42 Stage Fort Park
Stage Fort Park Image
In 1623, 14 English fishermen set up the first European colony on Cape Ann here in what was then Fishermen’s Field and is now Stage Fort Park. These ramparts overlook the harbor, first built during the Revolutionary War, renewed for the War of 1812, and then the Civil War.

© Sharon Lowe

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Stage Fort Park — ‘Stage’ to commemorate the wooden sheds and platforms where those first settlers cleaned and sun-dried their freshly caught cod, and ‘Fort’ to memorialize the fortress overlooking the city that was first built during the Revolutionary War and renewed for the War of 1812 and then the Civil War. Alas, those first settlers, sent across the ocean by the Dorchester Company, were unable to live off the sea and these rock-bound fields. They moved a few miles south to what is now Salem in 1626. Then, within a decade, there were enough permanent settlers on Cape Ann to incorporate the town of Gloucester. The first meetinghouse was built on the Town Green in 1642 near what is now the Grant Circle rotary of Route 128. The City set this land aside as a public park in 1898 and its Tablet Rock was dedicated by Henry Cabot Lodge in 1907.  James R. Pringle was designated to write the inscription for the bronze plaque. The execution of the design was by Eric Pape. “The nautical scheme of decorative framework and embellishment was the composite suggestion” of various committees dating as far back as the 1880s.

1629 Abundance beyond belief mini doc (3:40 min)

1629. ``The Abundance Here is Almost Beyond Believing.``

The descriptions recited here describe a world of resources so rich that we are in awe. Text by David Rhinelander and Lise Breen. Vintage postcards courtesy David Cox. Narration by Marie Demick. Music C. King. Excerpts from The Rev. Francis Higginson in New-England’s Plantation. or, A Short and True Description of New England. Its Commodities and Discommodities of that Country.

Higginson (aka Higgeson) was the first minister of Naumkeag (soon to be Salem). He wrote a description of his observations published in 1630.

The French Explorers Map

The French Explorer's Map,1606

Map drawn by Samuel Champlain. Courtesy myweb.northshore.edu



©Bill Kirk


Walking Routes

Gloucester is a great place to walk. This map is designed to show how long it takes to walk to and from special locations in 3-12 minute long sements thoughout the city. PDF Map WalkBoston, GetFit. Steve Winslow and GHS students.

Jazz Great Pomeroy Where's Charlie 1959

Jazz Great Pomeroy Where’s Charlie 1959

Herb Pomeroy, superb jazz trumpeter and educator, grew up in Gloucester. He played often in the City and Stage Fort Park. He said, “I’ve never heard a recording – never’s an awful strong word but I never can recall it – that was as glorious as a live performance: a good live performance. I don’t believe in recorded music. I don’t believe in the act of recording music. I believe that music is so precious that it should only be heard by the musicians who’ve given their life to play it, and the listeners that would drive 200 miles through snow to listen to it. Like it used to be maybe pre-radio days, early radio days, where people would drive all over the place to hear a symphony concert.

But the live performance – the spontaneity, the reaction to each other, the act of being human beings with each other. I think the social act of being a human being is the most important thing, to me, why we’re on this earth – to get along with each other, to react to each other, to love each other. And I don’t see that a part of music when it’s a track in your head.”