Gloucester /ˈɡlɒstər/ is a city on Cape Ann in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is part of Massachusetts' North Shore. The population was 28,789 at the 2010 U.S. Census. An important center of the fishing industry and a popular summer destination, Gloucester consists of an urban core on the north side of the harbor and the outlying neighborhoods of Annisquam, Bay View, Lanesville, Folly Cove, Magnolia, Riverdale, East Gloucester, and West Gloucester.
City of Gloucester
Man at the Wheel, Fisherman's Memorial Cenotaph
"The Place To Be In The Summer"
"America's Oldest Seaport"
City of Gloucester
Location in the United States
|• Type||Mayor-council city|
|• Mayor||Sefatia Romeo Theken|
|• Total||41.5 sq mi (107.5 km2)|
|• Land||26.2 sq mi (67.8 km2)|
|• Water||15.3 sq mi (39.6 km2)|
|Elevation||50 ft (15 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||690/sq mi (270/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|Area code(s)||351 / 978|
|GNIS feature ID||0615084|
The boundaries of Gloucester originally included the town of Rockport, in an area dubbed "Sandy Bay". That village separated formally on February 27, 1840. In 1873, Gloucester was reincorporated as a city.
Gloucester was founded at Cape Ann by an expedition called the "Dorchester Company" of men from Dorchester (in the county of Dorset, England) chartered by James I in 1623. It was one of the first English settlements in what would become the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and predates both Salem in 1626 and Boston in 1630. The first company of pioneers made landing at Half Moon Beach and settled nearby, setting up fishing stages in a field in what is now Stage Fort Park. This settlement's existence is proclaimed today by a memorial tablet, affixed to a 50-foot (15 m) boulder in that park.
Life in this first settlement was harsh and it was short-lived. Around 1626 the place was abandoned, and the people removed themselves to Naumkeag (what is now called Salem, Massachusetts), where more fertile soil for planting was to be found. The meetinghouse was even disassembled and relocated to the new place of settlement. At some point in the following years – though no record exists – the area was slowly resettled. The town was formally incorporated in 1642. It is at this time that the name "Gloucester" first appears on tax rolls, although in various spellings. The town took its name from the city of Gloucester in South-West England, perhaps from where many of its new occupants originated but more likely because Gloucester, England, was a Parliamentarian stronghold, successfully defended with the aid of the Earl of Essex against the King in the Siege of Gloucester of 1643.
This new permanent settlement focused on the Town Green area, an inlet in the marshes at a bend in the Annisquam River. This area is now the site of Grant Circle, a large traffic rotary at which Massachusetts Route 128 mingles with a major city street (Washington Street/Rt 127). Here the first permanent settlers built a meeting house and therefore focused the nexus of their settlement on the "Island" for nearly 100 years. Unlike other early coastal towns in New England, development in Gloucester was not focused around the harbor as it is today, rather it was inland that people settled first. This is evidenced by the placement of the Town Green nearly two miles from the harbor-front.
The Town Green is also where the settlers built the first school. By Massachusetts Bay Colony Law, any town boasting 100 families or more had to provide a public schoolhouse. This requirement was met in 1698, with Thomas Riggs standing as the town's first schoolmaster.
Early industry included subsistence farming and logging. Because of the poor soil and rocky hills, Cape Ann was not well suited for farming on a large scale. Small family farms and livestock provided the bulk of the sustenance to the population. Fishing, for which the town is known today, was limited to close-to-shore, with families subsisting on small catches as opposed to the great bounties yielded in later years. The fisherman of Gloucester did not command the Grand Banks until the mid-18th century. Historian Christine Heyrman, examining the town's society between 1690 and 1750, finds that at the beginning community sensibility was weak in a town that was a loose agglomeration of individuals. Commerce and capitalism transformed the society, making it much more closely knit with extended families interlocking in business relationships.
Early Gloucestermen cleared great swaths of the forest of Cape Ann for farm and pasture land, using the timber to build structures as far away as Boston. The rocky moors of Gloucester remained clear for two centuries until the forest reclaimed the land in the 20th century. The inland part of the island became known as the "Commons", the "Common Village", or "Dogtown". Here small dwellings lay scattered amongst the boulders and swamps, along roads that meandered through the hills. These dwellings were at times little more than shanties; only one was even two stories tall. Despite their size, several generations of families were raised in such houses. One feature of the construction of these houses was that under one side of the floor was dug a cellar hole (for the keeping of food), supported by a foundation of laid-stone (without mortar). These cellar holes are still visible today along the trails throughout the inland part of Gloucester; they, and some walls, are all that remain of the village there.
