir in West Gloucester. He also brought in his personal knowledge from staying in East Gloucester hotels and the Sherman and Way cottages in East Gloucester…

“He had photographs of the sewer outfalls into the ocean, including one from the Bass Rocks Hotels that flowed into the ocean just below the Sherman and Way cottages, where the Siamese legation often stayed. In downtown, outfalls were at docks in the inner harbor. And he not only described the existing system and numerous problems in public health, but he had recommendations for solutions to each problem.”

Sarah Dunlap on Mahidol’s thesis, 2016

See also Harvard, T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Preserving Thai History the King of Thailand Birthplace Foundation, Harvard Medical School. Celebrating the legacy of His Royal Highness Prince Mahidol of Songkla: a century of progress in public health and medicine in Thailand, 2016.

And “Celebrating Thailand Father of Public Health and Modern Medicine”

1924 East Gloucester residents PUSH FOR sluiceway at smith cove – THE FISHING INDUSTRY IS DEAD

“PLAN FOR CLEANSING WATER MEETS OPPOSTION

The Municipal Council was well filled last night by persons from the East Gloucester section interested in the hearing relative to the petition of John L. Lorie and others that a tide runway be cut from Smith’s Cove at Rocky Neck, connecting with the outer harbor at Wonson’s Cove. Mr. Lowrie, in advocacy of the project said that the matter was one which had agitated the people of the locality for many years. they thought if the proposed cut were made it would cleanse the stagnant waters and materially clean up the waters which had become polluted by fish offal and sewage. Since the fish business had left the locality the place had become a Summer colony and something should be done to remedy the situation. In response to his request about a dozen people arose who favored the proposition. Carle T. Tucker, Nathan McLeod, Capt. David F. Mehlman, assistant city marshal, and others, property owners on the other side, opposed the plan. Mr. Tucker said that in the event of such a sluiceway being constructed the sewage and offal would run into the outer harbor and be deposited on the rocks where the summer residents congregate and spoil the place for bathing purposes. It was the only beach in the locality and should be preserved in a cleanly condition. Capt. Mehlman said he had rowed to and fro on the place through the harbor on his way to the Police Station for 40 years and thought he had a a knowledge of conditions. He strongly opposed the proposition which would convert the only white sand beach in the locality used for bathing into a muck deposit. Deputy collector of Customs Albert H. McKenazie, a property owner in the locality, Mr. Brown, whose wife owns a tea house, and Nathan McLeod, owner of a summer hotel, opposed the proposition. A letter was received from George O. Stacy strongly condemning the plan and stating that if it were undertaken he would oppose it by litigation…”

Boston Globe, 1924

1925 Sewer not fish “Odor drives summer residents away” – bill for state funding

Dr. Kelly Blames Gloucester sewage.

“It is the odor caused by poor sewerage, not the odor of fish that drives summer residents from Gloucester,” said Dr. Eugene R. Kelley, State Commissioner of Public Health (For more about Kelley see 1918 Flu Pandemic), before the Legislative Committee on Public Health, appearing for his department relative to the question of the disposal of the sewage of Gloucester. “This is purely a local matter and a matter which must be attended to immediately,” he added. Dr. Kelley said that Gloucester had the worst waterfront conditions of any city or town in the Commonwealth. “Gloucester is a great food center advertises cleanliness,” he said. “how can Gloucester continue such advertising with sanitary conditions as they are?” N.N. Goodnough, chief engineer of the State Department of Public Health, said that tests had been made of the currents and tides about Gloucester Harbor and conditions were found to be satisfactory. He added that he felt this was an immediate necessity and would cost about $331,000. Alden Roberts, official representative of Gloucester; Carl Philips, President of the Gloucester Chamber of Commerce; William J. McGinnis, ex-Mayor; Alderman Smith and Representative John Thomas also spoke in favor of the bill. There was no opposition.”

1925 Crane estate – plumbing magnate Richard T. Crane, Jr. builds a new Castle Hill mansion.

Richard Crane (1832-1912) was born in New Jersey and working at the age of 10 to support his family after his father died. In his twenties, he made his way to an uncle in Chicago and set up a small contracting outfit. His younger brother joined him and they cofounded Crane Bros. They manufactured plumbing fittings, expanding the product line and reincorporating as they grew into a major American company. The estate and business was passed to Richard’s heirs, the two sons, Charles and Richard, who fought over the helm. The Trustees attempted to settle the matter by voting the eldest to lead, Charles, who agreed. Richard did not. The litigation that ensued was not drawn out. Within a couple of years, the younger brother bought the older one out.

Richard Crane, Jr., took the company global. Florence Higinbotham and Richard Jr. were married in 1904. (Her father cofounded Marshall Field & Co.) Legend “blames” Florence for the stunning Crane estate we see today, designed by architect David Adler. Florence, so the story goes, loathed the presumably equally stunning 60 room Italianate style of the first mansion. Her husband promised to rebuild it for her if she felt the same way in 10 years. Conveniently for the global leader in convenience designs, she did. The new one featured Crane’s modern bathroom and systems designs.

Crane Estate completed 1928. photograph: Catherine Ryan, 2016

1920s-1926 City’s Modern Sanitation system construction Completed

1927 Stacy Boulevard pumping station

1928 – sewer concerns bubble up related to controvertial cottage Development on Eastern Point

Eastern Point: Smith Cottage Sewer Plan Menace to Health | Complaint by Archbishop Against Site Near St. Peter’s Chapel

GLOUCESTER, March 29- The controversy that arose last Fall between the Eastern Point Summer colony and Arthur W. and Herbert E. Smith who seek to build 45 small cottages on their property at Eastern Point came up today before Starr Parsons of Lynn, appointed by the court as master. This case, fought out in the Municipal Council last Fall, involving personages of prominence, attracted widespread notice. The bill of complaint was filed by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston against the Smith brothers to prevent the building of the camps and to cause the removal of a tea house, dance hall and roadside stand already erected under a permit from the Municipal Council. Dist. Atty. Fred H. Tarr and Henry V. Cunningham of Boston were the lead counsel assembled for the objectors and Carlton H. Parsons and Dist. Atty. William G. Clark Jr. appeared for the Smith brothers.

The morning was spent in an inspection of the premises at Eastern Point. The first witness of the afternoon was Arthur W. Smith, who testified as to the general construction of the camps and especially the method of sewage disposal, either by septic tanks or cesspools.

Prof. George E. Russell of MIT testified that the terrain at Eastern Point is rocky and ledgy, covered with pulverized and rotten granite with a slight topping of humus, and that neither septic tanks nor any forms of underground sewage disposal were feasible by nature of the soil but would create a menace to health.

A regular water-flushed sewerage system to the sea would be prohibitive in cost, from $10,000-$100,000.

Prof. M.P. Harwood of MIT corroborated Prof. Russell’s testimony.

The proposed site of the cottages is Farrington Ave near St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Chapel (St. Anthony’s) built by Mrs. Margaret E. Farrell of Albany, one of the wealthiest owners of show places at Eastern Point.”

Boston Globe March 1928
1930 Alice M. Curtis chapel photo printed archivally from original 5 x 7 film negative
© FREDERICK D. BODIN

Margaret Ruth Brady Farrell (1872–1944) was not in Gloucester in 1928, in case you’re wondering why her philanthropy and voice were missing. Margaret married James Charles Farrell. Their primary residence was Albany. Her famous financier father, Anthony N. Brady, was born in France to Irish parents, “practically penniless”. At the time of his death in 1913 the magnate had amassed a great fortune estimated to be worth 100 million, “one of the few men in New York State whose fortune was discovered to have been much greater than the estimates made of his riches when he was alive.” Their philanthropy in Gloucester may have been greater but tragedy kept them away. Although the estate was split equally, some of her siblings fought bitterly and long. Margaret likely had no energy or inclination for objections, nor held the reins. The year before her father died, four of their family died in a train wreck, burned alive. Her sister. Her sister-in-law. Two aunts. Her husband died in 1918.

1931 Babson Reservoir and Sanctuary

There are examples of land preservation, but featuring a watershed in 1931? Isn’t it wonderful!

1930s New Deal Sewer work

By 1938, W.P.A. workers (Massachusetts) laid close to 200 miles of new water mains and even more miles of new sewers. They built 15 new sewage disposal plants, thousands of manholes and culverts, tens of thousands of roadside ditches & culverts, and miles of curbing.

1933 crane (plumbing) company – a sponsor and featured at Chicago World’s Fair

excerpt from the official guide book to “A Century of Progress International Exposition in 1934, the World’s Fair at Chicago” The guide book

“contains the fullest and most accurate information possible for the purpose of directing our visitors how to find everything in the Exposition and how to make use of the Exposition’s facilities for their comfort and convenience.

“Crane Co. Station 134 had its own pavilion Display of bathroom fixtures and plumbing, also the “World’s Largest Shower”—Crane Co. Station. Home and Industrial Arts Group.

“A 45-FOOT SHOWER bath is a refreshing attraction. The shower is a giant reproduction of the company’s shower bath equipment. At the base of the tower is seen, in contrast, a bathroom used in 1893. Here, also, is seen a modern, de luxe bathroom. Display of antique and historical plumbing fixtures includes a “chaise longue” French bath tub of 100 years ago, a French lavatory 150 years old, a bath tub shaped like a hat that was in vogue in this country after the war between the states, and a bath tub of the type used by Queen Victoria in England.”

“Home and Industrial Arts Group. The NEW possibilities of the ideal small house are demonstrated at the Exposition in the Home and Industrial Arts section , by a group of completely finished, furnished and equipped homes, ready to live in. The new methods of building with new materials and with prefabricated units for rapidity and economy of construction are shown.”

