Author Archives: Catherine

Matt Cooney Mystic pilot boat working Sail Boston

That great Sail Boston photograph you saw (besides those from GMG) or article you read was taken from the Mystic. The talent they bustled about Boston Harbor among the Sail Boston Tall Ships included journalists like the one that shared this photo back to them.

833

 

Caddy Shea waits for a customer | history Bass Rocks Golf Club ca.1910

Shea is perched on the rock. He told me it was worth the wait–eventually he made $40.

 I was happy to see the dramatic fog burn off to a spectacular Father’s Day. Bass Rocks Golf Club filled up by mid day. IMG_20170618_055704

IMG_20170618_124009

IMG_20170618_123741

Bass Rocks Golf Club ca.1910

bass rocks golf club loc detroit publishing co ca1910 on license plate small size

photo caption: Bass Rocks Golf Club, ca. 1910 (note the date on the license plate), Library of Congress collection. Scroll down to see detail zooms  from the left and right sides of the photograph.

detail 2detail

My folks loved Bass Rocks  and Cape Ann Golf Clubs  two breathtaking linkslands. The Bass Rocks Golf Club was started in 1896, two years after the US Golf Association was formed. Yale and Princeton bought land and began organizing golf clubs in 1895. 

some background from the Bass Rocks Golf Club website:

The club was founded “by a group of Bass Rocks summer residents who rented the land in the area surrounded by Beach Road, Moorland Road, Souther Road, and Nautilus Road. This area is known as “The Meadows” and is currently used for our 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th holes. The rental fee was based on the value of the hay crop that would normally have grown there.

The first six-hole course was laid out by Alex Findlay, a Scottish golfer who worked as a salesman for a sporting goods company. This job entailed the planning of golf courses to increase the sales of golf equipment.

The original course was known as the Intervale Links. Subsequently Madison Mott Cannon, Gloucester’s City Engineer, designed a new nine-hole course. At a dedication of the new nine-hole course in June of 1904, a flag was raised proclaiming it to be the Bass Rocks Golf Links. The membership was about 250. In 1905, with increasing membership and more golf and social functions, it became evident that a more structured organization was in order and the Bass Rocks Golf Club was incorporated for the “purpose of encouraging athletic exercises and the establishment and maintenance of places for social meetings.” A formal lease was entered into with the landowners, The Souther Estate*. In 1909 the clubhouse was built and the rent increased.

More land was leased from the Souther Estate and the course was increased to 18 holes in 1913. Designed by Herbert Corey Leeds, who also designed the original Essex County Club (since redone by Donald Ross and modified by E.F. Wogan), a new 18-hole course began to take shape at Bass Rocks. Leeds also designed and maintained the Myopia Hunt Club course until his death in 1930.”

ed. note *Here’s a picture of Henry J Souther (1810-1892) who was married to Gloucester gals Eliza Phipps Souther (1814-1863) and Mary Wheeler Souther (b.1832-d.1914). His father John Souther Sr, owned Souther Tide Mills and Souther Shipyards.  Henry rebuilt the mills after a devastating fire. Later in his career he opened a brewery. He also owned Bass Rocks Hotel (twice!) in Gloucester MA. Henry and Mary’s son Henry Souther (1865-1917) was an MIT grad specializing in mining and metallurgical subjects who spent his early professional career in PA and consulted for the automobile industry eventually founding his own firm. He married Edgar Jay Sherman’s daughter Elizabeth Louisa. Sherman’s point and Sherman’s home on bass rocks are famous Good Habor Beach motifs. 

Henry Souther

photo caption below: Scottish golfer Alexander “Alex” H. Findlay. Findlay designed hundreds of courses. Findlay’s younger brother, Fred, also designed golf courses in the US. 

alex findlay scottish golfer american golf evangelist

Richard B. Findlay and his older brother Ronald A. Findlay, grandsons of Alex Findlay, did tremendous research and writing for a website devoted to this “Father of American Golf.” Bass Rocks was among Findlay’s first if not his first course. Bass Rocks was founded in 1896 though the Findlay family site lists 1899 for the year he worked on it. There were more than 20 Findlay golf courses in Massachusetts, a veritable “Golf Coast”, including several close enough to seek out a Findlay golf trail: Andover, Salem, Reading, Stoneham, Belmont, Haverhill, Weston, Wellesley, and West Newton.

