Tag Archives: Joe Garland

Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives

“No finer place for sure, downtown.”


“Fate of historic buildings uncertain” Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Jan 3 2017

Seeing double? Yes, you’re supposed to. The Sawyer Free Library addition was designed to mirror Cape Ann Museum as a balanced and nuanced architectural symmetry in deference to City Hall, and catalyst for a graceful center.


Cape Ann Museum, December 2017

Sawyer Free Library has announced a public meeting January 11th for discussions of a new building. (See the flyer at the end of this post.)

City Hall may have some upcoming construction on the Dale Avenue side as well.

Both projects are largely in the name of accessibility of a physical nature. Can they be cost effective, worthy of our history and culture, protect our significant buildings, and address current and future needs? The following are some of the issues, local coverage, links to resources, and archival material for your interest.


Although there are several new handicap parking spaces along Dale Avenue by City Hall, carving out the landscape on the left for more spots is in the cards because of grant money. Why? Several people told me that Dale Avenue parking spaces are hazardous for anyone exiting on the street. Although I do not want to minimize any pressing needs, I still ask, “Really?” Have we become so car dependent we would rather a thoroughfare here than the elegant streetscape we have (once a tree lined walk from the train station.) I was also told that it will increase visitation counts. It is an unfair advantage that historic sites with access to more funding (Monticello, Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and more) are better equipped to face these seemingly no-win situations. But there are creative retrofitting options for Gloucester, too.  Universal design is about balance, not chasing funding sources at the expense of preservation and beauty, nor backwards planning.


Dale Avenue c.1910


City Hall, December 2017


The site of possible razing and paving


NEW LIBRARY 2016. And 1973.

Before the current 2015-16 library outreach, the library hosted extensive visioning sessions throughout 2013. I went to a couple, and I was invited to take part in a focus group (on schools and the library.)  A completely new library and jettisoning of the historic Saunders library building was not an expressed community value. What were some common discussion points? A strategy for digitization of historic archives and newspapers, more staff, more hours of operation (Sundays), better bathrooms, parking issues, air conditioning, electrical work, maintenance, security, maximizing technology/ content access with schools, ditto Cape Ann TV, and attendance (see this great video from Lisa Smith by kids for kids ) were some goals that were mentioned.

So it was a surprise to see the unveiling of new architectural renderings that did not showcase the Saunders house. It’s like the White House not featuring the White House. I think the Saunders house should be key and central to any building overhaul, not tossed aside. Providing universal access should preserve the intended awe factors if there are any, FOR EVERYBODY–such as the architectural details, proportion, welcoming entrance and unique heritage of a historic building. In this proposal, with Saunders severed there is zero physical access to the main event. What a missed opportunity. And for a library. What do you think?

Today’s paper mentioned that the Saunders house could be used for other purposes instead of the library. Why can’t that be the case and the library maintain its #1 asset? The downtown cultural district (which is not going forward in the same capacity) and other organizations could use the library meeting spaces. Do we really need to conjure up another stand alone endeavor?

Back in 1973, the Trustees of the Library began a fund drive for the new library addition; the city of Gloucester paid 2/3. As the Library’s General Chairman, Joe Garland led that campaign. Not surprising, the text of the brochure is a good read! The architect was Donald F. Monnell. (In 1971 Monnell was quoted in the papers speaking about the attributes of Central Grammar.  One likes him more and more.) The population served was 27,000–nearly what it is today.


Awesome design  on this 1973 brochure for the fundraising campaign for the Sawyer Free library– led by the Joe Garland (cover). See photos of complete pamphlet


See “Preserving our Civic Center,” great letter to the editor by Prudence Fish, Gloucester Daily Times, December 23, 2016

Working together


2016 Planning term and movement- “Scaling Up”

A quip about the concept of Scaling UP that I remember from a conference this past September at Peabody Essex Museum and hosted by Essex National Heritage was to “think about the farm not just a barn”; in this case a downtown, or an entire city and region. I like thinking this way in general–architecture and planning, art, and schools. But this conference pushed me to add overlays beyond my areas of expertise or focus like wildlife and waterways. Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts–there’s so much! Mayor Romeo Theken is committed to working together and feels that planning is important and broad. One example, see Gloucester Daily Times Dec 19, 2016 Officials: City to Prioritize Its (competing) Needs 

City Looks to Prioritize its Needs, Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Dec. 19, 2016

There are several looming questions, evaluations, and decisions.


