On this day in 1911, Boston Globe Features John Hays Hammond Automobile class at GHS. In 1951 Arthur Smith sums it up for the Gloucester Daily Times #GloucesterMA

On this day in 1911, the Boston Globe reported on a novel auto mechanic course at Gloucester high that would expand the vocational offerings already established in the district. John Hays Hammond who served on the school committee had the idea and seeded the concept. Forty years later, Arthur Smith reflected on how the new program fared when he wrote about the history of Gloucester High School (published by the Gloucester Daily Times in 1951). Hammond’s tenure on the school committee overlapped with renowned teacher and administrator, Albert W. Bacheler, the Gloucester High School Principal. In 1911, the high school was located on Dale Ave. now Central Grammar. Excerpts follow.

Excerpts from the Boston Globe article

“John Hays Hammond, who is a member of the Gloucester school committee, offered to maintain, for a year at least, a class of high school boys in automobile instruction…

“Under the terms of the contract the boys were to be given 40 lessons a the rate of two lessons a week in the machine shop. But Mr. Perkins and Mr. Hodgkins, becoming enthusiastic over the idea, have lengthened this out to 50 lessons at shop work, and for further good measure Mr. Hodgkins has given, gratis, 40 evening lessons at the high school on the theory of construction and management of gas engines. Thus it is believed that the course has been thorough from the theoretical and practical standpoint. The first lesson at the garage consisted in leading the class to an automobile, directing them to dismantle it and reassemble it, care being taken to tell them to acquaint themselves with the function of every piece of metal which was handled. The test in this was to ascertain at the very first if the boys had the mechanical knack and observation so necessary in matters of this kind…

“The Gloucester high school met this in a measure by introducing some 15 years ago the commercial and high school course, which has equipped many for a livelihood as stenographers and bookkeepers, but this class instituted by Mr. Hammond, if it shall become permanent, will go a step further, and turn out young men who, in their special branch of business, are skilled mechanics and not above overalls and hands and arms soiled with oil…

“…the popularity of the new departure is attested by the fact that one-tenth of the whole number in the pubic schools is enrolled in the high school, which must be enlarged to accommodate those who desire to enter…”

Boston Globe April 30, 1911

“At the same time the reputation of the school as one of the best college preparatory institutions in New England has increased, as the large number of its graduates in the colleges and universities attest.”

Boston Globe April 30 1911

When the HS moved to its current location, the gym was dedicated and also known as the Albert W. Bacheler drill hall. Read more about the history of the school buildings here: Gloucester Public Schools Then and Now

Photo: C. Ryan. At the corner of Wells & Beacon, Gloucester’s “second” school house, 1793 on a sunny day in 2021. Building timeline: Funds appropriated in 1793 for a grammar schoolhouse which was constructed on Granite St. & dedicated in 1795; moved 60 years after to this site; later serving the district for administration purposes; gifted for use by veterans of the Spanish-American War; present day now a private home.

Flash forward to april 30, 1951

The district registered 4196 students in 1892 with just 300+ in the high school. Attendance was an issue. The enrollment number increased under Bacheler’s stewardship.

In 1951, Arthur Smith wrote about the history of the high school at the 100 year mark. The multi part series was published weekly on the front page of the Gloucester Daily Times. Bacheler is featured in several. Smith covered the enrollment and described what had happened with Hammond’s vocational goals for the district:

**from the SFL digitization microfilm reels**


“…30 years in the school saw many changes. He came to a school of 226 students, most of them girls, and five teachers including himself; when he left in 1914, there were 603 students and 19 teachers. When he came, few students from Gloucester had gone on to college; he seems to have waged a campaign for higher education, and probably sent half a dozen to higher institutions for every one who had gone before….

