Tag Archives: Gloucester Beaches
Summer Beach Traffic and Parking Part 2 – high tech and common sense Good Harbor Beach, Long Beach, Stage Fort, Great Marsh
This is a follow up about the public meeting held by Gloucester City Councilor Scott Memhard February 15, 2018 at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library on beach traffic and parking with a focus on his ward. This post includes Councilor Memhard’s meeting notes, and the Beach & Traffic Ad Hoc committee presentation to City Council. Look for information and maps related to Long Beach, Good Harbor Beach, Stage Fort Park, and more. Chances are your ideas or concerns were mentioned–doublecheck for yourself. Future public meetings to be announced.
Here’s the presentation packet to the City Council from the Gloucester Beach Parking and Traffic Ad Hoc Committee, January 2017
Here’s Councilor Memhard’s recap of the Summer Beach and Traffic public meeting held at Sawyer Free Library February 16, 2018 (advertised in the Beacon, Gloucester Daily Times, and elsewhere long in advance):
“The Ward 1 Beach Parking Ordinance community meeting last night at the library was well attended. We had a lively airing of concerns and opinions, addressing the specific Parking Ordinance proposed changes, and general, wide-ranging discussion of the problem and various potential solutions, including:
> expanded off-site parking* and trolly/bus service to the beaches;
> better signage notifying drivers that lots are full and closed, with posted directions to alternate parking options; and
> other practical steps to relieve severe safely, access, and disruption from on-street parking congestion in our beach neighborhoods.“
*park n ride options would ease traffic especially with smartphone reservations/options. Locales like Rockport, Manchester, Provincetown limit cars. Several lots mentioned maximizing extant options such as negotiating with Stop&Shop, Shaws, Fuller, Blackburn, schools, etc. Stage Fort Shuttle already established and more train/bike. Train-trolley services have a rich history here.
ENFORCEMENT, HIGHER PARKING TICKETS, JULIE BROE 🙂
and a frost weathered shell-cracked horseshoe crab. Sequential views and hues in response to requests for Wingaersheek Beach photographs.
I needed a flashlight at first, mostly for the ice, long stretches in the parking lot then frozen ice scoops in the dry sand. I waited for sunrise, returing to spots I’ve favored since I was a little girl, adding glances back in the direction of Wheeler’s Point, where my parents lived, and over picnic boulders and slide pools out to Annisquam Lighthouse. The light was simultaneously a ring of orange mauve fire and rosy pale violet gray. More photos:
How close is the Cape Ann Motor Inn to Long beach? On it! So close most days they need to sweep sand out of the parking lot. They told me that they have been busier all seasons, especially since they renovated the rooms a couple of years ago.
Patti Amaral Clean City Initiative thanks Jason Burroughs & others for refurbishing #PublicArt Carry In Carry Out murals @Gloucester beaches
Nice letter from Patti Amaral in today’s Gloucester Daily Times writing on behalf of the city’s Clean City Initiative. She thanked the city, donors and supporters while providing some background about the Carry In Carry Out art. In case you missed it: Nov 9 2017 Letter to the Editor
The murals were refurbished by Jason Burroughs in October 2017. They were designed and painted by Bob Viau from StudioVo 15 years ago. Here are a few photos documenting the refurbishing. The Wingaersheek wall needed more attention.
Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach BEFORE
Carry In Carry Out mural at Good Harbor Beach AFTER
Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek BEFORE
Carry In Carry Out mural at Wingaersheek AFTER
Anyone interested in sponsoring a possible update to these beach displays, please let her know!
Salt Island, Good Harbor Beach and Brier Neck are naturally connected. The five acre Salt Island is about 1000 feet from Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, Massachusetts. A sandbar links the island and beach at low tide. I’ve culled a few milestones in its history. Scroll down to 2017 to find the links for the Cape Ann Beacon and today’s Boston Globe.