1933-34 “Century of Progress” Chicago World’s Fair

gLOUCESTER OUTHOUSEs in American PAINTINGS

Selection of Gloucester scenes with outhouses by various artists: Dennis Miller Bunker; Charles Burchfield; Stuart Davis; James Jeffrey Grant; Emil Gruppe; Edward Hopper; Max Kuehne; William Lester Stevens; Paul Bough Travis; Louise Woodroofe.

Artists and photographers cropped outhouses out.

Let me know if there’s a favorite you’d like to add. Once you notice them, you’ll find more.

Reminder: You can pinch and zoom to enlarge (and select “full size” image if that option shows)

EDWARD HOPPER – gloucester outhouses

Edward Hopper included outhouses in numerous Gloucester vistas. Hopper depicted buildings and worked with watercolor and gouache long before his renowned first sell out show of Gloucester images in the 1920s.

The Whitney Museum of American Art has the largest collection of Edward Hopper art. This small watercolor study the museum dates circa 1900 contains germs of his later work. There is an elusive building, or nestled buildings, front and center. Strong shadows are emphasized. Is the shed attached or not? An entrance, a ticket booth, an outhouse? Is that a circus tent flag squiggle? The pencil line beyond the vertical street light (or railroad signal) might be a train track. Further right, there’s a red dab. Perhaps another structure. The window with yellow has a barn vibe. I did think about the scene in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid when Katherine Ross looks down from a hay loft to catch the Paul Newman riding a bike for the Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head show.

Whitney Museum estimates circa 1903

1930 – 1941 American outhouses – cross county photos

photographs outhouses across America – Library of Congress

  • Cincinnati row houses with backyard outhouses, 1930s
  • privy plant pre cast base, Missouri, by Lee Russell, 1938
  • Placing concrete in form for privy slab, MN, by Shipman, 1941, Library of Congress (collection FSA Office of War Info)
  • South family’s shaker style privy, Harvard, Worcester County, MA 1930s
  • General Israel Putnam Privy, Brooklyn, CT after storm
  • Arlington, MA, Walker Evans 1930s
  • Privy Monterey, Delaware, circa 847
  • Washington DC “slum” privy, Carl Mydans, 1935
  • “old six hole privy, Wiggins Tavern”, Northampton, MA, Lee Russell, 1939

photographs Indoor bathrooms residential and public – New York Public Library

Cincinnati backyard outhouses

1938 NYC – Masterful Mabel Dwight

MABEL DWIGHT, 1938

Leave it to Mabel Dwight for a humorous and original take, Backyard, 1938 WPA/FAP lithograph. Outhouses were shared; doors were left open. Rear window… (last pun!)

1942 Boston

1942- photo: Leslie Jones, BPL collection

1963 North Shore Sewage a threat to beaches

Boston Globe North Shore News- “Town Sewage Problems Pose Threat to Beaches” by Anthony Romano –

“Is pollution posing a threat to the recreational facilities of the North Shore’s coastal communities? Local officials from Marblehead to Gloucester thinks so–as evidenced by the closing of beaches at various times during the past few years because of sewage carried shoreward by winds and tides. The possible corrective solution rests with the Legislature which has been asked for an appropriation of $15,000 to investigate and study the pollution problems in the affected harbors and tributaries. There is considerable anxiety among North Shore officials who point out that conditions will worsen with each passing year because of the increasing influx of industries and new residents.”

1978 CRACK DOWN AT THE QUARRIES

Litter and parties – Read  Crackdown at the quarries 

1980 Gloucester Clean Harbor Swim

The Federal government sued Gloucester for dumping raw sewage. Before it was celebrate Gloucester Harbor it was clean it. Read more about the gains 1970s and 1980s.

1981-1984 New sewerage treatment plant construction

Dedicated to George P. Riley


2019 – Bacon grease, “flushable” wipes and fatbergs – NOT Gloucester

In 2019, Mike Hale, Director of Public Works, explained that this diaper wipe fatberg issue was not a crisis here as it was in the municipalities featured in the viral London video.

During the pandemic, stories increased about sewers clogged by even more wipes, protective wear and disposable masks. Again that was not overly remarkable here.

bacon grease poured into can not drain ©c ryan.jpg

My grandparents never wanted a dishwasher. They collected the food scraps (all the wet garbage) by the sink until they tossed it outdoors in the backyard garbage pail. A metal bin was inlaid underground roughly in line with a flagstone path. The heavy cover was raised with firm stomp on a foot pedal, a novel chore for us because our home did not have one. I don’t remember it smelling, but it was just the two of them. The garbage collectors took care of pick ups from there. My husband’s grandparents raised pigs, so it was direct deposit there.

2021 Water pollution Control

Author Note related to original question from GMG reader

*What’s in a name? I’m perplexed about a convivial nickname for “those on Cape Ann” myself. Cape Anners, Cape Ann-ites, other capers? Nope. Nope. Nope. I’m told Cape Cod natives may say “islanders”, though I’ve never heard that from my relations there. Maybe it’s Massachusetts? Massachusetts-ite is so awkward. Bay Stater- a marketing stretch too far. Bostonian works!

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.

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.

Cool! GMG reader shares Cape Pond Ice harvesting history in Alton, New Hampshire – Mt. Major – Lake Winnipesaukee 🧊☃️❄️ #GloucesterMA

Thank you to GMG reader, Carolyn Rosenfeld, for sharing a Gloucester history message that was featured by Alton Historical Society!

SELLING COLD

Cape Pond Ice headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, established a branch in Alton, New Hampshire, to guarantee demands for ice.

Carolyn writes:

“AMAZING! MY MOTHER AND HER ENTIRE FAMILY WERE  FROM WEST ALTON, BUT UP ON THE MOUNTAIN. That’s why I belong to this (Alton Historical Society) group. It’s like I’ve gone back in time. Finding that interconnection is a little eerie. I’m in NH today to give a beautiful portrait of her, taken in 1912 when she was  4 years old, to one of my daughters. And of course it was taken at their farm on Alton Mountain. Anyway, I love a good coincidental jolt in the AM with my coffee.”

Carolyn

“Alton Historical Society, Alton, New Hampshire – This is the Cape Pond Ice Co. of Gloucester, MA ice house at Mt. Major in West Alton. The ice was shipped by train along the Lake Shore Line to Gloucester for use on the fishing boats.” | Facebook

Alton Historical Society Facebook post 2021 January 20

Mt. Major is a state park– another wonderful activity to check out at Lake Winnipesaukee

See Cape Pond Ice – and Cape Ann Museum and Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library– for more information. (I’ll add more photos here.)

Fun read – 2019 article here featuring a “keeping the ice harvesting tradition alive” attraction is available on Squam Lake in Holderness, NH.

1894 and 1902 poem and photo series on the business of fishing and the beauty & charm of Gloucester | Clarence Manning Falt #GloucesterMA essentials

Clarence Manning Falt (1861-1912) was a Gloucester poet and photographer, a son of a Canadian immigrant & fisherman and a Gloucester mother & homemaker (born and raised in a fisherman generations family herself). They had seven children. The Falt family eventually purchased 172 East Main Street; Clarence and his surviving siblings continued to live there as adults. It’s a huge home.

photo caption: 172 East Main Street, Gloucester, Mass. An Edward Hopper drawing of this Gloucester house, which I identified, was gifted to the Minneapolis Art Institute and included in a travel exhibition highlighting major drawings from this famous repository.

Clarence Manning Falt clerked for various businesses on Main Street to support his art practice.

By the 1900 census, clerk was dropped from the “occupation” category, “Author” stood alone.

Falt photographed and wrote about Gloucester, where he was born and raised during the late 1800s. His work reflects his own personal experiences including the fishing industry of his parents’ world. The best ones connect readers to this world because of his talents and an insider’s careful observations. Some of the writing relies too much on tropes and can be a chore, though never as difficult as the jobs he portrays, and may stick with you just the same because he is successful in providing such accurate and detailed examples of the business of fishing and the beauty of Gloucester. Some poems rise to evoke a full and cinematic day at the docks and ideas to mull over.


POINTS OF INTEREST: GLOUCESTER IN SONG

Falt’s book of poems and photographs, Points of Interest Gloucester in Song, was published in 1894, the year after his mother died. He dedicated the volume to her. Examples of his original and stunning photographs are from the copy held in the collection of the Library of Congress which was digitized. The pairings aren’t always successful and one might long for more photos, as I have. A few appear to be source photos for vintage postcards.

“To those who have grown up from childhood amid the grandeur and solemnity of these scenes, to the stranger who has become familiar with them, may their hearts be quickened with a keener appreciation for, and a deeper sympathy with, all that has made Gloucester and its suburbs charming and historic.”

Clarence Manning Falt

photo caption: Fog Bell and Whistling Buoy, Eastern Point Lighthouse

and: The Old Fort, Eastern Point and: The Bell, The Whistle, and the Buoy

example of photo surpassing (dated/trope) poem example | photo caption: A Legend of the Whipping Post, Middle Street

Have you seen this rock face profile?

photo caption: The Watcher

Have you walked past this balancing skinny topper?

photo caption: Lot’s Wife

Poem titles and links for the photo grid below:

(take time to enlarge the photos!)

photo caption : A Winter’s Day at Rafe’s Chasm

Falt poems from nature (without photographs) from this volume and worth a read

THE BLUETS
  
 IN mosses green
 A charming scene,
 To me a sweet surprise,
 In bright array
 This fair spring day
 The bluets greet my eyes.
  
 Each dainty cup,
 Is lifted up
 With tints of heaven’s hue; 
 Each budding gem
 A diadem
 Bespangled with the dew.
  
