Towle’s Candy Shop

towle 1

towle 2

towle 3

I was in your store a few weeks ago. I am looking for a picture with “Towle’s” candy shop located at 118 Main St. in Gloucester (now the site of Franklin Cape Ann). I believe my great-grandfather Ransellear Towle had the shop from around 1928-1948. I am hoping some of the Good Morning Gloucester readers will go through their old photos and be willing to share any of interest with me. I added a picture of him taken about 1914 and his obituary. I think the readers at the very least will get a kick out of the menu with the prices. 

Thank you for your help!
Deborah O’Brien
Essex, MA

About E.J.

Artist, researcher, writer, spiritual traveler of this fascinating orb we inhabit, lover of life and all it has to offer. Hi everyone out there in GMG land. My name is Ellen “E.J.” Lefavour (a/k/a “Ejay Khan” – the pseudonym I used during my years as a political activist artist). I moved to Cape Ann in September of 2010, and was thrilled to be invited by Joey to become a daily contributor to Good Morning Gloucester in December of that year. I am a painter, photographer and writer who has lived and worked as an artist for 20 years, since leaving the corporate world in 1990 to pursue my passion. My contributions to GMG will consist of images (either my paintings, photographs, montages or the occasional video) and a little history about the image, called “Did you Know?” I hope to come up with tidbits of information that people don’t already know, or had forgotten they knew. As I am new here, everything is new and fascinating to me, especially the amazing history, so bear with me if I post something that is common knowledge – I’ll eventually come up with something that’s new to you. As an artist, I will also write about the incredible art scene on Cape Ann. Please take a minute to comment on my posts, like them or not, especially if you have corrections or something to add, as that is how I, and all of us, learn. Have a Good Morning Gloucester, and a blessed day.
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15 Responses to Towle’s Candy Shop

  1. Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing this with us… WOW the prices are definately not what they are now lol… what an interesting piece of history of this candy shop in Cape Ann :)

  2. Rich B says:

    that’s great!! what cool details fr the family tree. thank you for sharing.

  3. Allison says:

    Thanks for sharing this stuff. I wonder what was in the “Cheese Dream” sandwich…?

  4. Fredrik Bodin says:

    Deborah is referring to my shop, Bodin Historic Photo, at 82 Main Street. You can contact me if you have something for her (, or try to get in touch with her yourself.

  5. jackie hutchings says:

    I love finding out all this old history of Rockport and Gloucester! Hope more is posted about this. I’m assuming that the “Walter W. Nichols” who is referred to in the obituary could be the man who started Nichols Candy in Gloucester. Would that be right?

  6. 10 cents off all you can drink coffee. No wonder the businessmen of the day hung out there. Maybe splurge on a BLT for 30 cents. Prices in the 60s were not that much different (burger for 80 cents, large fries 35 cents) then the 70s happened.

    The Franklin was a candy shop, Stones Pub was a bike shop. Somebody needs to keep track of this stuff.

  7. Fredrik Bodin says:

    My gallery, built in the 1700′s, was later a printing company, the Wingaersheek Cafe, and in recent memory an automobile financing agency (way before you could get an instant loan at the dealership), and upholstery business, then Gina’s Party Plus supplies, and then an antique shop. I’ve been here for 16.5 years: You know me: 82 Main Street.

  8. Anonymous says:

    My husband and I live in Mr. Nichols house on Myrtle Sq. As we went about fixing up the place I was hoping to find old candy wrappers or something candy but only found a gum wrapper. Love our house and candy just wish I had a ongoing account at Nichols candy store for buying his house. If anyone has any old pictures of our neighborhood it would be great to see what the Emerald Forest looked like back in the day.

  9. Vicki says:

    Thank you for posting! This was very interesting.

  10. jose smoothtrax says:

    IF you go into the basement of the City Hall in Glosta, there is an Archives room. They have some old photos.

  11. Deborah of Essex says:

    Thanks Fred and GMG for posting this for me. I went to the Franklin the other night and saw for myself my great-grandfathers store. I’ll be taking my mom and sister there again soon. I’m hoping some readers have some pictures of Main St. in their family albums which might show Towle’s Candy Shoppe and Tea Room. I plan on going to City Hall as suggested by Jose.

  12. Deb says:

    Great Local History lesson. When I saw the name Towle I wondered aloud if he could be related to my first grade teacher in Rockport at the Community School! Sure enough, Ms.Towle was his daughter. I remember going back to visit her once when I had reached high school. The chairs were so tiny! She said she had a grandchild of one of her former students in her class and took that as a sign she should retire! She was the best teacher. I really loved her.

    • Deborah of Essex says:

      That would have been my Aunt Nat. She was a special aunt who retired to North Conway, NH. Thank you for sharing your memory.

  13. Jeanne Smith says:

    Replying to Anonymous, I grew up on the corner of Maplewood Ave. and Myrtle Sq., and don’t have pictures of the neighborhood but many good memories. There was a World War II memorial on the opposite corner from my house with a fenced in little yard with a flagpole and a glass-covered honor roll, there was a foundry almost across from your house, there were also two small houses on that side just before turning the corner, and the neighborhood girls spent lots of time on your front steps with Mr. Nichols’ daughter, Jane. It was a great neighborhood! Hope you enjoy it now.

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