The town grew, and eventually colonists lived on the opposite side of the Annisquam River. This, in a time of legally mandated church attendance, was a long way to walk – or row – on a Sunday morning. In 1718 the settlers on the opposite shore of the river split off from the First Parish community at the Green and formed "Second Parish". While still part of the town of Gloucester, the people of Second, or "West", Parish now constructed their own meetinghouse and designated their own place of burial, both of which were in the hills near the marshes behind Wingaersheek Beach. The meetinghouse is gone now, but deep in the woods on the Second Parish Road, Old Thompson road, one can still find the stone foundation and memorial altar, as well as scattered stones of the abandoned burial ground.
Other parts of town later followed suit. Third Parish, in northern Gloucester, was founded in 1728. Fourth Parish split off from First Parish in 1742. Finally, in 1754, the people of Sandy Bay (what would later be called Rockport) split off from First Parish to found Fifth Parish. The Sandy Bay church founding was the last religious re-ordering of the colonial period. All of these congregations still exist in some form, with the exception of Fourth Parish, the site of whose meeting house is now a highway.
At one time, there was a thriving granite industry in Gloucester.
Gloucester is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 41.5 square miles (107.5 km2), of which 26.2 square miles (67.8 km2) is land and 15.3 square miles (39.6 km2), or 36.88%, is water.(42.624015, −70.675521).
Gloucester occupies most of the eastern end of Cape Ann, except for the far tip, which is the town of Rockport. The city is split in half by the Annisquam River, which flows northward through the middle of the city into Ipswich Bay. At its south end it is connected to Gloucester Harbor by the Blynman Canal. The land along the northwestern shore of the river is marshy, creating several small islands. Gloucester Harbor is divided into several smaller coves, including the Western Harbor (site of the Fisherman's Memorial) and the Inner Harbor (home to the Gloucester fishing fleet). The eastern side of Gloucester Harbor is divided from the rest of Massachusetts Bay by Eastern Point, extending some 2 miles (3 km) outward from the mainland. There are several parks in the city, the largest of which are Ravenswood Park, Stage Fort Park and Mount Ann Park.
Gloucester lies between Ipswich Bay to the north and Massachusetts Bay to the south. The city is bordered on the east by Rockport, and on the west by Ipswich, Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea to the west. (The town line with Ipswich is located across Essex Harbor, and as such there is no land connection between the towns.) Gloucester lies 16 miles (26 km) east-northeast of Salem and 31 miles (50 km) northeast of Boston. Gloucester lies at the eastern terminus of Route 128, which ends at Route 127A. Route 127A begins at Route 127 just east of the Route 128 terminus, heading into Rockport before terminating there. Route 127 enters from Manchester-by-the-Sea before crossing the Blynman Canal and passing through downtown towards Rockport. It then re-enters Gloucester near Folly Cove, running opposite of its usual north-south orientation towards its terminus at Route 128. Route 133 also terminates within the city, entering from Essex and terminating just west of the Blynman Canal at Route 127. Besides the bridge over the Blynman Canal, there are only two other connections between the eastern and western halves of town, the A. Piatt Andrew Memorial Bridge, carrying Route 128, and the Boston & Maine Railroad Bridge, just north of the Blynman Canal.
Gloucester is home to the Cape Ann Transportation Authority, which serves the city and surrounding towns. Two stops, in West Gloucester and in downtown Gloucester, provide access to the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail, which extends from Rockport along the North Shore to Boston's North Station. The nearest airport is the Beverly Municipal Airport, with the nearest national and international air service being at Boston's Logan International Airport.
As of the 2000 census, there were 30,273 people, 12,592 households, and 7,895 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,166.0 people per square mile (450.2/km²). There were 13,958 housing units at an average density of 537.6 per square mile (207.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.99% White, 6.61% African American, 0.72% Asian, 0.12% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.48% of the population. 22.6% were of Italian, 16.2% Irish, 11.1% English, 8.5% Portuguese and 7.1% American ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 12,592 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 26.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $58,568, and the median income for a family was $80,970 from a 2007 estimate. Males had a median income of $41,465 versus $30,566 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,595. About 7.1% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.8% of those under age 18 and 11.2% of those age 65 or over.
