I think the frog is asking what is on my face?
Marshall’s Farm Stand family history has a connection to a West Gloucester property that was chosen for the new HGTV show, Farmhouse Fixer. Partners Jonathan Knight and Kristina Crestin developed select properties within 50 miles of Ipswich for this new show.
From HGTV online:
HGTV Casting for a New Farmhouse Renovation Show: Do you have an antique or historic farmhouse in need of renovating? Do you love your home’s old charm and character but want to add some modern updates? HGTV would like to hear from you.
“HGTV and High Noon Entertainment are casting homeowners within 50 miles of Ipswich, MA for a new show with renovation expert Jonathan Knight (best known as a Grammy Nominated member of New Kids on the Block) and his partner, local renowned designer Kristina Crestin.”
Thanks Pauline’s Gifts for happy news from West Gloucester!
People continue to share photographs of Byron Brooks oil paintings since a request back in 2016. Some images show paintings that were bought directly from the artist at his gallery in East Gloucester. Others were passed down through a family for generations. Still others were discovered at auction or estate sales across the country. One turned up in Arizona.
People google the artist and find their way to Good Morning Gloucester in search of biographical information. As more and more people share snapshots, a fuller picture of the artist and favorite motifs began to emerge. For instance, because of new additions from one collector, it’s clear that Brooks painted favorite scenes beyond Gloucester, “greater Cape Ann”, and in all seasons. Besides photographs, GMG readers have expressed memories of the artist, as well as Gloucester and relevant neighborhoods at the time he was active here. These contributions help us to have a better understanding of what it was like to visit his home studio gallery and learn more about him as a person.
selection snapshots from new contributions:
This is Part 5 from series, Searching for Artist Byron Brooks
Visiting one of my favorite places to photograph, saw this juvenile heron saying hello to a turtle
Pretty Heron in West Gloucester
A cute little frog sitting on a lily pad, notice how the frog can camouflage itself on the lily pad.
The blue dragonfly just hanging out on a twig.
Lily Pads, bumble bees and heron
Love seeing the wildlife over at the pond in West Gloucester. The heron was very proud of tadpole catch and the turtle on the log.
about marshalls farm stand – they close annually for the season on October 31.
My wonderful hubby gave me an early Christmas present, a Sigma 100-400 mm lens. Decided to go over to West Gloucester and try it out. Love going by this pond in West Gloucester. So pretty and peaceful.
These little guys were playing near the Laurence Parsons Memorial Bridge.
City of Gloucester officials are working towards a Phase 3 for the Haskell Pond Dam reconstruction which I wrote about last week (Part 1). I included information about the original monumental build. In response, Bruce Roberts was kind enough to share these amazing photographs of the impressive crews at the Haskell Pond construction site 1901. Bonus: they were annotated by his grandfather in 1958. West Gloucester families may recognize a surname or two, maybe a family resemblance. Please help ID if you can.
Bruce Roberts explains: “My grandfather, Edward F. Roberts, identified the individuals back in 1958. There are some folks he didn’t recognize, since he would have been pretty young when these images were taken. The first picture has the most identified individuals. One thing that has always been remarkable to me in the second image is how much Chester Andrews, my g-grandfather, resembled my father, Eugene Roberts, at that age.”
HASKELL’S POND CONSTRUCTION ca.1901-02 – (Individuals ID’d by Edward Roberts in 1958)
Photo 1, Dec 1901 (in snow): “Wood Choppers at Haskell’s Pond, December 1901”
Front Row, L-R: 1. Otis Lufkin, 2. Matt Poland, 3. Loren (sp?) Harris, 4. Melvin Wilkins, 5. Jim White
Back Row: 1.Asa Sargent, 2. unknown, 3. Ed Lufkin, 4. James Chadbourne, 5. Joseph Abbott, 6. unknown, 7. Joshua Roberts, 8 & 9. unknown
Photo 2 (late 1901 or early 1902):
Front, L-R: 1. Loren Harris, 2 & 3. unknown, 4. Asa Sargent
Center, w/ white shirt: Eps Walter Haskell
3rd row: (Right side, behind Asa Sargent, in light coat): Chester Andrews
(2nd to left from Chester Andrews): Fred Jeffs
Last month I was fortunate to glimpse the impressive Haskell’s Pond Dam reconstruction orchestrated by Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Protecting and managing water utilities can be easy to take for granted. “This not so sleepy dam by Rt. 128 continues to deliver almost 30% of the city’s water,” exclaimed Larry Durkin, City Environmental Engineer. He explained that years ago the DPW team began assessing the city’s water infrastructure and compliance requirements including what would happen during an event storm. Haskell’s Pond Dam needed attention: The reconstruction was projected to cost 2 million (based on the preliminary plans and the recent Babson Reservoir repair). Phase I and II were contracted out to SumCo Eco Contracting and the estimates were correct. The project cost two million and the work is largely completed thanks to grants and loans from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and the Commonwealth’s Dam and Seawall Program. DPW Director, Mike Hale, and Larry Durkin concur: “They are fabulous to work with.” Discovery was anticipated. While drilling it was determined that the Haskell Pond Dam was indeed not structurally stable, and a MAJOR fix would be required to bring the dam into compliance. The DPW team is working with the state to fund the critical work of Phase 3.