 Like tiny shields
 Amid the fields,
 On bodies, slim and frail,,
 They wave and bend
 And sweetly send
 The Welcome Spring’s All hail!
  
 Where bright sunshine
 By one divine
 Can reach each fragile heart,
 They lovely gleam
 Like some sweet dream
 And Joy’s sweet pulses start.
  
 My better self
 (The heart’s stored wealth)
 Enraptured at the sight
 On each sweet face
 See’s Heaven’s grace
 And life, immortal, bright.
  
 On, tiny blooms,
 When waking tombs
 Lie buried ‘neath the snow,
 And Death doth keep
 Guard o’er thy sleep
 And blust’ring winds they blow,
  
 Backward apace
 My heart will trace,
 And bring, begemmed with dew,
 ‘Mid mosses green 
 The charming scene
 Of you, sweet buds of blue.
  
 -Clarence Manning Falt, 1894, 
in Gloucester, Ma. 

Bluets, photo courtesy Justine Vitale

WHARF AND FLEET

Falt’s volume of poems and photographs, Wharf and Fleet: Ballads of the fishermen of Gloucester, was published in 1902. A copy of the book held at the University of California was digitized and uploaded in 2006.

This one was dedicated to Winthrop L. Marvin* (1863-1926), author of The American merchant marine; its history and romance from 1620 to 1902, also published in 1902.

“…Ever since 1713 Gloucester has been the peculiar home of the schooner, and this is now and long has been the unvarying rig of her unrivalled fleet of deep-sea fishermen. The first entry of a schooner in Boston’s commerce occurs in 1716, — “Mayflower,” Captain James Manson, from North Carolina. As Captain Andrew Robinson was a direct descendant of John Robinson who preached to the Pilgrims at Leyden, it is conjectured that this “Mayflower” was the fist schooner, the original Gloucester craft. Be this as it may, her useful successors are numbered by the thousands,…”

and re: the 100 days War with Spain:

“At the Gloucester recruiting station, in the early summer of 1898 , 76.5% of the men examined were accepted. At Boston the percent accepted was 14.5; at New York only 6. This means that in physique and intelligence the fishermen of New England are very much superior to the merchant sailors of the great seaports. So valuable a national resource as the deep-sea fisheries cannot be suffered to decline.”

*Winthrop Lippitt Marvin – U.S. journalist, and author; Civil Service Commissioner of Massachusetts; secretary of the Merchant Marine Commission

Back to Falt

Clarence Manning Falt was clearly proud of his parents and hometown and had a linguist’s ear and aptitude for the music of words. He studied public speaking and drama in Boston and New York. This book incorporates strongly stylized dialect deliberately, heavily.

“There is no distinct vernacular used, for the nationalities represented in this fishing port are so complex as to render that impossible, but there are many phrases in general use which I have endeavored to bring forth in these ballads. Born in this seaport city, with blood of seafaring people in my veins, the grandeur and pathos of this variable life have ever enthralled me.”

Clarence Manning Falt

More From his intro

Gloucester’s “population at the writing of this work is about 29,000. As a fishing-port, it is the largest in the world. Here can marine life be studied in all its phases. Here, lying at their moorings, will be found the up-to-date Gloucester fishing vessels, for the modern type of fishing vessel is t he pride and delight of a Gloucester skipper’s heart. He considers his stanch craft his ocean home. Indeed, these handsome vessels are as fine as the stately yachts that daily grace the harbor, for one would immediately note their fine sheer, perfectly fitting sails, clean decks, trim rig, and crews of able-bodied seamen, marking a wonderful and almost magical development from the primitive types of the quaint shallops, pinnaces, and pinkies of the olden days.

Gloucester harbor, like some might arena of old, is terraced with impregnable bastions of rugged hills and seared and time-furrowed cliffs…At night its beauty is unrivalled. Seaward its light-towers flash and gleam…the fleets glowing to port and windward, vying landward with the city’s brilliant reflections, sparkling with the shimmering glows of the wharf lights, the anchored fleets, and the inverted spangles of the stars of heaven… The wharf life has also developed marvelously. Every up-to-date method of prosecuting this industry is employed. This development has brought many new occupations and newer characteristics of the life. ”

Clarence Manning Falt, 1902 excerpt from his introduction Wharves and Fleet

A Matter of the Ear

“Packin’ Mack’r’l” — that does sound musical, and easily missed! How it makes me smile imagining Falt enlivened by the sights and sounds all about, fishing for just the right words and photographs; all the while diligently preserving a specificity of Gloucester’s fishermen’s dialect; a language all its own, encompassing many nationalities; one in which he was fluent and could translate and that he felt through his art. I wish that there was an audio recording of his reading aloud (or under his direction).

reminder comparable- post Civil War there was an uptick of slang dialects expressed in American writing, notably Tom Sawyer published 1876 and Huck Finn 1885(US)

Falt poem & photos- Gloucester sound and “see”scapes

SELECTION OF FALT’S POEMS

Many of the poems from Wharves and Fleet include vivid definitions tagged beneath which are delightful, personal and informative.

photo caption: “Th’ Spider an th’ Fly” Driving’ th’ spiles; buildin’ th’ w’arves

In building a wharf, the piles are first inserted into holes made in the dock, then after being carefully inserted and put in shape, they are driven down to a certain point by a heavy iron weight suspended from the top of the scow.

“Fly an’ spider”: figuratively used when the heavy iron weight (“th’ spider”) strikes the top of the pile (“th’ fly”). An old saying, long handed down by the fisher-folk**.

Notes from – Clarence Manning Falt

**have you heard this expression?

Ride stilts- “reflections of the piles at low tide. As the hawser lifts and drips and the crew hauls upon it, the phosper at night gleams most beautifully.

Notes from – Clarence Manning Falt

Dryin’ time after a heavy rain or spell of easterly weather, one of the most picturesque scenes of the harbor is the hanging of hoisted and half-hoisted sails from all sorts of crafts to dry in the coming forth of the sun.

Note about “Drying Time” – Clarence Manning Falt

Some of the poems I like most helped me learn about ancillary jobs and a bigger , tender portrait of this port.

GITTIN’ UNDERWAY

           GITTIN’ UNDERWAY 
 In th’ early dawn ere th’ doors unlock,
 Then it’s crick, crick, crick, an’ it’s 
      crock, crock, crock
 An’ it’s ho an’ hi fer th’ blocks ter talk
 In th’ early dawn e’er th’ doors unlock.
  
 Then it’s ho na’ hi fer th’ dreams ter die,
 Fer th’ crews an’ th’ bunks ter say good-by,
 Fer th’ yawn an gape, fer th’ stretch an’ sigh,
 In th’ early dawn ere th’ cocks crow high
  
 Then it’s ho fer doublin’ th’ Woolsey smocks,
 An’ twicein’ th’ toes in th’ home-knit socks,
 An cuddlin’ th’ ears up under th’ locks,
 An’ haulin’ down tighter th’ souwes’ chocks.
  
 Then it’s ho fer housin’ th’ rubber boots,
 An’ firmin’ th’ heart in th’ stiff oil suits,
 W’ile the cuddies blaxe, an’ th’ coffee goots,
 An’ th’ windlass creaks, an’ th’ horn it hoots.
  
 Then it’s ho fer grubbin’ an’ hi fer drink,
 Then shadder th’ gangway an’ meet th’ brink
 Ter shape out th’ course an ter careful think
 In th’ early dawn w’ile th’ stars still blink.

“Block ter talk”: the hoisting of the sails.
“Woolsey smocks”: flannel shirts.
“Souwes’ chocks”: the flannel-line lappets 
that are attached to the sou’westers.
“Housin’ th’ rubber boots”: pulling them on.
“Cuddies”: forecastle.
“Windlass”: it is located forward the foremast,
and is used in weighing up the anchor.
“Horn”: the hand foghorn.
“Shape out th’ course”: making the grounds
by chart and compass.
“Sou’wester”: a broad-brimmed oil-cloth hat 
with ear-lappets lined with flannel.
   -------
 Clarence Manning Falt, Wharf and Fleet, 1902, Gittin’ Underway, p. 37-38 

TH’ NIPPERWOMAN

          TH’ NIPPERWOMAN 

  I SEE her black shawl mid th’ butts
      Clutched tight erpon her breast,
  I see her black cloud full uv ruts
      Er shamin’ off its best,
  I see her pinched an’ wrinkled face
      Er quizzing uv th’ crew,
  An’ this ter-nigh is ole Mart Place,
      That once wuz Marthay True.
    
   I see her lookin’ down th’ deck
      Ter git some welcome nod,
   Or still perchance th’ courage beck
      Ter put her feet erboard.
   I know her arms are tired out
      Er holdin’ uv th’ string,
   Fer ev’ry one is knitted stought
      Ter pace th’ haddickin’.
    
   Oh, Marthay True uv long ergo,
      Could you have looked ter see
   Yer rosy cheeks an’ eyes erglow
      Come cryin’ back ter thee,
   Could you have looked ter see each braid
      Thin twisted stran’s uv snow,
   I know yer would ter God have prayed
      Fer ankrige long ergo.
    
   Oh, Marthay True that bird-like sang,
      An’ twined th’ red rose high,
   An bade my boyhood’s heart ter hang
      Er love-light in thine eye,
   Could you have known th’ years would
               fling
   Yer, stranded wreck uv Time,
     Ter sell with ev’ry knitted ring
   Er dead heart’s silent chime,     
    
   Er Nipper woman in th’ cold,
      Unnoticed an’ forlorn,
   Mid fisher faces sad an’ bold,
      With hearts bruised like yer own,
   I know yer would ter God have prayed
      Fer ankrige long ere this,
   Than rather been by Fate errayed
      Er thing fer chance ter kiss.
    
