2023 LECTURE SERIES LAUNCHES ON MARCH 19!
• Light refreshments served.
• $5 donation encouraged.
• Walk-ins welcome, but please RSVP to help with planning purposes!
Please shop local, please come by between 9 and 1.
There are some great gifts to purchase such as puzzles, beach towels, Magnolia Tee Shirts, Hats, etc. Hope to see you all there. Please remember to shop local.
46 Magnolia Avenue
Magnolia, Gloucester, MA 01930
“Magnolia Shoppe” will be open every Saturday from 9-1 at the little red school house. Come and do some holiday shopping.
Explore a selection of Gloucester school house properties built circa 1800s-1920s. There is a greater quantity of structures still standing than not.
Note: Pinch and zoom and/or click to enlarge photographs, depending upon your device. There are three galleries of images (side by side comparisons; all vintage; and all contemporary), a self-guided map for a driving tour, excerpts from James Pringle 1892 Gloucester history, and newspaper coverage of then “new” schools. Don’t miss the Boston Globe feature about the Eastern Avenue school published in 1905. There’s another wonderful piece about a very special elementary school class –which enrolled more girls than boys–offered at Sawyer school on Friend Street.
Bold indicates extant structure; italicized indicates structure no longer there; GLO = MACRIS id state’s archives- “The Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS) allows you to search the Massachusetts Historical Commission database.”
“The High school-house on Dale Avenue was erected in 1888 and ’89, the total cost, including land, being $100,000. This building, one of the most imposing and commodious of its kind in New England, is built of brick with granite trimmings.” and “The first High school-house was erected in 1851 on the southwestern corner of the present lot at a cost of $3,100 including the land. It was enlarged in 1870 and 1878, and was destroyed by fire May 11, 1887.”
“The Hildreth school-house on Eastern Avenue was erected in 1884, at an outlay of $18,000 for building and furnishing and $4,000 additional for grading.”
“Lord Bros, were awarded the contract to build the Babson school-house on Park Street for $17,498. This edifice was erected on site of an old burial ground.” and “The first brick structure, the Babson school house, was built in 1881, the entire expenditure including heating, etc., being $25,944.”Pringle excerpts, History of the Town and City of Gloucester, Cape Ann Mass. By James Pringle, 1892 (at time city’s 250th anniversary)
Washington St. at “the crotch of ye old highway”- Townhall | Forbes School | Legion
“Grammar Pupils Taught How to Box Compass
If one were to look for a school for skippers he would naturally turn to Gloucester, but he would hardly expect to find the rudiments of the fishermen’s art taught in the public schools. But such is the fact. This “skippers’ class” has been for some years part of the regular course of the Sawyer grammar school, the progressive principal of which is N.D. Tingley…The skippers recite in one of the halls of the school, in the center of which is drawn a large compass encircled by an iron railing. This compass is some four feet in diameter, and all the points are given by their abbreviations in the same manner as on the regular mariner’s compass. In addition to the pole, as given by the needle, the true north is also indicated by a black line, the variation of the needle in Gloucester being quite marked, some 13.5 degrees…The class numbered a dozen, three quarters of whom were girls from 7 to 12. But before they had finished their lessons they demonstrated that they could give their brothers “points” in every sense concerning the boxing of the compass. Possibly Principal Tingley was giving a class of new women instruction in the art of navigation, for one of the first new women of recent times is a pilot on the Mississippi, and perhaps one may officiate in a like capacity aboard of a cape Ann fishing steamer… What is one point west of south? Five pointes east of north? Six points west of south, etc…After the skippers have become proficient and have been graduated they pass the “board.” The board in this case is Mr. Tingley, and he issues to the proficient graduate this certificate, which is highly prized by the holders, as it is printed on cardboard in gilt letters as follows:
Sawyers School Skipper’s Certificate–The Bearer, John Smith, having successfully boxed the compass and answered the required practical questions upon the same is herby awarded this Certificate of honor.–Gloucester, Mass., 1996.”Boston Globe, 1896
“Proposed New Grammar School in Ward 2, Gloucester
