Gloucester Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by fdrich29
  • Things to Do
    by fdrich29
  • Things to Do
    by fdrich29

Most Recent Things to Do in Gloucester

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    Hammond Castle

    by Pawtuxet Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Great Hall of the castle
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    OK, all you castle lovers! Here is Gloucester's answer to all those who think we don't have castles in this country. It seems that Hammond (of Hammond organ fame) had men gather pieces and parts of castles from around the world to create this imaginative structure which stands boldly at the edge of Gloucester harbor. Please visit my travelogue for some really interesting views and try identifying where he found all this stuff!! Crazy guy, but very clever.
    Edison was the only one who outnumbered Hammond for the number of inventions. We all would recognize the Hammond Organ...but he also invented Remote Control. Many inventions were later used by the government for war time activity. His study gives many examples of his works.
    Here is one of a number of stone arches at Hammond Castle in Gloucester. Hammond has so many pieces taken from the ruined castles of Europe and assembled here into one bazaar structure. What an inventor's mind will think of!!
    On this trip I had all three of my kids and my daughter-in-law with me. We had fun getting lost in the passage ways, winding narrow stairs, the multitude of rooms, and the unusual collection from a true genius of a man.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Architecture

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    Tour the Hammond Castle

    by RhondaRuth Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Hammond Castle

    This is a nice little tour of a castle in America. It was actually a home built by John Hays Hammond, Jr, an inventor.

    As stated from the Hammond Castle Website:

    "In 1926 he started the construction of his medieval castle home in Gloucester, MA, as a bridal present for his wife, Irene. They moved into the castle in 1929 and opened it as a museum in 1930. During this period Hammond worked with assistants on his many inventions in his new castle laboratory, including the synchronization of motion pictures, radio dynamic controls, television communications, the dynamic amplifier (today's stereo), and a cosmic ray detector. Hammond is credited with over 800 inventions and 437 patents."

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    • Castles and Palaces

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    Cruise Gloucester Harbor on a 90 ft Schooner

    by fdrich29 Updated Mar 7, 2010
    Thomas E. Lannon docked at the Gloucester House
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    I was fortunate enough to enjoy a two-hour sunset cruise on the Thomas E. Lannon as my final assignment for a course through Northeastern University. Fly Amero, a local musician performed an acoustic on a perfect Gloucester Harbor evening. The Thomas E. Lannon offers several touring packages, including 2-hour tours, Sunset Music Cruises, Moonlight Sails, and Fireworks Cruises, to name but a few. Reservations are recommended, but can not be made more than 2 weeks before your desired cruise date (capacity is 49, 40 for their lobster bake cruises, and those spots fill up). A typical cruise will cost around $37.50 for adults, $33.50 for seniors and $25.00 for children (all children, even infants). The Lannon's season sails from mid-May to the end of October. Their website has a myriad of information regarding the boat, how it was built and helpful information as to what to wear and bring with you. I have now added a sunset cruise on the Thomas E. Lannon as a MUST DO activity for those visiting Gloucester. There may be no better way to spend a beautiful evening in America's Oldest Seaport.

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    Merchant Mariners Memorial

    by fdrich29 Written Aug 20, 2009

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    A newer addition to Stacy Boulevard, the Merchant Mariners Memorial sits next to the tennis courts and across from the World War II Memorial. This area is also the back gateway to Stage Fort Park. A simple, white anchor memorializes the dedication of the Merchant Marines with a plague that says "With Thanks From the People of Gloucester To Our Sons Who Served As Merchant Mariners 1941-1945".

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    Memorial to the Gloucester Fisherman Statue

    by fdrich29 Updated Aug 20, 2009

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    The Fisherman's Memorial on our wedding day
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    Gloucester's most recognizable symbol, the Fisherman's Memorial Statue, known to locals as "The Man at the Wheel" forever stands attentive to the ocean beyond. Situated in the heart of Stacy Boulevard the memorial depicts a fisherman trying to maintain control of his vessel while watching as the ocean unleashes it's fury in front of him. The Fisherman's knee is bent and the floor is slightly slanted below him, illustrating the angry ocean's wrath below his ship. A partial quote from the Bible, Psalm 106.23 "They that go down to the sea in ships..." reads below the Fisherman's feet. The dates on the statue read 1623-1923. In accordance to the statue's creator the memorial has recently been completed with the addition of the Honor Roll of all Gloucester's Fisherman who have been lost at sea since 1623 when the city was established. The Honor Roll also is viewable in Gloucester's City Hall. The names of more than 5,000 Fisherman are engraved in bronze for this memorial.
    The Fisherman at the Wheel was created by English sculptor Leonard F. Craske (1882-1950) and was cast by the Gorham Company of Providence, Rhode Island in 1925. The Fisherman at the Wheel was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.

