Gloucester Through
                  Time and Art

                      Photographs and Paintings       
  Set into the History of  Gloucester, Massachusetts
                          between 1910 to 1938            



        "Adventure" with a deckload of spectators for the 1926 schooner
                race between "Columbia" and the "Henry Ford"

        Launching "Columbia" in Essex, Ma.

         “The coast of Eastern Point and all of Cape Ann with its myriad
coves, rivers, inlets, marshes, secret places, wharves and maritime
sophistication came alive between sundown and sunup during
Prohibition, and all this activity was spiced with bursts of melodrama,
Coast Guard chases, gun battles, rammings, burnings, mysterious
explosions, scuttlings, highjackings and piracy. _Pointers occasionally
witnessed a hot pursuit off some landmark of topical renown such as
Whiskey Ledge, but in general events beyond the Gate Lodge were
cloaked in a discretion appropriate to the character of an upper-level
summer colony, and a fair share of the contraband which reached
Eastern Point by land or sea did not find a ready route to the outside
lest its effects merely accelerate the already deplorable relaxation of
law and order. (22)

         Canvas #122                L.A.Dahlmer
            Rum Running Off Brace Cove

        Evidence of bootlegging was _more often than not as circumspect as
it was circumstantial. Like the night of June 9, 1926. The Coast Guard
patrol boat chased a'suspicious launch off the Back Shore which jetti-
soned its cargo and escaped. Or so it was supposed, for some claimed
it struck a rock off Brace’s and sank.
Anyway, incoming fishermen reported the waters outside the Cove
littered with floating cases of booze, and a lobsterman told the police
that while he was hauling at daybreak he watched case after case being
taken out of the Humane Society boathouse and loaded into a truck.
Then a young fellow who had been delivering fresh fish to summer
homes on the Point revealed that as he innocently approached the
boathouse that afternoon two men emerged, stuck a gun in his belly
and suggested he move on, which he did without delay. When the
marshal and the Prohibition agent raided the old boat shed, they
found twenty-five gallons of alcohol in cases and fresh signs of recent
doings, but no culprits.” (22)

        Gloucester's Station in 1926

        In 1926, Clarence Birdseye bought a plant in Gloucester and set out to invent
 the frozen-food industry.

        "Davis House" by Edward Hopper

        "Tall Masts" by Edward Hopper

        "An East Gloucester Wharf"

        "Fishing Boats, Gloucester"
by Marion Harris 

        "Gloucester" by Ernest Beaumont

        "The Letter" by Marguerite Stuber Pearson

        Gloucester Post Office mailroom.


"Columbia" went to the bottom off Sable Island, August 26, 1927     (9)

        Sable Island, lying off the northern end of Nova Scotia,
              just inside of the Continental Shelf

        Loading booze aboard "Arethusa" for 
 big Jim McCoy in Nassau harbor.

         Gordons Gin!

        “First sewage pumping station located on Stacy Esplanade” (18)

        June 17, 1927, "Circus Day, Sells Floto Show." The circus troop were a combination of the Floto Dog & Pony Show and the Sells Brother Circus based in Indiana. Their season feature for 1927 was Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, of which Gloucester was their 9th week stop out of a 28 week tour.

         "Gloucester Times" on Main St.

        John Hays Hammond and Irene (Archie Fenton's daughter) in front of their castle under construction.

        "White Sail Gloucester" by Theresa Ferber Bernstein

        "Mary Russell Colton" by Isabel Cartwright

        "Dogtown Common"
 by Hortense Mattice Gordon

        Approach to Whales Jaw

        "Night Windows" by Edward Hopper

        "Gloucester Beach" by Edward Hopper

        "The Algerian Tunic", Self Portrait
by Polly Thayer Starr 

        "The Return" by Frank Harmon Myers


         ". More than a half billion dollars worth of automobiles were sold abroad in 1928 by firms in the United States."

"Probably Gloucester's most widely known native son was Roger W. Babson, a self-taught economist, financier, business analyst and oracle, founder of the Babson Institute in Wellesley, prolific writer, patron of gravity research, student of Dogtown Common and enthusiastic benefactor of Cape Ann. Among his various philanthropies are his gift of more than a thousand acres of watershed to create the Babson Reservoir and add materially to Gloucester’s limited water supply, and her open spaces, and his major financial support of a new maternity wing at the Addisom Gilbert Hospital. He died at ninety-one on March 5, 1967." (9)

           Canvas #115                   L.A.Dahlmer
                              Roger Babson and "BEON TIME"

        At about 2 a.m. on New Years Day 1928, the Canadian Beam Trawler F/V Venosta while dragging 40 miles West SW of Sable Island, got her gear entangled in wreckage. With powerful winches pulling the taut cables, there slowly arose from the waters a vessel rolling and pitching but on an even keel. The vessel seemed in good shape, the major portion of her rigging was intact. All aboard the steamer agreed that she was Columbia, but this can never be known. The cable snapped and the vessel sank again to the depths. ~ Gordon William Thomas 1948 ~ JPB Collection

        The Moose Club on Pleasant St.

