“The first day’s ceremonies in connection with the dedication of the American Legion memorial building, in Old Town Hall Square and the dedication of the base on which will stand a replica of Anna Vaughn Hyatt’s statue of Joan of Arc, were of an impressive nature.
To dream the impossible dream.
A feature of the day was an address by Major Gen. Clarence R. Edwards in which he characterized peace by disarmament an impossible dream.
Speaking this evening from the balcony of the new Legion Building, Gen. Edwards said that the importance of the National defense in the World War was realized more deeply than ever, and that Cape Ann played a major part with other important strategic points. Alluding to pacifist propaganda, he characterized the realization of peace by disarmament as an impossible dream. Place two children 9 months old together and a toy between them, he said, and a struggle ensues. This basic principle is ingrained in every person and animal. Alluding to Americanism, immigration and melting pot problems, he said that the association of the youth of the immigrant with those of native stock will settle those questions.
“Why,” he said, “a foreign born youth who will face a nest of machine guns in the defense of this country is a good enough American for me.” He referred to the case of Sergt. Casagranda of Bay View, a suburb of this city. Twenty of his comrades petitioned for his advancement over them to rank of sergeant.
A regrettable incident of the day was an accident to Vice Commander Eugene Lord of the local Legion post. He drove an auto against a rope across a street that was barred off. The glass of the windshield was broken, cutting him across the face and destroying the sight of an eye.
Services in the Morning.
The Legion Post attended services at the Independent Christian Universalist Church this morning. A special program had been arranged by Prof. George B. Stevens, the organist of the church.
As the Legion filed down the elm shaded churchyard, the bugler played “The Marsellaise.” This theme was taken up on the organ as the Legion filed into the church.
The pastor, Rev. Dr. John Clarence Lee, preached. Dr. Lee reminded his auditors that the first pastor of the church. Rev. John Murray, was commissioned a chaplain by Gen. George Washington.
Capt. Lester S. Wass, for whom the Legion Post is named, was an attendant at the church. He pleaded for justice to disabled and needy war veterans.
Names on Tablets.
The exercises tonight at the dedication of the base of the monument were deeply impressive. Owing to causes beyond the Legion post’s control the statue could not be delivered in time for the dedication. The Cape Ann granite base, designed by Frederick G. Hall, a Boston artist, a summer resident of East Gloucester, had been placed in position with the bronze tablets bearing the names of the 57 youths who went from Gloucester to the World War never to return. The base was draped with the Stars and Stripes. At each corner of the base was a column. On each of these four columns, in black and white, were Romanesque braziers. These braziers were lighted, also four incense urns. The faces of the thousands who stood with bared heads were illuminated.
All sensed the solemnity of the moment.
Battery Fires Salute.
A battery fired 57 rounds for the boys* who did not return from war. At the same time all the church bells in the city tolled.
The speaking took place from a balcony in the Legion building. Mayor Wheeler made a short address, followed by Maj. Gen. Clarence R. Edwards of the 26th Division. He was followed by Col. A. Piatt Andrew, commander of the Legion post. Then the concourse sang “America”.
Prayer was offered by Rev. William J. Dwyer, PR. Of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Rev. Dr. A.A. Madsen of Trinity Congregational Church and Rabbi J. Steinberg of the Jewish Synagogue.
The tablets were unveiled by Miss Abby F. Rust, a squad firing a funeral volley and “Taps” being sounded.
The mothers and fathers and near relatives of the dead were then escorted forward, each placing a wreath of palm on the base of the monument. Mayor Wheeler and the city council then performed the same rite on behalf of the city.
The vested choir of St. Ann’s now sang the Gregorian chant, followed by the vested choir of St. John’s Episcopal Church singing ‘The Son of God Goes Forth to War”.
Representatives of the churches deposited their floral tributes. The great crowd of 10,000 persons, a great many of whom deposited floral tributes, filed reverently away. The enclosure was literally buried with flowers. In this ceremony delegations from the Mine Laying fleet, the G.A.R. Spanish War Veterans, Red Cross and all the civic and secret organizations of the city were represented.