   O, Marthay True, we laugh an’ woo,
      An’ twine th’ red rose high,
   An prate, an’ tell what we will do,
      With laughter in our eye;
   But way down in our hearts we know
      Time’s but er fickle thing,
   An’ ere life’s winds begin ter blow
      Come grief an’ sufferein’.
    
   Oh, Marthay True, we laugh an’ woo,
     An’ twine th’ red rose high,
   An prate, an’ tell what we will do,
     With laughter in our eye;
   But soon, too soon, our castles fall,
     Our gay ships drink th’ sea,
   An’ what should been joy’s merry call
    Jest tears fer memory.
    
   Oh, Marthay True, God wot that thou
     Meet luck with all th’ fleet,
   An if er kind word will endow
     I’ll speak it quick an’ neat.
   I know er fisher’s tender spot
     Is ankered in his heart,
   Fer once with Christ they threw th’ lot,
     An’ hauled er goodly part.  
             
   Oh, Marthay True, yer tale is told.
     Th’ hearts are tried an’ staunch,
   An, they have trawled er sum uv gold
     Ter speed yer in joy’s launch.
   God wot that thou mayst happy be.
     Jest keep yer sad heart bright,
   An’ He will steer yer down Life’s sea
     Ter find Hope’s port erlight.   

Nipper woman: one of a class of women who knit 
and sell to the crews of the fleet the woolen 
nippers worn to prevent chafing of the fishing lines.
It is an industry pursued in the winter 
and sold to the firms and the crews in the 
early spring, at the fitting out or in the fall 
at the “shifting of voyages.”

Nippers: when the trawl gets caught, 
--“hung up,” in fishing vernacular,
--mittens are removed and the trawls 
are hauled in with a pair of nippers, 
bracelets of knitted wool or 
cloth held in the palm of the hand, 
creased to allow of a better hold of the line.
  
 ------
Clarence Manning Falt, Wharf and Fleet, 1902 
Th’ Nipper woman,  p. 37-38        

Woolen nippers from Gloucester on view at the Smithsonian were exhibited in the 1883 International Fisheries Exhibition in London. I think of Falt’s poem, Th’ Nipper Woman, above, when I see this display, and find it all the more poignant now picturing the women & men working the dock and sea and seasons at port. Intimate and full. Gentle and rough.

photo caption: Nippers. ca. 1880s. US Fish Commission. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, Washington, DC

GAFFIN’ FISH

          GAFFIN' FISH
 W’EN th’ tide is out er flirtin’,
   An’ fergits ter shut its door,
 An’ th’ happy clams are squirtin,
   Playin’ injine with the shore,    
    
 An th’ kids are ripe fer junkin’,
   An’ fer skippin’ rocks an’ shells,
 An fer woodin’ an’ fer punkin’
   Bobbin’ bottles in th’ swells,  
    
 An’ yer hear th’ rats er squalin’
   Frum th’ black cracks in th’ walls,
 An’ yer quiz th’ tomcats stealin’ Nearer,   
   nearer ter th’ calls,    
 
 An’ yer mark some ole trap histid,
   Like er giddy thing on cogs,
 With its body kind uv listid
   T’ward th’ black spiles an th’ logs,
    
 All togged up in robes uv coal tar,
   Yaller oaker, sash’s an’ bo’s,
 P’r’aps er crimson-pintid five-star
   Sunburs’in’ its puggy nose,  
             
 Like some poor, ole primay donnay
    Thet has wobbled all her say,
 Now shoved further ter th’ corner
    W’ile th’ daybute works her lay,
    
  P’r’aps er ole T.D. er puffin’ 
    Frum er drollin’ mouth er stern,
  Use ter bluffin’, use ter cussin’, 
    Use ter words I know yer’v hern,
    
 Then yer know time’s ripe fer gaffin’
   An’ fer puntin’ roun’ th’ docks,
 Fer it’s then th’ crews git chaffin’
   An’ er rattlin’ th’ pitchforks,
    
 Fer it’s then th’ strays go slippin’
   Frum th’ ole caps with er thud,
 An’ th’ guick gaffs raise ‘em drippin’
   Ter th’ sly punts frum th’ mud.
    
 Oh, it’s art ter watch th’ sneakin’
   Uv th’ puntin’ through th’ spiles,
 Oh, it’s art ter watch th’ peekin’
   Uv th’ gaffers an’ th’ wiles,
    
 Fer it’s thievin’ pure an simple
   An’ it’s skittish work at bes’,
 Though th’ cheek may wear th’ dimple,
   An th’ eye stan’ heaven’s tes’.     
          
 Oh, it’s risky work er gaffin’,
   Full uv duckin’s, fights, an’ jaws,
 Full uv skuddin’, full uv chaffin’,
   Full uv haul-ups, full uv laws.
    
 Fer if caught, as sure as Moses,
   Yer’ll be chucked deep in th’ dump,
 W’ile th’ smells uv sweet June roses 
   Won’t c’logne up th’ homeward slump.
    
When the trips are being taken out, 
often many fish slip from the pitchforks 
and sink to the docks. A class of young 
men and boys then row around in little boats, 
called punts, and gaff up the fish beneath 
the wharves and sell them. It is an illegal 
business, and if caught, they are subjected 
to a fine and imprisonment. 
It is operated at low tide.

“Ole trap histid”: the old-fashioned shore 
boats that haul up on the dock flats for repairs.

"Pintid five-star”: an old-fashioned emblem
For decorating ends of bowsprits.
------
Clarence Manning Falt, Wharf and Fleet: 
ballads of the Gloucester Fishermen, 1902 
Gaffin’ Fish, p.39-41        

For me, this one is a compelling balance: he carries water for the skippers and (less) for the gray market hustlers. It’s messy. His dad’s guiding hand on this one. Scroll back up and look at the “Th’ spider an’ th’ fly” photograph, the pilings and surface of the water. The images and words flow and force, back and forth. The pairings aren’t so cut and dry.

Clarence Manning Falt fast facts:

Born August 1861, Gloucester, Mass.
FatherCpt. Walter M. Falt
(b. Canada April 18, 1823- d. Glouc. 1904)
emigrated in 1845; fish dealer aka fish merchant 1870 census; skipper; master fisherman 1880 census; day laborer 1900 census
misspelled as “Fault”, Cpt and Master Sea Foam 1878
MotherMary Carlisle Robinson
(b. Glouc. 1826 – d. Glouc. 1893)
parents married Nov. 30, 1847
“keeping house”
Resided family home172 East Main Street,
he and his siblings with their parents
Edward Hopper drawing of this house in the collection of the Minneapolis Art Inst.
Day job clerk for downtown businesses (drugstores on Main)
Universitystudied oration and acting
Occupation“clerk” and “apothecary clerk” on earlier census
“author” on 1900 census
6 siblingsdates on family headstone
Marion, (1849 -1931) 1848?
Walter P. (1851-1877) laborer 1870 census
Julia Procter (1852-1924)
Clarence M. (1861-1912) author 1900 census
Austin C. (1866-1915) stevedore 1900 census
Roland H. (1868-1870)
Mary Taylor (1876-1917) 1874?
Published works1894- Points of Interest: Gloucester in Song
1902- Wharf and Fleet: ballads of the Fishermen of Gloucester
Died 1912
Gravefamily plot, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery

Under a Banner of Many Nations

Note from the author: Over the past week, I’ve shared Boston Globe Gloucester stories about immigrants: Swedish, Canadian, Italian, Sicilian, Portuguese , Irish, Scotch and so on. I thought of Falt’s books with each post.

Nations jump from the page when scanning vital stats documents, too- like this one from Gloucester birth registry 1868 – scroll over to the right through Occupation / place of Birth of Father/ place of Birth of Mother.

(To get the full experience, go big! The wordpress format reduces the size, however all photos in this post can be clicked, double clicked through, or pinch & zoomed to enlarge)

1897 Boston Globe century list of top captains

  • Captain Thomas Bohlin #3 “king pin among the halibut fishermen” (born in Sweden)
  • Captain Charles Harty tie for #2 mackerel “as a seiner his reputation has been made.”
  • Captain Solomon Jacobs #1 OG “widest known fisherman this country has ever produced…having started out as record beater, has had to live up to his reputation and has succeeded…” codfishery then mackerel seining – global expansion, lost everything & came back again “at the foot of the ladder. His old time luck had not forsaken him…” (born in England, brought to Newfoundland when a baby)
  • Captain Alex McEachern #7 high lines, particularly Grand bank codfisheries beat all records in 1897 (born Cape Breton)
  • Captain John W. McFarland tied for #2 “the only one to make two newfoundland herring trips, and marketed them in New York, on one season” (born in Maine)
  • Captain Andrew McKenzie #8 Iceland halibut and Newfoundland herring (born in PEI)
  • Captain Lemuel F. Spinney #5 “high line halibut catcher who is in the first flight of the “killers.” (born in Yarmouth, N.S.)
  • Captain Charles Young #6 halibut fleet -1895 record for most trips in one year (born in Copenhagen)
  • Captain Richard Wadding #4 halibut (born in England)

A June Morning – arch yes to my ear, and interesting catalogue of flora and fauna then

From 1931 Boston Globe report “Tableau of the Nativity is set up in home of an Italian” at 15 Middle St. #GloucesterMA

Did your family share stories about visiting this elaborate (all?) indoors Christmas display? I’d love to see a photograph(s).

Gloucester, December 23, 1931- The religious fervor combined with the artistry of the Italian race is exemplified in the tableau of the nativity set up in the home of Capt. Joseph Curcurru, 15 Middle St, a leading figure in the Italian group of this city.

It is exciting much admiration not only among the Italian residents but among others of the city hundreds of whom have already viewed it.

