Our drive to Gloucester took us through a number of Massachusetts North Shore towns including Rowley where we stumbled upon the community 13th Annual Tractor Contest.
Among the many weather vanes which seemed to populate every town, were a rooster
and a fly
As we neared our destibation Gloucester High School's dramatic tower stood out against the clear blue sky
Gloucester is a city on Cape Ann in Massachusetts with a 2010 population of 28,789.
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, which abuts the present day Waterfront 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, MA), 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.
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.
After winding through some narrow streets, we suddenly found ourselves at the Gloucester waterfront.
After luckily finding a place to park, we began to wonder past its many flower gardens and monuments.
Alfred Q Dahlia
Monarch Butterflies on Blue Waterfall Bellflowers
World War II Merchant Marine Memorial
All of the many park benches have plaques of dedication
We spoke to the owner of this 1955 Lincoln
What looks like the polished-granite pedestal for a momument which has been removed proved ot me nothing more than the top of a pumping room
Suddenly we hear the flanging of a bell which sounded like those found at railroad crossings … but there were no train tracks anywhere in sight. It turned out that it was a waring for the lowering of the gates on either side of the Blynman Canal Draw Bridge.
Once down, the bridge began to open
to permit boats to travel out from the canal's marinas to the harbor
and back from the harbor to the canal
The bridge's opening and closing is controlled from a small building on its east side
where we discovered the bell we'd heard.
While watching the parade of boats make their way under the opened bridge, we chatted with a World War II Air Force veteran and his wife. He'd lost his brother on June 6th, 1944. A wonderful couple.
Continuing our stoll along the water front we passed the two most well-known monuments
Fishermen's Wives Memorial
The wife and her children look seaward waiting for the return of her husband
Listed on a series of plaques are the men who had been lost at sea by year, begin with 24 fishermen who perished in 1716 to one who died in 3022 (the last year for which the plaques were updated) … and included the six men who went down with the Andrea Gail of "The Perfect Storm".
Another monument we saw
Ten Pound Island Light
was a bit of a mystery until we looked out into the harbor
and found another another plaque dedicated to the founding of the U.S. Coast Guard's air wing.
The views of the harbor are mesmerizing
Heaidng back toward our car we heard the wail of sirens and then saw a group of motorcycle policemen
who we quickly discovered were the advance for a charitable motorcycle ride of more than 100 bikes.
We shared lots of waves with the riders
The last rider
Across Western Anveue stood a memorial to World War II veterans
Back along the waterfront we found an empty park bench where we had lunch and an unparalleld view.
Along Western Avenue, there are many buildings with extremely interesting architectures.
Old Cheve truck with a surf board
Nude outside an antique dealer