Every era has choices. The prior library expansion plans began well before 1972. Possibilities swirled as they do now. (Back then, Central Grammar was also in the news, may or may not have been razed, and possible uses favored senior housing, commercial development, an annex to City Hall, and a courthouse police station.) Today there are competing building needs and uses floated for properties as diverse as: the Cape Ann YMCA on Middle Street, the post office on Dale, the Gloucester Fire Department, police headquarters, St. Ann’s, and the elementary schools–and that’s just to name a few. Let’s celebrate enviable architectural strengths, and not fuss with buildings that should be venerated, unless it’s to help them be accessible and healthy. Let’s get the balance right.

HISTORY MAKING PLEA- Archives for all

The prohibitive costs of best practice historic preservation (ADA compliant, temperature and humidity controls, security, sustainability, in house scanning/OCR/audio transcription, etc) is impossible for all the worthy collections in town, and pits them as foes when vying for funds. Let’s flip that impediment on its head and make Gloucester a model for the state.  Its treasures would be available worldwide if they were truly accessible –digitized.Two words may help accomplish this goal and free up cash for individual operations: shared overhead. It’s one hope I continue to stress–the need to share necessary resources for a state-of-the-art research and warehouse repository. This universal hub should be large enough to encompass any holdings not on view. There could be a smaller downtown central site combined with a larger off site location, such as at Blackburn. The list of sharing institutions could include and is by no means exhaustive: our municipal archives that date back to 1642; Cape Ann Museum; Sawyer Free Library; North Shore Art Association; Beauport; Hammond Castle; the Legion; Amvets and other social clubs; Sargent House; several places of worship; Gloucester Daily Times; Annisquam historical building collections; Lanesville; Magnolia’s historic collections; artists/writers estates; Veterans office; our schools; Isabel Babson Memorial Library, and perhaps businesses such as Cape Pond Ice and Gortons. The library plans don’t appear to retrofit their site(s) for this goal.

If incentives and policy supported neighborhood character over less generic construction collages51

that would be wonderful.  It’s not just Gloucester.


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Loch Lomond sung for Joe Garland

In this video, gimmesound artist of the week Michael O’Leary sings one of Joe Garland’s favorite songs with Janice Fullman .  This was part of the special tribute to Joe Garland produced by Local Music Seen with Allen Estes that showed on the large screen at the October 1, 2011 ceremony celebrating Joe’s life at I4-C2.  A longer version of this tribute special is in the works and will air on Cape Ann TV once it’s finished.

Michael O’Leary is also featured in today’s Gloucester Daily Times story (see here).

Don’t wait for St. Patrick, get out and dance tonight.  There’s Reggae DJ, Blues, Jazz/hip hop and more.  See complete music lineup here.

Tribute from Senator John Kerry to Joe Garland

Over the holidays Helen Garland kindly lent me a copy of The Gloucester Guide, Joe’s fascinating  historical guidebook, or, as it is sub-titled, A Retrospective Ramble. I am looking for photos and information about Good Harbor Beach and recalled Joe’s book. Regrettably, I had lent my copy and it has not made it’s way back to our home. The Gloucester Guide is unfortunately out of print, but I have heard talk of it going to yet another printing. While visiting with Helen she shared the following heartfelt and moving tribute to Joe, from Senator Kerry, published in the Congressional Record, October 12, 2011, Vol. 157, No. 152.


Mr. KERRY: Mr. President, over the course of the past half-century, Joe Garland served as the unofficial historian of Gloucester, MA—its fishermen, its boats and its life. But Joe Garland not only wrote history in his books and newspaper column—he was part of history, guiding his beloved hometown through headwinds and troubled waters. Joe Garland passed away August 30, and his family and friends gathered October 1 for a memorial service. I would like to share with the Senate the thoughts and memories of Joe that I shared with those who were part of that service honoring this great champion of all things Gloucester.

If you visit the Fisherman’s Memorial on Gloucester’s waterfront on a stormy winter day, the statue of the Heroic Mariner seems to be steering the whole town into the wind toward fair weather. And if you look closely at the statue, you can almost see Joe Garland in its carved granite face, full of grit and determination, guiding his beloved Gloucester through headwinds and troubled waters.

