Heroic rescue at sea in January 1905: Coming home After 6 weeks RT to Grand Banks, Gloucester Schooner “Theodore Roosevelt” saves Nova Scotia “Ohio” crew and brigantine wreck, undone by violent blizzard at sea

The captain of the Canadian ship “Ohio”, Rupert A. Ryan, was 27 years old and a newlywed. His bride was on her first voyage at sea. The captain of the American schooner Theodore Roosevelt, James McHenry, lived on Shepherd Street in Gloucester.

The Saint John built brigantine, owned in NY, carrying timber from Nova Scotia, was caught in and battled through a blizzard without success Jan 3-6, 1905 after surmounting a series of gales since Dec. 26.

The terrifying and triumphant tale made global news. Here’s the coverage–great reads–published in the Boston Globe and Nova Scotia papers, a worthy inspiration for a film or series set here in Gloucester.

After reading through the stories, drive past the house on Shepherd St. today. It’s easy to think about the meal that night, the wife and children waiting for weeks at home and worried as the return deadline came and went, the Gloucester crew willing to take to the dories in rough waters to aid the Ohio despite risks and past losses, the generous hosting of the young newlywed storm survivors, and the local hospital care the N.B. crew received come morning, including “three Scandinavians and 1 Spaniard” unnamed.

Boston Globe

“GLOUCESTER – Five persons rowed up the harbor in a dory from Eastern point through the snow at 8 o’clock tonight and landed on the Atlantic docks.

They were Capt. James McHenry and two of his crew of the schooner Theodore Roosevelt of this port, and Capt. and Mrs. Rupert A. Ryan of the brigantine Ohio of St. John, New Brunswick (NB).

The Roosevelt had anchored in the roadstead until morning. About four miles astern with a prize crew of eight of the Roosevelt’s crew aboard, lies the Ohio.

The members of crew of the Ohio, badly frostbitten, are aboard the Roosevelt. Tomorrow they will be brought to the hospital.

The Ohio left Kingsport, NS, December 26, with a cargo of lumber, deals and laths in the hold and on deck, comprising about 320,000 feet of lumber.

Disaster Off Grand Manan.

Capt. Ryan is 27, and has been at sea almost since he was able to walk. He says he never experienced anything like the recent storm for severity. The entire passage of the Ohio was a series of gales and extreme cold.

She was obliged to lie at Spencer harbor, NS, a week, and left there Jan. 3, with the wind east-northeast.

Tuesday morning while off Grand Manan, in the bay of Fundy, a northeast snowstorm and gale broke on them in all its fury, and from then until Wednesday morning the vessel was practically at the mercy of the wind and sea.

The sails of the Ohio were carried away. Huge seas broke aboard, submerging everything on deck, filling the cabin and forecastle, and carrying away part of the deck load.

To add to the terrors of the storm the Ohio sprang a leak, and although the water rose high in the hold, the fact that she was lumber-laden prevented her from sinking.

It was bitter cold, and the men at the pumps were chilled to the bone, being drenched again and again by the icy seas.

The skylight was lifted, and Mrs. Ryan, who is a young woman of slight build, about 24, was forced to retreat to the top berth of her stateroom to escape the water.

Crew Works to Exhaustion.

Wednesday and Thursday the seas broke over the vessel constantly. The wheel and compass binnacle was carried away and the vessel wallowed all but helpless. The water and spray froze as it struck and coated the deckload with a heavy mass of ice, dragging the bow of the vessel’s head nearly two feet under.

From Wednesday morning until Thursday morning at 8 neither food, drink, nor shelter was available to the crew exposed to the icy cold, and at that time the crew gave up exhausted

Human nature could stand no more. Every man from the mate down fell to the deck clinging to mast or rigging to prevent being swept overboard. Only Capt. Ryan was able to get about. All, including the captain, were badly frostbitten.

Early Thursday morning Capt. Ryan had hoisted a signal of distress in the rigging.

Captain’s Wife First Rescued.

The schooner Theodore Roosevelt of this port was coming home from a six week’s voyage to the Grand banks, where she had been on a halibut voyage, when she sighted the Ohio. She was soon alongside. Dories were put over in quick order. The woman was first taken aboard and the others, more dead than alive, quickly followed.

The poor fellows were in pitiable condition. Food, warm drink, and dry clothing were given them, and their frostbitten hands, feet and faces were bathed and everything possible done for them.