Legion Hall Dedicated.
Preceding the dedication of the base was the dedication of the legion hall, the old Town Hall of Colonial design, restored and enlarged, with the unveiling of an oil painting of Capt. Lester S. Wass of this city, who lost his life in the Argonne while leading a company of marines. The painting is the contribution of Eben F. Comins, a Boston artist and summer resident of Eastern Point.
The address was by Maj. James T. Duane, State commander of the American Legion. Mr. Comins presented the picture to the post and the unveiling was by Miss Elizabeth Wass Foster, a niece of Captain Wass.
The prayer and benediction was by Rev. Bertram D. Bolvin, ex-chaplain of the 15th Infantry, State Guard, and minister of the First Parish Unitarian Church of this city.
In order that Gen. and Mrs. Edwards might be present, Capt. Lackey of the U.SS San Francisco, flagship of the Mine Fleet, detailed a destroyer to go to Plymouth to bring them over.”
“Disarmament Dream, Edwards Speaks to Thousands at Gloucester Memorials to the City’s War Dead. Dedicated official of Legion Post loses eye in accident during the event. Special Dispatch to the Globe.” Boston Globe, July 3, 1921
photo credit above: interior c. ryan 2017 (installation view of Eben Comins portrait of marine Capt. Lester S. Wass. The artist gifted the painting as part of the Legion Post dedication in 1921. Legion Post Honor books to the left.) Exterior: Smithsonian collection (b&wh); c. ryan 2016
photo credit below: c. ryan, 2016 / reprint by Fred Bodin of historic photo (Town Hall before architectural additions)
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photos: Poppies bloomed before lilacs in Gloucester, Ma. 2022 (Salt Island Road, Eastern Ave., elsewhere)
I wrote about the poet and his poem, In Flanders Field, in prior posts. Republishing excerpts with links:
“Veteran of the Boer War and WWI, a teacher, and doctor, Canadian John McCrae wrote In Flanders Fields in the spring of 1915 while still at the bloody battlefront in Ypres, Belgium, in an area known as Flanders. The Germans had already used deadly gas. Dr. McCrae had been tending to hundreds of wounded daily. He described the nightmare slaughter: “behind it all was the constant background of the sights of the dead, the wounded, the maimed.” By this time he had already devoted his life to art and healing. He couldn’t save his friends. How could anyone?
Twenty years prior, he sketched poppies during his medical residency in Maryland. He published poems and stories by the time he was 16. I’m not surprised he noticed the brilliant fragile petals and horror. He wrote for those who couldn’t speak and those who had to see.
Meningitis and pneumonia killed him January 1918 after several months battling asthma and bronchitis. His poem and the emblematic poppy continue to inspire and comfort…”
“In Flanders Fields was penned by Lieut. Col. John M. McCrae, Canadian physician and soldier, during the First World War, following the first German chemical attack, early spring 1916, Second Battle of Ypres. Bonescattered, torn and trampled fields germinated scarlet poppies and so many, many simple white crosses.
The fallen went from war to peace.
In Flanders Fields was first published in London Punch December 1915. By March 1916, American newspapers carried the poem ( including Norwich Bulletin, and KY Citizen, June, 1916)
McCrae died in France in 1918, and there rests in peace and vitality.
The common poppies sway by design, are tall and reaching; their architecture flings the seeds further and their flowers appear to open and close, intermittent as firecracker displays. (Individual flowers bloom for (mostly) a day, but the one plant will produce hundreds of flowers over the season.) The large translucent blooms indeed blow, glow and grow. Those adjectives in the first line opener of McCrae’s poem have swapped around in different versions. “Blow” it is.”
Winter walks and drives after snow storms February 15 and February 26, Gloucester, Mass.
Feb. 26 Powdered roofs and streets
on the morning after snowstorm left 8-10″
Feb. 26 – Boulevard and beaches
Feb. 26 Shades of Blue and powder
February 15, 2022 sunrise
February 15, 2022 Looking for Hibbard
Thinking about all the colors in snow with light and shadow, and artists impressions of white, prompted a brief mission to Cape Ann Museum followed by a Rockport confirmation pass. (I know the Motif has been rebuilt and situated, and the Hibbard hill is fancy. Still. The thrill of tracing is immediate here!)
