Located on the Cape Ann peninsula, Gloucester is a coastal city with a rich fishing history. Names of ships that have been lost at sea line the harbor. Fitz Henry Lane, an 1800s maritime artist, painted many of the ships that were wrecked there. At low tide, Good Harbor Beach extends to Salt Island. The Hammond Castle Museum, which was once the home of inventor John Hay Hammond Jr., is also a must-see.
You may have heard of the historic New England retreat, but few people know about the city’s many attractions. This quaint seaside town is full of history, culture, and fun. You’ll find all of these things in Gloucester. Here are some things you should know before heading there. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular attractions in the area. And don’t forget to check out the museums, galleries, and historic sites while you’re there.
The town’s development began two centuries ago when the early Gloucestermen cleared swaths of the Cape Ann forest to make way for their homes. Although the moors were clear for two centuries, the inland part of the town remained largely intact. After clearing the moors, the town became known as “Common Village” or “Dogtown.” There, the colonists began building small dwellings scattered among the swamps, boulders, and roads. Many of these were only one or two stories high, and several generations lived in them.
The town’s storied past has attracted many famous artists and writers. William Morris Hunt, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, and Frederick Mulhaupt were among the many famous artists who made their home in the town. Other famous artists who made their homes here include Frank Duveneck, Cecilia Beaux, and Jane Peterson. Then there are the artists who lived and worked in Gloucester, including Mark Rothko and Milton Avery.
There is also a grand Victorian building in the city, called the Hammond Castle. Built in the early twentieth century, the building was originally meant to be an entertainment center. P.T. Barnum and Buffalo Bill both performed at the town’s City Hall. The art in this building dates back to the Classical period. A visit from Santa Claus is also a must for Christmas! These are just a few of the highlights of a trip to Gloucester Massachusetts.
The town has a strong mayor-council system. The current mayor is Gregory P. Verga, who also holds a reserved seat on the School Committee. The city elects city officials every two years. The elected seats are odd-numbered. There were over forty candidates running for 15 seats in 2007 elections. The Ward 3 represents the Heights at Cape Ann. Ward 4 encompasses Annisquam, Bay View, and Lanesville.
Another historic landmark in Gloucester is the Fishman’s Memorial, also known as “The Man at the Wheel.” This eight-foot bronze statue is a tribute to the thousands of fishermen who died at sea. It stands on the south side of Stacy Boulevard and is visited by thousands of people each year. A trip to Gloucester is not complete without a visit to the town’s many historic buildings and parks. You can even visit the nearby Gloucester Naval Base to view some of the most beautiful views of the harbor.