‘‘Beating to windward’’ is the art of sailing into the wind. ‘‘Beating to Windward’’ is also the name of the column Joe wrote so many years for the Gloucester Times. And it is no surprise to any of us who knew him that Joe used the column to champion all things Gloucester.

Joe didn’t just chronicle Gloucester’s history—he was a part of it. In his column and in his books, he brought to life the era of the great schooners—like the 122-foot Adventure, the flagship of Gloucester, and the larger-than-life Gloucestermen—like the ‘‘Bear of the Sea,’’ Giant Jim Patillo, and the ‘‘Lone Voyager,’’ Howard Blackburn.

But he also used the sharpness of his pen to make his case on all kinds of civil causes—opposing unbridled economic development, warning about the loss of local control of the hospital and water supply, complaining about compromises on the environment or demanding the preservation of Gloucester’s beauty. And trust me—Joe never hesitated to offer his advice to a certain U.S. Senator, if he felt like I needed it.

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The Joe Garland Tribute Post

If you have a story about Joe you would like to share send it in and I’ll add it to this post.

Joe “Stoga” Scola remembers Joe Garland in this video interview-

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He was a bard of the Atlantic: A crusty, delighted, outraged, self-deprecating, sharp-eyed, ever-curious citizen historian of America’s oldest fishing port.  But it was an unforgettable trauma on land, nearly halfway around the world, that decades ago brought the legendary Joe Garland back home to Gloucester, and to Black Bess, his weathered old house on Eastern Point.

From there, Joe would gaze through his six-foot-high living room windows to the inner harbor, and consider two mortalities:  That of the Gloucester fisherman, and that of himself.

"I immediately felt a kind of kinship with the fishermen that evoked the kind of kinship that I’d felt as a soldier, with my buddies," Joe told me when I first met him in 1997. "And it was nothing that I had ever encountered or seen. Until I sort of discovered what these guys had been going through in Gloucester. So I found a strange kind of brotherhood."

Joe’s connection with the lethal risks to the Gloucestermen came through his own confrontation with death on the winter line at Italy’s Anzio beachhead during World War II. At Anzio, it was trench warfare, as Allied and German soldiers shot and shelled each other over mere feet of land. Joe was deeply scarred by this, and for decades, he worked on Unknown Soldiers, a memoir of his time in war. For years, while that narrative eluded him, he cranked out book after beautiful book about Gloucester and the North Atlantic: Lone Voyager, about fisherman Howard Blackburn, who survived a brutal winter journey, cut off from his mother ship and lost at sea in a tiny dory; Guns Off Gloucester, about redcoats and rebels on the North Shore of Boston during the Revolutionary War; and Down to the Sea, a history of the thousands of men who sailed out of Gloucester harbor and never came back.

"The American Dream has always been that joy and discovery and energy and activism and optimism are what have knit our society together and have brought it power and expansion," Joe told me. "But I reckon in a more profound way, loss is a more enduring kind of a social cement."

Like perhaps all trauma victims, Joe was witness to things he didn’t much want to talk about, but which nevertheless, for decades, he couldn’t shake. And yet he dealt with the loss – and the "shellshock," as people used to call PTSD – creatively: He wrote about it, over and over again, even if indirectly. (And, eventually, directly: Unknown Soldiers was finally published in 2009.) And, in the tradition of the many writers and artists who had came to the North Shore before him, he told great stories.

"Let me tell you about Helen!" Joe exclaimed to me on the day we met, as we sat at dusk in the living room, surrounded by ticking grandfather clocks, watching the blinking lights of the trawlers on the path to the open sea. An army buddy told Joe he needed a pen pal: Helen Bryan, his childhood neighbor from New Jersey. Joe wrote Helen nearly every day from Anzio. They fell in love by U.S. Army Post; in Joe’s mind, with the smoke of battle around him, they would get married nearly the moment he touched American soil. Provided he survived. On Thanksgiving 1945, Helen was waiting for him in pearls and a full length fur coat at Grand Central Station. But she wasn’t ready to marry; on her father’s orders, she would need to finish Sarah Lawrence College first. Joe was furious, dumbfounded, traumatized; he cut off the relationship, burned Helen’s letters, married someone else, raised a family. Decades passed. Helen married too, and had four children. Then, on July 5, 1978, Joe, at work on Unknown Soldiers, contacted Helen to see what she remembered. (After all, he no longer had the letters!) They met again, at the Thayer Hotel at West Point. And fell in love again. "And on my way home I pulled over to the side of the road and I cried my eyes out!" Joe nearly barked at me.