I love this design excerpt from their blog:

The process of finding and authenticating golf courses designed by Alex is an ongoing thing. According to Alex’s list there may well be close to 500. About 200 so far have been found. Interestingly, throughout the ages new golf course architects take an older course and do some tinkering or even a major renovation on that course and it then becomes their design. A good example of that is with the renowned golf course architect, Donald Ross. He moved to the United States in late 1899, but many courses are attributed to him that have a stamp of origin earlier then 1899. Actually over 600 courses are acclaimed as a Donald Ross creation. In many cases he never set foot on the property but merely drew up a layout from his distant office. So it goes with the business of golf course architecture. Alex Findlay visited every single course that he designed, walking off each yard of the layout and in many cases actually was involved in the construction process with his youngest son, Norman, who developed a construction business for the purpose of constructing golf courses. As I visit Alex’s golf courses I learn so many valuable tidbits that I think you will find fascinating.

For instance, when he was building golf courses in the Northeast he would always face the green to the south in order to get at least 6 more weeks of play in the late fall into early winter, before the greens would take a hard freeze. Did you know that not one of his greens are alike. No two fingerprints are alike, no two snowflakes are alike and no two clouds are alike. You see, every green he designed he did so by laying down on his back and looking up at the clouds. He would then sketch the clouds on his design sheets, and presto every green is a unique masterpiece. Clouds of Green!”

 And this interview with Richard Findlay from Golf Club Atlas, 2012:

“In the early 1900’s the Prince of Wales, a childhood friend of Alex Findlay and soon to be King of England, wrote a letter to Alex. He did not have his address so he just simply put my grandfather’s name on the envelope and mailed it. In a short while the letter was delivered to Alex’s home in Boston, MA. This will give you an idea of how well known Alexander Hamburg Findlay was during his life in the United States as well as Scotland and England. Imagine putting the name Tiger Woods on an envelope and dropping it in the mail. Would it be delivered? Would people recognize the name? Of course they would…Move the clock back 100 years and who do you have? Alex Findlay, one of the most written about athletes in the world at that time…

What have you gleaned from studying your grandfather’s golf courses?

“Alex protected par.”

Sizing up more details

June 17, 2017 stage review — preparation continues.

IMG_20170617_151615 (1)

 

(and how it looked June 8, 2017)

IMG_20170607_192059

St. Peter’s Fiesta 2017 poster with traditions and…Ravioli eating contest! Cape Ann Big Band! The volunteers are so amazing and on top of things; see next year’s dates printed along the bottom margin of  the poster.

IMG_20170617_185940

Full Sail and See |Essex County Maritime Heritage exhibition during SAIL BOSTON

June 17 – June 22, 2017 – SailBoston17 Participating Ships

sailboston sign up for updates

From Discover Gloucester:

“Gloucester, Cape Ann and Essex County are excited to participate in Sail Boston 2017~~~ the largest tall ships event in Boston in decades! Look for The Essex County Maritime Heritage Tent behind the Moakley Court House. Our exhibit display is open to the public:  Sat., June 17- Mon., June 19 from 9AM-6PM each day.

Exhibiting Partners include:  Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Schooner Adventure, Schooner Ardelle, Discover Gloucester, Cape Ann Chamber, Schooner Ernestina-Morrissey, Maritime Gloucester and National Maritime Heritage Society.  

 The cooperative exhibit will include educational activities and interactive exhibits designed to engage visitors in the rich maritime heritage of Essex County.  The exhibit is behind the Moakley Courthouse, dockside to many of the Essex Built vessels participating in Sail Boston 2017.   Join us as we celebrate Essex county’s maritime past, showcase the current work being done to preserve maritime traditions in the present while continuing to inspire and educate students –keeping these vibrant traditions alive and well into the future.”  

Sail Boston sailing participants and tickets GMG post with links

 

Dirty Beach gone | Mumbai volunteers remove 11 million pounds of deep trash from 1.5 mile Versova Beach

Rolling up their sleeves 88 weekends in a row. From Clean Up Versova twitter feed @Versovabeach: Afroz Shah and Versova Resident Volunteers, a citizen led initiative committed to clean up Versova Beach, Mumbai. No political affiliations whatsoever.” 

