Update:old news: pilot & roseway- The Infamous One Sends a Shout Out To Dave Bennis of Michigan &

The infamous one follows up with this –

joey – here’s a piece from the 1909 sanborn insurance map that shows where the parkhurst and burnham railways were in relation to each other.  few years earlier than the pilot boat pix, but the layout of the inner harbor didn’t change that much until urban renewal.  fyi, around 2005, some internet angel posted a complete set of the cape ann sanborn maps, from 1885-1917 in pdf format.  i downloaded them and have been using them ever since.  gave copies to the gloucester archives and sfl, and converted them to grayscale tifs for my own research purposes.  museum has these on board as well as the original full color hand-annotated atlases (that weigh about 50 pounds each!)  you want to know how this place has changed over the years?  never mind the pretty pictures, go to the maps.  they tell the story like nothing else can.


last month a nice chap named dave bennis came in to see me at the museum.  he was one of the volunteer crew on the ‘highlander sea’ (nee ‘pilot’) when she came into our port and wanted to see if we had any photos of the vessel in her days as a pilot boat in boston.  we found a few and here’s one taken of her by gordon thomas in 1960 on parkhurst railways for some work.  just so she wouldn’t feel lonely, i found another one of ‘roseway’ (pilot boat #2) on gloucester marine railways in the mid 50s.  dave’s gone back to his day job as lighthouse keeper in the upper peninsula of michigan, but i hope he sees these and comes back to visit us again.
infamous fred buck


check out the cape ann museum

Joey adds-
After recognizing the building in back of the parkurst railways I decided to pull up this picture I took on September 4th ,2011-

Can you line up the windows with the building in the top picture?


  • Looks like Maitime Gloucester formerly (GMHC), Their site says…”The mill building houses the machinery that runs the Burnham Brothers Railway, the oldest continually operating marine railway in the country and Gloucester Maritime’s major source of operating revenue. The mill building is a beautiful 19th century brick structure of historical significance. The basement houses the machinery that operates the railway. The street level floor houses the Dory Shop and connects to the observation deck, where visitors can watch the work taking place on the railway below.”


  • That top photo is at the former Burnham Brothers, then Gloucester Marine, Railway which became the Heritage Center (I will not call it Maritime Gloucester because that sounds like a shipping company). Parkhurst was where the Coast Guard is now.


    • Damon doesn’t that building in the top right of that photo look just like the one in the photo at teh heritage Center? and it looks like the Railways would line right up the same way with that building as well. Maybe it was mislabeled as parkhurst or maybe they had the same type of Railway with the same type of architecture building behind it.


  • I think the top picture is Roseway and the bottom picture is Pilot (now Highlander Sea).


  • Joey, my father had the F/V linda B. hauled out and cut in half and 7 (seven) feet added to increase her fishhold and deck room in the winter of 1962 ,It was done at that time of year to keep the men working and at a cost reduced rate, the job did take longer than figured but resulted in a more fishable boat. It was done on the GMRW ‘s split cradle, so they could pull the Bow half from the stern half – where the park is now. Only three boats in Gloucester have ever done this at that time. Then around ’65 U R needed the land forthe Coast Guard Station and Park it all disappeared — the old Gas Co. Tanks ,the houses and buildings ;streets died and were born, Vincent Cove ‘s water use to reach where Dunkin donuts is today” time marchs on” Anyway I was around 12 and took 8mm movies of this job if I can find I will send you a digital copy. Joe T.


  • The photo you took is of the one remaining railways, of four, on the Gloucester side along Star Fisheries property; the ways on the left of it was taken apart I think in late 60’s early 70’s plus there were two ,now only one, on the East Gloucester side ,all had builings tor houseing the pulling machines.


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