Many years later, when my former wife Lamis and I were living down the street in East Gloucester,, Joe and Helen Garland would hold court beneath the big chandelier in the dining room at Black Bess. There was always something urgent to discuss. Maybe it was the battle over Gloucester’s historicPaint Factory, which a couple of outsiders were trying to turn into condos. Outrageous!, Joe would bellow. What the hell do they think they’re doing? Or maybe it the gas pipeline going in on the Atlantic seabed, and how it might threaten the dwindling fishing stocks. Or it was the endless intrigue of the town’s mayoral politics. Or the battle over the future of Israel and Palestine, what Anaconda Corporation did to the Hudson River Valley, the indigenous politics of New Zealand, the legacy of Margaret Mead in the United Nations, the courage of a Catholic priest in India, or of cousin Billy in Scotland. Often, the conversation was about the decline of a kind of decency and fairness in American society and politics – a theme Joe frequently returned to, with genuine bewilderment and sadness.

Throughout these dinners, there was Joe, chewing his food ever so slowly (he was the world’s slowest eater), ever in his baggy, deeply faded jeans and blue-and-white-striped milkman shirt, his shock of white hair brushed absentmindedly across his brow: joking, inquiring, reminiscing, lamenting – and encouraging his younger visitors in whatever dreams they’d brought with them that evening.

I called Helen the other day to see how she was doing. We shared some Joe stories, and discussed the upcoming celebration of his life, which will take place today [Saturday] on Gloucester Harbor. And then she told me something surprising. Finally, at the end, Joe’s trauma was gone. After his war book – his recurring trauma – went out into the world, the PTSD began to dissolve. Daily, he was reminded of the poem his war buddy Frank Merchant wrote for Joe and Helen:

May this day, a diamond discovered

Glint from the old war and terror

"You saved my life," Joe told Helen, near the end. "You should have seen him," Helen recalled of his final hours. "You’ve never seen such change in a person." He was in the living room, looking out at the passing ships in the harbor. "It was magic. He was totally absorbed in something beautiful."

Sandy Tolan is a former resident of Gloucester and an associate professor at  the Annenberg School for Journalism and Communication at USC.  He is working on a book about music in the Holy Land.


Bruce Bonham-

Sadden to hear of the passing of Joe Garland.
A few years ago during one of our annual Gloucester and Cape Ann visits, I stumpled upon a Garland book up at a Newburyport flea market.
It was the history of Eastern Point. I immediately fell more in love with the area. I purchased a few more of Garland’s Gloucester and North Shore books, then during a September visit a few years ago gathered up courage enough to knock on his Eastern Point front door at Black Bess.
"Come on in!" was the sight unseen call from Joe’s wife, Helen. "You wanna see Joe? He out feeding the dog. He’ll be right in."
She took me to Joe’s perch at the back of his historic house with spectacular views of the harbour and city. I was there, on the premise of getting his books autographed (which he did, making me feel he was honoured to do so), but really wanted to meet the man who wrote the area’s interesting history.
Turns out we had lot’s to talk about. He began, he told me, as a newspaperman. I was a newspaperman too. Perfect!
Joe has touched many lives in his long years.
My experience will be forever cherished.

Bruce Bonham
St. Catharines, Ontario, CANADA


Bill Hubbard Writes-

My wife and I moved back to Gloucester in 1959 and into a home on Ledge Lane in E. Gloucester after living in Western Mass for three years.  I first met Joe that year at Drift In(now Sailor Stan’s) on Rocky Neck and saw him frequently there.

That winter I bought an unfinished banks dory from Burnham & Thomas and decided to make a sailor of her.  I sketched out a sail plan for her along with a centerboard and rudder and took them down to Capt. Bill Sibley’s shop at 15 Rocky Neck Av. – where my cousin Larry Dahlmer has his gallery today.  It was a cold day and Sib had the woodstove cranking and quite a gang was on hand to go over my plans.  Joe was there along with Capt. Tom Morse and soon-to-be-city councilor, Ed Flynn and Dick Hunt.  As I recall, we spent several hours discussing the plans and then Joe invited me to his home at Black Bess and we sat down and drew them up to scale.