Two walls of the reception room have been converted into the tableau background which represents a cyclorama of the country about Bethlehem. In a corner are the central figures, statues representing Mary, Joseph, the manger and the Infant Jesus.

Coming from the East are the three wise men and each day they are moved a day’s journey forward toward their objective until eventually on Jan. 6, which the Italians term the “Little Christmas,” they will arrive in the stable of the inn.

All around the panorama may be seen shepherds tending their sheep, peasants tilling the fields, trees and a running brook produced by an electric engine from a tank of water, in addition to other accessories which go to complete the composition.

The Italian quarter at the Fort is already taking on the signs of festivity incident to the season. They stress the religious note. The majority of their fishing craft are named after saints, whereas the native American fisherman named his clipper schooner for wife or daughter in the majority of instances.

Whittier somewhere in his verses noted this nomenclature custom of Saxon and Latin fisherman.

“TABLEAU OF THE NATIVITY IS SET UP IN HOME OF AN ITALIAN AT GLOUCESTER: Religious Fervor, Combined With Fine Artistry, Is Exemplified in This Unusual Cyclorama of Country Around Bethlehem” Boston Globe, p.2, Dec. 24, 1931

Wonder which Whittier poem?

Iconic Edward Hopper SOLD for $700,000 at Sotheby’s- Gloucester Factory and House – bird’s eye view of Cripple Cove and Gorton’s smokehouse on E. Main St. (now Capt. Joe & Sons and GMG HQ) from Horchow collection #GloucesterMA

A classic Edward Hopper inspired by Gloucester will be sold at Sotheby’s auction this morning*. Architectural and natural elements in the drawing remain recognizable today. The scene overlooks the same house on East Main, Capt. Joe & Sons, and Cripple Cove (see then/now comparison photos below). The Gorton’s factory building there burned down. Cripple Cove playground is the green on the right of the Hopper image.

The drawing last changed hands in 1989 when the Horchows purchased the drawing from Kennedy Galleries in New York. Will it land in another private collection or an institution?

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Gloucester Factory and House, 1924, watercolor and pencil on paper, 14″ x 20″, from the Carolyn & Roger Horchow collection (Dallas,TX) They purchased the drawing in 1989 from Kennedy Galleries, NYC.

Lot 8 estimate $800,000-$1,200,00 currently at $600,000 bid before the auction opens

*Update- With just 56 lots to sell and two withdrawn ahead of sale, Lot 8 came up quickly with a few competing bids and a hammer price of $700,000 ($867,000 with fees), below estimate.

Many lots before and after were short of estimate or passed (unsold) including a Winslow Homer watercolor which was “reoffered” by pausing the bidding on the final lot #56 to return to Lot #16 (which sold for 2 million hammer price) before moving back to the final lot, an Edward Willis Refield (which sold for $250,000). That whoopsie “reoffer” is highly unusual**. The auction house scrambled to bring that phone bidder forward before the close of the sale. A second Homer watercolor passed at 850,000.

The Sotheby’s December 11, 2020 auction offered a variety of American art from various collections. The sale results were a mixed bag of purchases, passes, and pulled works. Only one work sold far above estimate, thanks to a bidding war, a western scene by John F. Clymer. Scroll below the Hopper and Gloucester images to see the Homer.

above photo: Catherine Ryan

above: page from Edward Hopper all around Gloucester by Catherine Ryan, 2010

above: Sotheby’s catalogue entry page

In 2017, Christies sold a Rockefeller Hopper painting, Cape Ann Granite, also in December, which I wrote about here: Bring it Home.

**December 11, 2020 Winslow Homer Lot 16 sold at Sotheby’s after passing first in the live sale and then “Reoffered” before the close of sale. For both the first and second offer window, the bid opened at 1.8 million. In the first round the bidding went back and forth, but “passed” at 2.2 million, presumably failing to meet reserve or presale estimate (2.5 – 3.5 million). Before the final lot of the sale, the auctioneer annouced a “re-offer” for Lot 16 after the audio went silent for a brief time. The drawing was sold to a buyer placing a phone bid for 2 million hammer price (2,440,000 after fees), less than the “pass” of the first time through. This move is nearly an aftersale during the sale. Perhaps the first time around the buyer was late to the call or there was confusion determining the “up to” amount, factoring in the fees.

Property from a Prominent Private Collection

Winslow Homer

1836 – 1910

Two Girls on the Beach, Tynemouth

signed Winslow Homer and dated 1881 (lower left)

watercolor and pencil on paper

14 1/8 by 20 inches

Mary Palmstrom From Ohio Has Some Great History To Share About Shute and Merchant After Finding A GMG Post About Beth Welin’s Gloucester History Sharing Program from 2015

That’s what’s incredible about Good Morning Gloucester, we have a 12 year archive of over 60,000 posts with just an incredible amount of information all searchable for generations to come!

Read what Mary Palmstrom has to say about her great, great grandfather and his brother-in-law, James L. Shute and William T. Merchant, who started Shute & Merchant back in 1862.

fish

I’ve come across your site off and on for a few years as I did searches related to Gloucester, and some how managed to miss this 2015 item that was related to Shute & Merchant until today– maybe because it lists both names as plurals, but more likely because I just wasn’t doing a search at the right time.  As I live in Ohio, wouldn’t have been able to attend an event being held in Gloucester, but might have been able to share some material.

Gloucester History Sharing program Presented By Beth Welin

Do you remember Shutes & Merchants, Reed & Gamage or the Slade Gorton fish companies? They’re gone now but their legacy continues.
Sponsored by the Phyllis A Marine Association
Supported by the Awesome Gloucester Foundation
 
 
My great, great grandfather and his brother-in-law, James L. Shute and William T. Merchant, started Shute & Merchant back in 1862. Epes Merchant and several of his sons (Epes W., Addison and Samuel) had run  similar fishing businesses, including one operated by Samuel with his son William T., and eventually his son-in-law J. L. Shute. The two younger men opted to recreate the firm after Samuel’s death. Their fish packing firm survived some ups and downs over the years and remained in business until it merged with the Gorton-Pew Fisheries in 1907. Thanks to a find on eBay back about 1999 or 2000, I have been gathering artifacts from that firm and the Merchant Box Company, as well as other pieces of Gloucester history since then.

Won’t give you the full story, but you can learn more on a website I created a number of years ago. http://www.shuteandmerchant.com/  — The first version was created around 2007, then decided to update the look and add more material in 2016 and due to finding some additional images, just updated some sections. Developed a section with slide shows of Cape Ann stereoviews and some sections about other fishing businesses. One item you might find interesting is on this page … the second item down … a link to a 1913 Edison film of Gloucester harbor and the fishing industry. http://www.shuteandmerchant.com/history-2-glou-fishing.html — My real intention was a hope that others that knew something about Shute & Merchant or the Merchant Box Company might contact me with more information than I had. Hasn’t worked that way

Don’t know whether its of interest to you and others or not, but thought I’d at least share the link, and say thanks for your informative site … full of  great photos, by the way. I especially liked coming across the finalist images for the 400th Anniversary medals. As a retired art teacher who loves graphic design, was fun to see those three designs. (I’d have to vote for Beth Swan’s.) Hope the winner will be posted at some point. — After finding your site back in 2016, I added it to the links section on my site. Not sure it gets you many hits, but hope others keep finding Good Morning Gloucester.

 
with regards,

Mary Palmstrom

1979 time capsule – E. Raymond Abbott, former Cape Pond Ice owner and Gloucester philanthropist, on the history of Day’s pond, its waterlilies and a Rockport watershed

Next time you’re heading in the direction of Wolf Hill, Good Harbor Beach or Rockport thank E. Raymond Abbott when you pass Day’s Pond, a historic man made pond in Gloucester about 1 acre in size. In 1978 Abbott wrote about his family’s association with the pond:

stone wall repaired 2018 Day's Pond Gloucester MA_20190425_©c ryan (2)
2018 new engineered wall, railing (sidewalk pending) – read more about Gloucester DPW work here

“On reading a recent article in the Gloucester Daily Times (July 1979) which made reference to the ‘so-called’ upper Day’s Pond off Eastern Avenue it occurred to me that the people of Gloucester might be interested in a brief history of the pond.

Years ago there were two Day brothers who owned a large tract of land which extended from the beaches and marshes all the way up to the old Rockport Road. This land, including the upper Day’s Pond, was later sold to a lawyer named Webster who lived in and owned a hotel on Pleasant Street. Later on the Webster property which also included land around Cape Pond in Rockport, came up for sale at a public auction. My father, James Abbott, bought it in June of 1905 and went into business which was later known as the Cape Pond Ice Company. In 1922, my father retired and I took over the ice business. 

I will always remember a young girl, Harriet Wonson, who lived just above the upper Day’s Pond, coming to me asking if she could beautify the pond by planting water lilies in and around it. Of course, I gave my consent.

In 1943, I decided to sell the Cape Pond Ice Company. However, before doing so, I gave the upper Day’s Pond to the city of Gloucester so that the children always have a place to skate in the winter, in the summertime provide a pond for fishing, as well as a beautiful subject for our local artists to paint. It was during this same period that I was able to acquire most of the land around Cape Pond and later gave my interest to the town of Rockport to be used as a water shed. 

It is my sincere hope and desire that the upper Day’s Pond will continue to provide as much enjoyment for the children of the future as it has in the past.

E. Raymond Abbott, Gloucester Daily Times Letter to the Editor, July 16, 1979

Twenty years later, Gloucester dredged Day’s Pond “as part of a watershed management plan to stabilize the pond’s ecosystem.” Massachusetts Department of Environmental Mangement awarded $2500 for the project in 1998. Marilyn Myett wrote a persuasive My View column about the pond’s vital impact in the neighborhood.

