Author Archives: Marty Luster

Call For Help Bears Fruit

A few days ago I asked for help in uncovering photos or other information regarding the old “muster field”or fields described in Catherine’s post of August 16. There has been a vigorous response to my request, including suggestions for the location of the civil war field and theories regarding the possible colonial era field.

The jackpot was hit when Jude Seminara sent me photos of the inscriptions in granite described in the 1954 essay contained in the August 16 post. Obviously, the location of these carvings is known to Jude and others, but without the owner’s permission, I feel I shouldn’t publicly disclose that information.

The inscriptions are described in the 1954 essay as follows:

At the extreme end on a flat smooth ledge there is the record of at least one company of soldiers who trained there. Carved in the granite and still in good condition is the insignia of a crossed cannon, musket and sabre. Below are the letters “D. L. I.,” which I found afterwards stood for “Danvers Light Infantry,” then the letters “M. V. M.,” standing for “Massachusetts Volunteer Militia” and then “Co. C 17th Regiment, Capt. Fuller, 1861.”

On another smooth ledge adjoining are numerous initials, presumably of some of the men who camped there. The growth of the moss and lichens on the granite show conclusively that the carving was made on or about the year indicated, 1861.

Here are Jude’s photos. As you can see, some are hard to decipher.Try matching them against the written description contained in the essay.

muster

muster2

muster3

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Many thanks to Jude for sharing these photos. He and I are planning an autumn excursion into the Old Thompson Road area to search for other relics, perhaps even discover the location of the circa 18th century training field mentioned in the article and supported by entries in town records.

 

 

Let The Search Begin

I found Catherine’s post very interesting. The 1954 article includes some very alluring descriptions of the locations of two old military training or muster fields in West Gloucester.

The first is south of Concord St and in 1954 was known as the Currier Pasture. Does anyone know where that is located? According to the article, there are carvings in the granite that memorialize the use of the field by the Danvers Light Infantry in 1861. The carvings were in good condition in 1954 and might remain so today.

The second location said to have been used by the militia in 1776. Its location is obscure, said to be “somewhere off of Thompson street.” There is supposed to be an inscription on a granite boulder at that location as well.

Well, Thompson Street is easy enough to find. It connects with Concord St. just north of the Rte 128 underpass. Follow the road a few hundred yards and you come upon a City of Gloucester sign marking “The Old Thompson Street Historic Walking Path.” The path (which I have not yet trod) meets Bray Street where the Essex County Greenway has established the Thompson Street Reservation that contains a network of trails. Old Thompson continues across Bray St., through the woods, to the Walker Creek vicinity where I believe I once saw a sign marking its terminus.

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Somewhere along Thompson St., there might exist a flat area that contains an inscribed boulder that would be an awesome Revolutionary War relic.

Does anyone have any information that might be useful in finding either of these two fields? Please share your knowledge in a posted comment.

Thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

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