SALT ISLAND TIMELINE BITS
History of the Town of Gloucester: Cape Ann, John Jame Babson’s published history includes a shipwreck of the vessel, Industry, at Little Good Harbor Beach near Salt Island in 1796
Joseph Parsons’ family operated a lobster business from Salt Island
silent movies were filmed on location
1919 Fox Film Co Bride Number 13
Parts of the Fox Film Corporation movie, Bride Number 13, were shot on location at Good Harbor Beach and Salt Island. The 15 part serial silent film –“the most costly pictures ever made…would consume expenditures of at least one million dollars.” It was conceived and written by Edward Sedgwick, directed by Richard Stanton aka “Salt Island’s Mighty Emperor”, and starred Marguerite Clayton, Jack O’Brien, and Ed Rossman. The script was inspired by Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
Here are a few fun excerpts from 1919 correspondence published in the book, “My father, a silent films pioneer,” by George E. Mcavoy:
“Again the picturesque Gloucester shores have been sought by a motion picture corporation for scenery and the noted Fox Film Company of New York, with its prominent director, Richard Stanton, has arrived at Hotel Harbor View, East Gloucester, to start immediately on the work of filming “Bride Number 13” at Salt Island off Brier Neck.
“It was decided that Salt Island in Gloucester, Mass., would be the setting of the silent film thriller, “Bride Number 13.” This island was an island at high tide and part of the mainland at low tide. Fox film Co. was building a wooden castle on the island, which was about one hundred feet high and hosted the actions of this silent film…”
“(This was five days before the real tornado blew the wooden castle out to sea.)”
Oct 24, 1919“Dear Mother: I left Mary and the babies in Gloucester. I am on my way through New Hampshire and Maine for a lumber camp location. I expect to be back in Gloucester Monday night…
the time for the blowing up of the castle on Salt Island and the rescue of the brides from the pirate band is rapidly approaching…
Billy Carr of Gloucester, Chief Gunner’s Mate on the Navy submarine R-1 that was assigned to the picture, was to play the hero who rescues one of the brides, slashes through the nest of cutthroats, leaps into the basket with her and off. It was now November 10th. A throng of 3,000 was at Good Harbor and all over Brier Neck to watch…On the fourth day Bill Carr was called away on duty and his place was taken by Tom Corbiey…”
“Mr. Sedgwick has achieved something heretofore unknown in moving picture production. He conceived the idea of the story, witnessed and helped direct the scenes, acted in them, had a hand in the grinding of the film, and in fact had a part in every process of the film production…”
“While all bid good-bye to Gloucester last night, there was a general expression of a desire to return and several of the company said that they intended to return here next summer for the vacation period if not in picture work.”
“The explosion was a heavy one and its shock was felt in all parts of the city. It shook the windows of houses on Mt. Vernon Street and vicinity, also at East Gloucester and as far as Rockport. It occurred at 4:20 o’clock and people who felt the shock readily attributed it to the blow-up of Salt Island.”
photo caption: Bride 13 star Marguerite Clayton and kids on vacation during filming of Bride 13. Background shows the stately castle film set on Salt Island
1923 The Silent Command
Then and now: filmmakers love Gloucester.
Fox Film Corporation returned to film the patriotic silent era Navy spy film, THE SILENT COMMAND on Good Harbor Beach, again on the Briar/Brier neck side.
1923 was a busy year for Gloucester, MA. In addition to the municipality managing the bustling tercentenary, Gloucester welcomed another major Fox movie production to shoot on location at Good Harbor Beach. The film was made in cooperation with the Navy. It was directed by J Gordon Edwards, and starred Edmund Lowe and Bela Lugosi in his first American film. It’s essentially a spy thriller with a honeypot formula: foreign power attempts to secure plans to the Panama Canal and blow it up. The villains are thwarted by the US Navy. The production required assistance from the city’s fire department and city electrician. The film crew stayed in Gloucester at the Harbor View Hotel and the Savoy. Local people were cast and spectators lined the beach to watch the thrilling production.