“…Industrial vocational training did not fare so well in the same period. There was agitation for it, and the committee agreed in 1907 that industrial training was becoming part of the high school course in other cities, where there was a direct demand for employees with certain training, but it did not feel that Gloucester was so well situated in regard to trades. The following year, it was suggested that there might be some sewing and cooking for girls, and carpentry and printing for boys, but no action was taken. By 1913, the committee definitely felt there was a need for a high school of practical arts in the city, either a part of the existing school, or better yet, as a separate school, but nothing was done.

“A private benefactor, John Hays Hammond, primed the pump for the city, but to no permanent avail. In 1911 and 1912, through his generosity, cooking classes were made available to senior girls in the afternoon, but it was not seen fit to make the course available to all girls as part of their regular school course. Although 46 of 49 senior girls gave up their free time to enroll, the class was dropped. Similarly, in 1910 and 1911, the same man made possible instruction on the automobile for senior boys. A six months course was provided, part of it held at Perkins and Corliss garage, and part in the high school classrooms and a dozen seniors gave up their afternoons for instruction in this new field. But the course was ahead of its time in Gloucester, and it was not continued at public expense. This was very possibly the earliest course in automobile instruction in this state.”

Arthur N. Smith, Part 7, Gloucester Daily Times, May 29, 1951
Smith, a GHS teacher, wrote this special chronicle about the history of the High School to commemorate its 100th anniversary. Bacheler is featured in 4 installments which you can read on line through the SFL digitized GDT newspaper microfilm rolls. Part 1 was published on 4/30/1951. All of them were published on the front page above the fold.

The 7th installment also mentions that the first Sawyer medals were awarded in 1912:

“In June of 1912, the first Sawyer medals were awarded to the boy and girl in each class who was outstanding in scholarship and effort. These medals were paid for from the interest of a fund established by the will of Samuel E. Sawyer, to whose generosity Gloucester is indebted for many things, including the public library building.”

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.


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


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”

You can bid on 1909 Taft presidential memorabilia created for Gloucester: Canterbury Pilgrims Pageant and historic house fundraiser at Stage Fort Park welcomed thousands!

August 4, 1909, Gloucester Day brought an audience of 20,000 to Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The 1909 pageant of “The Canterbury Pilgrims” by Percy Wallace Mackaye was touted as the “greatest open air performance ever attempted in the country”.

Stage Fort Park was the magnet which attracted thousands of people at the close of the grand afternoon parade yesterday, the procession in that direction, commencing early and continuing all through the evening, until between the hours of 7 and 8 o’clock, there was a continuous mass of moving color along both sides of the boulevard, with the middle of the street almost covered with the swifter moving carriages and automobiles. This scene was most inspiring, giving one something upon which to build an imagination for the greater display to come, when the play and pageant were presented for their consideration. The vast amphitheatre, with its great stage, were soon filled, the latter by nearly 20,000 spectators, in the boxes, on the seats and in automobiles, while the wings of the latter were filled with (thousands of) players.”

William H Taft (1857 – 1930), the 27th President of the United States from 1909-13, planned to be in attendance, thanks to host, John Hays Hammond, Sr.,  his boyhood friend and college classmate at Yale. The Mayor of Gloucester at the time of the 1909 pageant was Hon. Henry H. Parsons. Artist Eric Pape (b.Oct 17, 1870 San Francisco – d.Novembre 7, 1938), Master of the Pageant, directed the Canterbury performance. He was the lead design for Gloucester’s enormous bronze plaque and granite bas-relief commemorating the Founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony set in tablet rock at Stage Fort Park and dedicated in 1907.

1909 Gloucester MA Canterbury Pilgrim Pageant Medal with PRESIDENT WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT photo

Few days left to bid! Link to more photos of the collectible and sale found here: sale on capeanntiques, ebay seller

July 30, 1909 Gloucester Day Badge – Unique Design to Commemorate Event

“The Gloucester Day badges  have arrived and are certainly worthy of the occasion. The special gold badge to be presented to the president is fo the same design as the others. It consists of a bar, backed by anchor stock, with the cables running along each side, and in the center a miniature of President Taft, flanked by the dates 1623-1909. Suspended from this bar by two chains is the embossed shield, the central figure of which is a Georges handline fisherman, riding at anchor under bare poles. On either side, clinging griffin-like to the inner circle dividing th ose parts is the inscription, “Gloucester, mass. Settled 1623. Incorporated, 1642” and beneath this is a representation of the Roger Conant house, with the word “built” on one side and the date “1623” on the other, and the inscription, “Roger Conant House,”  beneath.”