After much discussion the school committee and the public property committee have selected plans for the proposed schoolhouse in ward 2. The lot where the school is to be built is especially adapted for the purpose. It is on Eastern avenue nearly opposite Day’s pond, and commands a magnificent view in all directions, including an outlook of Little Good harbor beach and Bass rocks, which, from the contour of the lands, can never be shut out by building operations. The building will be 60 x 125. it will contain two main floors and a roof section, the latter being designed for a gymnasium or large hall should such be needed. In the basement will be the usual heating apparatus, the janitor’s room and separate playrooms, with accessories for boys and girls. On the two main stories there are eight rooms…On the second floor, besides the four main rooms, there is a library and teachers’ room…The exterior will be of the colonial style, the material being red brick, with stone trimmings. The estimated cost above ground clear of the furnishings is $31,000. It is intended to have the building ready for occupancy sometime next year. Taking the cost of furnishings and everything it is estimated that the entire cost will approximate 45,000.”Boston Globe 1905
Gloucester history 1920 may just be as much if not more current than 2021
Furthermore, whereas formerly the majority of the people in Gloucester were native born, now 46.6 percent of the fathers of public school children are foreign-born: 19 nationalities are represented. They include the following countries, Canada, Denmark, England, Italy, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Holland, Newfoundland, Norway, Nova Scotia, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden. The largest number are from Portugal, Italy, Finland, England.
From the standpoint of the school, this means that the educational problem is far more difficult than formerly. It means that the school must now not only teach the three R’s, but to use a much over-worked term, it must really be the “melting pot” of all these diverse elements. It must be a social agency in the community where all elements may meet on a common footing. It must be a school where the children may have the opportunity to develop the particular gifts, which all these different nationalities bring to America, rather than a dye vat where all these different vivid colors from all over the world are dyed into one monotone.
In other words, although Gloucester is a small town of only a few thousand inhabitants, yet from an educational standpoint it is faced with the same problems which confront school systems in the average city…”
Regarding the high school on Dale and Forbes School Branches (multi building complex)
High School I claim for my administration a savings of $250,000 on the high school alone, and when completed we will have a high school building second to none in Eastern Massachusetts and at a cost of less than half what other cities are paying. And right here I wish to publicly commend and thank the teachers and scholars of our high school for the splendid spirit of co-operation and patience they are exhibiting in cheerfully walking back and forth through mud and rain. The school displaying such fine spirit deserves a good building, and I shall never forget their good and fine cooperation. Money cannot pay Mr. Ringer for his fine leadership in this school under very trying conditions, but now I wish he would confine his activities to the position he was hired for.
I think our school troubles are soon to be relieved. Mr. Fellows, our new superintendent, will, I hope, prove a second Putney. I hope to see our small neighborhood schools again running as under Mr. Putney. I believe, and I have letters from educators that agree with me, that a small school with two or three grades offers equal advantages to small children as single grade schools, as the lower grade pupils are all the time learning something from the higher grade recitations. With the completion of the Washington Street primary school, both the high and primary situation will be relieved, and those garages on the town landing will be taking out of our schools forever. And now with that building on the lot standing the city $5,000 (the cost of moving), does anyone think it should have been given away? For that is all the building stand the city—the cost of moving—for a foundation would have to have been built anyway.Mayor Percy Wheeler Inaugural Address (2nd term)
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 Center – Restoration & 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 Society – Adaptive Reuse, for the rehabilitation of the Blynman School as their headquarters and a local history museum.
Bernadette Fendrock & Alan D’Andrea– Restoration & 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 + Studios – Adaptive 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
Award categories include the following.
One weekend only…more than 50 exhibitors last year
“No finer place for sure, downtown.”