        "Back Street, Gloucester"  1928 Edward Hopper 

        "In Gloucester" by David Burliuk

        Edward and Josephine Hopper

        "Edward Hopper Self Portrait"

        "Gloucester" painted in the 1920s by Louis Wolchonok.

        "Railroad Gates, Gloucester" by Josephine Nivison Hopper

        "Gloucester Roofs"
  by Edward Hopper

        "Old Colonial Houses, Gloucester" by Helen Wilson

        "House at the Fort, Gloucester"
                  by Edward-Hopper 

        "Boat at Harbor" by Allan-Freelon

        "Adams House" by Edward Hopper

        "Back Street, Gloucester" by Edward Hopper

        "Cape Ann Granite" by Edward Hopper

        "Cape Ann Pasture" by Edward Hopper

        "Cape Ann"
 by Walter Whitcomb Thompson

        "Gloucester Docks"
 byAntonio Pietro Martino

        " Gloucester Harbor"
 by Henryk Francis Twardzik

        "Lamplighter's Cottage"
 by Fern Isabel Coppedge

        "Portrait of Howard Blackburn" 
 by Margaret Fitzhugh Browne

        "Self Portrait" by Adolph Gottlieb

        "View of a Gloucester Street"
 by Allan Freelon


         from the Gloucester Daily Times
Investors Should Have Good Bonds

Babson Shows Fallacy Of Ignoring Sound Investments In The
Speculative Chase

Babson Park, Florida, January 25, 1929

"The public is to busy chasing stocks up the hill to pay much attention to bonds. Indeed, many so-called investors have been throwing good bonds overboard and are plunging into the stock market at these levels. This long bull market in stocks is leading folks astray. I am both amused and startled at the readiness at which the public says a 3% yield on a stock is a logical thing, and this or that or all stocks ought to sell over 15 or 20 times their earnings. Have we forgotten that earnings change as rapidly as the tides? What will happen when earnings of a favored company drop 30%, and who will then be hung up with such stocks at absurd figures?
It is all right to have a reasonable portion of one's funds in the stocks of good companies with a promising long term outlook. It is quite another thing to have all of one's funds in stocks and none in bonds. That is like canceling your life insurance simply because you are in good health. People who do this would'nt think of throwing away their fur coats in August because the temperature happens to be 98 degrees in the shade. Every investor should have a good sound back-log of bonds, and at this time when stocks are at such high levels his proportion of bonds should be at a maximum instead of a minimum."

Gloucester Daily Times March 11, 1929

Look Out

"Wages since the World War have gone up faster than he cost of living, though for many that seems hard to believe. There are always exceptions. In certain lines the cost of living has kept ahead of the rise in wages. But taken as a whole, the worker receives $2.31 today for every dollar he received before the war. He pays about $1.65 for what used to cost a dollar. Compared to England both wages and the amount of work make us appear to be living in a paradise. But we have 100 temptations to spend money that the average worker abroad does not have. We live in a motor owning, telephone using, radio running, instalment paying country."
Yet Mr. Fisher, an equally good financial authority, does not feel so pessimistic. We do not think the bottom is going to fall out of everything immediately.
But perhaps we ought to pay some attention to Mr. Babson's unwelcome warning. We had better take some of those paper profits and pay our second mortgages. We should replace the money we took out of the savings bank to speculate with. In short, we should remember that this world is not yet the millennium, that what goes up must come down, and the wise man gets ready for possible trouble before it comes.
Roger Babson observed, "Sooner or later a crash is coming, and it may be terrific".   He suggested that what had happened in Florida would now happen in Wall Street, and with customary precision stated that the (Dow Jones) market averages would probably drop 60 to 80 %.

from Barron's

"As an educator, philosopher, theologian, statistician, forecaster, economist, and friend of the Law of Gravity, he has sometimes been thought too spread himself too thin."

Baron's Sept.9, 1929

" Referred to him with heavy irony as the "sage of Wellesley"and said he should not be taken seriously by anyone acquainted with the "notorious inaccuracy" of his past statements."

Gloucester Daily Times                  Wed. September 11, 1929


                                     Babson's Warning

" Roger Babson helped to cause one days slump in the stock market by reminding the American people that they are going too fast. Cassandra or Jeremiah is never believed by the crowd. The bearer of ill-tidings is avoided by those who are in a mood for mirth. Mr. Babson says that too many people are getting trusted, and too few wait to earn the money before they buy automobiles. Installment payments are too extended, and any reverse in business would bring down an avalanche of trouble. The stock market heeded Mr. Babson's advise but for a day, but thinking men are silently digesting his views just the same.
Are we in a new financial era? Probably we are in a limited sense. Things are going very well in the United States, and yet we had better remember that economic laws still exist.
No one can have his cake and have it, too.
If too many people continually waste their substance, the supply of wealth will diminish."

