Tag Archives: Alone At Sea

Things To Do- Researching Alone at Sea, an illustrated talk with author John Morris


Researching Alone at Sea, an illustrated talk with author John Morris

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present Researching Alone at Sea, an illustrated talk with author and Gloucester native John Morris on Saturday, January 15 at 3:00 p.m. Morris will be discussing how a personal journey to learn more about his ancestors led him to the Cape Ann Museum Archives. This program is free and open to the public. Reservations are required. For reservations please call 978-283-0455, x11.

John N. Morris’s grandfather, Steve Olsson, was a Gloucester doryman who disappeared at sea without a trace in 1935. Olsson and his dorymate lost contact with their schooner and were never seen again. Morris set out on a quest to discover what might have happened to his grandfather and what a doryman’s life was like. The result—after ten years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews—is the most complete and authoritative history of the Gloucester fishing industry ever written. This epic highlights life at sea, life at home, and the industry that connected them, growing and then fading over more than 300 years. Alone at Sea is illustrated with over seventy period photographs and maps, many of which came from the Cape Ann Museum archives.

John N. Morris, Ph.D., is the grandson of one of the last Gloucester dorymen lost at sea. A native of Gloucester himself, John is descended from a line of fishermen going back to the seventeenth century. His father was a fish cutter, his mother a fish packer. Director Emeritus of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston, a Harvard-affiliated hospital and research program, John has published widely in his field. A board member of the group preserving one of the last surviving Gloucester schooners, Adventure, he now lives in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts.

Funding for this program was made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. Admission for Cape Ann residents is free during the month of January. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call: (978) 283-0455. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org

More Info From The Publisher Of John N Moris’ Alone At Sea

Hey Joey:
Thanks for featuring John Morris, author of Alone at Sea, with the photo. We really appreciate the help on this as it can be tough to get the word out on local books, even on great topics like this. (That is, Oprah hasn’t called yet…….)

Not sure if you can help a bit more, but here’s information on the book launch party on June 10; it would be great if you could get that event a little bump a day or to before. Let me know if you want photos — or you can just grab them from the web site on www.aloneatsea.com — there’s a nice slide show. it’s a good link, too.

Your help is much appreciated!

Stephanie Schorow
Commonwealth Editions, which is publishing Alone at Sea

Mark Your Calendar: June 10 Launch Event for

The definitive history of Gloucester’s plucky dory fishermen

The publication of a groundbreaking work of historical research, Alone at Sea: Gloucester in the Age of the Dorymen (1623-1939), by John N. Morris, will be marked with a book launch and reception on Thursday, June 10, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, as part of the Lyceum’s ongoing lecture series.

Morris, a prominent gerontologist, spent 10 years researching the lives of Gloucester’s dory fishermen, sparked by a personal quest to learn more about his grandfather, a doryman who was lost at sea. Beautifully written and illustrated, Alone at Sea is the most complete and compelling history of Gloucester fishing ever written. Using diaries, business records and interviews with surviving dorymen, Morris paints an indelible portrait of a key New England industry from its emergence in the 17th century to its decline in the 20th century.

John N. Morris grew up in Gloucester, the son of a man whose job was to cut fish and a mother whose job was to pack fish in boxes. He is now Director Emeritus of the Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew Senior Life in Boston. A chance connection via the Internet launched him on his quest to write Alone at Sea, published by Commonwealth Editions.

Morris will speak and sign copies of his book at the June 10 event, to be held at the Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester, Mass., 978-281-9763 , www.sawyerfreelibrary.org. The event is free and open to the public.

Please contact Stephanie Schorow to request a review copy or to set up an interview with John N. Morris. Learn more about this title: www.aloneatsea.com.

CALENDAR LISTING: A free reception and book launch party for Alone at Sea: Gloucester in the Age of the Dorymen (1623-1939), by John N. Morris, will be held Thursday, June 10, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester, Mass., 978-281-9763, www.sawyerfreelibrary.org or www.aloneatsea.org. Morris will speak and autograph copies of Alone at Sea, a comprehensive and compelling history of Gloucester’s fishing community.

Freshly Published Alone At Sea Author John N. Morris Interview

John Morris came by to talk about his new book a 448 page documentation of Gloucester Fishing in the age of sail (1623-1939).

John spent 10 years of his life writing and researching this book.  Watch the video and see some of the incredible pictures and details within this masterpiece.

June 10th book signing and reading at Sawyer Free Library.

Read Gail McCarthy’s Gloucester Daily Times piece with John here