Gloucester is a city, with a Strong-Mayor-Council System. The current mayor of Gloucester is Sefatia Romeo-Theken as of February 15, 2015. The Mayor is also reserved a seat on the School Committee. City offices are elected every two years (those ending with odd numbers). In 2007 over 40 people ran for the 15 elected seats in the city's government.
The city is divided into five Wards, each split into two precincts:
As late as the mid-20th century Gloucester had as many as eight wards, but they have been since reorganized into current number.
On November 7, 2005, incumbent Mayor John Bell was re-elected to a third term in office. He stated his intention not to run for reelection and stepped down in January 2008.
On November 6, 2007 Carolyn Kirk was elected as the Mayor of Gloucester. Kirk resigned in December 2014 to take a position in the administration of Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker. Sefatia Theken was then voted to be the interim mayor of Gloucester by the City Council. Sefatia was elected to serve a full two-year term on November 2, 2015.
|Voter registration and party enrollment as of October 15, 2008|
|Party||Number of voters||Percentage|
The following schools are located within the Gloucester Public Schools District:
The town was an important shipbuilding center, and the first schooner was reputedly built there in 1713. The community developed into an important fishing port, largely due to its proximity to Georges Bank and other fishing banks off the east coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Gloucester's most famous (and nationally recognized) seafood business was founded in 1849 as John Pew & Sons. It became Gorton-Pew Fisheries in 1906, and in 1957 changed its name to Gorton's of Gloucester. The iconic image of the "Gorton's Fisherman", and the products he represents, are known throughout the country and beyond. Besides catching and processing seafood, Gloucester is also a center for research on marine life and conservation ; Ocean Alliance is headquartered in the city.
In the late 19th century Gloucester saw an influx of Portuguese and Italian immigrants seeking work in the town's flourishing fishing industry and a better life in America. Some present-day fishermen of Gloucester are descendants of these early immigrants. The strong Portuguese and Italian influence is evident in the many festivals celebrated throughout the year. During the Catholic celebration, St Peter's Fiesta, relatives of fishermen past and present carry oars representing many of the fishing vessels which call Gloucester their home. Saint Peter is the patron saint of the fishermen. Gloucester remains an active fishing port, and in 2013 ranked 21st in the United States with respect to fish landings. In that year 62 million pounds of fish were caught bringing in an estimated $42 million.
Gloucester's scenic beauty, active fishing industry, and renowned arts community have attracted and inspired painters since the early 19th century, as they do today. The first Gloucester painter of note was native-born Fitz Henry Lane, whose home still exists on the waterfront. The premier collection of his works is in the Cape Ann Museum, which holds 40 of his paintings and 100 of his drawings. Other painters subsequently attracted to Gloucester include, William Morris Hunt, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, John Twachtman, Frederick Mulhaupt, Frank Duveneck, Cecilia Beaux, Jane Peterson, Gordon Grant, Harry DeMaine, Emile Gruppe, Stuart Davis, Joseph Solman, Mark Rothko, Milton Avery, Barnett Newman, William Meyerowitz, Joan Lockhart, Theresa Bernstein, and Marsden Hartley, and artists from the Ashcan School such as Edward Hopper, John Sloan, Robert Henri, William Glackens, and Maurice Prendergast.
Several important sculptors have lived and worked in East Gloucester, Annisquam, Lanesville and Folly Cove. They include George Aarons, Anna Hyatt Huntington, Charles Grafly, Paul Manship and his daughter-in-law Margaret Cassidy Manship, Walker Hancock, and George Demetrios. In addition, Aristides Demetrios grew up in Folly Cove.
Gloucester is the birthplace of Marvel character Dane Whitman whose superhero alter ego is the Black Knight.
National Geographic Channel films its reality television series Wicked Tuna, documenting and chronicling the lives of commercial tuna fishermen, and the lucrative bluefin tuna industry, in Gloucester.
Gloucester's most noted landmark is the harborside Man at the Wheel statue (also known as the "Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial Cenotaph"), dedicated to "They that go down to the sea in ships", which is a quote from Psalm 107:23–32.