Cape Pond Ice was the subject of Mr. Goulart scavenger history challenge for 9th grade GHS students see results & historic photos here

Historical Commission 2019 Gloucester Preservation Awards | Ceremony May 19th at Cape Ann Museum

Cape Ann museum exterior_20181219_ c ryan.jpg
Gloucester Historical Commission annual awards ceremony takes place at Cape Ann Museum

The 2019 Gloucester Preservation Awards
Press Release from the Gloucester Historical Commission

The Gloucester Historical Commission invites the public to attend the annual 2019 Preservation Awards ceremony on Sunday, May 19, 2 to 4 pm at the Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant St. in Gloucester. The event features a slide show of winning projects and comments by recipients.

May is National Historic Preservation Month, and each year the Historical Commission recognizes outstanding cultural heritage preservation, restoration, and education projects.

This year’s award recipients are:

Bryan Melanson
Restoration & Rehabilitation, for his cooperation and responsiveness as a developer to historic preservation on the Back Shore.

Ross Burton & Lanesville Community CenterRestoration & Rehabilitation, for their reconstruction of Virginia Lee Burton’s writing cottage.

Lillian Olmsted Stewardship, for her research and vigilance as a citizen seeking to preserve the historic character of her neighborhood.

Magnolia Historical SocietyAdaptive Reuse, for the rehabilitation of the Blynman School as their headquarters and a local history museum.

Bernadette Fendrock & Alan D’AndreaRestoration & Rehabilitation, for restoration of an architecturally significant house at 24 Beach Rd.

1623 Studios Education & Outreach, for their programming on the history and historic preservation of Gloucester and Cape Ann.

Manship Artists Residency + StudiosAdaptive Reuse, for their rehabilitation of the Paul Manship estate as working space for artists and sculptors.

James Ryan Preserving Gloucester History, for his annotated hand-drawn maps of Cape Ann’s granite quarries and neighborhoods.

Richard & Kathy Clark Stewardship, for their faithful volunteer efforts on the restoration of the Civil War-era Clark Cemetery.

Annisquam Yacht Club Restoration and Rehabilitation, for their extensive rehabilitation of a historically significant recreational facility.

Meetinghouse Foundation
Education and Outreach, for its cultural programs and collaborative preservation of a historic church building.

Appreciation Award for Individual Lifetime Achievement– To be announced.

Certificates are awarded based on the following criteria:
Preserved neighborhood history through research, writing, or art

  • Preserved a property that is historically significant in age, style, or use.
  • Restored using traditional materials or methods.
  • Preserved historical integrity or appearance.
  • Protected from present threat or future harm.
  • Completed project within the past two years.
  • Accomplished by individual, family, group, or company, or through community advocacy or fundraising

Award categories include the following.

  • Archaeology
  • Adaptive reuse
  • Stewardship
  • Education and outreach
  • Landscape preservation
  • Restoration and rehabilitation
  • Local preservationist
  • Individual lifetime achievement
  • Documentation of Gloucester’s history

RESULTS Week 6 1851 | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt concludes #GloucesterMA #TBT

GHS_20190318_ c ryan.jpg

Gloucester, Mass.  A great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt/trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks.

ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY SCAVENGER HUNT TRIVIA WEEK SIX. THIS CHALLENGE IS THE FINAL WEEK IN THE SERIES. GO BACK HERE IF YOU WANT TO SEE WEEK 6 QUESTIONS ONLY.

The challenge Week 6 was to locate the historic map on Cape Ann Museum’s Fitz Henry Lane on Line and study it closely to comb through location prompts. This is a great family activity for all ages. It’s a bit eye spy or Where’s Waldo mixed with atlas map fun. The students were tasked with photographing the same sites as they appear today and creating a labeled presentation.

Visit CAPE ANN MUSEUM FITZ HENRY LANE ON LINE resource and scroll down to the correct map here

Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Village)
Henry Francis Walling (F. Walling)
1851
44 x 34 in.
Henry Francis Walling, Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Essex Co. Massachusetts. Philadelphia, A. Kollner, 1851
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
“Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts. H.F. Walling, Civil Engineer. John Hanson, Publisher. 1851. Population of Gloucester in 1850 7,805. Population of Rockport in 1850 3,213.”
Map detail = segment of Harbor Village portion of map showing Lane-Winter property on Duncan’s Point.

  Question – find on 1851 historic map ANSWER- NOW (2019)
1 Duncan’s Point Maritime Gloucester / Railways (former FG Low’s & Eli F. Stacy’s whf)
2 Five Pound Island State Fish Pier
3 Front Street (present sign must be in picture) Main and Short
4 Middle Street (present sign must be in picture) Middle Street
5 High Street School Street and Proctor
6 Fort Defiance The Fort
7 Vincent’s Cove West End Main Street and Rogers section all fill / Gorton’s, Americold, etc
8 Town House Legion
9 Gloucester House Brick building corner of Washington and Main (Puritan House)
10 Two cemeteries 1)cemetery next to Amvets on Prospect 2)St. Ann’s
11 Hospital up  Granite Street veers right to Blyman
12 Town Landing Same (St. Peter’s)
13 Two bowling alleys 1)on Stacy Boulevard (see Cordage manufactury below)

2) on the Fort

14 3 schools study the map!
1)by Univ Church and Eng H& School on Church off Middle on old map
2)looks like where Central Grammar is
3)Prospect and School where apartments are now
4)corner Washington and Gould Ct.
15 Train station Roughly train platform now
16 Engine house Beyond train platform- roughly where Stop & Shop is on RR Ave
17 Canal Street Stacy Boulevard (Tavern side)
18 Cordage Manufacturing Ditto
19 Beach Street Commercial Street (behind Beauport Hotel back to water)

 

Fort Defiance the fort

Prior Posts Continue reading “RESULTS Week 6 1851 | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt concludes #GloucesterMA #TBT”

Week 6 Questions uses Cape Ann Museum open content | Try #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history trivia for 9th graders at #GloucesterMA High School – good luck!

GHS _20190318_© catherine ryan

For six weeks I’ve been posting local history trivia questions from Shaun Goulart’s creative weekly scavenger project for his 9th grade history class at Gloucester High School one week behind the students’ pace.

This is the final week! The questions are posted today and answers posted Thursday.  Good luck!

Mr. Goulart’s Local History Scavenger Hunt Week 6 (4/14)

Using Cape Ann Museum Fitz Henry Lane resource: Go to: http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/?section=Maps

Search for Map Title: 1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Village)

Directions for students

  • All must be submitted in one Google Slideshow.
  • Each slide should include: a picture at each location with a member in it and the name from the list below.
  • Each correct image with the written location on the slide is worth 1/2 point

– Duncan’s Point

– Five Pound Island

– Front Street- (present day street sign must be in the picture)

– Middle Street- (present day street sign must be in the picture)

– High Street- (present day street sign must be in the picture)

– Fort Defiance

– Vincent’s Cove

– Town House

– Gloucester House

– 2 Cemeteries (.5 point each)

– Hospital

– Town Landing

– 2 Bowling Alleys (.5 pt each)

– 3 Schools (.5 pt each)

– Train Station (look closely)

– Engine House

– Canal Street

– Cordage Manufacturing

– Beach Street

RESULTS Week 5 Police | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt #GloucesterMA #TBT

Gloucester, Mass.  A great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt/trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks. We’re taking the challenge paced one week after the students.

ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY SCAVENGER HUNT TRIVIA WEEK FIVE

1)What year was there an ordinance to establish a Police department in Gloucester? ANSWER: 1873 (according to the Gloucester Time Line archives book and the great Gloucester police website here : “In 1799, Isaac Elwell was appointed Inspector of Police. This was a term first used in Boston 14 years earlier to describe the men appointed to keep track of the night watchmen who patrolled the city after dark watching for fires. Constables assisted Elwell and other men who followed him as Inspector of Police until about 1847 when a petition was received by the Selectmen asking for some additional policemen to assist the Inspector of Police. Around 1850 the first night police were used. Only a few of the policemen were paid as the rest either served without compensation or were only paid for working during special occasions. In 1873, a city ordinance establishing a police department was put into effect with nine officers under the leadership of City Marshal William Cronin.”)

Gloucester Massachusetts archives timeline book_20190411_city hall_© Ray ed Sarah Dunlop © photo catherine ryan
Gloucester Massachusetts Historical Time-line 1000-1999 Mary Ray, ed. Sarah Dunlap Gloucester City Archives published in 2002. You can purchase this book from the Archives.

2)The original building used as a jail prior to 1889 was located on Rogers Block, take a picture of this area present day with a member in it. ANSWER: Main Street (harbor side) from Duncan to Porter

1891 walker map.jpg
Rogers block = Main Street (from Porter to Duncan) detail from 1891 Walker map

 

3)Where was the first Gloucester police station built in 1889, take a picture with a member in it at the location. ANSWER: corner of Duncan and Roger

 

 

4)Veterans of what war had a hall for them located on the third floor of the building? ANSWER: Spanish American in the police station that was built in 1899. City Hall Read about bronze veteran tribute plaques (including Spanish American) at City Hall here

old police station.png
from Mr. Goulart Old Police station built in 1899 at the corner of Duncan and Roger (2019 = police parking lot)

1971/1973 newspaper clipping from Sawyer Free

June 1971August 20 1974 wrecking ball to police station

5)What year was the present day police station erected? Take a picture of it with a member in it. ANSWER: 1973

IMG_20190401_151154.jpg

6)Go to the exterior of the police station and take a picture with an object that would be personal to Mr. Goulart (keyword: Goulart) ANSWER: Officer Jerome G. Goulart memorial bench

Officer Jerome G. Goulart memorial bench_Gloucester Ma_police station_20190401_© c ryan.jpg

 

7)Take a picture with a Gloucester Police officer in uniform. Answ. How cool are these officer baseball cards!