Cape Ann and Monhegan Island Vistas, CAM temporary exhibition did not disappoint and marked a rare stop since pre-covid. In January 2021 I was masked and looking at another Hibbard on display at CAM.
artists specific to this post – Aldro Hibbard, Henry Martin Gasser, Don Stone
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Pat Dalpiaz and Joey LIVE streamed the ceremony at City Hall
Jim Dalpiaz played taps.
In Flanders Fields.
was penned by Lieut. Col. John M. McCrae, Canadian physician and soldier, during the First World War, following the first German chemical attack, early spring 1916, Second Battle of Ypres. Bonescattered torn and trampled fields germinated scarlet poppies and so many, many simple white crosses. The fallen went from war to peace.
In Flanders Fields was first published in London Punch December 1915. By March 1916, American newspapers carried the poem ( including Norwich Bulletin, and KY Citizen, June, 1916) McCrae died in France in 1918, and there rests in peace and vitality.
The common poppies sway by design, are tall and reaching; their architecture flings the seeds further and their flowers appear to open and close, intermittent as firecracker displays. (Individual flowers bloom for (mostly) a day, but the one plant will produce hundreds of flowers over the season.) The large translucent blooms indeed blow, glow and grow. Those adjectives in the first line opener of McCrae’s poem have swapped around in different versions. “Blow” it is.
The United States reached a devastating milestone of 512,000 deaths claimed by Covid-19 on February 28, 2021. A year ago when I wrote about the impact of the 1918 Flu Pandemic through a Gloucester lens, the potential lethality of Covid-19 was sobering and hard to fathom. In modern times, deaths caused by Covid-19 in the United State could never climb as high as the 1918 Pandemic, right? Wrong. In this year of living grievously, 500,000 deaths is a grim new record. We are so deeply sorry to all who endure the loss of someone close, to long haulers struggling to heal, and to caregivers who face so much.
As the death toll doubled, the local paper tried to keep pace with death notices and tributes. One week after an outbreak at the post office, the paper published an obituary for William L. Jeffery, the first local shop owner to die from influenza. His stationery store was located on Pleasant street, same as the Post Office. Another man known to many in town, George Goldthwaite, a salesman for the Gloucester Gaslight Company who acted in community theater, succumbed. “Only last July he took part in the play “Two Burglars and a Lady” at the Playhouse-on-the-Moors.”
Mr. and Mrs. Martin on Fort Square died from influenza within three days of each other. “The family came to this city a few years ago when the gill netter fishermen from Michigan took up their residence here.”
September 23, 1918
On September 23, 1918 Boston reported 23 new deaths from influenza; Gloucester, 11.
Cases in East Gloucester ramped up September 24th. A few vessels returned with sick crew. Sawyer Free Public library closed. Physicians and nurses from other towns arrived to help. Polling locations were open for the primary, but voter turnout was the smallest on record. Church attendance was small, “on account of the large number of persons afflicted and those who kept away.”
There were so many new cases in Gloucester, officials enlarged the temporary Red Cross emergency hospital at the police station (and would again), clearing out the District Court floor.
Still, more hospital beds were necessary. The State Armory on Prospect Street seemed the ideal site to ready, however the State refused the request.
Alderman (City Councilor) Poole headed to Boston with Osborne Knowles, Christian Saunders and John Radcliffe, representatives from Gloucester’s Board of Health and Public Safety, to negotiate with state and federal officials in person.
“That the authorities were fully cognizant of conditions in Gloucester was evident from the statement of Mr. Long, who said that Revere, Quincy and Gloucester were the most infected of any in the state. Mr. Long offered the committee every assistance and relief that could be given to handle the situation…In the opinion of state officials and leading physicians the out-door method of treating the disease is the most effective and successful. So interested were the officials in the local situation that the surgeon-general’s department yesterday afternoon notified Capt. Carleton H. Parsons, senior officer of the local state guard units; instructing him to present to the local authorities the offer of the state to send to Gloucester a military hospital unit to cope with the situation.”
