Tag Archives: Gloucester history

Part 3 Manny Carrancho Shares treasured photos Madonna statue carried from the Gil Eannes at State Pier to Our Lady

Our Lady of Good Voyage Madonna cedar-wood statue was created by two artists from Porto, Portugal, and was commissioned by Portuguese-American fishermen of Gloucester for the Our Lady of Good Voyage church. Silva Franca made the Madonna and Ourivesaria Alianca made the crown and vessel. It was brilliantly welcomed to Gloucester in 1948.

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Here’s the timeline thanks to Sawyer Free and Gloucester Daily Times

On Sunday May 23, 1948

350 Portuguese-American fishing skippers and fishermen, their wives and children and friends took part in the third crowning and readied for the upcoming fourth annual blessing of the fleet. “A most colorful procession in the annual coronation ceremonies of the DES club in the Church of Our Lady of Good Voyage when Rev. Stephen E. DeMoura, the pastor, honored 22 with the impressive mass of coronation including the imperator, Capt. John Lopes of Sadler Street.”

Thursday May 27, 1948 

Cutting it close: the Gloucester Daily Times reported that the Portuguese ship Gil Eannes was expected at Fish Pier but didn’t arrive.  The 279 foot, 1048 net tons, fishing fleet hospital vessel, str. Gil-Eannes, “bound here from Lisbon, Portugal, with the estimated 600 pound cedar-wood life size statue of Our Lady of Good Voyage was due in port by 9 o’clock this morning, but up to noon today had not been sighted off Eastern Point Light.”  

It was here, just not at the pier. Take note: there’s a Ten Pound Island detail–Pancake Ground, and homeland security.

It was believed that she was fog bound off the coast and was jogging awaiting clearing before chancing the remaining voyage into port. She will anchor on the Pancake Ground near Ten Pound Island until tomorrow afternoon when she is due to dock at the State Fish pier.” She was escorted off Whistling Buoy by the redfish dragger Carol Ann, Capt. Francis, and brought to anchor on the Pancake Ground for a “three hour inspection to clear her for official entry.” Harbormaster Captain Fred Wise used his own craft. Mayor Friend gave a short speech. Seventy one officers, crew, and ‘relief fishermen’ were on board the Gil Eannes as it made the 11 day crossing.

What an arrival: the fog was so thick no one ashore could catch any glimpse of her! The Princess of Portugal, her Royal Highness Antonia de Braganza, was expected to arrive for the festivities and was booked at the Tavern, as were the ambassadors. Thousands came to town including bus groups from New Bedford, New Jersey, and other states. There were 26 Gloucester fishing boats and the USS Perry destroyer for the blessing of the fleet.

Memorial Day Weekend – Friday May 28, 1948-Sunday May 30, 1948

A thrilling 3-day observance festival began with Bishop John Wright leading a mass and procession Friday morning to the pier, and closed on Sunday with Archbishop Richard Cushing. Reverend DeMoura had a zealous committee. Twelve brawny crew from the Gil Eannes (matching shirts) six at a time alternated carrying the statue to the church. Crowds lined the streets and these guests were stunned at the sheer size of such a welcome. Three thousand people watched the procession and it’s estimated 10,000 were there for the Sunday climax.

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Gil Eannes crew, honor guard for the statue

Over the 3 days, there were special programs along with Memorial Day ceremonies: a carillon concert from the towers Friday night, a plaza-like square was decorated with colored electric lights in front of the church, banquets (at the Tavern), band concerts, and folk dancing*.  Later in the weekend, two men each from 25 different Gloucester draggers were chosen for the honor of bearing the statue on their shoulders to and fro the pier.Poor weather postponed the final day ceremonies. Ambassador Pereiro left with the Gil Eannes to travel to the Grand Banks and visit with the estimated 3000 fellow countrymen, fishing there in some 60 salt cod Portuguese boats at the time.

Of course, while aboard ship (in Gloucester), a bevy of news photographers and movie newsreel gentry took a raft of film of the statue, of the two bishops and monsignor and priests meeting one another…” 

I would like to see a newsreel. Newspapers carried it across the country thanks to the Associated Press pictures. By 1953 National Geographic was in town for a feature story in color. (You can read that article)

Associated Press  daily illini Tuesday 10 June  1948


More photographs tomorrow.

(*Rose Sheehan did you know?)

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Mary Jean Ribeiro

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A couple of years ago, because of research I was doing about Gordon Parks in Gloucester and thankfully Joey posted on Good Morning Gloucester, I was able to interview Manny and Joanna Carrancho. Manny and his family spent considerable time giving me a detailed account of earlier events in their lives. They shared treasured historic photos and first hand knowledge and were a delight.  Part 2 photographs continue with a town procession from the state pier to the church.  

More photographs tomorrow

 Part 1

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Gloucester Motif Monday: Manny Carrancho shares treasured photos Our Lady Statue carried from the Gil Eannes at State Pier to Our Lady

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In honor of the annual Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit which begins tonight, today’s Gloucester Motif Monday is a legacy one.

Good Morning Gloucester is an indisputable platform for outreach and community. A couple of years ago, because of research I was doing about Gordon Parks in Gloucester and thankfully Joey posted on Good Morning Gloucester, I was able to interview Manny Carrancho. Manny and his family spent considerable time giving me a detailed account of earlier events in their lives. They shared treasured historic photos and first hand knowledge and were a delight.