“May be worn as badges or watch fobs…Design selected after keen competition.” They were pre sold for 50 cents.

coverage about 1909 pageant Stage Fort Park Gloucester Ma

John Hays Hammond Sr with Taft family from his autobiography.jpg
John Hays Hammond Sr. 2nd row with Taft family and driver

August 4 Gloucester Day Edition detail
Pageant benefit to possibly rebuild Roger Conant House at Stage Fort Park

Continue reading “You can bid on 1909 Taft presidential memorabilia created for Gloucester: Canterbury Pilgrims Pageant and historic house fundraiser at Stage Fort Park welcomed thousands!”

In the news: Congratulations Kurt Lichtenwald for leading Gloucester High School robotics and engineering program and students to another recognition–this one national! And those smart Monnells…

Well deserved. See wonderful story by Ray Lamont in today’s Gloucester Daily Times: GHS Engineering program wins national award, Photo by Mike Springer shows Kurt with students Austin Monnell and Conor Williamson.





It’s close to Kurt’s 20th anniversary at Gloucester High School. Here’s a throwback photo I took in February 2012 at East Gloucester Elementary. Kurt brought the high school students in to the elementary school to lead science and robotic stations for all the kids. He told me then about his approach:

“For too long; students who could memorize facts were considered highly intelligent. In my classes students must learn to apply the knowledge and prove that they learned the topics. This is a different kind of intelligence (kinesthetic – hands on intelligence)  that for so long has gone unappreciated and unrecognized.  Mixing the two types of intelligences (multi level) in a class just makes common sense and great products (student work).”-Kurt Lichtenwald



Art of fatherhood: Gloucester artists and writers

A small selection of images and words about and by fathers, with Gloucester ties. What would you add? Happy Father’s Day!

Edward Hopper portrait of artist's father
Edward Hopper, portrait of artist’s father, Whitney Museum



They took my father’s father from the mines

and laid him, broken, on the kitchen table,

the wake singers lifting their lines

above the water heater he had often mended.


My father always dreamed of him alive,

able to whittle an oak peg for every split thing.

all my father lost at the age of nine

enclosed his life, his air.


In my flood dream, I carry my father

piggyback–easier than a kid’s coffin–

to safety from the Susquehanna River

as light as a dollhouse, now, or violin.

Joseph Featherstone, from his book of poems, Brace’s Cove


Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman's son
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, Massachusetts. Anthony Parisi, an Italian fisherman’s son.” Library of Congress, FSA collection



To be seven when a brother dies–

to have shared a room.

Her silence frightened us.


One night she rose from the table

and climbed to the top of the stairs.

We heard the small voice


singing each of the songs

from the funeral service.

The next morning in school


she announced to her class,

“I am ready for questions now.”

by Joseph Featherstone, from Brace’s Cove


Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father's home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration--including the chosing of an Imperator, and
Gordon Parks, “Gloucester, MA. Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home…” Library of Congress

full title for the Gordon Parks photograph above: “Frank Domingos kissing a vessel representing remains of a saint, during ceremonies at his father’s home, part of the tri-annual fiesta of Pentacost. The celebration–including the chosing of an Imperator, and visiting, eating, drinking, and worship in the home, culminates in a parade and blessing by the priest–originated with ancient Portugeese fisherman, drought-stricken, who prayed for assistance and received it.”


