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Our Visit to Gloucester

 

Our visit to Gloucester began with a drive on the scenic route to the fishing port of Gloucester (the town you might remember from "The Perfect Storm"). After a quick stop for a photo opportunity just as the sun was setting behind the Fishermen's Memorial in Gloucester and a quick visit to the beach to see the lighthouse, we arrived at the Gloucester Lobster House for an evening of clam chowder, lobster, strawberry shortcake and more with stories about influential residents of this important port town: who knew the remote control and Birdseye Frozen foods were the brainstorms of Gloucester residents?

Lennie Linquata, the manager of the restaurant, was a one-man-show who not only entertained us with his stories but instructed us in the most efficient way to deconstruct our lobsters. Not all of us could quite follow those instructions -- but we made valiant efforts and were rewarded with a tasty meal. 

Gloucester History

The first Europeans to land on Cape Ann were the French. Samuel de Champlain led an expedition in 1605 and anchored briefly. The next year, Champlain led a second expedition, entering Gloucester harbor and calling it "le beau port," or "beautiful harbor." The party stayed about two weeks, making maps of the area. When they ran into 200 Indians and thought them hostile, they quickly left the area. Captain John Smith sailed by Cape Ann in 1614, but did little more than give the Cape names like "Cape Tragabigzanda" that didn't stick. Prince Charles of England finally coined the name "Cape Ann" in 1684 for his mother Queen Anne.

Fisherman at the Wheel

Gloucester's most famous landmark, this bronze statue was sculpted by Leonard Craske in 1923. It is located on Stacey Boulevard, overlooking Gloucester Harbor. The statue of a Gloucester fisherman, dressed in oilskins and standing at the wheel of his schooner was designed in heroic size: 1 scale. It is dedicated to the over 10,000 Gloucester fishermen lost at sea since the early 1600's. The base of the statue quotes Psalm 107, "They that go down to the sea in ships."

Eastern Point Light

The first lighthouse was built on the current sight in 1831 and began shining on January 1, 1832. President Andrew Jackson authorized the construction of this 30 foot lighthouse. The combined cost of the lighthouse and a small keeper's quarters was $2,450. In 1848, the original lighthouse was torn down and rebuilt. The new lighthouse was 34 feet high and had a steady red light that sailors fondly referred to as "ruby light." An automatic foghorn was installed in 1857. In 1890, the current lighthouse was built for an outrageous $4,300. In 1897, a two-ton steam operated fog bell was installed: the only one in the world. The keeper's house was one of the first to have all of the modern conveniences: telephone-1896, electricity-1897, running water-1901. The lighthouse became automated in 1986 and no longer needs a keeper for either the tower or the light at the end of the breakwater.

"Beach Views"

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