Golden Age of Fishing – R. Gilson video at the Sawyer Free Library, 10/29, Sat., @ 2 p.m

Hi Joey:

We are on for a showing of my video at the Sawyer Free Library, 10/29, Sat., @ 2 p.m.

Below is a brief description,  but the second piece (The Golden Age of Fishing) is the actual opening statement to my video,  Part 1 (of two parts). 

This video has been 6 months in the making; we are quite excited about the factual content of the material and hope for wide dissemination  in our Cape Ann community (including GMG).

Thanks, Ron

GLOUCESTER’S GOLDEN AGE OF FISHING – Part 1   (Sat., 10/29/16, SFL)told by Ron Gilson

A film by Jim LaBelle

…..traces Gloucester’s fishing industry from the age of sail to diesel power.

From the 1920s and the International Fishermen’s Races to the life and times of Ben Pine and his early influence on Gloucester’s fishing industry. The end of dory fishing and the 1930 beginnings of the great fleet buildup of the 1940s and ‘50s, ….“Gloucester’s Golden Age of Fishing”.

Ron Gilson

second more detailed description:


The film you are about to witness depicts a “window moment” in a much larger history of Gloucester’s 400-year fishing saga dating back to 1623.

For a brief 15-year, 1940 – 1955 period, “The Golden Age of Fishing”, Gloucester’s fishing fleet supplied our domestic market, fed armies, and subsequently provided the much needed protein to a recovering WW II Europe.

This (not-for-profit) historical account focusing on “The Golden Age of Fishing” is presented by Ron Gilson, who actually worked the wharfs, fished the vessels, and insured the fleet. Gilson documented this era as he lived it. His intention here is to reflect accurately on the industry as it processed hundreds of millions of pounds of edible seafood products annually, employing over 2,000 unionized seafood workers. This record production was accomplished on a fraction of our post depression waterfront.

Gloucester has been blessed with many notable historians, all too often they have presented embellished storytelling accounts that have not factually reflected the actual happenings as they went down. For decades, politicians, lobbying associations, and local activists have frequently advanced false narratives, misinformation, and proposed restrictive zoning that prohibited mixed-use growth on our harbor front.

This “Golden Age of Fishing” was a phenomenal period, it was pivotal. Times have changed, and for 100 different reasons, our fishery of the ‘40s and ‘50s will never repeat itself.  Years later, this one era would prove to be a turning point in Gloucester’s way of life.

Ron Gilson, 7/31/16

One comment

  • What a great history/traditions here teaching it and bringing to life! I came to life mid 50’s during this era but did not beach it until about 5 years old but do remember most of the 60’s had some great times also!🙂 Dave


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