Until then, take time to enjoy its history. While checking out the 2018 progress, I pulled stories and stats from the Haskell’s Pond Dam original build In 1902. As with today, the dam work was regarded a model project. State assistance and contracted elements were required then, too. The numerous links among these two century projects are a fascinating delve and described below. The evolving breaking news in 1902 kicked off with a bang, surprising lawsuits (next stop for one could be Supreme Court), and deft leadership. Readers and history buffs will recognize names. (Tarr ancestors were involved; were yours?)
panorama and contemporary photos – Like a mini Walden pond- Haskell’s Pond during Dam reconstruction Gloucester, MA ©c ryan July 7, 2018.
Scope for Phase 1 & 2: Construction of a new concrete spillway chute, concrete repairs, clearing of trees and unwanted vegetation and valve replacement at an earthen embankment dam within the City’s active water supply system, and more (A prior $175,000 grant from the state’s Dam and Seawall Program was awarded to support “engineering, permitting and the development of construction documents” which established scope for Phase 1)
Contractor: SumCo Eco Contracting,
Status: largely completed
Mayor: Mayor Romeo Theken
DPW Director: Mike Hale
City Environmental Engineer: Lawrence A. Durkin, P.E.
Project start (historic): 1902
Modern project start: 2013-18; RFP for Phase I issued: March 15, 2017
Total project cost: estimated to be $7 million
Funding Awarded to date: $1,925,000
|1||Design & permitting grant FY 2016||$175,000||Completed 6/30/16|
|2||Haskell Phase 1 Construction Grant FY 2017||$500,000||Closed 6/30/17 and City reimbursed|
|3||Haskell Phase 1 Construction Loan FY 2018||$500,000||Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement|
|4||Haskell Phase 2 Construction Grant FY 2018 (Applied to Phase 1 change orders)||$500,000||Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement|
|5||Additional FY 2018 EEA, funds applied to Phase 1 change orders||$250,000||Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement|
|6||Haskell Phase 2 Full FY 2019 Grant, to be applied to Phase 3||$500,000||to be realized if Phase 3 goes forward in FY 2019|
|7||EEA Total to date||$1,925,000||$500,000|
Phase 3: Some future phase was anticipated, though obviously impossible to nail down until Phase 1 & 2 were completed. The reconstruction was based on discovery put into works five or more years ago as Durkin and DPW team assessed city’s watersheds. The dam has been deemed unstable and will require a major fix to be compliant. According to Durkin, the scope for Phase 3 will include “a secant concrete wall to be drilled and concrete along the dam crest for its entire length, cored in the bedrock beneath dam for structural stability and a concrete parapet wall tied into the secant wall that provides the necessary containment for the maximum storm as defined by the state” and some exicting ancillary projects I’ll write more about in a future update. Phase 3 is estimated to cost 5 million and DPW is working on grants with the state to ensure that it happens.
Location(s): West Gloucester
Priority: Mayor Romeo Theken’s Office-City consider water highest priority – this one continues to provide 1/3 of the city’s water
before photos courtesy DPW ca.2014 / after photos ©c ryan 2018
Reviewing the ordeal that was constructing the dam– one hundred and six years ago –is a fascinating read, and helped me appreciate the major job it’s been in 2018. The original dam construction was contentious and hence the top news story of 1902 and years prior. While researching its beginnings, I was struck by just how many areas of concern and themes of city governance from 1902 remain relevant in 2018. Here’s a short list: the financial condition of the city (“revaluation”), suitable allocations, considering work on Rogers Street, water costs, heroic solo sails, possible steel bridge over Annisquam, Burnham Field play ground, pros and cons of tourism, disagreement over what is considered sound development, new theater on Main Street, announcing state grants, eminent domain, boundary lines, Gloucester Fresh, cut bridge in bad condition, aiming to keep work in town when possible, Stage Fort Park tributes, environmentally friendly innovations, sustainability, access and oodles of local politics- Office of Mayor and City Council, city staff, committees, and commissions.
The excerpts below pertain to Haskell’s pond dam from 1902 Gloucester Daily Times archives that I pulled from reels at Sawyer Free and transcribed for easy access. Plans and maps are courtesy of Mike Hale and the Department Public Work team. Links to high resolution versions are provided at the end of the post.
January 4, 1902 – MAYOR FRENCH LOSES: Aldermen Vote to Exonerate Water Commissioners