Eight men of the Roosevelt crew, Sylvester Thompson, David Higgin, Neal McPhee, Michael White, James de Loucrie, Angus MacDonald, Lafayette Johnson and Gardner Sullivan, the latter a state of Maine man, were put aboard as a prize crew. A steering wheel was improvised and jury sails set.

The Roosevelt showed the way for Gloucester and the brigantine followed, each burning lights at night.

Safe Around Eastern Point.

Just after 7 tonight the Roosevelt rounded Eastern point and anchored. Just prior to that the prize crew had signaled from Thatchers with lights.

Besides Capt. Ryan and wife, the Ohio’s crew comprised, first mate Enos Barshure of Kingsport, N.S., second mate Harry burns, steward Howard Neanes of Loringsville, N.S., and four men of various nationalities before the mast.

The Ohio is about 25 years old, 325 tons and was built at St. John, NB her present hailing port. Vessel and cargo are owned by Scanlan Bros of New York, where she was bound.

While all the Ohio’s men are badly off, the mate, Barsure fared the worst. Capt. Ryan’s face and hands are also badly affected.

Capt. and Mrs. Ryan were the guests of Capt. McHenry on Shepherd St tonight.

Capt. McHenry’s homecoming was especially welcome as his wife and three little children were worrying concerning his absence in the heavy storms.”

Author unknown. Boston Globe, January 1905

Published in CanaDA

“Gloucester, Mass. Jan. 6 – The fishing sch. Theodore Roosevelt of this port which anchored inside the breakwater tonight, had on board nine happy passengers, comprising Captain Rupert A. Ryan, Mrs. Ryan, and seven sailors, all of whom were rescued from the British brigantine Ohio yesterday off Grand Manan. The Ohio was leaking badly and had suffered the loss of sails and received other severe damage during the terrible gales of the past three days. The Roosevelt put a prize crew on board the Ohio and kept company with her until this evening when five miles off Thatcher’s island. The former then left her prize behind and proceeded to this port as rapidly as possible, leaving the prize crew to work the unfortunate vessel into port. With the present favorable winds it is believed this will be done during the night.

The Ohio left Kingsport, N.S., for New York Dec. 26, with a cargo of 320,000 feet of lumber, and after a series of gales, made Spencer Island, N.S. for a harbor, sailing from there on Jan. 3. Hardly had they put to se when the wind came up strong from the northeast, the weather became terribly cold, followed by a blinding snow storm off Grand Manan, the vessel caught the full force of the gale, the seas constantly breaking over her. On Wednesday morning a big wave swept over the vessel, carrying away a portion of her deckload, her binnacles and smashing the wheel. This rendered it impossible to steer the vessel and, tossed at the mercy of the sea, she began to leak. All hands were called to the pumps, but the cold was so intense that the crew were frost-bitten and were soon forced to stop work.

Another sea smashed the skylights, filling the cabin with water. Mrs. Ryan was forced to take refuge in the upper bunk to escape drowning.

The heavy seas not only flooded the vessel, but they also spoiled the ship’s food and fresh water supply, while the vessel itself became a mass of ice from stem to stem.

With no fire, their food and water supply gone, the weather freezing cold and a raging storm in progress, the sufferings of those on the Ohio were terrible all though Wednesday night.

About 8 o’clock Thursday morning the weather having moderated considerably, a sail was sighted and a signal of distress was raised by the half-frozen men on the Ohio and this was seen by the sch. Roosevelt, which was returning from a Grand Banks fishing trip. The Roosevelt quickly bore down upon her and learning that the crew desired to be taken off, at once began preparations for their rescue. Captain James McHenry of the Roosevelt called for volunteers and every one of the eighteen members of the crew responded.

A heavy sea was running, which made the attempted rescue a most perilous undertaking. Two dories, each containing two men, were sent off to the Ohio, and after much difficulty the life-savers succeeded in taking off the nine persons on the Ohio.

All were badly frost bitten, half frozen and half starved, but when once aboard the Roosevelt they were furnished with dry clothing and food and drink, and given every possible assistance by their rescuers.

After consultation with his own men, Captain McHenry decided to put a prize crew of eight men on the Ohio and endeavor if possible to work her into Gloucester harbor.

This, it is believed, can be done, as her cargo of lumber serves to keep her afloat, and the wind tonight is favorable for the undertaking.