Lieut. John A. Radcliffe, State Guard, resident, and veteran Gloucester Daily Times (GDT) reporter of nearly 20 years & volunteer on the Board of Health for 15 prior to the pandemic
The state discussions prompted additional protective measures, informed by the best doctors in the armed services. There were more cases in Massachusetts by then than all the other states combined. Influenza cases at Camp Devens had already climbed to 11,000.
All necessary presentations and votes were sorted by nightfall.
“The adjutant general’s department in Boston was immediately communicated with, and arrangements made to send tents, physicians, nurses’ field kitchen, military equipment and supplies to this city.”
John Radcliffe, Gloucester Daily Times
Meanwhile, another floor was added to the Red Cross Emergency Hospital, State Guard called out, and police instructed to enforce any Board of Health recommendations such as the anti-spitting rule and fruit stand closures. Various strict fumigation requirements were put into immediate effect and there would be no crowding on street cars. Police officers were dispatched to The Fort and to investigate sanitation conditions.
Without calling it a quarantine, mighty efforts to effectively shut Gloucester down ensued. Cancellation and support notices landed on the front page.
The City banned outdoor gatherings now, too. A women’s suffragist meeting and Liberty Loan rallies were among the first cancellations. Gloucester District Nursing Association sought volunteer drivers.
“Gloucester calls her people to rise promptly to the emergency!” urged the Gloucester Daily Times Op Ed.
In local war news at this time, Gloucester advocates were seeking reimbursement from the federal government for vessels sunk by submarine– while pressing for flu support.
Statewide the precise number of infected cases was a guess at best. It would be a week before reporting deaths was required by state law, ten days after Gloucester so ordered.
September 25, 1918
Massachusetts established an Emergency Public Health Committee on September 25, 1918. Their first order of business was to ban all public gatherings especially in light of the upcoming liberty loan rallies and parades. It was suggested that the Federal Government was likely to take charge in Massachusetts as a war measure.
The State Board of Health published treatment guidelines the next day because of the scarcity of physicians and nurses, and push back after bans and restrictions, which Henry Endicott defended mightily:
“…There are undoubtedly towns and cities in the Commonwealth from which the influenza has not been reported, but of course we must face the fact that the chances are very much in favor of the spread of the disease. I urge such communities to assume their part of the common responsibility, and to act as if they were already in the midst of the epidemic.
The doctors and nurses of Massachusetts who are devoting themselves to the care of the sick in this emergency are all heroes and heroines, and many of them have paid the penalty. Not one of them, as far as I am aware, has shirked in any way; they have overworked; they are without sleep—yet, still they go on. Massachusetts can never repay its debt to this noble band of men and women. We are using every effort, both through the government and outside the State to get additional help for these people… (Regarding) Cancellation of the Liberty loan meetings… It will never be said of Massachusetts that she was so immersed in her own private troubles that she for one moment failed to heed the Nation’s call to practical service. Massachusetts must and will do her part.”
Henry B. Endicott, Chairman Massachusetts Emergency Public Health Committee, established Sept. 25, 1918
Dr. Kelley, Massachusetts Commissioner of Health and a member of the state’s Emergency Public Health Committee, reached out to U.S. Surgeon General Blue. The Federal government lent army and navy doctors to take over doctor assignments. Kelley appointed a nursing Commission and assigned Miss Billings from his department as chairman. They hired 100 nurses to serve in case of emergency in the Massachusetts State Guard. Fifteen were deployed to Gloucester.
“These nurses were given the rank and pay of Lieutenant. It is believed that this is the first time such rank and pay have been given to women in the United States…”
The state assigned about 10 more registered nurses to Gloucester as well.