Residents, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) workers, and BMC heavy duty construction equipment and vehicles carted the trash to landfills (Deonar, Mulund, Kanjurmarg) which are at capacity struggling with waste management. The United Nations deemed it the “world’s largest beach clean-up project”.

DIRTY BEACH | original song-journalism by Mumbai artist Sawan Dutta about this inspiring clean up

mumbai beach

Exquisite Virginia Lee Burton art exhibition @GalleryA4 Takenaka Corporation Foundation in Tokyo Japan | loans from Cape Ann Museum and Sawyer Free Library

Watch this beautiful video tour to see a world class exhibition design in Tokyo for Virginia Lee Burton worthy of her legacy. The creative and smart installation looks stunning! The temporary summer show will be up through August. Gallery A4 is a public foundation established by Takenaka Corporation. Photos from Gallery A4 web site. 

There’s also an exhibition featuring the Art of Eric Carle up through July at the Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan. 

Gallery A4 Tokyo exhibit Virginia Lee Burton

a ‘must-see’ video of the installation

A4 japan exhibition vlb

Virginia Lee Burton in Gloucester

video caption: Virginia Lee Burton, children’s book author/illustrator, Folly Cove textile designer and founder, resided and worked in Gloucester, MA, where she created some of America’s most popular children’s books. She received the Caldecott medal in 1943 for The Little House. Other books include Katy and the Big Snow and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Excerpts from her Caldecott speech. Music: The Little House, 1926, by Carrie Jacobs-Bond. 

Virginia Lee Burton display at Cape Ann Museum 2011.

Virginia Lee Burton display at CAM 2011

Awesome City DPW work on Maplewood

What’s happening on Maplewood? Much of it is underground. Orchestrated crews are working on a huge project in a neighborhood that has been neglected for some time.

FAST STATS

Status: in progress

The work includes 4000 feet road resurfacing (July) and nearly 5000 feet of new sidewalk (both sides). DPW is working to make improvements to utilities as well: all new water services, a series of valves and some drain work. “National Grid is also replacing some aging gas mains and services.” 
Progress June 2017: nearing finish line
Project start: partial sidewalk begun last year
Funding Awarded: FY2017-18

  • from State: Balance of about $600,000K Chapter 90 funds
  • from City: $100,000K from CDBG and Community Development

Contract completion: part of City’s annual paving bid and on schedule.
Locations: downtown Maplewood Avenue. This work dovetails with larger water work “bid and awarded to Granese of Salem. They worked on the right hand side of Washington Street all spring (Riverside, Gloucester Ave, Whittemore and now moving to Grove and Derby see photo today) cleaning and lining water mains.”
Priority: Top Level! Mayor’s Office considers infrastructure and safety improvements a priority and walkability adding into quality of life benefits for residents, visitors and economy.
Upcoming streetscape work– Middle Street

IMG_20170613_105335

GAS LINES

IMG_20170613_104347

DRAINS

IMG_20170613_105654

WATER

IMG_20170613_104541

 

new City lights coming to Main Street

So long 6 silver aluminum lights on Main Street. The industrial street lamps are being replaced later this month with the same design as the ones installed on the Boulevard.

IMG_20170613_110433

IMG_20170613_110359

 

Eventually DPW will replace the Main Street period lights, too. This one has earned a distinction of most odd one out for a while!

IMG_20170613_110303.jpg

The replacement of Roger Street lights will be scheduled sometime even further out.

Blech. Why?

IMG_6481

One thing is for certain, when Stage Fort is trash heaped, DPW will pick it up…but why does it have to be like this? Trash operations and picking up litter are expensive. National and state parks worldwide are taking out the trash cans rather than trash by instituting various carry in/carry out policies. Cape Ann is about as National Park worthy as any designation out there. I like

Carry IN Carry HOME 

to extra underscore that the parking lot isn’t “out” enough. Marketing won’t help 100%. Despite anti-litter, Keep America Beautiful and green goals, we drop stuff. Especially if it’s convenient. The Law of Litter will prevail. If there are barrels we toss it in, then on, and too quickly around. Once any scrap meets ground, an overflowing heap isn’t far behind. It’s the psychology of litter: people are more likely to litter where there’s litter.