Upon the arrival of the Roosevelt in port, she anchored inside the breakwater, and Captain and Mrs. Ryan came to the city as guests of Captain McHenry. The crew remained on board the Roosevelt for the night. The names of those comprising the Ohio’s crew are: Enos Barkshire, first mate. Harry Barrows, second mate. Howard Naves, steward. Three Scandinavians and one Spaniard whose names are unknown.

Mrs. Ryan, who is but 24 years of age, and who has been married but a short time, was taking her first trip at sea with her husband.

The Ohio is a vessel of 325 tons, hails from St. John N.B. and is owned by Scanlon Bros. of New York.

The Ohio was built by Andrew Ruddock in his yard on the Strait Shore in 1882 to the order of Charles A. Palmer. She was 130 feet long, 29 feet beam and 14 feet depth of hold, tonnage 348.”*

1905- Terrible Experience of a St. John Brigantine. Capt. Ryan, His Wife and Crew Taken from Storm Tossed Ohio by American Fishing Schooner, Daily Sun. *Editor added beneath Gloucester wired story. Surmising because it mentioned that the brigantine was British.

wires in Perth, NJ and St. Paul, MN

1913

In 1913, the reverse would happen. The Theodore Roosevelt wrecked on Nova Scotia rocks, “12 miles west of Point Prim Light”, a total loss of vessel and freight. The Canadian “little river tug Sissiboo” set out to help.

1902

In 1902, three years prior to the heroic rescue almost to the day, Capt. McHenry relayed the sad news that the Theodore Roosevelt lost two men, trawling in a dory was emphasized:

“Halifax, N.S., Dec. 30– The loss by drowning of two men from the Gloucester fishing schooner Theodore Roosevelt is reported by the Gloucester schooner Annie Greenlaw, Capt. Crowell, which put in here last night to land a sick man, Daniel McEachern. The Greenlaw on Dec. 26, at Bank Quero. spoke the Theodore Roosevelt, and Capt. McHenry of the latter vessel reported that William Johnson and Joseph Brennan were drowned, a heavy sea upsetting their dory while they were tending their trawls.

The loss of Roosevelt’s two men was reported by wire to the schooner’s owners, in Gloucester, last night, but it was understood in that city that the men had strayed while tending trawls, not that they were drowned.”

Dec. 30, 1902

caption: Detail from Gloucester’s Fishermen Lost at Sea memorial. Search for Johnson and Brennan under the 1902 tribute names

THEODORE ROOSEVELT OHIO
American schooner Canadian brigantine
fishing and cargo transportcargo transport
built in 1901in Gloucesterbuilt in 1882* by Andrew Ruddock
in his Strait Shore St. John NB ship yard
for Charles A. Palmer

*An 1847 brigantine “Ohio” built at Marietta, OH was involved in the illegal slave trade
90 tons325 tons | 348 tonnage
125 feet
wood hull
130 feet long
29 feet beam
12 feet depth of hold
wrecked Oct 31, 1913wrecked Jan 4-6, 1905
then owned by then owned by Scanlan Bros., NY

New Year’s Day 1900: Reporting on Hon. George E. Merchant’s inauguration began simply, as in Bay State Mayor Recommendations for the Globe, then a fracas ensued

Happy New Year’s day! While thinking about 2021, I was looking back. 1900 seemed as good as any to share a fresh new chapter “then” story.

Bumpy Ride

Let’s just say fasten your seat belts; reading about Mayor Merchant’s term is a bumpy ride for the entire year as reported in the Boston Globe. Heated exchanges dominate. Smaller items about conservation and deed issues related to Dogtown, Good Harbor Beach, and Briar Neck real estate development are detailed. I knew some details about Mayor French’s terms but did not run into Mayor Merchant before. I recognize the surname Merchant/Marchant as Gloucester history. Prior to this post I mostly associated Merchant with the street that was one of so many in Gloucester to inspire work by American artist, Edward Hopper.

On some lists of Gloucester Mayors, he’s (conspicuously) not there. (Biographical details unroll at the end. Also, photographs of all the Mayor portraits.)

No Mayor Merchant

All heads south immediately following the swearing in, and I mean immediately. The Mayor address advanced to the paper is standard, rosy and prickly, not uncommon.