Next Spring, Joe and Dick Hunt were on hand when I launched her at Wonsan’s Cove, stepped the mast and bent on the new sails made by Bob Enos and the centerboard cut by Ed Alexander at Beacon Marine.  Then Joe hopped in with me for the christening sail.

A few years later, at Joes’ urging, I wrote a short history of the “Michigan Bears”.  It was the story of the Michigan men who sailed their small boats and gillnets from the lakes to found the gillnet fishery in Gloucester in 1909.  They were led by Capt. Albert Arnold and included Dahlmer’s, Tysvers, Shores, Lasley’s and LaFonds, among others.  Joe was my inspiration for that article, contributed many anecdotes about the Bears. He also suggested I submit it to Joe Kakanes, “Gloucester Magazine” where it was published the following year. 

I probably saw Joe once or twice every week on Rocky Neck, especially at Sibley’s where many of us passed the time in deep conjecture on many topics important to the world, Gloucester and especially to us.  We moved to New Hampshire in 1969 and I only saw Joe occasionally when visiting relatives.  He was a wonderful person and with his books and projects contributed much to Gloucester that will be a lasting tribute to him.  He was one of the prime movers to restore Howard Blackburn’s and Centennial Johnson’s boats for future generations.  I think of him every time I visit Gloucester and drive onto Rocky Neck or Eastern Point.

Bill Hubbard

Visit my artists website at:


Tom Halsted writes-

One day in early October of 1991, I got a call from Joe Garland: “Can you take a day off to drive to the Catskills with me?” he asked. “There are two great rowing canoes we can buy cheap but I need to get there soon. I’m getting one. Do you want to get one too?  Can you get away on Saturday”? I did, and could..

By Saturday we had located a lightweight boat trailer I could tow behind our VW Dasher station wagon. I picked up Joe at about 8 AM, hooked up the trailer, and headed west.

Our destination: Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, 250 miles away. Joe and Helen had just returned from a memorable weekend stay there. It’s a mountaintop resort, with a large 1890s-era hotel, miles of walking and carriage trails, and a manmade lake on a mountaintop. In the lake were a fleet of newly purchased rowboats for guests to use, and in one of the carriage barns (which had once held 300 carriages and their horses) the older fleet of rowboats, all Old Town rowing canoes, was stored. Joe inquired whether any were for sale, was told that they were, and could be had for $50 apiece. The deal, in Joe’s opinion, was too good to pass up.

We arrived at the hotel around noon, and went in search of the manager Joe had spoken to a few days earlier. He was nowhere to be found, but a sympathetic assistant listened to Joe’s explanation and showed us to the carriage barn. There on racks were a dozen canoes in various states of repair. We poked and picked among them, and eventually found two in fairly good shape, and a couple of pairs of oars.

We loaded them on the trailer and then went in search of someone we could pay for them.  The same assistant manager eventually showed up, took our $100, and we were on our way back to Gloucester. We stopped in Vernon, Connecticut, outside of Hartford, for a dish of tapioca pudding Joe knew he could get at Rein’s Deli there, and eventually made it back to Gloucester, arriving at about 6. I stowed my canoe in my family’s barn in Manchester, we unloaded Joe’s at his house, I took the trailer back to its owner, and went home for supper.

Old Town rowing canoes were built in Old Town, ME from the end of the 19th century to the first few decades of the 20th century, and ranged from 15 to 20 feet in length. (Ours were 15-footers). They were built like canoes, thin cedar planks clench-nailed to flat split ash ribs, covered with canvas and painted dark green. They had bronze oarlocks and elegant spoon-bladed oars. They were heavy, but made to slide through the water with ease.

For one reason or another I didn’t get around to working on my canoe at first, but Joe dropped everything to put his in rowing condition as soon as possible.  In a few days he patched the hull, repainted the canvas skin, and painted the name “HOMONK” on the bow. Then he built an elaborate wooden railway from the top of the rocks down to the cove so he could launch the canoe by sliding it  along the planks down into the water at any tide. He was ready to do some serious rowing, and managed to get out for a couple of brief and satisfying excursions.

A few days later, on October 31, Gloucester was walloped by what came to be known as “The Perfect Storm.”  Huge waves crashed over the breakwater, tossing gigantic granite blocks into the sea, before sweeping across the few hundred yards to Black Bess. Railway and canoe were swept away in an instant. After the storm had passed Joe hunted for the canoe in the thicket that lined Eastern Point Boulevard on the landward side of the road.  He came upon a few scraps of green canvas and chunks of hull, one with most of the word “HOMONK” on it — all that remained of his once great Lake Mohonk rowing canoe.

