Open window

I noticed the open window because a bird hopped in. I didn’t stop to see what ensued but I was reminded about a GMG reader question: Who remembers Cher Ami and homing pigeons of Gloucester?

open window Puritan House_built by Tappan 1810_Gloucester Massachusetts_ Main & Washington Streets_photograph copyright © c ryan (5).jpg

There’s a 2nd  little pane missing on the Main Street side.


What’s in a name?

The 1810 brick building, Gloucester’s first, at the corner of 2 Main and 3 Washington Streets, now features Tonno Restaurant. The exterior has remained relatively unchanged since it was built in 1810 by Col. James Tappan. On the inside it’s been mixed use more often than not (various businesses, restaurants and lodgings). As a result it’s gone through a lot of rebranding: Puritan House, Tappan’s Hotel, Atlantic House, and Capt Bills are a few of the names associated with this historic structure. The Blackburn Tavern signs were added in 1978 for a restaurant.

Still Standing

The brick building at the other end of Main Street with Halibut Point Restaurant & Pub was Howard Blackburn’s actual tavern.

Howard Blackburn historic tavern_now Halibut Point Restaurant_20191231_Gloucester Mass. c ryan (1)

menu_Howard Blackburn historic tavern_now Halibut Point Restaurant_20191231_Gloucester Mass._ copyright c ryan

Fun fact: Col. Tappan taught young Daniel Webster.

Public art: Justin Desilva bookmark and seagull question

Hi Joey,

Artist Justin Desilva has completed several more crosswalks: Our Lady of Good Voyage, Lobsters, Howard Blackburn, and St. Peter’s Square.    He’s had several requests for a postcard or some take away about his temporary project. If you see him, ask for a bookmark. Some of the murals are at different stages in their installation process; you will see him going back and forth to different sites. As this project is temporary, Justin will remove his work at the conclusion of his exhibit.

There is a Google map with updated locations and photographs.

Gloucester Counts Down to Kindergarten streamed across the Sawyer crosswalk. Congratulations GPS, Sawyer Free, CAM, Art Haven and YMCA in partnership with the Boston Children’s Museum for planning what looked like a stellar, joyous event.

Question: Does anyone know how to persuade the seagulls to forego their perch atop the light above the crosswalk by City Hall and Sawyer?!

Info Card 03 PRINT

Howard Blackburn’s Bartender

Howard Blackburn’s Bartender, circa 1910 Anonymous/©Fredrik D. Bodin
Swedish immigrant Nils Lund settled in Gloucester to work as a fisherman. About 1910, he took time off from fishing to tend bar for the legendary Howard Blackburn. The Blackburn Tavern was located at 289 Main Street, where Halibut Point Restaurant is now. Chiseled into the front of the building in large letters: Blackburn 1900.

Albin and Nils Lund, Schooner Natalie Hammond, circa 1920 Anonymous/©Fredrik D. Bodin
In the days of sail, fishermen would sign on to schooners headed for destinations they wanted to travel to. Nils and his brother Albin fished their way to Sweden and back several times. The photo above shows the mustachioed Lund fishermen, Albin on the left and Nils on the rightThe two brothers found brides in Gloucester, with Albin’s wife Josephine owning a boarding house on Main Street, next door to today’s Crow’s Nest tavern.
Printed archivally in the darkroom from 6×7 cm copy negatives. Original prints supplied by Lillian Lund Files. Image #  AC960901-03#05 (bartender Nils) and # AC010129-01#07 (brothers at sea)

Fredrik D. Bodin

Bodin Historic Photo

82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930