The 93rd Annisquam Sea Fair, 1939 From Fred Bodin

Fred Bodin Submits-

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When these photos were taken on August 15th, 1939, the Village of Annisquam was having it’s 93rd annual Sea Fair. Established in 1846, this fair was held during the Civil War at a youthful 15 years old, over the brief Spanish American War in 1898 it was approaching age 50, during the "War to End All Wars" (WW I) it had existed for 70 years, and  the Sea Fair was nearly 100 years old for WW II. This Saturday, July 28th, Gloucester’s Annisquam Village will host it’s 166th Sea Fair. Go there if you can.

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You can read about the Fair on Good Morning Gloucester, and I can tell you that it’s a down home, grass roots, pure New England Yankee event. It’s all about family, community, church, neighborhood, and especially tradition.

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The Annisquam Sea Fair runs from 10am until 3pm. Dinner on the Annisquam Bridge (shown above in 1890) is served from 5pm to 7pm. Do make a reservation.

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This charming woman is selling post card prints for Gloucester photographer Alice M. Curtis (1871 – 1971), whose life’s work I bought in the form of her negatives. Some people seeing this GMG post will recognize their great grandparents, grandparents, parents, and perhaps even themselves as children. I’m hoping to see some interesting comments and recollections.

Fred

8 comments

  • Great old photos! Cape Ann is rich in history and traditions…

  • Thank you for the great article, awesome photos and information about this sea fair! Looks like a great day for family! Hope we can attend, Gayle White

  • Wow! I didn’t realize it was that old. I’ve been to probably 40 Sea Fairs in my 58 year old life. Living down the street at 5 Bridgewater, my first Sea Fair was in 1954 when I was 6 months old. Wow! I didn’t realize I was that old!
    Are there archived photos from over the years? I’d love to see them. I won’t be alive for the 200th Sea Fair, but I’ll definitely make the 170th!
    Wonderful photos, Fred! I’d love to see more, if you have them.

  • Wonderful pictures!

  • Thank you Fred for sharing these old beautiful old photos of Seafair–the details are so interesting–what the attendees are wearing and selling, the Sun Bonnet Sue quilt in the background, and the charming appropriately themed tablecloths. Love-it!!

  • I believe it was also written up in the New Yorker magazine as the World’s Best Little Fair.
    Many years ago.

  • It’s been a long time since I’ve made it to Seafair, but when I was a kid in Squam it was a big part of my summer. Along with some of my friends I was part of the Punch and Judy show, directed by Professor Foster Damon. The puppets and set were antiques, and we studied our lines from old scripts that had been around for many years. As I recall, we played more than one part, and could do it only until our voices broke — no basses needed. The weekend after, the whole cast went swimming in a quarry above Folly Cove, feasted on banana splits and read Professor Damon’s collection of old comic books.
    Some of us also helped run the Panhandler, or took part in the Waxworks (not me, though; I couldn’t stay still long enough). Many books or knick-knacks from our attic ended up on the sales tables; this led to a sort of cultural bonding through the village, as we generally took home as much of other people’s things as we had donated. I’m happy that Seafair is still alive and well.

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