Seeing double? Yes, you’re supposed to. The Sawyer Free Library addition was designed to mirror Cape Ann Museum as a balanced and nuanced architectural symmetry in deference to City Hall, and catalyst for a graceful city civic center.
Sawyer Free Library has announced a public meeting January 11th for discussions of a new building. (See the flyer at the end of this post.)
City Hall may have some upcoming construction on the Dale Avenue side as well.
Both projects are largely in the name of accessibility of a physical nature. Can they be cost effective, worthy of our history and culture, protect our significant buildings, and address current and future needs? The following are some of the issues, local coverage, links to resources, and archival material for your interest.
Before the current 2015-16 library outreach, the library hosted extensive visioning sessions throughout 2013. I went to a couple, and I was invited to take part in a focus group (on schools and the library.) A completely new library and jettisoning of the historic Saunders library building was not an expressed community value. What were some common discussion points? A strategy for digitization of historic archives and newspapers, more staff, more hours of operation (Sundays), better bathrooms, parking issues, air conditioning, electrical work, maintenance, security, maximizing technology/ content access with schools, ditto Cape Ann TV, and attendance (see this great video from Lisa Smith by kids for kids ) were some goals that were mentioned.
So it was a surprise to see the unveiling of new architectural renderings that did not showcase the Saunders house. It’s like the White House not featuring the White House. I think the Saunders house should be key and central to any building overhaul, not tossed aside. Providing universal access should preserve the intended awe factors if there are any, FOR EVERYBODY–such as the architectural details, proportion, welcoming entrance and unique heritage of a historic building. In this proposal, with Saunders severed there is zero physical access to the main event. What a missed opportunity. And for a library. What do you think?
Today’s paper mentioned that the Saunders house could be used for other purposes instead of the library. Why can’t that be the case and the library maintain its #1 asset? The downtown cultural district (which is not going forward in the same capacity) and other organizations could use the library meeting spaces. Do we really need to conjure up another stand alone endeavor?
Back in 1973, the Trustees of the Library began a fund drive for the new library addition; the city of Gloucester paid 2/3. As the Library’s General Chairman, Joe Garland led that campaign. Not surprising, the text of the brochure is a good read! The architect was Donald F. Monnell. (In 1971 Monnell was quoted in the papers speaking about the attributes of Central Grammar. One likes him more and more.) The population served was 27,000–nearly what it is today.
A quip about the concept of Scaling UP that I remember from a conference this past September at Peabody Essex Museum and hosted by Essex National Heritage was to “think about the farm not just a barn”; in this case a downtown, or an entire city and region. I like thinking this way in general–architecture and planning, art, and schools. But this conference pushed me to add overlays beyond my areas of expertise or focus like wildlife and waterways. Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts–there’s so much! Mayor Romeo Theken is committed to working together and feels that planning is important and broad. One example, see Gloucester Daily Times Dec 19, 2016 Officials: City to Prioritize Its (competing) Needs
Every era has choices. The prior library expansion plans began well before 1972. Possibilities swirled as they do now. (Back then, Central Grammar was also in the news, may or may not have been razed, and possible uses favored senior housing, commercial development, an annex to City Hall, and a courthouse police station.) Today there are competing building needs and uses floated for properties as diverse as: the Cape Ann YMCA on Middle Street, the post office on Dale, the Gloucester Fire Department, police headquarters, St. Ann’s, and the elementary schools–and that’s just to name a few. Let’s celebrate enviable architectural strengths, and not fuss with buildings that should be venerated, unless it’s to help them be accessible and healthy. Let’s get the balance right.
