Main Street, circa 1880

Main Street, Gloucester, circa 1880 Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin
Here’s another very old photograph, of similar vintage to the City Hall image I posted two months ago. The camera angle is from the Bradford Building on Main Street. In the distance is Beacon Hill and Governor’s Hill. The steeple on the left is today’s Universalist Unitarian Church, and the one on the right became Temple Ahavat Achim in 1950, sans steeple. Main Street is still without trolley tracks, which arrived in 1884. The small street in the middle left is Center Street, bordered now by Gabrielle’s Antiques and  Passports Restaurant. In the lower right is Hancock Street, passing between a pharmacy (note the mortar and pestle on the building’s exterior) and Ellery’s Furniture. Those shops are now Menage Gallery and The Curtain Shop respectively. To my eye, Main Street looks pretty much the same. Lucky for us.
Printed archivally from the original 4×5 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Image #A8845-068.
By the way,  I’m waiting for our first significant snowfall to post something special from the collection. Mayor Kirk and Duckworth’s will like this one.
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930


  • Yes, thank goodness it’s much the same! Not every town is that lucky! Love the old photos.


    • You’re right Ann, not every Main Street is as lucky as we are. And it’s not only the historic buildings, but the people that matter. I just had a visit from my new FOGs (Friends Of the Gallery) Lauren and Eric Negron of Cape Ann Olive Oil. They’re excited to have tastings and openings at the same time as other shops on Main Street. By working together we can keep downtown vibrant all year long. Next event will be Saturday February 11th.


  • I just LOVE these old photos!


  • Seeing the horse and buggy reminded me of something my grandmother told me as a child of the fifties. She lived at the top of Mt. Vernon Street, and she said she felt sorry for the horse who had to pull the fish cart all the way up that steep hill. I imagine it was also full of ice. She was born in the 1890’s.


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