Gloucester has a professional theatre company known as the Gloucester Stage Company, which stages five to eight plays each season, primarily in the summer months. Located in East Gloucester, the theatre sits at water's edge overlooking Smith's Cove. It was founded in 1979 by local arts and business leaders to encourage playwrights and their new works. Israel Horovitz, who founded the GSC, was also its artistic director from 1979 to 2006. Over the years, plays developed at the Gloucester Stage Company have gone on to critical acclaim and popular success, on and off Broadway, nationally and internationally. The group draws theatre-goers from Gloucester, neighboring North Shore districts, and the greater Boston area, as well as seasonal residents and tourists.
Gloucester's largest annual event is St. Peter's Fiesta, sponsored by the local Italian-American community. It is held the last weekend in June, which is typically the weekend closest to the saint's feast day. Preceded by a nine-day novena of prayers, the festival highlights include the blessing of the fleet and the greasy pole contest.
The city has much significant architecture, from pre-Revolutionary houses to the hilltop 1870 City Hall, which dominates the town and harbor. It also has exotic waterfront homes now converted to museums, including Beauport, built 1907–1934 by designer Henry Davis Sleeper in collaboration with local architect Halfdan Hanson, said to raise eclecticism to the level of genius. In addition, it has Hammond Castle, built 1926–1929 by inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr., as a setting for his collection of Roman, medieval and Renaissance artifacts. Gloucester was also the home of feminist writer Judith Sargent Murray and John Murray, the founder of the first Universalist Church in America. Their house still exists as the Sargent House Museum. Many museums are located in the main downtown area, such as the Cape Ann Museum, and the museum/aquarium Maritime Gloucester.
The Annisquam River is a tidal, salt-water estuary in Annisquam and Gloucester, Massachusetts, connecting Annisquam Harbor on the north to Gloucester Harbor on the south. The segment between Gloucester Harbor and the Newburyport/Rockport Line bridge is also known as the Blynman Canal.
The estuary is about 4.5 miles (7.2 km) long, navigable, and open to the ocean at both ends. Its surface area is 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2). The name "Annisquam" comes from an Algonquian term meaning "top of the rock, containing
There are only three fixed crossings of the river: Massachusetts Route 128, the Rockport Branch of the MBTA Newburyport/Rockport Line, and Western Avenue (Massachusetts Route 127).
There are strong tidal currents in the river, and unusually the current flows in opposite directions at the two ends.Babson Ledge
Babson Ledge is a small barren rock within the edge of the Western Harbor and Gloucester Harbor in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The rock is situated south of the Fort Point, Pavilion Beach, Blynman Canal, Route 127, and west of Rocky Neck.Beauport (Gloucester, Massachusetts)
Beauport, also known as Sleeper–McCann House, Little Beauport, or Henry Davis Sleeper House, is a historic house in Gloucester, Massachusetts.Bruce Tarr
Bruce E. Tarr (born January 2, 1964) is the minority leader of the Massachusetts Senate. He has been a member since 1995, representing the 1st Essex and Middlesex District. He is a member of the United States Republican Party and a former member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In June 2009 fellow Republican state senator Scott Brown described the 5 member senate caucus as "led" by Senator Tarr.
The 1st Essex and Middlesex district includes Gloucester, Boxford, Essex, Georgetown, Groveland, Hamilton, Ipswich, Manchester, Middleton, Newbury, North Andover, North Reading, Rockport, Rowley, Wenham, West Newbury, and Wilmington.
Tarr was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Suffolk University, for his undergraduate and J.D. studies. Prior to being elected to the Senate in 1994, he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1991–1995.Camp Hobson
Camp Hobson was a military camp that existed during the Spanish–American War in 1898 in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It was located near the works known as Stage Fort, Fort Banks, Fort Cross, and Fort Allen during their intermittent use. Restored in 1930, it is now located on land belonging to Stage Fort Park.Cape Ann
Cape Ann is a rocky cape in northeastern Massachusetts, United States on the Atlantic Ocean. It is about 30 miles northeast of Boston and marks the northern limit of Massachusetts Bay. Cape Ann includes the city of Gloucester and the towns of Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport.Coast Guard Aviation Station Ten Pound Island
Coast Guard Aviation Station Ten Pound Island was a United States Coast Guard air station located in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It was replaced by Coast Guard Air Station Salem in 1935. Today, the site is home to Coast Guard Station Gloucester.Coast Guard Station Gloucester
United States Coast Guard Station Gloucester is a United States Coast Guard station located in Gloucester, Massachusetts. It is located on Harbor Loop on the Mainland. The first successful US Coast Guard Air Station was located on Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor.
