Who Remembers The Catnip Man?

catnip man update

I did a post about a year ago on the Catnip Man

https://goodmorninggloucester.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/who-remembers-the-catnip-man/.  I received an email today from Ann Flood of Florence, Oregon with this picture.  She and her husband operate a collectibles shop there called Treasures by the Dunes.

In 2005, they purchased this painting of the Catnip Man at an auction in New Hampshire.  She came across my GMG post while searching for information about the man in the painting, who they both initially thought was a sea captain, and so had purchased the painting because they live on the coast in Oregon.  There is no identification as to the artist, who may have been from Beverly because of his note on the back about The Catnip Man standing in front of Salem 5 Cent Savings Bank (presumably the one on Cabot Street in Beverly where Catnip Bill spent a good deal of time during the last years of his life) selling bags of fresh green catnip.

I think it is pretty cool that Catnip Bill has been gone for over 50 years, but he still keeps popping up in unexpected ways.

E.J. Lefavour



  • EJ,
    I posted on this last year. Catnip Bill lived in Beverly where he raised his catnip. He walked all over the Nothshore selling it and was a common site along the bouolevard and downtown back in the 40’s and 50s.


  • When I was a little girl in Salem I remember Catnip Bill standing in front of the Salem Savings Bank on Essex Street. He always said “Don’t forget kitty!”


    • I guess Catnip Bill was all over the place – Gloucester, Beverly, Salem. If, as Bill Hubbard says, he walked everywhere, he must have been in very fit condition.


  • I remember him as “Catnip Bill” We used to see him along Main St. years ago….


  • Christine Thompson Burnett

    The Catnip Man was my favorite book as a child. I remember my parents buying catnip for my kitty Snooky when he was in Gloucester. Fond memories, indeed……


  • Wow, that’s an old memory! I remember him on Main St in front of the old A&P location. Love the portrait. I also remember Floyd the Clammer, the Sullivan sisters, the Rte 128 witch, the ice man, the sharpener with grinder strapped to his back/ringing a bell as he walked, and the fresh produce truck. All images from the “way-back machine”! Thanks for the post and the memories


  • This is some great history for sure thanks 🙂 Dave & Kim:-)


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