The prohibitive costs of best practice historic preservation (ADA compliant, temperature and humidity controls, security, sustainability, in house scanning/OCR/audio transcription, etc) is impossible for all the worthy collections in town, and pits them as foes when vying for funds. Let’s flip that impediment on its head and make Gloucester a model for the state. Its treasures would be available worldwide if they were truly accessible –digitized.Two words may help accomplish this goal and free up cash for individual operations: shared overhead. It’s one hope I continue to stress–the need to share necessary resources for a state-of-the-art research and warehouse repository. This universal hub should be large enough to encompass any holdings not on view. There could be a smaller downtown central site combined with a larger off site location, such as at Blackburn. The list of sharing institutions could include and is by no means exhaustive: our municipal archives that date back to 1642; Cape Ann Museum; Sawyer Free Library; North Shore Art Association; Beauport; Hammond Castle; the Legion; Amvets and other social clubs; Sargent House; several places of worship; Gloucester Daily Times; Annisquam historical building collections; Lanesville; Magnolia’s historic collections; artists/writers estates; Veterans office; our schools; Isabel Babson Memorial Library, and perhaps businesses such as Cape Pond Ice and Gortons. The library plans don’t appear to retrofit their site(s) for this goal.
If incentives and policy supported neighborhood character over less generic construction
that would be wonderful. It’s not just Gloucester.
Continue reading “Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives”
FULL MOON PARTY
The Opening Reception for the Magnolia Historical Society Spring Art Show and Sale last evening was a great event with a tremendous turnout, amazing art, great food, in a wonderful space. If you didn’t get there last night or today, you can still make it over tomorrow from noon to 4:00 – 46 Magnolia Ave.
Another great opening was this morning’s opening of Sailor Stan’s Restaurant at 1 Wonson Street on Rocky Neck. Stan’s will be open weekend from 7:30 until noon, with more open days as weather and season dictates. Stop by for breakfast tomorrow – let Sue serve you with a smile after Karen and Wayne create something great for you – and then head over to Magnolia to see the Spring Art Show.
Now you can learn to recognize the 27 Cape Ann Artists and Photographers exhibiting at the Magnolia Historical Society Spring Art Show by coming to the show, seeing their work and maybe buying a piece to grace your home. A great way to recognize and support local artists and the Magnolia Historical Society.
Thanks to FOB David Simmons for submitting the How to Recognize Artists of Paintings, Magnolia Historical Society for hosting and to Thom Falzarano for organizing the show.
Only 15 days til Spring…
After that, there are only 21 more days until the Spring Art Show at the Magnolia Historical Society. From the icy grip of winter emerges a fresh new body of work by some of your favorite Cape Ann artists. While it may not be the first Art Show of Spring 2014, it is lining up to the best. Mark your calendars now, and pray we won’t have snow.
Normally winter is my time to be creative. My life’s path took me on some unexpected twists and turns this fall and winter, which made it impossible for me to get into my creative space. As I’m sure all creative people can attest, sometimes the muse goes away for a time. I used to fret, believing she might never return; but in her own time, she always does. She unexpectedly re-emerged a couple of weeks ago, and took me, as she always does, in a new direction. These are a few new pieces I have completed. This series is old and new. It is a mixed media combination of my abstract photos of last year, coupled with the glass painting of the prior year. While sorting things at my mother’s house, I came across a container of unused glass slides, which have and will make their way into many of these pieces. I have never worked in a square format before, which I am really enjoying, having been inspired by my artist friend, Tom Nihan’s work. All pieces are 8×8 multi-layered photos and glass paintings, and are whimsical and fun – just what I need now. In addition to brushes, I am using rubber ducks and ear plugs to paint with. Yes Paul, RD was instrumental in getting me going, although she has gotten a little messy with paint all over her bottom.
You can see some of my new work at the Spring Art Show at the Magnolia Historical Society Friday, April 11 from 6 till 9pm Opening, Saturday, April 12 2pm till 8pm and Sunday, April 13 Noon till 4pm. More details coming soon.
If you haven’t had a chance to stop by yet, this weekend will be your last chance to see the Art in the Schoolhouse holiday show at Magnolia Historical Society, 46 Magnolia Ave. There is a great collection of over 90 pieces of work, as well as a great selection of affordable holiday gift items. A great opportunity to check out the new home of the Magnolia Historical Society Museum and Cultural Center. Free admission and plenty of free parking.