I love this excerpt from the Gloucester Daily Times describing the staged wreck and tremendous waves washing the crew (stuntmen and Gloucester locals) overboard:
“A crowd of several hundred thronged the (Good Harbor) beach for the picture taking and enjoyed the proceedings, which were interesting, and at times thrilling…The Good Harbor beach setting is a clever contrivance, and constructed to produce a natural rocking motion of a steamer in a heavy sea. The rocking is produced by four winches operated by a crew of 10 men…Storm scenes were filmed yesterday afternoon with local actors, Stuart Cooney, son of Marion J. Cooney, taking the part of the hero and making a thrilling climb into the rigging to the crow’s nest during the height of the storm. Fred Kolstee, a rigger, commanded the crew of the steamer. The crew were (locals) Alfred Marshall, Tony Amero, Tom Bess, Peter Rice, James Francis, James Whittle and William Byers. Rain was produced from lines of hose, and a most realistic effect was produced by two aeroplanes, the wind from the speeding propellors driving the water about, and rushing through the rattlings and rigging with all the vengeance of a real gale at sea. Three times the big tank of water was released and the thousands of gallons broke over the deck in a most thrilling manner. There was some concern among the movie men before the water was released that some of the men might get buffeted about and get hurt, and they were cautioned to hold on tight.
However, it was a mere trifle for Gloucestermen, veterans of many a gale on the banks.
It was best expressed by Alfred Marshall when he stepped toward the ladder to leave the craft after the picture taking was done. Alfred was quite vexed. “Blankety, blankety, blank___, is this the best you can do? Blank, I’ve bailed bigger seas than that out of a dory. And he sung it right out so all could hear, too.”
Stuart Cooney ensured that the movie was a success from a technical perspective and “purchased the outfit and (took) it over” after the filming finished. He was a Gloucester pioneer in the film industry that’s still going strong. Film Cape Ann facilitates bringing local productions here, like the award winning Manchester by the Sea. The Wikipedia page doesn’t have any mention of Gloucester, but it helped me with an illustration for The Silent Command lobby poster.
See for yourself; here’s a link to the complete movie. A few of the Gloucester scenes (not all) 1:03:44, 1:08:54, 1:09:54 (some coast), 1:10:21, 1:10:52 (dory lowered from navy ship), 1:11:12 (beach island)
AFI for TCM brief synopsis: “This is one of those ‘Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean’ pictures. Full of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner,’ patriotic to the nth degree with the navy floating all over the screen. A real hero, a vamp, and a flock of thrills.” (from Var review.) Foreign agents, determined to destroy the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet and the Panama Canal, after an unsuccessful attempt to obtain from Capt. Richard Decatur information regarding mine positions in the Canal Zone, hire adventuress Peg Williams to vamp Captain Decatur, thereby putting him at their mercy. Decatur, advised by the Chief of Naval Intelligence, plays along with the spies to gain their confidence. He leaves his wife and is dismissed from the Navy as a result of his association with Miss Williams. Finally, he goes to Panama, thwarts the saboteurs, saves the fleet and the canal, and gains honorable reinstatement and the gratitude of his country for his heroism.”
Guy Parsons used one of the old family fishing shacks as a summer place
By now the fishing shacks were no longer visible
Parson family sold Salt Island
James Kimball purchased Salt Island for $2000
Yankee Magazine article about Bride Number 13 Lights! Camera! Disaster! by Joseph E. Garland
Gloucester Daily Times article mentions that James Kimball “has no plans for the island, although in the past he has thought of building a summer home on the island. When I was young my family spent their summers on Brier Neck…So when the island became available I jumped at the chance.”
One of the designated “Special places in Gloucester”
“Special places in Gloucester” appendix list for the MA Heritage Landscape Inventory Program, MA Dept of Conservation and Recreation Essex National Heritage
September 7, 2011
GMG abou the Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island by Fred Bodin
“Where is this film? I’d love to know. All sources indicate that Bride 13 was either lost or destroyed, as happened with many silent films. The reference used for this post was the May 1972 Yankee Magazine article, Lights! Camera! Disaster!, authored by the late Joseph E. Garland of Gloucester.”
and September 9, 2011 GMG Filming of Bride 13 on Salt Island Fred Buck Cape Ann Museum adds photos from the location filming
Salt Island listed for sale $300,000 plus beach parking passes for the family
Salt Island listed For Sale $750,000
September 2017 Cape Ann Beacon
2017 BOSTON GLOBE
“If somebody buys it and builds, it’s because these guys didn’t step up to the plate and protect it the way my father did when I was a little girl, ” said Maslow, who pointed out that she and her siblings are not rich people with big summer houses. “I can’t help it if someone buys it and paints it purple and puts pigs on it.” – Karen Maslow
“…this island has been available for public use informally for generations thanks to the goodwill of that family. That point should not be lost.” — Chris LaPointe, Essex County Greenbelt
Love when this happens to ocean spray! Saturday looks like we’re going to have some sea swells. We’re spared today’s “high surf advisory” accorded to Cape Cod and Maine from Hurricane Gert.
minutes before the sunspray
above – sweet spot for daybreak coffee klatsch
below- the Patti Amaral touch – along with daily clean-ups and upkeep for the island at the entrances to Good Harbor Beach and the walkway
Gloucester beaches in the Boston Globe | Officer Al D’Angelo, Jack Doyle, Bob Ryan, & Heidi Dallin SHINE!