New Year’s Day, 1900 – Mayor Merchant of Gloucester

Gloucester, Jan. 1- Establishment of a City Workhouse, and Investigation of Assessing and Fire Alarm Systems Urged

The inauguration exercises of the city government for 1900 took place this morning in city hall. As usual, a large number were in attendance, the especial point of interest being the reading of the inaugural. Those who expected to hear a plain and straightforward statement of certain facts were not disappointed, as the inaugural certainly treated certain matters in a trenchant manner.

The chapters in relation to the administration of highways, the debt of the city, revaluation, the need of better discipline in the police force, recommendations in regard to an equitable reduction of water rates were received with especial favor. The inaugural made a distinctly favorable impression.

In considering the finances, he said that the city’s liabilities were $829,243.72. The net debt is $368,211.04, an increase of $77,713.72. The reserve amount which the city now can borrow is $22,496.78.

The following recommendations were made: The appointment of a special committee to investigate and report to the city council as to the present system of valuation of the city by the assessors, and what action, if any, is needed to secure more equitable taxation; an investigation and report by the committee on fire department as to the needs of an improved fire alarm service and the probable cost; the abolishment of the public library fund, a special committee to consider carefully the question of the scale of the poor farm property, and what may be done toward the establishment of a city workhouse, which would be such in fact as well as in name; the appointment of a joint special committee upon water, to act with the water commissioners upon all matters relating to the purchase of the work, the improvement of sources of supply, and to suggest in what manner an equitable adjustment of the rates may be made; that no claim made against the city be paid without first having had a reference to the proper department and report thereon in accordance with the advice of the law department, and the appointment of a special committee of the city council to investigate all matters relating to the collection of taxes, and to suggest how best a way may be found for better service in this connection.

The mayor advocated a gradual revaluation of the city, saying he believed it to be the duties of the assessors to look carefully into the matter. Under the subject of highways, the mayor took occasion to criticize adversely those having them in charge the past year, while those officials who were brought in close contact with the work performed were roundly scored. The schools, fire department and trust funds were kindly criticized in the interest of advanced ideas and business judgement. Regarding the police and the matter of license, the mayor emphasized the statement that while not looking for any difficulty in this line the police must do as they were bidden and observe discipline.

City clerk Somes administered the oath to the Mayor elect Merchant, after which the keys of office were delivered to him by Mayor French. Mayor Merchant administered the oath to the following aldermen: Ward 1 Alphonso Davis; ward 2 Osborne Knowles; ward 3 Levi J. Hotchkiss; ward 4 Edward H. Quigley; ward 5 Albert H. McKenzie; ward 6, William J. Sleep; ward 7, William L. Allen; ward 8, James W. Ingersoll.

The following members of the common council were also sworn in: Ward 1, Austin F. Coombs, Addison W. Bailey, John W. Gaskell; ward 2, John F. Riley, Samuel J. Somers, Melvin Parsons; ward 3, John J. Cunningham, Frank W. Lothrop, John A. Stoddart; ward 4, Ernest S. Parsons, John J. Sullivan, Ray S. Friend; ward 5, James E. Tolman, Samuel W. McQuinn, Thomas Hodge; ward 6, Addison G. Stanwood, Samuel P. Favor, James A. Lawrence; ward 7, William Stephens, Charles C. Smith, Thomas F. Wherty; ward 8, Ephraim R. Andrews, James M. Chadbourne, Howard T. Bray.

After the reading of the inaugural the boards proceeded to their respective chambers for organization.”

– From “For Year 1900: Recommendations Made by Bay State Mayors. How Government of Cities Can Be Improved. Necessity of Practicing Economy Where It Can be Done Without Detriment to the Public Good. Questions of Finances, Schools, Water. Lighting and Sewage in Various Municipalities of the Commonwealth.” , Boston Globe, New Year’s Day, 1900

MUNICIPALITIES INCLUDED IN THE ARTICLE: SOMERVILLE. HAVERHILL. LAWRENCE. EVERETT. MEDFORD.  SALEM. GLOUCESTER. FITCHBURG. BROCKTON. LYNN. BEVERLY. MARLBORO. WOBURN. NORTHAMPTON. SPRINGFIELD. NORTH ADAMS. NEW BEDFORD. QUINCY. WALTHAM. HOLYOKE. PITTSFIELD. TAUNTON. MALDEN. WORCESTER. BEVERLY CITY FATHERS. FOR THE SECOND TIME.