Joanna (Cecilio) and Manuel Carrancho

This week I’ll feature photographs from a souvenir picture album in Manny’s collection as they feature Our Lady of Good Voyage and one of the Madonna statues. The photographs are from a booklet: Coronation Our Lady Of Good Voyage, produced with cooperation of the Portuguese Daily News and photography by Hollywood Studio, New Bedford, MA. You will see the  Our Lady statue on the vessel Gil Eannes with Bishop Don Manuel Salguiero. Its special arrival is met by a town procession led by Arch Bishop Wright and dignitaries at the State Pier. Twelve fishermen were selected to greet them. Let us know if you recognize family in the photographs. Were you there? 

news edit: Brenda Mason Budrow writes that the little girl in one photo is Mary Jean (Ribeiro) Mason, her mom. Thanks, Brenda!

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Brenda Mason Budrow writes that the little girl in this photo is Mary Jean (Ribeiro) Mason, her mom


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Tonight: the Crowning Feast of the Holy Spirit begins May 9th 2016 in Our Lady’s Church.

More photos to come.

Part 2 photos of the greeting on the vessel and carrying the 600lb statue

Part 3 photos in the church and background on the Gil Eannes and the statue
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Our History Told Through Scraps ~ Unveiling of the Gloucester “Downtown Quilt” with Juni Van Dyke

Gloucester Dwontown Quilt Unveiling Juni Van Dyke ©Kim Smith 2015Gloucester Downtown Quilt Project Juni Van Dyke ©Kim Smith 2015

Juni Van Dyke Downtown Quilt ©Kim Smith 2015Just Beautiful, and what a beautiful community turnout for today’s unveiling of the Neighborhood Quilt Project’s 13th panel, the “Downtown Quilt.” Congratulations to the amazing Juni Van Dyke and her talented troupe of Gloucester senior quilting artists. It was especially appropriate that the unveiling was conducted by our Mayor Romeo Thekan as growing up on Middle Street, her childhood neighborhood centered around many of the buildings depicted in the quilt. Our deepest thanks of appreciation to Juni and the artists for splendidly illustrating Gloucester’s history, with merely scraps.Gloucester Downtown Quilt Project Quilters ©Kim Smith 2015

Juni Van Dyke Downtonw Quilt ©Kim Smith 2015 copy Gloucester Downtown Quilt Project Detail ©Kim Smith 2015Gloucester Downtown Quilt Project City hall Detail ©Kim Smith 2015Gloucester Downtown Quilt Project Mayor Sefatia ©Kim Smith 2015Juni Van Dyke Gloucester Downtown Quilt Project Detail ©Kim Smith 2015

Detail Juni Van Dyke Downtonw Quilt ©Kim Smith 2015 copyScraps of Beauty

Gloucester Downtown Quilt Project  participants ©Kim Smith 2015

THEN and NOW – Main Street (1873)

Before photo and information Submitted by Fred Bodin:

51 Main Street (Cafe Bishco is there now).

West End of Main Street buildings, including the Cape Ann Savings Bank and the YMCA.

The second floor of the bank building became Gloucester’s first YMCA in 1858, one of the oldest Y’s in the U.S. The first YMCA was established in Boston in the Old South Church.




Fish on Fridays

The Fish on Fridays series is a collaboration between Gloucester photographers Kathy Chapman and Marty Luster. Look for various aspects of Gloucester’s centuries-old fishing industry highlighted here on Fridays.

This week we visit with Al Bezanson who recalls his days working at Gorton’s Seafoods in Gloucester. As an engineer he worked on ways to improve their products, specifically the fish cakes. Al moors his schooner Green Dragon in Smith Cove and is enjoying his summer stay at Rocky Neck’s Accommodations, where we shot this video.





(Sorry about the poor sound quality in parts of this video. Still scaling the learning curve.)

Photos © Kathy Chapman 2013

Video © Marty Luster 2013

Flake yard photos courtesy Bodin Historic Photos.
© Fredrik D. Bodin 2013


Fitz Hugh Lane (1804 – 1865) – Painter and Name Changer

Nathaniel Rogers Lane / Fitz Henry Lane / Fitz Hugh Lane


He is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in the Stevens’ Family plot. (more information at Cape Ann Museum)


Bridget a new comer to Gloucester introduces Fitz Park to visitors from Ireland.


THEN and NOW–Paint Factory (A New Beginning)

A lot of people don’t realize there is an open courtyard space that runs between the brick and wooden buildings at the Paint Manufactory. (see post card image)

As part of the restoration process, one of the courtyard spaces is currently being cleaned up by Kerr and his crew.

A pretty spectacular space.


Our Lady of Good Voyage modeled after Azorean Church


Acores Post cards (2)

IMG_5286 Stitch

The current church was built in 1914, after the original church burned down.

The church was modeled after the Santa Maria Madelena church in Madelena, Pico, Azores, shown above in a mid 1900 circa post card.

Gray’s Hardware post reached Texas–1896 Gray Pig Pin

Fred Bodin Submits

PigCropped Gray hardwareI received an email yesterday from Attorney David Richards of Fort Worth, Texas. He read my post about Gray’s Hardware on GMG, and the fact that ancestor Lynn Gray said: “My dad, James Gray, used to ride an old fashioned bicycle with the large front wheel around Gloucester as advertising for the store. If anyone has a picture of my dad on that bicycle, now THAT’s something I’d like to see :)” In his email, David Richards expressed his desire to give this pin to Lynn Gray, free of charge. I contacted Lynn and she’s now the proud owner of a vintage 1896 Gray’s pinback.

THEN and NOW – Main Street (circa 1912)

Photos are of Main Street, the block between Hancock and Center Street.

Once called Gray’s Corner, see article by Fred Bodin on GMG

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For more THEN and NOW photos, just do a search  “THEN and NOW”, which includes some fantastic photos by Marty Luster, also an author on GoodMorningGloucester.

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