Reader Cynthia Hill wrote the following in response to a recent GMG post, Thanksgiving Day Brace Cove Gloucester:
Can someone prove to me that this is Brace Cove, when for 65 years it’s been Brace’s Cove?
Old maps show it both ways, but I spent a third of my life there ~ always at Brace’s Cove.
When I was small, all our parents “managed Brace’s”, kept it clean and raked, had many a great
clam bakes in front of the Kaknes’ house, all to keep us kids safe during the polio scare.
Every time I see your beautiful photos, I think Brace’s Cove….I’ve explored maps at Fred’s.
Would love it if an “old timer” such as myself, could help sort this out.
Hi Cynthia, Here’s what I found in Joe Garland’s book Eastern Point, page 11, 2nd paragraph:
“Incidentally, this is one of the earliest references to what should properly be called Brace Cove, variously identified as Bracy’s and Brase’s in contemporary documents. Viewed as a proper name, the etymology leads to a dead end; but rid yourself of that mental set, and the derivation is surpassingly direct: a brace, from the Middle English and Old French, was an arm. Brace is an obsolete word for an arm of the sea, an inlet–a perfect figure of speech in the case of the stunning cove whose waters are so nearly embraced by the lethal, pincer-like arms of Brace Rock and Bemo Ledge.”
Cynthia, I too have seen it spelled several different ways on antique and newer maps. Perhaps if they have a spare moment, some of our “old timer” readers will weigh in–it would be very much appreciated. Thank you!