This was uncommon.

Then all hell breaks loose- on the very same day~

Jan 1 Day one whiplash- Council upends Mayor’s first day.

At the organization of the government today there were two unusual incidents.

“Mayor Merchant read a communication from ——-, protesting against administering the oath of office to Councilman elect Thomas Whearty, announcing that Chairman should contest the election. Mayor Merchant decided that there was nothing for him to do but take the returns of the election as they were rendered to him, and accordingly swore Mr. Whearty in.

“This had an important bearing on the contest of the presidency of the common council. When that body proceeded to elect as president James E. Tolman, who was a candidate for re-election offered an order that Mr. Whearty be not allowed to take part in the deliberations of the board until his case was finally settled. After several points of order had been made it was decided, to sustain chairman Lawrence, in adding Mr. Tolman’s order out of order. Councilman William Stephens was elected president of the council…In the afternoon Mayor Merchant announced his committees…

“Immediately on their announcement Alderman Sleep moved that the communication of the mayor be laid on the table. Mayor Merchant made no reply. Alderman Sleep insisted that his motion be put. Mayor Merchant contended that the committed announcement was simply a communication from the Mayor.

“Alderman Sleep produced the rules that urged that the aldermen by the rules could elect their own committees. Alderman Hotchkiss offered and order, if the mayor would entertain it, that the whole matter be referred to the city solicitor for his opinion as to the right of the aldermen to appoint the committees.

“Alderman McKenzie said there were committees to which he was appointed on which he did not care to serve.

“Mayor Merchant, after asking for further business, stated that he did not care to appear in the light of bulldozing the aldermen and should give them every opportunity to act except in the illegal expenditure of money, and then he should interfere. He therefore withdrew his nominations, and an order previously introduced by Alderman Hotchkiss that the aldermen reassemble at 7:30 in the evening and ballot for committees was passed.

“The mayor stated that the appointment of the committees had always been a prerogative of the mayor and he had proceeded in the matter as did former mayors.

“This is the first time in the history of the city that a mayor’s committee appointments have been protested or withdrawn. The incident caused somewhat of a sensation, and resulted in some animated conversation after the board adjourned.

“At 7:30 all the aldermen but Allen were in their seats. Mayor Merchant not putting in an appearance, President Sleep presided.

After the adjournment a conference was held, and a committee list satisfactory to the aldermen was arranged. The aldermen then, for the first time in the history of the city, proceeded to elect their own committees…Alderman Knowles offered an order that the city solicitor give his opinion in regard to the legality of the action of the aldermen in electing committees after the mayor had announced the appointment of committees. This was not seconded.”

Boston Globe, 2nd article of the day Jan 1, 1900

Apparently this balking at Mayoral appointments was trending as Haverhill was in the same boat. Unsurprisingly, by the ides of March the Mayor and council are

by March 17 At Loggerheads

Gloucester Aldermen on their Mettle. Render Useless Several Vetoes of Mayor Merchant. Mr. Sleep Proves a Sharp Critic of His Honor.

“The session of the board of aldermen this evening was one of the most sensational for some time. The old feud between Mayor Merchant and Alderman Sleep again broke out.

The mayor when “communications from the mayor” was reached, resigned the position of presiding officer to chairman Sleep and departed from the chamber. The chairman then proceeded to read the three vetoes to the aldermen and two presented in the council, which came up for action.”

Boston Globe March 17, 1900 excerpt

VETO TOPIC 1- conflicts of interest and spite

“The order adopted in relation to the payment to Sleep Bros. for certain services on Beacon Street was vetoed by the mayor on the ground of illegality and that it was work done on private land…Mr .Sleep said that despite the veto, the mayor had paid the bill of W.R. Cheves for stone and E.H. Griffin for cement, but objected to that of Sleep Bros. for labor ($97.50) on the same job because the members of the firm were unfortunate enough to bear the same name as the speaker…the action of the mayor was simply a matter of spite against him for certain matters which had occurred on inauguration day…The order to pay the money was carried…”

Boston Globe March 16, 1900 excerpt

Veto topic 2- PROTECTING GOOD HARBOR BEACH

“Some sharpshooting occurred on the veto of the mayor of the order that signs be placed at Good Harbor Beach by the committee on police and that all persons be prohibited from taking sand and ballast from the beach. The mayor informed the board that the proper way to proceed in this matter was for the committee on public property…Sleep denied there was any politics in this measure, and said the committee on public property attended to its work, but as it received no pay it was not its duty to lay around Good Harbor beach all the time and protect the property.”