Ways to beat the traffic and work around MBTA closures– Bob Ryan (General Manager Cape Ann Transportation Authority) and Heidi Dallin (Gloucester Stage and so much more) are such incredible Gloucester–and greater Cape Ann– ambassadors.
Boston Globe article by Hattie Bernstein “Heading to the Beach this Weekend? Here’s Some Parking Tips”
Gloucester Harbor Water Shuttle and lighthouse tours
Update: DPW barrels at beach paths, construction by the Good Harbor Beach footbridge, and the creek is OPEN
CONSTRUCTION BY THE FOOT BRIDGE
Gloucester Department of Public Works (DPW) is clearing out and revamping a little overgrown corner by the scenic footbridge. Pretty much everything that was there is returning: the bench, bike racks, sign, and 1 trash barrel. Weeds will be cleared out. The rotting sign is being replaced and relocated by the tree and perpendicular to the road so as to be readable and preserve view shed. DPW is installing a foot wash which has been a request for a number of years, a tiny water tap off the water main and regulated with a meter. The recent “paving was just an overlay to address a series of potholes.” They’re repairing some broken sidewalk panels, too.
DPW TRASH BARRELS AT BEACH PATHS are “pretty much a weekend thing only”
TRASH BARRELS ON THE WEEKENDS – Now you’ll see them
TRASH BARRELS DURING THE WEEK – Now you won’t
There will be pairs of barrels at the beach paths on Gloucester’s two biggest beaches– Good Harbor and Wingaersheek– on weekends as a trial experiment. The barrels will be emptied including a late evening sweep to ensure they’re not left overflowing through the night. It’s a combo option of carry in / carry out with carry in / carry off, because the former works well for most people, not all.
What did DPW find this past weekend?
The barrels were full both days. It was less messy than some of the previous busy weekends. There was lots of dog waste. By morning, they found that there was still trash left in the parking lot which means…
Some beach goers disregard all options: carry in /carry out policy, new blue plastic bags, new barrel pairs at the paths, even a dumpster they walked by behind the concession stand. Oh, and there’s the dog waste despite the No Dog May-October ordinance.
Of course, the litter is not just at beaches. Yes, it detracts from other priorities. DPW is finding trash pretty much everywhere people park (like the boat ramps.) Some people feel that it’s ok to leave behind bags of trash outside where they parked, or next to a full barrel. Gentle reminder from DPW: Pizza to go boxes atop the barrels can block bins that may hold more. Pizza boxes need to be compacted.
GHB parking lot clean as a whistle after busy weekend
pedestrian bridge? clean as a whistle? not so much and yet so –keeping it positive–the beach was jam packed yesterday!
other: Creek opened Monday (board of health, not DPW)
From a great distance roughly same spot at the Gloucester end of Long Beach, various days and times July 2017.
Chevrolet. Building a better way to see the U.S.A.
“72 Chevy Blazer. Because the good places start where the good roads end”
Well, yeah. At Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester, MA.
Vintage ad with Chevy trucks Oh and people on a picnic probably atop piping plover nests. Now we know better…Anyhow, this creative campaign was inspired by the Bass Rocks motif with that iconic Edgar J Sherman house on Sherman’s Point, parts bolted down nearly a century by then. I like the green truck’s wheel tucked in with the gang.