The station has three assets; two 47′ MLB and an RBS2. In order to respond to "SAR" search and rescue in heavy weather the 47 MLB is utilized. Gloucester's "AOR" (area of responsibility) also includes narrow rivers and harbors, which the RBS is utilized over the 47 to gain entry into shallow waters.
Many books and movies have revolved around the station, most notably; "10 Hours Until Dawn" and the story of Andrea Gail and her crew was the basis of the 1997 book The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger, and a 2000 film..
That may be verified on the official US Coast Guard site:http://www.uscg.mil/history/stations/airsta_salem.aspEastern Point Fort
Eastern Point Fort was a fort that existed from 1863 to 1867 on Eastern Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Consisting of seven guns, a battery and barracks were constructed. Today, a private residence exists within the former earthworks for the fort.Fort Defiance (Massachusetts)
Fort Defiance was a fort that existed from 1774 to around 1865 on Fort Point in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Originally named Fort Lillie, it was renamed in 1814, burned in 1833, and rebuilt in 1851. Prior to the establishment of the fort, the British Fort Anne was located here, and was built in 1703, and rebuilt in 1743. Currently, nothing remains of the fort.Gloucester Daily Times
The Gloucester Daily Times is an American daily newspaper published Monday through Saturday mornings in Gloucester, Massachusetts by Eagle-Tribune Publishing Company, a subsidiary of Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. The price is $0.75.
In addition to its home city, the paper also covers adjacent towns on Cape Ann in Essex County: Essex, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport. Its circulation is approximately 10,000, giving it some 22,000 readers each day.Gorton's of Gloucester
Gorton's of Gloucester is a subsidiary of Japanese seafood conglomerate Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., producing fishsticks and other frozen seafood for the retail market in the United States. Gorton's also has a North American food service business which sells to fast-food restaurants such as McDonald's, and an industrial coating ingredients operation. It has been headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, since 1849.National Register of Historic Places listings in Gloucester, Massachusetts
This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Gloucester, Massachusetts.
This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in an online map.Essex County, of which Gloucester is a part, is the location of more than 450 properties and districts listed on the National Register. Gloucester itself is the location of 34 of these properties and districts.
This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted May 17, 2019.Our Lady of Good Voyage Church (Gloucester, Massachusetts)
Our Lady of Good Voyage Church is a historic Roman Catholic church at 136-144 Prospect Street and 2-4 Taylor Street in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The first church on the site was built in 1892 to serve a large Portuguese immigrant population that came to Gloucester to work in the fishery. That church burned in 1914, and this Spanish Revival building, designed to resemble the Santa Maria Madalena church in the Azorean community of Madalena on the island of Pico. The church also includes one of the oldest sets of full carillon bells in the United States.The church was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.Ravenswood Park
Ravenswood Park is a nature reserve in the western section of Gloucester, Massachusetts owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations, which acquired the property in 1993. It can be accessed from Western Avenue, the road to Manchester through the Magnolia area. Ravenswood Park is frequented by cross-country skiers during the winter.Schooner
A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts. The most common type has two masts, the foremast being shorter than the main. While the schooner was originally gaff-rigged, modern schooners typically carry a Bermuda rig. The etymology is unknown and uncertain.Timothy Davis (Massachusetts)
Timothy Davis (April 12, 1821 – October 23, 1888) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts.
Davis was born in Gloucester, Massachusetts and attended the public schools. He served two years in a printing office, engaged in mercantile pursuits in Boston.WBOQ
WBOQ (104.9 FM; "North Shore 104.9") is a full-service adult contemporary radio station licensed to Gloucester, Massachusetts, United States, with studios on Route 1A in North Beverly. The station is owned by Westport Broadcasting.Wicked Tuna
Wicked Tuna is a reality television series about commercial tuna fishermen based in Gloucester, Massachusetts, who fish for the lucrative Atlantic bluefin tuna in the North Atlantic Ocean. The teams of fishermen battle each other to see who can catch the most fish. The series has aired on National Geographic Channel since April 1, 2012.
In addition to offering an inside look at one of America’s oldest industries, Wicked Tuna sheds light on important issues surrounding the fate of the bluefin tuna. Captains adhere to U.S. regulations that determine size limits and quotas for the season.The program was renewed by the National Geographic Channel for an eighth season, which premiered on March 11, 2019.
|* = population estimate. |
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
Municipalities and communities of Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
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