As for my canoe, I never did restore it, but sold it a few weeks later to a collector, for $250. If I’d had any decency I would have split my $200 bonanza with Joe, but I have a suspicion I never did.  Sorry, Joe.

— Tom Halsted
October 1, 2011

imageA 15’ Old Town Rowing Canoe

One of Joe’s unfinished books was to have been the narrative of his life in the many boats — cutters, sloops and a schooner — that he had owned and sailed over the years. All but the last were built of wood, and usually well-used when he bought them. He lovingly cared for them and sailed them each season from the first warm days of spring until late into the autumn.  They were moored just off Black Bess, where he could admire them from the porch when he wasn’t sailing them, in Gloucester waters and beyond.

Joe’s next-to-last boat, acquired in 1986, was March Hare, a 23-foot wooden cruising sloop, designed jointly by famed yacht designers William Atkin and Starling Burgess. She was built in Long Island  and launched in 1932. She had an unusual “turtleback” hull design, the ribs forward of the cockpit completely encircling the hull and the rounded cabin top. The standing rigging was also unusual,  a forestay and two single shrouds. No spreaders, no backstay. Below decks there were four narrow bunks with sitting headroom, a sink and a head. A diesel inboard engine provided power.

One hot summer day in 1987, Joe invited me for a sail on “The Hare.” By the time we had rowed out to the boat, set sail and cast off the mooring, the breeze had dropped to about 5 knots. By the time we reached mid-harbor, it was almost undetectable.
But something was odd: March Hare didn’t seem to notice the flat-ass calm at all. Instead she heeled gently over onto the starboard tack, and glided confidently out to sea past the Dog Bar. The sails obligingly bellied out, water gurgled pleasantly along the hull, a frothy wake trailed off astern in a nice straight line.

“Joe”! I exclaimed, “this is incredible! If only there was another boat like this!”

“But there is,” said he. “Another one is advertised in WoodenBoat, for $5,000. It’s out of the water, in Scituate.”

As soon as I was home, I turned to the magazine, and there she was: Jabberwock, almost identical to March Hare except for the foredeck, which held a more traditional boxy trunk cabin, rather than the turtleback. The Alice in Wonderland-named boats were apparently two of a fleet of at least three; Atkins and Burgess’s first boat was named Dormouse. Surely there was also a Mad Hatter somewhere if still afloat, and perhaps more similarly named sister ships. A Walrus? A Carpenter?

I called Jabberwock’s owner, who told me where to find the boat. “She’s in fine shape,” he told me. “Sailed her everywhere, from Long Island Sound to East Quoddy Head. Wonderful, fast cruising boat.” The liar.

My wife Joy and I drove to Scituate and found the boatyard. The yard owner looked at us with a wry smile; it was clear no one else had been looking at Jabberwock in quite a while, and we soon saw why. There was probably a hefty yard bill.

The boat sat forlornly in an old cradle. She had obviously been there for several hard winters. Remains of a blue tarp hung in tatters over the cradle; there were big gaps between several butt joints and a large hole in the stem timber. A knife went into the stern post like butter. The forward hatch cover had blown off; the rudder hung precariously from a single remaining screw. What little varnish was still on the brightwork fluttered from it in long peeling strips. Rust stains dribbled down the topsides from every bunghole. Below decks, the bunk cushions were soaking wet, and the bilges contained a brew of rainwater, paint, empty bottles, an old chart, and a half-empty can of spar varnish; the other half had also spilled into the bilges. 

The mast, boom, tiller and engine had been removed and stored under cover. The spars looked somewhat better, but the engine looked tired. “To hell with it,” I told Joy. “Too far to go.” “Well —,” she said. Uncharacteristically, she obviously liked what she saw more than I.
We drove home and I reported the bad news to Joe. “It can’t be that bad,” he said. “Let me have a look at her.” Joy chimed in, “I really liked that boat.”

So it was back to Scituate the next day, with Joe. He climbed up on Jabberwock’s deck, squinted along the sheer and waterline, thumped a plank or two, and said “She’s in great shape. You really ought to get her.”