John_hays_hammond_and_natalie_hays_hammond library of congress
John Hays Hammond with daughter, Natalie Hays Hammond. collection Library of Congress

Captain’s Courageous was published in 1897. “During the winter of 1897-98 I made another trip to South Africa, and on the same boat with me were Rudyard Kipling (Rudyard was named after a place where his father and mother first met), his wife, and his father, Lockwood Kipling, the artist. They proved excellent traveling companions and we have maintained our friendly contact ever sense.” – John Hays Hammond 

John Lockwood Kipling and Rudyard Kipling

The Kiplings collaborated: the artist John Lockwood Kipling illustrated many of his sons’ books.

John Lockwood Kipling Jungle Book

jungle book 2

John Lockwood Kipling White Seal
John Lockwood Kipling, The White Seal


William Foster Biddle Cecilia Beaux PAFA gift of Sandwith Drinker
Cecilia Beaux, portrait sketch of William Foster Biddle, Pennsylvania Academy Fine Art, gift of Sandwith Drinker  (Biddle like a father to Cecilia)


William Morris Hunt Prodigal Son Brattleboro library
William Morris Hunt, Prodigal Son, Brattleboro Library

Hunt purchased a former barn and adjoining carpenter’s shop in Magnolia. “…in three weeks the old, unsightly buildings were converted into a picturesque structure with galleries on the outside, one of them ending in a seat in an old willow-tree. The carpenter shop was turned into a studio, the chief light coming from the wide-open door…The barn was two stories in height, the lower portion being occupied by the van, a phaeton and a dog-cart, as well as by stalls for two or three horses. The upper room was known as the “barracks”, and half a dozen cot-beds were arranged around the sides, as seats by day and beds by night…In a single afternoon his celebrated Gloucester Harbor was painted, and he returned to Magnolia aglow with enthusiasm. “I believe,” he exclaimed, “that I have painted a picture with light in it!…Go out into the sunshine, and try to get some of its color and light. Then come back here, and see how black we are all painting!”

William Morris Hunt Gloucester Harbor MFA 1877
William Morris Hunt, Gloucester Harbor, 1877, MFA Boston


sargent house museum john singer sargent portrait of father.jpg
John Singer Sargent portrait of the artist’s father, Sargent House Museum


Paul Manship and family Isabel Manship xSarah Janet x Elizabeth x Pauline x John Paul x Paul
Family portrait: Isabel Manship, Sara Janet, Elizabeth, Pauline, John Paul, Paul Manship


lee kingman natti002-001

Lee Kingman, Peter’s Pony, 1963, with illustrations by Fen Lasell


Leon Doucette
Leon Doucette, portrait of the artist’s father


Milton Avery March drypoint 1933
Milton Avery 1933 drypoint (March, his daughter)


Winslow Homer captures the waiting and watching experienced by so many families in Gloucester. Homer’s father, Charles Savage Homer, left for extended start-ups: to California for gold, to Europe.  Winslow Homer’s mother was a professional and gifted artist who raised three stellar boys solo, a lot. The Homer family remained tight knit.

Dad's Coming, 1873, NGA
Winslow Homer, Dad’s Coming, 1873,  National Gallery of Art


Friday Nights at the A&P

By Ruthanne “Rufus”  Collinson

When I was a kid

there were Friday nights to get lost in.

There was Mama

to take me shopping,

the smell of outdoors on her wool coat.

There was the A&P on Main Street,

the long spread out time

to wander the rolling floors

and smell the oranges and the coffee grinding.

There was no talking with Mama and me

She chose the food and I thought,

the long time of thinking away from Mama

in the A&P.

I watched the women

with heavy faces and deep frowns

weighing out their fruits

I thought about how bad they looked,

but I knew they didn’t want to die

because of the way they cared

about stacking the apples.

Sometimes I lost Mama and her sadness

but she would find me and take me

to the check out

where I picked up Daddy’s Pall Malls

and then stayed close to her wide sleeve

as we carried our lumpy brown bags

past Paul T. Reddy’s Dancing School.

I heard people dancing upstairs

Shadows in the window suggested music

and the end of time laid out like that.