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    Enjoy the ocean!

    by Pawtuxet Written Oct 25, 2008

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    Who doesn't love to drive along Atlantic Avenue to enjoy the ocean views? Most of this area is a rocky shoreline... but there are sections where you can find sandy beaches as well. We see joggers, walkers, bicylists, and artists painting the crashing waves here. Our company from Pennsylvania were mesmerized by the drama of the northeast ocean views. It was the first time Fran had been to the northeast. Our coastline can be very different from the Carolina coast, which he is more familiar with.

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    THEY THAT GO DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS

    by Pawtuxet Updated Oct 25, 2008

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    FISHERMAN MEMORIAL
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    This is the most popular image in Gloucester...known for its fishing industry over the years. The statue is part of a memorial to all the men who have lost their lives at sea. The Perfect Storm movie publicized the tough life these men lead. Gloucester has been a major supplier of our seafood for years...altho the industry is declining drastically as our waters are depleted.
    We always visit this monument whenever we go up to Gloucester...it's a beautiful piece of work, and sentiment.
    There are plaques along the wall of the waterfront sidewalk with information about the fishermen of Gloucester....and every man ever lost at sea is listed on the memorial by name.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Fishing
    • Historical Travel

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    Blyman Bridge

    by fdrich29 Written Sep 4, 2008

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    The Blyman Bridge or "Cut Bridge" as the locals call it is one of the two bridges that connect Gloucester to the main land (the other is the A. Piett Andrew Bridge on Rt. 128). The Cut Bridge crosses the Blyman Canal that connects the Annisquam River to Gloucester Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Although one of the many things that makes Gloucester special, this bridge becomes the bane of locals existence in the Summer months when the bridge is up quite often to allow large ships to pass through. I felt like a little kid again today when I heard the alarm that signals that the bridge is about to go up, and sat and watched the process with my daughter, just like I did when I was young.

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    Fisherman's Wives Memorial

    by fdrich29 Updated Sep 4, 2008

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    One of the more recent additions to Stacy Boulevard, this memorial features a woman with her children looking out from their Widow's Peak towards the sea hoping to see their loved one's vessel returning to the harbor. People who donated towards the creation of this memorial were allowed to have the stones surrounding the statue engraved with loved one's names. My maternal grandparents and their siblings names are here, as well as my paternal grandparents. A very touching memorial, you can feel the fear and hope that must be going through the woman's mind.

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    Half Moon Beach

    by fdrich29 Updated Sep 4, 2008

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    This beach is one of the things that makes Stage Fort Park so special. Nestled between rocks and trees on three sides, this soft, sandy beach is a great, little oasis. The harbor lies before you as fishing vessels, whale watch ships and private boats make their way atop the waves. Known in Gloucester as a child friendly beach, it's a great part of taking the family to Stage Fort Park for the day. Parking is available in the lots across from the park and will cost you $10.

    **Edit: Went here with my daughter today (9/4/08) after a picnic at Stage Fort Park. Just as beautiful and relaxing as ever and one of my favorite father/daughter moments so far.

    Related to:
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    • Beaches
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    A church full of ships ~ Our Lady of Good Voyage

    by Pawtuxet Updated Jun 26, 2008

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    Our Lady of Good Voyage
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    Along the back wall we see models of ships...and there are nautical motifs throughout the building. Here we remember all the men lost at sea who were parishoners, fathers, husbands, brothers, the men of Gloucester who risk themselves to bring home the catch. Everything is symbolic in this church, and you cannot help but leave with different thoughts than you arrived with. The building is spanish looking in its architecture...probably owing to the predominance of Portuguese population.
    The old church is devoted to blessing the men and the sea. Of course there is the annual blessing of the fleet as this community is intensely devoted...and very tightly knit. The men are hard working, hard drinking, hard living. There are many prayers for them to come home safely. This is the 2nd church built on the site...the first was destroyed by fire. The church sits high on a hill and looks down toward the Gloucester harbor and the bay. It's a great place to visit. If the door is locked, please go to the side and knock. There are wonderful people who will be proud to open the doors for you to visit....and see their beautiful sanctuary.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel

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    Whale Watch - Gloucester

    by Pawtuxet Updated Jun 26, 2008

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    Dutch & Jimmy waiting for the whales

    There are several wonderful whale watch companies out of Gloucester Harbor. They are an absolute MUST. Amazing to see those enormous creatures so close to your boat. I was a little nervous when they came up out of the water....thinking the boat would overturn. Do you suppose they know to be careful with us?
    Capt. Bill's Whale Watch& Deep Sea Fishing
    800-33-WHALE
    Whale Safaris! 800-877 5110
    Yakee Whale Watch & Deep Sea Fishing
    800-WHALING

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Beaches

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    Visit the old artists' colony on Rocky Neck

    by Pawtuxet Written Jun 24, 2008

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    Gruppe's Gloucester harbour
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    Rocky Neck has been a favorite little spot of mine for many, many years. They claim it is the oldest continuing artist colony in the US. If you are an artist...or remember the colony at its height... you can't help but feel like opening your paint box and getting started.
    Robert Gruppe' s studio is here...a MUST SEE. There are a number of studios along the tiny street. Some are better than others...but perhaps there will be one to strike your fancy as Gruppe always has done for me. Just before turning to the neck you can also find the Art Association which has quite a large gallery and many local artists' work. Take some time in this end of town. It's funky, fun, and I think... fascinating.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Fishing
    • Historical Travel

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    Beauport Mansion ~ East Gloucester

    by Pawtuxet Updated Jun 23, 2008

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    Beauport
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    The Beauport Mansion at the water's edge in East Gloucester is an excellent home to tour. The creator of the house was an eccentric designer who was an associate of Hammond (of Hammond's Castle) across the bay from Beaufort. Please see my travelogues for many more pics of this architectural delight.
    Beauport is the collection of rooms designed by an eccentric decorator. Each room has a theme. This one is done in a 1700's vintage.
    Early paneling, floorboards, beams, and furnishings give the PINE KITCHEN the air of a colonial home. Warmed by a fire in the hearth, it was a favorite room for autumn dinner parties.

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    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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    When men go down to the sea in ships...

    by Bunsch Written May 21, 2008

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    Wonderful architectural spaces

    The Cape Ann Museum has a fine collection reflecting the history and heritage of the seafarers of Gloucester. Children will enjoy the scale model of the Gloucester fishing docks, with the areas for off-loading and drying the catch and several schooners in partial rigging. There are all kinds of artifacts from the days before GPS made rescues slightly more likely. A modest collection of furniture, china, and other items brought back from trips to the Orient is fascinating, too. Here's what the museum catalogue has to say:

    "The Museum’s fisheries and maritime galleries reflect Cape Ann’s preeminence in seafaring pursuits. The city has remained a fishing center as waves of immigrants – primarily Nova Scotian, Sicilian and Portuguese – came to fish the waters off Cape Ann. Fishing remains an important part of the local economy.

    Trade was conducted with Surinam, China, Europe and India. The most lucrative was the trade with the Dutch colony Surinam. It made fortunes for many sea captains, but it also brought shame to some local families because slaves were part of the trade along with rum, molasses and dried fish.

    Gloucester boasts three sailors who braved the Atlantic in solo sails – Alfred Johnson in 1876, Howard Blackburn in 1899 and 1901, and newspaper publisher Philip Weld in the 1970s. Other colorful characters have punctuated the history of this port, on land and at sea."

    When you've had enough of the artifacts, spend some time with the indigenous art -- mostly oils, with some sculpture and even an array of painted oars! The melding of the historical society with the fine arts has been done very well, and the entire collection can easily be seen in an hour or so.

    Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, and Sundays, 1:00 PM-4:00 PM. Admission for adults is $8.00, less for Cape Ann residents.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Arts and Culture
    • Family Travel

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Gloucester Things to Do

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