Boston Globe March 16, 1900 excerpt

VETO TOPIC 3 – Protecting Dogtown

The order that the mayor and city register the land known as Dogtown commons, under the provision s of the Torrens law, was vetoed by the mayor on the ground that it was not the duty of the mayor but of the committee on public property.

Boston Globe March 16, 1900 excerpt

Veto topic 4- pay Raise for Firemen

“…The mayor vetoed the order for an increase in the salaries of firemen because he said that the city was not in a financial condition to make the raise…Sleep stated that some of the business men are raising money to put through the defeated charter which the mayor favors and which provides for salaried commissioners and clerks. Money for their friends was all right, but when it came down to the firemen it was a decidedly different matter…”

Boston Globe March 16, 1900 excerpt

1900

Governor Crane named ex-Mayor French to Gloucester Police Court

september 1900 Briar’s neck free for all origin story continues

And the Mayor is in the story.

“Gloucester has had a little Oklahoma boom. The place in question where this excitement has occurred is at Briar neck. The strip of land has for many years been vacant, with the exception of one (shack)…although it is claimed by two capitalists, who assert that they have deeds…

“It is a strip of about 200 acres of shore land, which is undoubtedly one of the sightliest and most desirable places for a summer home along the North Atlantic.

Briar’s Neck development

“Early in the season an attorney inserted a small item in a local paper to the effect that there was no valid title, and that anyone who settled down on the property could hold it. Mayor Merchant was the first one to squat down on the property and his example was followed by others, and there was a veritable rush for the place for several days. All the available sites were staked out and the names of those who had located claims were written on the stakes. There was a rumor circulated that the mere staking of the land was unavailing and that nothing less than the erection of a building of some sort would hold the land. A nondescript settlement immediately sprung up, and the sound of the hammer and saw was loud for several days…”Seashore Boomers

“There has been a great hunting up of old deeds and a revamping of family genealogies, …The Parsons of Joppa do not believe that the present squatters can hold the land, but eventually will be ousted. Mayor Merchant, by the way, claims descent from the Parsons.” Two capitalists of the city, George R. Bradford and George J. Tarr assert ownership of the tract, and have taken measures to protect their property…”

-excerpts from wild story about Briar Neck origins in the Boston Globe (Thacher is spelled Thatcher’s Island in this one)

Assuming its veracity, how did this Briar Neck business sort out? Two years earlier, a Boston Globe report stated Mayor Davis had plans for Briar:

Long standing Briar Neck controversy –

The controversy as to the ownership of Briar Neck property, between the street railway company and Mayor Davis, resulting in the company acknowledging the city’s rights in an old road there, has become further complicated. Today two of Gloucester’s wealthiest capitalists, George R. Bradford and George J. Tarr, entered the fight, and served papers on the street railway company. The plaintiffs claim that they own 36 acres of land at Briar Neck, which extends from the stone wall to the beach, including the fresh water pond, lowlands and uplands traversed by the street railway company. Meanwhile Mayor Davis has something up his sleeve in regard to ownership of the property which will be developed later.

August 1898 Boston Globe

October 24, 1900 Checkmate

The Mayor was limiting the amount of the council’s loan request.

“A long and tedious period of silence, lasting over 40 minutes, followed. Mayor Marchant holding his chair through fear that his seat might be usurped by Alderman Sleep, who is president of the board. In the meantime two of the aldermen had gone out in search of legal advice…”

“…Alderman McKenzie: “Since the mayor refuses to entertain my appeal, I appeal to you.” Mr. Sleep put the motion and Mr. McKenzie was sustained by the unanimous vote of the board…the portion of the loan not approved by the mayor was then passed over his veto by a unanimous vote…Having accomplished their purpose the board adjourned.”

Boston Globe October 24, 1900

January 1901

Mayor French is back in the saddle. (The prior November, ex-Mayors Cook and French, Alderman Hotchkiss and ex-Alderman Barrett vied for the nomination.)