    We drove home. I called the owner. “You have ruined a beautiful boat,” I snarled at him. “You should be ashamed. How can you ask five thousand dollars?” Then, I don’t know what came over me, as I asked, “Will you take two”?

“Sure,” he replied in an instant, and I began to think I should have said “two hundred,” instead of “two thousand.” But it was clear he had enough to cover what must have been a healthy yard bill.

A few days later, I glumly followed behind a boat trailer, watching Jabberwock suffer each jarring bounce as the trailer bumped at high speed over every rut and pothole between the South and North Shore.  At dusk we arrived home, and set up the boat on jack stands in our back yard.

For the next fourteen months Joy and I labored over Jabberwock, with much expert help from Larry Dahlmer, Leon Poindexter and Steve Waldron, and sage advice from Joe. We repaired the stern post, replaced planks, butt blocks, and floor timbers, replaced hundreds of screws, bunged and planed off each screw hole, fashioned a new keel bolt out of a bronze propeller shaft and installed it, repaired and installed the engine, replaced dubious turnbuckles and chain plates, replaced all the running rigging, scraped, sanded, varnished, caulked and painted. Joy spent a long day painting below decks and cutting in a neat blue boot stripe.

At last, on October 14, 1988, we hauled Jabberwock to Hank Bornhofft’s yard at the head of the harbor, slung her in the travel lift, and lowered her gently into the ocean. Joe and Helen were on hand for the launching. We stepped the mast, bent on the sails, and watched for the next day and a half, as water poured into the boat through every seam, and gushed back out through a new bilge pump. But eventually the planks swelled, the gush slowed to a trickle and finally stopped, and it was clear Jabberwock would swim.

After a trial sail or two I called Joe to see how the two boats compared. We met on a sparkling November day off Black Bess, beat across the Harbor on a port tack, ran down to the Cut, jibed, reached up the Harbor as far as Smith Cove, reached back to Stage Fort, beat back to the end of Dog Bar on a starboard tack, and ran back downwind to Black Bess.

Jabberwock beat March Hare on every point of sail.  Joe graciously said, “It’s clear who’s the better skipper.” “No, no,” said I, “You’re the better skipper, but my boat has a cleaner bottom, and you’ve been in the water all summer.” So in the end we agreed we were both great skippers, and both had great boats. But I never did figure out how March Hare could have sailed so beautifully that windless summer day. Must have been that magic Garland touch.
— Tom Halsted
October 1, 2011

Jabberwock Leads March Hare, November 18, 1988

March Hare and Jabberwock, Winter 1989

Crazy Weekend Ahead Here’s Your Playbook

Cyclocross, Joe Garland Tribute, the Bloody Mary Competition, buckle your chinstrap buckaroos, it’s gonna be a good one!


2011 Gran Prix of Gloucester October 1 & 2- It’s Coming

Setting Up Two Days Ago photos From Donna Ardizzoni




Celebrating Gloucester’s Joe October 1, 2011

Stoga Remembers Joe Garland In This Video Interview

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Final Mug Up, Bloody Mary Competition & End of Season Blow Out

The Season Grand Finale Mug Up and Ryan & Woods Distilleries sponsored Bloody Mary Competition (yep, we have raised the bar way up) at Rocky Neck, will be on Sunday, October 2.  Bob Ryan has very generously donated some awesome prizes for the creators of the winning Bloody Mary entries, including coasters, t-shirts, and Ryan & Woods Beauport Vodka (!!).  Also, for those planning to enter a Bloody Mary mix, so that we level the playing field and judging is based solely on presentation and mix, and no drink is heavy handed on the alcohol (it will be 10:00 am after all, and we have to protect our judges from inebriation), Beauport Vodka will be conservatively added to all mixes here before they go to the judges and attendees.  So no one has to go out and buy vodka and everyone’s entries will be made with only the best locally distilled Ryan & Woods Beauport Vodka.  Entrants only need bring a container of their best Bloody Mary mix creation and a glass with preferred garnishes for presentation to the judges.  In the best interest of judging time and the judges’ alcohol levels, we will limit the number of entries to six.  Of course, entrants must be 21 years of age or older.  As always at Mug Up, there will be plenty of great coffee, deviled eggs and whatever Mug Up type fare people bring along to share.  Always a good time and everyone is welcome at Khan Studio and the Good Morning Gloucester Gallery, 77 Rocky Neck at Madfish Wharf.  This will be the final Mug Up for the season on Rocky Neck, so don’t miss it.