Spotlight on Sinikka Nogelo
Gloucester painter Sinikka Nogelo considers herself lucky to work in a studio overlooking Joey C.’s business, Capt. Joe and Sons. “The view is just lovely. I enjoy seeing the activity on the working waterfront, knowing my friendly neighbors are doing so much for the community with Good Morning Gloucester, while supplying us with the freshest lobster, and also supporting the arts. A few years back at Joey’s, one of my favorite art installations featured larger than life, black and white photos of faces of the waterfront. “
Though Sinikka has been most well known locally for her work in community television, art has always played a major part in her life. After graduating from Tufts, she studied at Montserrat with Oliver Balf, Barbara Moody, George Gabin, Roger Martin and Ethan Berry. She also took classes at Silvermine Guild in Connecticut and at the BFA’s Museum School in Boston. As a young artist, she was a founding member of the women’s cooperative “Center and Main Gallery,” located in what is now Passports Restaurant. Sinikka returned to painting full time upon her retirement from Cape Ann TV in 2010.
A member of Rocky Neck Art Colony and the Cape Ann Artisans Studio tour, Sinikka paints contemporary pieces inspired by thoughts and feelings, sea and sky. “I just love color and composition. I get a great deal of satisfaction from the process of making art, just seeing where things will go, experimenting and building on what I’ve made.” In recent years Sinikka has also been creating wall pieces from recyclables and found objects, some of which were on display last summer at the Cape Ann Museum’s White-Ellery House in Sinikka’s installation, “Tin – Relics and Remakes.”
At the Rocky Neck Art Colony’s Holiday Art Festival Sinikka is offering miniature paintings on easels to grace spots such as desks, book shelves and counters, as well as miniature paintings to hang as ornaments. Her paintings have long been influenced by the sea and sky which she uses as subjects and as metaphors. Sinikka loves color and composition and putting that first stroke on a canvas.
You can see more of Sinikka’s work at the Rocky Neck Holiday Art & Fine Crafts Festival (Sat. & Sun. noon – 4:00pm through 12/29) and at the Magnolia Historical Society’s Art in the Schoolhouse Show (Sat. & Sun. 10:00am – 2:00pm through 12/22).
I’m sure you’ve noticed them everywhere the last couple of days. Driving over to Magnolia last night for the Magnolia Historical Society opening of Art in the Schoolhouse with Charlie Carroll, it was like driving in a brown blizzard. They are pictured here all over the front door of the place at 46 Magnolia Ave. Also pictured are some of the partygoers at the opening. If you missed the opening, stop by Saturday and Sunday (12/7&8, 14&15 or 21&22) from 10:00 – 2:00. The moths may or may not still be there but the great artwork, cards, prints, calendars, books and more still will be (whatever hasn’t been sold anyway).
Now more about the Winter Moth.
The Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is an abundant species of Europe and the Near Eastand one of very few Lepidoptera of temperate regions in which the adults are active in the depth of winter.
The female of this species is virtually wingless and cannot fly, but the male is fully winged and flies strongly.
Winter Moths are considered an invasive species in North America; Nova Scotia experienced the first confirmed infestations in the 1930s. The moth is now found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. In Massachusetts, the moths have attracted the attention of several media outlets due to the severity of the infestation. In northern Rhode Island, damage to fruit orchards has been attributed to winter moth, and it is now reported in mid-southern Rhode Island (Bristol/Barrington area and Warwick). Efforts at biological control are underway. There have been unconfirmed reports of infestations in southern New Hampshire.
Here’s a link to an article Kim Smith wrote about the relationship between songbirds
and the Winter Moth, back in 2010. http://kimsmithdesigns.wordpress.com/2010/12/16/white-throated-sparrow-zonotrichia-albicolli/