 

“Kops-n-Kids” is a Gloucester Police Department (Official) initiative where officers visit Gloucester Schools to interact with students during recess & gym class

8)Ask the cop: What is the code word for “lunch break” over the radio. Submit the answer. ANSWER: 1093

9)For a brief time the “Old Stone Jug” served as a jail, take a picture in front of it with a member in it. What is this building known as? ANSWER: Fitz Henry Lane former house and studio 

old stone jug_20190401_145605.jpg

10) Where does the term cop come from? ANSWER: not definitive though according to snopes meaning “nab” closest: “Instead, the police-specific use of “cop” made its way into the English language in far more languid fashion. “Cop” has long existed as a verb meaning “to take or seize,” but it didn’t begin to make the linguistic shifts necessary to turn it into a casual term for “police officer” until the mid-19th century. The first example of ‘cop’ taking the meaning “to arrest” appeared in print around 1844, and the word then swiftly moved from being solely a verb for “take into police custody” to also encompassing a noun referring to the one doing the detaining. By 1846, policemen were being described as “coppers,” the ‘-er’ ending having been appended to the “arrest” form of the verb, and by 1859 “coppers” were also being called “cops,” the latter word a shortening of the former.”- snopes

 

Prior Posts Continue reading “RESULTS Week 5 Police | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt #GloucesterMA #TBT”

Week 5 POLICE | Try #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history trivia for 9th graders at #GloucesterMA High School – good luck!

 

GHS _20190318_© catherine ryan

Over six weeks I’m posting local history trivia questions from Shaun Goulart’s creative weekly scavenger project for his 9th grade history class at Gloucester High School– except we’ll be one week behind the students’ pace. He explains that the “questions are multi-layered and usually have an image required in the submission. All questions will deal with Gloucester’s local history. I recommended to the students to utilize friends and family so your student may be reaching out to you for help. It is a competition and the prizes will be calculated into the Term 4 grade” for the students.

Mr. Goulart’s Local History Trivia Scavenger Hunt Week 5 – Police week

Local History Scavenger Hunt Week 5 (3/31)

  1. What year was there an ordinance to establish a Police department in Gloucester?
  2. The original building used as a jail prior to 1889 was located on Rogers Block, take a picture of this area present day with a member in it.
  3. Where was the first Gloucester police station built in 1889, take a picture with a member in it at the location.
  4. Veterans of what war had a hall for them located on the third floor of the building?
  5. What year was the present day police station erected? Take a picture of it with a member in it.
  6. Go to the exterior of the police station and take a picture with an object that would be personal to Mr. Goulart (keyword: Goulart)
  7. Take a picture with a Gloucester Police officer in uniform.
  8. Ask the cop: What is the code word for “lunch break” over the radio. Submit the answer.
  9. For a brief time the “Old Stone Jug” served as a jail, take a picture in front of it with a member in it. What is this building known as?
  10. Where does the term cop come from?

 

Prior Posts

4/7/19 Week Five Questions – Gloucester Police

4/4/19 Week Four Results

3/31/19 Week Four Questions- Gloucester Inventors

3/26 /19 Week Three Results

3/24/19 Week Three Questions- Gloucester Firsts

3/21/19 Week Two results

3/17/19 Week Two questions- Defending Gloucester

3/14/19 Week One results

3/10/19 Week One trivia questions

 

RESULTS Week 4 INVENTORS | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt #GloucesterMA #TBT

Gloucester, Mass.  Great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks. We’re taking the challenge paced one week after the students.

ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY TRIVIA WEEK FOUR

How did you do? Week two delved into Gloucester’s famous inventors. Stop here if you prefer to go back to see Week 4 questions only

Mr. Goulart’s Local History Trivia Scavenger Hunt Week 4 Inventors

1.John Hays Hammond Jr. “Jack”

  • Go to the location of his home and take a picture with a member in it.

  • What did he invent?

Answer: “Over the course of his professional career, he was awarded over 800 foreign and domestic patents resulting from over 400 of his inventions.  Many of these began in radio control before extending to electronics, naval weapons, national defense, as well as various consumer products.” – Hammond Castle

“In connection with his radio researches Jack obtained most important patents for receiving and broadcasting and these he sold to RCA…” John Hays Hammond, Sr

hammond 3109

 

Hammond first radio boat off Gloucester_The boat is run from the shore as no one is aboard_photograph Boston Public Lib

Hammond Castle – I hope that one day the Trustees and Historic New England add this as a shared property among their preservation jewels, along with the Natalie Hammond property and much of the parents’ estate, Lookout Hill, with some portion of admission for the City. At one point Hammond Castle was one of the top attractions in Massachusetts.

 

 

2.Clarence Birdseye

  • Go to the location where his company was and take a picture with a member in it.

  • What did he invent?

Answer: flash freezing

Beauport Hotel Gloucester Ma_former site Birdseye_25 March 2019_photo copyright Catherine Ryan
photo: Beauport Hotel, March 2019 ©catherine ryan 

3.Augustus H. Wonson

  • Go to the location of his grave and take a picture with a member in it.

Answer: Mt. Pleasant cemetery

  • What did he invent?

Answer: Augustus S Wonson invented antifouling copper paint to protect boats. Tarr & Wonson’s was established in 1863.  The former factory and harbor icon is now Ocean Alliance.

Mt Pleasant grave_20190325_© c ryan

Paint Factory Past/Present

574209pv

Paint Factory Ocean Alliance_20180928_ Goetemann artist Deborah Redwood Whale in process public art_Glouc MA©catherine ryan

Paint Factory Ocean Alliance_2018 09 28_ Goetemann artist Deborah Redwood public art – whale’s tail in process_Gloucester, MA © catherine ryan

4.William Nelson Le Page

  • Go to the location where his company was after it moved from Rockport and take a picture with a member in it.

  • What did he invent? 

Answer: Le Page’s glue from fish waste (established 1876)

  • Go to the location of Le Page’s company co-founder Ruben Brooks’ manor and take a picture with a member in it.

Answer: Castle Manor Inn

lepage now_20190325_Gloucester MA © c ryan

 

Castle Manor Inn_20190325_© catherine ryan

 

Prior Posts Continue reading “RESULTS Week 4 INVENTORS | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt #GloucesterMA #TBT”

Week 4 INVENTORS #GloucesterMA | Try Mr. Goulart’s local history trivia for 9th graders at Gloucester High School – good luck!

GHS_20190318_.jpg

Over six weeks I’m posting local history trivia questions from Shaun Goulart’s creative weekly scavenger project for his 9th grade history class at Gloucester High School– except we’ll be one week behind the students’ pace. He explains that the “questions are multi-layered and usually have an image required in the submission. All questions will deal with Gloucester’s local history. I recommended to the students to utilize friends and family so your student may be reaching out to you for help. It is a competition and the prizes will be calculated into the Term 4 grade” for the students.

Mr. Goulart’s Local History Trivia Scavenger Hunt Week 4 Inventors

 1. John Hays Hammond Jr.

  • Go to the location of his home and take a picture with a member in it.

  • What did he invent?

 

2. Clarence Birdseye

  • Go to the location where his company was and take a picture with a member in it.

  • What did he invent?

 

3. Augustus H. Wonson

  • Go to the location of his grave and take a picture with a member in it.

  • What did he invent?

 

4. William Nelson Le Page

  • Go to the location where his company was after it moved from Rockport and take a picture with a member in it.

  • What did he invent?

  • Go to the location of Le Page’s company co-founder Ruben Brooks’ manor and take a picture with a member in it.

 

 

Prior Posts

3/26 /19 Week Three Results

3/24/19 Week Three Questions- Gloucester Firsts

3/21/19 Week Two results

3/17/19 Week Two questions- Defending Gloucester

3/14/19 Week One results

3/10/19 Week One trivia questions

 

RESULTS WEEK 3 #Gloucester Ma FIRSTS| try Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt Throwback Thursday

Gloucester High School_20190318_photo © catherine ryan.jpg

Gloucester, Mass.- Great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks. We’re taking the challenge one week after the students. Good luck!

ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY TRIVIA WEEK THREE

How did you do? Week three was all about some famous Gloucester FIRSTS and there were many locations.   Stop here if you prefer to go back to see Week 3 questions only.

1)The location of Gloucester’s first “Four Year High School” 

Principal Albert Bacheler CENTRAL GRAMMAR

Central Grammar first four year high school Principal Albert Bacheler_20180505_photo copyright © catherine ryan.jpg

2)The location of Gloucester’s first Brick Building?

PURITAN HOUSE built in 1810 by Col. James Tappan* is a historic house at 3 Washington Street and 2 Main Street. Also known as: Tappan’s Hotel, Gloucester Hotel (“Tappan’s Folly”), Atlantic House, Mason House, Community House, Capt Bills (1960s-70s), Puritan House & Pub (1977), Blackburn Tavern (1978-00s) *Tappan was taught by Daniel Webster

Excerpt from prior GMG post (read it here) about scenic tours by bike 1885: “And now let’s take our wheel for a short run along our harbor road to East Gloucester, and note the many points of interest on the way. The start is made at the Gloucester Hotel–the headquarters of all visiting wheelmen in the city–at the corner of Main and Washington streets; from thence the journey takes us over the rather uneven surface of Main street, going directly toward the east. In a few minutes we pass the Post Office on the left, and soon leave the noisy business portion of the street behind us, then, e’re we are aware of it, we reach and quickly climb the slight eminence known as Union Hill…” This brick building at Main and Washington now features Tonno Restaurant. Notice the chimneys and same stairs as when it was the Gloucester Hotel. The Blackburn Tavern sign was just marketing; this building has no connection. Blackburn’s Tavern is now Halibut Point restaurant at the other end of Main Street.