September 26, 1918
The federal government released a detailed “Influenza” circular September 26. By then forty percent of Gloucester’s telephone company were absent “on account of sickness either of themselves or relatives whose care is devolving upon them.” The Gloucester Manufacturing Company “closed their plant indefinitely,” and the Ipswich mills announced a shut down. There were 49 deaths in the city, up from 11 three days prior, among them Laura Silva, Alderman Silva’s sister, who died that morning from “pneumonia following an attack of the prevailing influenza.”
Acting Governor Coolidge appealed to the President, select neighboring states, and the Mayor of Toronto for physicians and nurses:
“Massachusetts urgently in need of additional doctors and nurses to check growing epidemic of influenza. Our doctors and nurses are being thoroughly mobilized and worked to the limit. Many cases can receive no attention whatever. Hospitals are full, but arrangements can be made for outside facilities. Earnestly solicit your influence in obtaining for us this needed assistance in any way you can.”
Governor urgent telegrams disseminated 9/26/1918
The notice was carried in the Gloucester Daily Times and national papers the following day. New York Herald led with the capture of 5000 Germans and Bay State Governor asking for help on the front page; the New York Times published a notice on page 6.
The local paper featured its editorial: If You Love Your Fellow Man Then Give Your Aid in this Crisis;
September 27, 1918
With no time to spare, the State Military Unit was installed on the grounds of Addison Gilbert Hospital Friday September 27, 1918, and completed before sundown Saturday.
“In a remarkably short space of time the tents were up and the unit well established, so that this afternoon it will be ready for patients. There are 100 tents for patients, each waterproof, provided with board floor, cot and other essentials for the proper care of the sick…The field hospital is a wonderful institution and shows in a large measure what the State Guard can be depended upon to bring about. Day and night the men have worked to put the hospital in shape and to look out for the sick ones. It is simply remarkable the way the many details have been arranged to establish such a wonderful institution well worthy of the name. Electric lights, water, sewerage and floors in the tents have all been put in, chiefly through the efforts of the fine types of men that compose the State Guard.”
John Radcliffe, GDT
Another 100 tents for the state guard, plus any necessary for administration and operations, were installed as well.
Over on Main Street, the Red Cross established a children’s hospital in the Girl’s Club over Gloucester National Bank.
Anticipating great need, the public safety committee announced an Emergency Fundraising drive for the Local Red Cross administered by Cape Ann Savings Bank.
The Mayor and all but one Alderman were struck by flu—all those meetings! — and still that Monday they brought forth more precautions, seizing any and all educational opportunities and community measures possible to halt the spread. Public funerals were banned and soda fountains closed, though the latter was rescinded in one day.
“Every house whether a case of disease has existed or not, should be thoroughly aired during the day…Clean up the back yards, dumps and filthy places. If your neighbor will not act, consult the Board of Health or its emergency agents and prompt action will be taken. Let everyone co-operate and assist our health officials in the excellent work they are doing.”
Mayor Stoddardt, September 30, 1918
The deadline for the Draft Registration questionnaire was postponed until a future time when influenza was vanquished. One bright note that bleak weekend: ten “angel” nurses arrived from Ontario, Canada, and five from the state thanks to the commonwealth’s plea and Gloucester’s hustle. Unlike other locations during the 1918 Flu Pandemic, folks rushed here to help rather than away.
photo caption: Santa visiting sign at white lights home on Reynard St. Dec 17-23. 5:30-7pm (no pix with Santa)
Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Map 2020 edition features 250+ decorated residential homes with Christmas light displays in Gloucester. Massachusetts. The map was viewed more than 30,000 times within 7 days of going live this year.
Gloucester is tough to match for winter lights charm and show stopping homes. From Beach Court to Stage Fort; West Gloucester to East; Magnolia to Annisquam; and Portuguese Hill to Plum Cove- Gloucester is illuminated. Many neighborhoods join in together glittering, and have for years. With each passing new day more join in.
Concentrated streets include:
Essex Avenue is beautiful and long– and it’s good driving from both directions. I split it up into Essex Ave stretch between Causeway Restaurant and Richdale and
Essex Avenue stretch (between Richdale and Rt.128 and then to Farnham’s)
Elizabeth Road neighborhood block
Reynard Street neighborhood block and Spruce Street expansive, elaborate displays
Hartz street charming sweet little block
Finch Lane delightful little block
Annisquam for an old timey route, mostly white & gold lights with multi colored trees at turns on the road.