There are great DPW departments (like ours), policies in place in every community, and people who stop pollution (like Donna, Kim, Patty, Amy, and others here in Gloucester). I am amazed and grateful for just how cleaned up the beaches and parks are with every morning’s reset.

Gloucester offers options: DPW, barrels, carry in/carry out, volunteer clean ups and pooper scooper baggy dispensers. If it’s not enough, other options include allocating more funds to the DPW and police department via the municipal budget, entrance fees, and ‘take out/to go orders’ tax charge. Or us.

all photos: Stage Fort Park this morning (before DPW) photos by Pauline Bresnahan. thanks for sending to GMG, Pauline

IMG_6476

They brought their own bags…

IMG_6475

people start pollution people can stop it

“Spacious and beautiful” Sawyer Free Library a must see in 1885 travel guide | 123rd annual meeting tonight!

library 1906IMG_20170317_101159

Sawyer spacious and beautiful then and now. “What is the future we want?”

ANNUAL MEETING: tonight, June 12, 7pm, from SFL board letter: “…As we step back from our original plan for a new building, we need to make crucial decisions about the library’s future…”

from the tourist guide description 1885

“SAWYER FREE LIBRARY 

At the corner of Dale avenue and Middle street, a few yards from the City Hall, is the spacious and beautiful “Sawyer Free Library” building. These attractive grounds were purchased by Samuel E. Sawyer, Esq., for the purpose of establishing a permanent home for the library, in February of last year. of Mr. William A. Pew, for the sum of $20,000. The grounds of this noble mansion are extensive and well laid out, and Mr. Sawyer has spent large sums of money in fitting up the place for the purposes of what it is now used. The large rooms and stately halls are carpeted and elegantly furnished.

The walls are adorned with over one hundred and fifty rare and valuable paintings and pictures, collected during Mr. Sawyer’s visits to foreign cities and in this country.

The generous donor has done everything that could be done to make the home of the library that bears his name convenient and beautiful. When the library was dedicated in July, 1884, a large assembly of our best citizens were present, together with several persons from abroad. Mr. Sawyer then presented to the trustees the deed of the entire property, comprising nearly 30,000 square feet of land, and thereby made it a perpetual gift to the citizens of Gloucester. The building was erected in 1764, and is consequently over 120 years old, though during that time it has been somewhat altered and improved by several owners. Mr. Pew built the fine tower upon it and the verandas around the first story, and also the “porte cochere.” He laid out the grounds with considerable taste, and protected them with the fine walls of dressed granite and iron gateways. Mr. Sawyer’s improvements have embellished this valuable estate in many respects, and to-day it is one of the finest sites within our city. The rooms are open daily, afternoon and evening (except Tuesdays), from 2-5 and 7-9- Thursdays, in evening only.

The library owns about 65,000 volumes.”

-from In and Around Cape Ann: A Handbook of Gloucester, Mass., and Its Immediate Vicinity. For the Wheelman Tourist and the Summer Visitor by John S. Webber, Jr with eleven illustrations. Gloucester, Mass: Printed at the Cape Ann Advertiser Office, 1885. in the collection of the Library of Congress

“Brook Bank” Sawyer’s summer home and Sawyer’s Hill (heading to Magnolia)

Samuel Sawyer Brook Bank Sawyers Hill

Good Harbor Beach parking 8:45am

For updates follow the City’s ‘Gloucester Beaches’ and Mayor Romeo Theken Facebook pages

@gloubeaches https://www.facebook.com/gloubeaches/

@MayorSefatia https://www.facebook.com/MayorSefatia/

Info on water temperature, wave height, etc

http:www.surf-forecast.com

IMG_20170611_084447

Downtown rooftop cinema by Gloucester’s 400th and John Sayles

Scenes from 2nd special John Sayles Presents event at Cape Ann Community Cinema which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Cinema has added a second screening room opening next week and an organ for monthly silent movie screenings with live accompaniment.

Last night’s feature Go For Sisters was written and directed by esteemed American filmmaker John Sayles. He introduced the movie and took questions after the screening. Its powerful cast featured Edward James Olmos, aka Eddie. I didn’t know Sayles was a novelist.

20170608_214319

 

 

« Older Entries