1899 New Year’s message for the Boston Globe by Mayor William French — who was back in as Mayor for 1901.

1899 New Year’s msg from Mayor French

and his 1902 address published in the Gloucester Daily Times. I had read about French before.

photo caption: Gloucester Daily Times archives retrieved at Sawyer Free November 2018. Read more about 1902 and Haskell Dam in my prior post here on GMG, .

Honorable George E. Merchant Fast Facts

He was described as a modest man from a well known and well regarded “old Cape Ann family”, and endearing accounts about his enthusiasm at reaching his 50th wedding anniversary milestone suggest a loving one, too. (Gloucester Daily Times obit)

Prior to serving as Mayor, he served a term as an alderman 1886-87 (and many appointments/commissions before. Waterways after Mayor).

Born1853, Gloucester
OccupationAdult – Printer/printing since 1870 when he began his career at John S.E. Rogers, owner and printer Gloucester Telegraph, various newspaper jobs. And printing press from his home at advanced age after retirement.
Boyhood 1870 census- 16 years old, working as a fisherman (family lore he was the cook on father’s boat; father in business with his sons) giving it a go for 8 years like generations of his family. Education unknown, presumed self-taught. Prior to Mayor-1886-87 served as city councilor (overlapping with his father) and more since 1870s. After Mayor, appointments, too. Master gardener. Family historian-writer. Photography.
FatherGeorge Merchant
Master mariner, fisherman, owner; founded seine net repair business 1873; fisheries advisor; served years as city councilor Ward 1
Affinity & skill for art- studied painting with FH Lane; fisheries display models, etc. (And his father was an incredible violinist.) Full & busy life, family man. 31 Main Street family residence
See Shute & Merchant
MotherMary Douglass Merchant (1832-1923)
Oak Grove Cemetery
Siblings
Parents had 9 kids
Mary Jane 1851 – 1944
George Edward 1853 – 1929
Orlando 1856 – 1930
Flora Estelle died at 2 1858 – 1860
Eugene Howard died at 2 1861 – 1863
Robert Clifford 1864 – 1936
Joseph Carleton 1867 – 1961
unnamed son 1870 – 1870
Percy Washburn
WifeCharlotte E. Lufkin (1857-1945)
Childrentwins died at 8 days and 9 days
Ernest H (16 years old when his father was Mayor; GHS 1904)
–buried in Santa Barbara–
George E. Jr. (14 years old when his father was Mayor; GHS)
Residences1900 33 Eastern Avenue
family compounded variously split up before/after
eventually 31 Eastern Ave where Charlotte remains
Death1929
see 50th wedding anniversary
Mt. Pleasant Cemetery
Obit both “well known member of old Cape Ann family”

George E. Merchant, Gloucester, Mass.

31-33 Eastern Avenue George E. and Charlotte E. Merchant

George Merchant, Gloucester, Mass.

1900 census- 30 East Main – George and Mary Merchant (and son Robert)

George Merchant, grandfather, fisherman and accomplished violinist

Such creative, multi-talented family members! George E.’s photograph and family historian piece on the occasion of his grandfather’s 90th birthday was published in the Boston Globe

“He had quite a reputation as a violinist in his younger days, in fact was a born musician, having what is called “fiddler’s elbow,” and many a weary night on the deep has been made pleasant by the strains from his violin.”

About George Merchant (George E.’s grandfather)

Mayor Portraits

Portraits of many Gloucester Mayors are exhibited in Gloucester City Hall. These are photographs of (most of the) Mayor portraits I took back in 2017, after another inauguration. Paintings, photographs and drawings of Mayors have been commissioned or gifted then installed after the term(s) years of service.

Helicopter Over Cape Ann Pictures From Chris Roenker Part II

Beth Roenker writes-

Joey, attached are some pictures Chris Roenker of Rockport took on Thursday from a helicopter piloted by Dan Zimmermann also of Rockport.  They flew around Cape Ann and got some really great shots.  Thought you might want to share them.  Love the blog!  Beth

click pics for larger versions

Chris flight 015Chris flight 016Chris flight 021Chris flight 022Chris flight 023Chris flight 024Chris flight 025Chris flight 027Chris flight 029

15 – Pigeon Cove Harbor

16  Rockport Harbor

15 – Pigeon Cove Harbor

21  Thatcher Island

22  Loblolly Cove

23 Cape Hedge and Long Beaches

24 Good Harbor Beach

25 Gloucester Harbor

27 Hammond Castle

29 is just pretty