Here’s the song from the commercial (mentions Cape Cod). Dinah Shore was part of the 1950s version.
and I enjoyed this timeline of Chevrolet advertising. The image for 1972 features a lobster shack stop in Maine
“Chevrolet ended a sponsorship of the Soap Box Derby that dated to the Depression (see 1935) and began to sponsor another youth-oriented event, the Junior Olympics. In dropping the derby, a Chevrolet executive said: “With today’s changing life styles, young people in America have different needs, attitudes and interests. To keep pace with the changes, we must develop creative new programs that are responsive to modern attitudes.” Interpublic Group of Cos. bought Campbell-Ewald, marking what at the time was the biggest agency acquisition in history (based on billings). Interpublic already owned another major GM agency, McCann Erickson. Chevrolet promoted its 1972 line with the theme, “Building a better way to see the USA,” recasting its 1950s theme. 1972 Chevrolet U.S. vehicle sales: 3,037,885 U.S. market share: 24.0%”
Gorgeous Feb 23, 2017. Foreground capped with light layer of snow, artist adorned with snappy white fedora, and white caps on the water.
Who is this artist? The colors and texture of the landscape, that white hat, and straining eyes (mine and the artist)…well, it had me thinking Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ” Who are those guys?” and “white straw skimmer” (minus the “beginning to get on my nerves”)
Beautiful fall morning. I like how the sand fills in the boardwalk come October
A mid-week vacation day is the easiest. Oh, and you’ll need your resident beach sticker. We prepped our car with a picnic blanket for the seat, extra towels, and ice waters. Start early and grab a big “lobsterjack” breakfast because you’ll need the fuel. End late.
Let’s establish some base rules here.
First off, you need to spend at least 15 minutes at each beach. (You can tweak this a little if you want.) Next, you need to dive under. We suggest a ritual for each beach, e.g. ‘The Five and Dive’. Finally, you have to stop for ice cream and candy. Remember, you can do these beaches (or others in Gloucester) and jumps in any order. Be flexible for unexpected delays like staying at one beach for hours, or a friend asking you to drop off a sub (*cough* Joey *cough*). Most importantly, you have to do at least 13 beaches and 2 jumps in one day. Mind the tides. Be grateful we have so many choices.
The Beaches- partial list
Annisquam lighthouse. Coffin’s beach. Good Harbor beach. Long beach. Magnolia beach. Niles beach. Pavilion beach (by Beach Court). Pavilion beach bonus (by the cut). Plum Cove beach. Rocky Neck Oakes Cove beach. Stage Fort Park (1) – Cressy’s beach ( our alt. title ‘sea serpent’ big beach). Stage Fort Park (2) – Half Moon beach. Wheeler’s Point. Wingaersheek beach.
The Jumps- partial list
Annisquam bridge. Magnolia Pier.
*We do this challenge at least once each summer. Yesterday we started off with breakfast at Willow’s Rest and continued from there. Our timing was random especially as we spent hours at Wingaersheek. The second meal to get us through the day came from the sandwich counter at Annie’s by Wingaersheek. Yes, they have a sandwich counter.
Sun, surf, squeaky sand, Salt Island, wildlife- Good Harbor Beach has so much character and here’s something new you may want to try. The concession rents chaise lounges with comfy cushions ($18) and umbrellas ($15) as a full-service amenity. They will carry it to your spot. They will set it up. All through? They will pick up. (Within reason–it’s not a challenge.) Most people have already arrived with their chairs and may not know this perk is an option. If you are in need of a super extra relaxing treat or a lighter gear lug– it’s good to know before you go.
Chris, Nick and Jonathan were setting up the slush carts for the day. Watermelon is the 2016 crowd favorite. Note the new wheels. My favorite slush is at Virgilios, but we like Richies, too. I’m told BLT ($7.25) is a popular sandwich order this summer at the concession stand (middle of the beach). The Good Harbor Beach Hotel snack bar at the end of the beach has great sandwiches, too (no restroom).
Breaking news: Dan ordered wheels and is building a beach cart to offer…
fresh squeezed lemonade.
Look for that rolling by your towel –or chaise –in the near future. Please carry in, carry out, and if a trash container is temporarily full, carry home.
City of Gloucester beaches is on Facebook–the City is not in charge of the concession stand.
Communication from the City is robust! Specifically
Will the signs flash parking updates? (the facebook page has parking lot updates)
I often see this group playing volleyball together at Good Harbor Beach when out walking my sweet dog Rosie. Yesterday, more and more friends joined as the sun was setting and it looked like tons of fun. Thanks guys for not minding my taking snapshots!