Mad Merry Highlights Tour
as in deck the halls, doors, windows, roofs and yards with boughs of holly-holidays! These 20 or so Gloucester homes are LIT! Bedecked, top twinkling in 2020 (alphabetized by road):
6 Abbott Road
Centennial Road – Hope 2x
12 Concord St (next to West Parish-near Essex Ave.)
4 Elizabeth Road (entire block, multiple homes)
326 Essex Ave (all of Essex Ave is great/multiple homes)
2 *Goose Cove Lane (end of block) & Holly Street
Grove (and Maplewood)
6 Harbor Road at Bass Ave
Hesperus Ave (all trees- next to Hammond Castle)
29 High Popples
9 Lowe Drive
22 Magnolia Ave and 124 Magnolia Ave
Luzitania Ave (off Friend St.)
79 *Perkins Street
Reynard St. whole block (#22 white lights; #42 blue house)
8 Spruce Road
15R Stanwood Ave
6 Abbott Rd
Centennial – HOPE
Centennial & Emerson -look up to – HOPE
12 Concord (off Essex Ave.)
Elizabeth St block – Frosty projected on the belly
Elizabeth St block (neighbors merge their light displays)
326 Essex Avenue (from Kent Circle past Pauline’s, both sides)
This year’s trends include peace signs, illuminated words, melting multis, and a particular blue-green light (outlining windows in photo below).
Clear, mild nights make it easier to park, walk and linger. Snow and rain make for lovely routes, too.
photos below: Lanesville added, and homes missing from prior neighborhood batches
and pretty by day
Also **NEW** for 2020 — Gloucester with Manchester, Essex and Rockport (the Four Communities of Cape Ann) have collaborated to share beautiful Winter Lights on Cape Ann – 150+ businesses and organizations are merry and bright into January
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This is the sixth and final in a series featuring Christmas lights on 200+ decorated homes throughout neighborhoods in Gloucester Massachusetts for the 2020 season. Festive displays range from draped garland lights & wrapped trees to elaborate tableaus. Gloucester is beautiful! Streets that are covered in this post:
Magnolia area of Gloucester including Magnolia Ave., Hesperus Ave., Western Ave., Linden Ave., Lowe Drive
downtown Gloucester blocks including: Centennial Drive, Maplewood Ave., Prospect St., Riverside Ave. block, Washington St., Gloucester Avenue, Mystic Avenue, Madison Avenue (w/ Madison Sq. and Ct., and Springfield St.)
neighborhood additions: nearby Elizabeth Road; Abbott Road; East Gloucester- Mt. Pleasant area and East Main; and West Gloucester – Essex Ave.
CENTENNIAL DRIVE ADDITIONS
Abbott Road | East Gloucester additions
West Gloucester additions
Follow links to see scenes from other Gloucester neighborhoods (or follow through to the end of the post and look for/select page 1,2)
Update 5- Magnolia, downtown, additions to E. and W. Glouc. (this post)
Holiday Lights and Cocoa Drives Gloucester Massachusetts map 2020. Photos have been added to the Google maps: tour by car or keyboard!
FAQ – how to print
The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print” PDF as of 12/7/2020
Scenes of Annisquam: Annisquam Village Hall; Annisquam Bridge; white lights and wreaths and trees at junctions. Followed with en route detours off Washington Street via Cherry, Spruce, Gee, Finch Lane, Reynard, Holly Street | Goose Cove Lane (near Willow Rest), Dennison
Washington Street plus detours via Cherry, Spruce, Gee, Finch Lane, Reynard, Holly Street | Goose Cove Lane (near Willow Rest), Dennison
The map is smart phone ready with house pictures. If you want to print the map see two pictures below: (1) navigate to the map page URL and (2) click on the three dots menu bar on the upper right. Pull down and select “print” PDF as of 12/5/2020