Niles Beach and Gate Lodge, Gloucester Massachusetts then and now

circa 1900 vs 2018

gate lodge and niles beach ca.1890

Moving ivy –

ivy clad Gate Lodge built 1888, photograph ca.1900  Vs. ivy clad stone marker and grounds today

approaching Niles Beach former Gate Lodge on right ©c ryan_20180630_072943.jpg


niles beach ca 1890

glacial rock boulders and coast line Niles Beach Gloucester MA ©c ryan _20180630_120331





annisquam-lighthouse-copyright-kim-smithAnnisquam Lighthouse on a crispy clear and chilly October morning

Excerpt from the terrific website,

Annisquam Lighthouse is situated on the Annisquam River, which is in fact an estuary that connects Ipswich Bay to Gloucester Harbor. In 1631, the village of Annisquam was founded on the eastern side of the northern end of the river. The village grew into a fishing and shipbuilding center that during its heyday rivaled Gloucester. For ships traveling the coast, the river was considered an important refuge.

The lighthouse got its start with an April 29, 1800 act of Congress that authorized the erection of a light on Wigwam Point in Annisquam. The act also provided for the appointment of a keeper and other support of such lighthouse at the expense of the United States, provided that sufficient land for the lighthouse be granted to the United States. That land was to come from Gustavus Griffin, who deeded six-and-one-half acres on October 26, 1800, for which the U.S. Government paid him $140. The area was known as Wigwam Point, because it was historically a summer gathering place for Native Americans. Annisquam is a combination of the local Native Indian name for a harbor, “squam”, and “Ann” from Cape Ann, after Queen Anne of England. Originally, it was frequently written as “Anesquam.”

Annisquam Lighthouse c1870. Benham Collection.
Annisquam Lighthouse c1870. Benham Collection.

In 1801, $2,000 was spent for the construction of the original thirty-two-foot wooden lighthouse, which displayed a fixed white light forty feet above the water. A two-room keeper’s dwelling was erected near the tower. The light’s first keeper was James Day, a Gloucester native, who was provided an annual salary of $200. George Day helped is father mind the light, and when James Day became seriously ill in 1805, George was made the official keeper.

An article published in the Boston Post during the early years of the light provides insight into the life of Keeper James Day and his family. The article, quoted in The Lighthouses of New England, states:

A large milk pan, an iron pot, and a dozen wooden spoons made up the greater part of their housekeeping articles; and their livestock consisted of a cow. It was their custom, while boiling their hominy for supper, to milk the cow into the pan, and after turning in the hominy and placing it on the floor, to gather around with their wooden spoons, and all help themselves from the same dish. On one of these occasions, old parson F., their minister happened to be paying them a parochial visit; and one of the boys, being a bit crowded, thought he could better his position by changing it to the opposite side of the dish. In attempting to do this, by stepping across, he accidently put his dirty foot square onto the milk and hominy, and before he could take it out again the rest had revenged themselves for the interruption by rapping him smartly on his bare leg with their wooden spoons, and without taking any further notice of the affair, went on eating as before…

annisquam_1956_cgAerial view of the Lighthouse and Coast Guard station 1956

Read More Here

Vintage Photos

Mary Tucker Submits East Main Street Photos from 1905


Good morning Kim ~ these photos came from a publication I have titled “Photographic History of Gloucester” published in 1976 by Cape Ann Bank and Trust.  Notice the street car tracks ~ next photo you will be able to see the street car.  Last night, Joey’s challenge reminded me of these photos which prompted my guess.

That’s my corner, Plum Street! Wonderful fun to see. Thanks for submitting Mary!


1918 Water Front Pass for Gorton-Pew Fisheries

Below is an 1918 Water Front pass for Gorton-Pew Fisheries.

Manuel Barber  (Azorean Barbaro)   is the maternal great grandfather of Donald Lacerda a long time resident of Gloucester.

Barber was a Gloucester Fisherman, but after his wife died young, he worked for Gorton’s so he could care for his three children.

The Fighter below is of Don’s grandfather Joe Lacerda “Spats”, who was a long time barber in Gloucester.

Credit to Steve Mitchell who produced the passes and photo to share with GMG viewers.



Don grandfather_edited-1

Old Salt, circa 1890

Old Salt, circa 1890 Anonymous/ ©Fredrik D. Bodin
I love this photograph, and affectionately call the subject  “Old Salty.” I like it so much it’s my profile picture on Facebook. This is a classic Gloucester fisherman image, with oilskin, sou’wester hat, and old fashioned beard. What’s really striking is the far away look in his eyes. He’s seen it all: Weather, endless ocean, severe hardship, and extreme danger. The portrait is carefully posed and lit – probably taken for the tourist trade. I was told that Old Salt could be Jessie Bates or Rufus Bates Parsons, and was taken in Gloucester.
If you know Salty, please let me know. In the meantime, today’s tourists who have seen my Facebook page will come to the gallery looking to meet the fisherman with the beard.
Printed archivally in the darkroom from a 6×7 cm copy negative. Image # AC020128-02#11
Fredrik D. Bodin
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

The Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan

Brooklyn Bridge New York City, circa 1910 Charles H. Cleaves/ ©Fredrik D. Bodin
The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 as the longest suspension bridge in the world (5,989 feet) and the tallest free standing structure in the Northern Hemisphere. Rockport attorney and photographer Charles H. Cleaves (1877–1937), who had interests in Cape Ann granite quarries, probably made this photograph to show how our granite was used. Although the bridge’s clearance at high tide is 135 feet, this full rigged ship still had to step her topmasts to pass through. Three tugs tow the ship down the East River and out of New York Harbor.
I have driven, walked, and bicycled over the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, where I was born. The bridge really is a National Treasure, the Eight Wonder of the World, and I have sold her many times.
Printed from the original 4×5 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Image # A9645-027

Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Gloucester Water Taxi – 1900 Style

Gloucester Harbor, circa 1900 Russell Robins/©Fredrik D. Bodin
Ten years ago a woman came into my gallery with fourteen 4×5 inch glass negatives that she found in the attic, and was going to sell them in her yard sale. They were in good condition, and all were harbor scenes. The only information she could give me was the photographer’s name: Russell Robins, and that he may have worked for Gorton’s Seafood. I bought them for much more than a yard sale price. As it turned out, they were all of Gloucester’s working harbor.
This photograph shows how busy the harbor was, with motor, sail, and rowing boats. The man rowing into the picture on the left is wearing a derby and looks like a businessman. He could be on his way to check out a fishing schooner’s catch and negotiate a price. Behind him are two schooners and the tug Startle. The distant shoreline is East Gloucester, and Rocky Neck is on the right. Over time, I realized that people in the fishing industry commuted by boat, unless a ship was tied up at the dock. Hundreds of people, including fishermen, shipwrights, fish company agents, provisioners, and owners, would row out to conduct the fishery’s business. And that’s probably why Russell Robins was out there too– with his camera.
Printed from the original 4×5 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Negative # A9945-009
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Good Harbor Beach, 1930

Good Harbor Beach, 1930 Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin
As summer takes hold and hot weather becomes the norm, I think of this photograph, taken at the Brier Neck end of Good Harbor Beach. It looks hazy, hot, and humid. Details of the Back Shore and Moorland Hotel are lost in the haze. Beach goers seek out the water and hide in the shade. The number of umbrellas makes me think they knew about the effects of too much sun.
Printed from the original 5×7 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Negative # A8357-048
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Cleaning the Catch, circa 1930

Cleaning the Catch, circa 1930 Anonymous/@Fredrik D. Bodin

Sailing home in rolling seas after a fishing trip, these men clean and sort the catch. Covered with fish guts and scales, there’s no showering or shaving on a working schooner. This was on-the-job reality in the 1930’s. One way I estimate the date of an old photo is by clothing style. In this shot, the man in the middle is wearing a 1930’s Trilby hat, and the men on either side are wearing 1920’s flat Newsboy hats. If anyone can identify any of these fishermen, please let us know.

Printed from the original 4×5 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Negative # A9145-246

Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Front Beach, Rockport, circa 1900

Front Beach, Rockport, circa 1900 Charles H. Cleaves/©Fredrik D. Bodin
These folks are enjoying Front Beach in the latest beach attire. Observatory Point sits in the distance on the right. The Rockport fire house is on the left, with its hose drying tower. It wasn’t until after 1819 that water buckets were replaced by a great improvement in fire-fighting equipment – the cotton hose. After use, the hoses needed to dry, and this took place in a 50 to 60 foot tower. Often, a fire bell was hung in the top of the tower.


Printed from the original 4×5 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Negative # A9445-046
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

The Homecoming

 The Homecoming, circa 1950 Anonymous/©Fredrik D. Bodin
It’s rare that a photograph can make me well up a bit every time I look at it. This one does. Although we can’t see see the soldier’s face, we know where he’s been: to war. Now he’s returned after a long hot trip, being welcomed by his family in an airport or train station. The three women, probably his wife, mother, and daughter, are all crying with happiness to have him home. It’s hard to not do the same.
About two years ago a woman came into my gallery with a few photographs she wanted to sell. I was struck when I saw this one, and bought it. It’s an 8×10 black and white glossy, with no information on the front or back. An unknown press photographer probably took the picture, and I don’t know if it was ever published. I wonder if he or she realized the emotional weight of this image. An unexpected gift for us on Memorial Day.

Scanned from the original 8×10 inch print. Negative #AD110530-001
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Annisquam Light, circa 1890

 Annisquam Light, circa 1890 Charles E. Dennison/©Fredrik D, Bodin
The first Annisquam Lighthouse was built in 1801 on Wigwam Point, where the Annisqaum River meets Ipswich Bay. It was replaced in 1851 by the lighthouse in this photograph. The forty one foot high wooden tower was octagonal. The keeper’s house, to the right of the light, also built in 1801, had a covered walkway connecting it to the lighthouse. Cows grazed the lighthouse grounds, and wandered along the beach at low tide. The present  Annisquam Light was erected in 1897, and is made of brick. The light was automated in 1974, and the keeper’s house is currently used by Coast Guard families.
Printed from the original 8×10 inch negative in my darkroom.
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

Clam Tucker

Clam Tucker ~ On the ‘Squam, circa 1900 Alice M. Curtis/©Bodin Historic Photo
Clam Tucker is one of my favorite photos, and I always try to keep a print hanging in the gallery. My best guess on the location is the Mill River in Gloucester. Clam (Osmond “Clam” Tucker) kept his boat and had his clam shack on Clam Alley, which was paved with his shucked clams, and is across Washington Street from Gee Avenue.
I have talked to people in the gallery who knew Clam Tucker when they were children. Their parents sent them with buckets to buy his clams, and they timidly entered his shack where he told them stories. One person even claimed to have his clay pipe.
One piece of the puzzle that I haven’t solved yet is the type of boat this is. It can be rowed and also sailed. Any ideas?
Printed from the original 5×7 inch glass negative in my darkroom.
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930