 

3)The first schoolmaster and town clerk’s house. (private property do not trespass)

RIGG’S HOUSE” 27 Vine Street (Annisquam) Thomas Riggs House purchased in 1661

oldest house on Cape Ann, Gloucester, MA

Oldest House on Cape Ann.jpg

Fredrik D. Bodin.jpg

 

4)A list of the first recorded Gloucester fishermen lost at sea. (Hint: 1716)

Look under the year on cenotaph surrounding Man At Wheel

annual fishermans memorial service_Mayor Romeo Theken_20160827_fisherman at wheel cenotaph gloucester© catherine ryan.jpg
Mayor Romeo Theken, annual Fisherman’s Memorial Service, 2016

5)The location of the first carillon built in America.

Our Lady of Good Voyage – read more http://gloucester.harborwalk.org/story-posts/sp-20/

Subshop with a view- through Destinos window

view from destinos subss 2017

6)The location of Gloucester’s oldest surviving burial ground for the First Parish.

1644! – 103 Centennial Drive – top of Centennial Drive near the train bridge

 

7)The location of Gloucester’s first town hall.

Continue reading “RESULTS WEEK 3 #Gloucester Ma FIRSTS| try Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt Throwback Thursday”

Week 3 FIRSTS #GloucesterMA | Try Mr. Goulart’s local history trivia for 9th graders at Gloucester High School – good luck!

GHS_20180423_©catherine ryan

Over six weeks I’m posting local history trivia questions from Shaun Goulart’s creative weekly scavenger project for his 9th grade history class at Gloucester High School– except we’ll be one week behind the students’ pace. He explains that the “questions are multi-layered and usually have an image required in the submission. All questions will deal with Gloucester’s local history. I recommended to the students to utilize friends and family so your student may be reaching out to you for help. It is a competition and the prizes will be calculated into the Term 4 grade” for the students.

Mr. Goulart’s LOCAL HISTORY TRIVIA WEEK THREE 

WEEK 3 of 6: FIRSTS

Below is a list of 15 locations. Each one requires an image with a group member in it.

  1. The location of Gloucester’s first“Four Year High School”
  2. The location of Gloucester’s first Brick Building?
  3. The first schoolmaster and town clerk’s house. (private property do not trespass).
  4. A list of the first recorded Gloucester fishermen lost at sea. (Hint: 1716)
  5. The location of the first carillon built in America.
  6. The location of Gloucester’s oldest surviving burial ground for the First Parish.
  7. The location of Gloucester’s first town hall.
  8. The location named after the first settled minister on Cape Ann.
  9. An example of a First Period house. (include the year of the house)
  10. Mural depicting the “Founding of Gloucester”. (the first pioneers) Hint: Build not for today alone, build for tomorrow as well.
  11. The house that was the first location of a library in Gloucester.
  12. The location of the first city owned bridge. It was a drawbridge moved by a hand-cranked winch.
  13. The first statue formerly atop the Our Lady of Good Voyage Church.
  14. The plaque for the first meeting house green. (a.k.a Meeting House Plain)
  15. The first location for the YMCA in Gloucester Mass.

 

Prior Posts

3/21/19 Week Two results

3/17/19 Week Two trivia questions

3/14/19 Week One results

3/10/19 Week One trivia questions

RESULTS WEEK 2 Defending #GloucesterMA | try Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt Throwback Thursday #TBT

Gloucester High School_20190318_photo © catherine ryan.jpg
Gloucester, Mass.- Great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks. We’re taking the challenge one week after the students. Good luck!

ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY TRIVIA WEEK TWO

How did you do? Week two delved into scenes of historic battles. I’ve added some background. Stop here if you prefer to go back to see Week 2 questions only from 3/17/19 

WEEK 2: DEFENDING GLOUCESTER Location #1

  • Who was the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony? ANSWER –  ROGER CONANT
    • Go to the location of the fort named after him and take a picture with a member in it. *Stage Fort Park “Fisherman’s Field”

*“In 1623, 14 English fishermen set up the first European colony on Cape Ann here in what was then Fisherman’s Field and is now Stage Fort Park. These ramparts overlook the harbor, first built during the Revolutionary War, renewed for the War of 1812, the Civil War and the Spanish American War. Alas, those first settlers, sent across the ocean by the Dorchester Company, were unable to live off the sea and these rock-bound fields. They moved a few miles south to what is now Salem in 1626. Then, within a decade, there were enough permanent settlers on Cape Ann to incorporate the town of Gloucester. The first meetinghouse was built on the Town Green in 1642 near what is now the Grant Circle rotary of Route 128. The City set this land aside as a public park in 1898 and its Tablet Rock was dedicated by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1907.  James R. Pringle was designated to write the inscription for the bronze plaque. The execution of the design was by Eric Pape. “The nautical scheme of decorative framework and embellishment was the composite suggestion” of various committees dating as far back as the 1880s.” *see Gloucester HarborWalk Stage Fort Park marker #42  photo on marker ©Sharon Lowe. See also Stage Fort Park then/now photos in prior GMG post

Bronze tribute plaques embedded in Tablet Rock at Stage Fort Park detail the site’s history and were commissioned and unveiled at different times. The monumental and stunning Founders plaque from 1907 on Tablet Rock itself is in fantastic condition. Two DAR plaques were inlaid on the glacial outcroppings past half moon beach on the way to the cannons. The Fisherman’s Field (ca.1930) is so worn it’s nearly indecipherable, though that’s part of its charm. The plaque compels close inspection, lingering and discovery. It’s a fun family activity for anyone who likes a challenge. For those who want help reading the content, I transcribed it back in 2010. Scroll down below the “read more” break in this post to open.

 

  • During which war did it receive this name? ANSWER – FORT CONANT during the Civil War 

detail-battery-k
When you zoom in on this 1901 photograph, you can see the big ‘Battery K’-  for the Spanish American War (Camp Hobson) Fort conant during Civil War

 

Location #2

location 2 courtesy photos

 

  • Take a picture at Fort Point with the former location of the Coast Guard Aviation Station behind you (must be visible in the picture) ANSWER – TEN POUND ISLAND
  • What was the fort called on Fort Point? ANSWER – FORT DEFIANCE Fort Point Hill, Fort Lillie (Lily)
  • Name a war it was utilized in. ANSWER – Efforts to fortify as early as 1703 (see Pringle) ATTACK OF CAPTAIN LINDSAY (OR LINZEE) 1775 –population about 5000 –REVOLUTIONARY WAR, WAR OF 1812, CIVIL WAR

“In 1743, what is known as the old fort on Commercial Street, now encroached upon and surrounded by buildings, was completed. On this point, well selected strategically, is a hill which effectually commands the inner harbor. In 1742 and 1742, the General Court appropriated 527 pounds to defray the cost of fortification. Breastworks were thrown up and eight 12-pounders placed in position in the fort. The immediate cause of its erection was the fear of French incursions, but these fears were never realized. An effort had been made as early as 1703 to fortify the place, but the petition of the selectmen to the General Court for an appropriation for the purpose was refused. The petition shows that he harbor, even at that early date was extensively frequent for shelter, and was “very seldom free from vessels.”

“In order to be better prepared for future assaults breastworks were thrown up at Stage Fort, the Cut, Duncan’s Point and Fort Point. This, however was the last attack by sea or land that the people experienced.”

Location #3

  • From Fort Point go to the location of the seven-gun earthwork battery and barracks in ramparts field. Take a picture with the old towers in the background (do not go on private property) ANSWER –  EASTERN POINT FORT by eminent domain, Ramparts Field Road Fort Hill 
  • Name a war it was utilized in  ANSWER –  CIVIL WAR

“Immediate action was taken toward the erection of fortifications. Land at Eastern Point, belonging to Thomas Niles was acquired by the government, and earthwork fort erected and manned…”

Screenshot

  • Screenshot Google Earth with all three above locations in it and circle them. Submit the image.

map.jpg

Continue reading “RESULTS WEEK 2 Defending #GloucesterMA | try Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt Throwback Thursday #TBT”

Week 2 Defending Gloucester | Try Mr. Goulart’s local history trivia for 9th graders at Gloucester High School – good luck!

GHS_20180423_©catherine ryan

Over six weeks I’m posting local history trivia questions from Shaun Goulart’s creative weekly scavenger project for his 9th grade history class at Gloucester High School– except we’ll be one week behind the students’ pace. He explains that the “questions are multi-layered and usually have an image required in the submission. All questions will deal with Gloucester’s local history. I recommended to the students to utilize friends and family so your student may be reaching out to you for help. It is a competition and the prizes will be calculated into the Term 4 grade” for the students.

Mr. Goulart’s LOCAL HISTORY TRIVIA WEEK TWO

WEEK 2 of 6: DEFENDING GLOUCESTER

Location #1

  • Who was the first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony?
    • Go to the location of the fort named after him and take a picture with a member in it.
    • During which war did it receive this name?

Location #2

  • Take a picture at Fort Point with the former location of the Coast Guard Aviation Station behind you (must be visible in the picture)
  • What was the fort called on Fort Point?
  • Name a war it was utilized in.

Location #3

  • From Fort Point go to the location of the seven-gun earthwork battery and barracks in ramparts field. Take a picture with the old towers in the background (do not go on private property)
  • Name a war it was utilized in?

Screenshot

  • Screenshot Google Earth with all three above locations in it and circle them. Submit the image.

Prior Posts

3/14/19 Week One results

3/10/19 Week One trivia questions