Celebrating Gloucester’s Joe October 1, 2011


The Garland family and the City of Gloucester welcome everyone to a celebration of the life of Joe Garland, Gloucester’s historian, writer, and civic-proponent who died August 30th at age 88.
The all-volunteer event will take place on October 1, 2011, at 1 p.m. in the center of town at 65 Rogers Street, the harbor-front property formerly known as I4-C2. 
The event celebrating not only the man but the colorful and vital city he loved will include: music, a brief program with speakers, a variety of tents featuring the causes and activities Joe cared about, along with some of his favorite foods, and a gathering of boats—fishing and sail alike—which will salute him from the harbor.

The opening program will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m., and will conclude with an open-mic session so that those who wish may share what Joe meant to them and to Gloucester. Any who prefer to offer a written or illustrated remembrance may bring a page (8.5 x 11”) to be included in The Book of Joe.
Donations in his name to worthy literary, environmental, medical and civic causes will be accepted at the various tents.
Seating will be limited so celebrants are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
Parking for disabled and seniors (70 and older) will be available on site.
In case of rain, Celebrating Gloucester’s Joe will be held at City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, where parking for elders and disabled will also be available.

For further information
Office of the Mayor: 978-281-9700    Peter Van Ness: 978-525-9093
Email: unknownsoldiersmemoirs@gmail.com

Joe Garland 1922-2011 RIP

A Cannon Salute, and Farewell to Joe Garland

By Gail McCarthy, Gloucester Daily Times Staff Writer

“Joseph Garland, Gloucester’s historian, spent the last moments of his life in his beloved house by the sea.

One of the last sounds he heard on Tuesday was a cannon salute, a tradition he treasured; he would often give boats passing by a round from his own small cannon.

Garland’s family brought him home from the hospital Tuesday afternoon under hospice care. He would have turned 89 on Sept. 30. But he spent his last 90 minutes of life surrounded by family.

“When we brought him into the house from the ambulance, the (schooner) Lannon was heading out to sea with a sail excursion,” said Rob Carlson, his stepson. “We got him set up in the bed, and the Lannon was heading straight into port and we fired the cannon to get their attention. They immediately changed course and came over and gave a salute, fired their cannon and we fired back for them.

“About 10 minutes later,” he said, “Joe was gone.”

Helen Garland, his wife, said the bed was set up for him to look out at the harbor and the city.

“He was peacefully aware and was squeezing my hand right up to the end,” she said.”

To read more on Joe’s passing, please click here  and for Richard Gaines’ article.

My dad was a great admirer of Joe and although he loved Joe’s books, I remember heated discussions over city policies. After my dad passed, my mom and I stopped to talk with Joe as he worked on his sailboat across the road from his house. He will be sadly missed at the Schooner Races this weekend. It was always a treat to hear his voice announcing the schooners passing by the boulevard during the Parade of Sail.

To quote John F. Kennedy-
“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came. ”

Rest in Peace, Joe. The sea will always be your home.

REMINDER-Charles A. Lowe Photos: Gloucester 1975

You have to see this!!

On exhibition through May 31, 2009

****Admission to the Cape Ann Museum will be free to all Cape Ann residents
every Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for the duration of the Charles A. Lowe exhibition.

Charles A. Lowe Photos: Gloucester 1975

Charlie Lowe was a deceptively great artist possessed unconsciously,
with an extraordinary ability to universalize what he saw in life.  It was
given to him, through his eyes to open ours. His wondrous images guide
us to the perception of something around us, in others, in ourselves,
that was truthful, essential, natural, optimistic I think, poignantly
human, and the essence of our Gloucester.
Joe Garland, foreword essay to Lowe’s book A Portrait of Gloucester, 1983.

From the archives of the Museum, a selection of Gloucester photos from the year 1975 by Charles A. Lowe, photographer for the Gloucester Daily Times from 1957 -1981.
The exhibition is organized by former editor of the Gloucester Daily Times, Peter Watson, and Fred Buck, photo archivist for the Museum.

**An 80 page exhibition catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
It is for sale through the Museum Shop for $25.00.

Copies of photographs from the Charles A. Lowe Archives are also available for purchase. Call the Museum’s Library/Archives for more information,
(978) 283-0455, ext. 19.