October 21, 1929

Prof. Fisher

" the decline had represented only a shaking out of the lunatic fringe, the prices of stocks during the boom had not caught up with their real value and would go higher."
" the market had not yet reflected the beneficent effects of prohibition which had made the American worker "more productive and dependable""

from Barron's

"As an educator, philosopher, theologian, statistician, forecaster, economist, and friend of the Law of Gravity, he has sometimes been thought too spread himself too thin."

          Tuesday, November 5, 1929

"Babson, in a statement, called for a poise, discernment, judicious courage, and old-fashion common sense."

        $5 T2 Gloucester National Massachusetts

        Page 82
Rocky Neck's semi-official acknowledgment of the irreversibility of change was embodied in Capt. Frank Foster's conversion of the homestead of his in-laws, the Rackliffe's, into the Rockaway House in 1896. (14)

        The railways at the end of Rocky Neck in the days of the schooner.

        Schooner "Progress wins race off Gloucester photograph byLeslie Jones

        Ten Pound Island from the air, looking southerly.

             photo by Blackinton
            May 5,1929
Gloucester was soon to lose its most valuable aid to navigation and fishing. The aviation unit of Base 7 of the United States Coast Guard Station at Ten Pound Island was to be transferred to Cape May, N.J. The removal of the two amphibian and scout planes was a serious loss to the seamen and fishermen who depended on their services for locating fish, searching for lost fishing boats, rendering assistance to stranded vessels and reporting weather conditions. The 50 homing pigeons used to bring reports back from the scout planes would also go.

       The stone sloop "Albert Baldwin" tied up to what was the old Wonson's wharf off Rocky Neck.

         The Beechcroft Inn on Eastern Point.

        Gloucester Sloop Boat unloading at the old Wonson Wharf.

         On November 18, 1929, at 5:02 PM local time, the Grand Banks was rocked by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. The earthquake triggered a large underwater landslide, which severed 12 submarine transatlantic cables. The landslide also generated a tsunami which raced towards Newfoundland at speeds of up to 140 km/hr, before slowing to about 40 km/hr in shallower water. Three waves would crash into Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula, flooding dozens of communities and washing entire homes out to sea. Twenty eight residents would die in tsunami’s path.

        The photo above left, showing a small piece of Rocky Neck on the curve near Nune's Beach, was taken by Alice M. Curtis on July 19, 1929. Some of the main distinguishing features between the photo taken 61 years ago and the one taken a few days ago (2010) are the cars parked in front of the house. The only other noticeable difference is the addition of some very large trees that block most of what the older photo shows. (GDT)   Above left  in 2017.      

        The photo above left was taken across the street on Rocky Neck Ave from the previous photos.  Above right, "Sailor Stans" today (2017).

        Canvas #166   L.A.Dahlmer
                 Harbor Cove

         Sells Floto Circus comes to Gloucester June 15, 1929.
The Sells Floto Circus was a combination of the Floto Dog & Pony Show and the Sells Brothers Circus that toured with sideshow acts in the United States during the early 1900s.
    Frederick Gilmer Bonfils and Harry Heye Tammen owned the first outfit as well as the Denver Post, and the "Floto" name came from the Post's one-time sportswriter, Otto Floto. During the 1914-1915 seasons the circus featuredBuffalo Bill Cody.
    The circus had four elephant births, three born to "Alice" and one to "Mama Mary". The sire of all four was "Snyder". None survived longer than five months.

         Sterlings on the corner of Main and Pleasant Sts.

        "Circus Intermission" by William Charles McNulty

         Cape Ann by Ivan F. Summers
 Looking down onto East Main with East Gloucester square beyond the curve.

        Date?  "East Gloucester"
        by Joseph Margulies

        "Psyche and the Sculptor "
  by Umberto Romano

        "Blond Nude and Flowers"
 by John French Sloan

        "Fishing Boats at Gloucester"
by John-Lavalle 

        "Freight Cars, Gloucester"
by Edward-Hopper 

        "Jo Sketching at Good Harbor Beach" by Edward Hopper

        "Gloucester Harbor"
by Allan Randall Freelon Sr. 

         "Gloucester from Higby House" by William C. McNulty

        "The Answer" by Jane Peterson

        "The Baby" by Leon Kroll


Launched March 17, 1930
"The "Gertrude L. Thebaud" was the last fishing schooner built for the Gloucester fleet, and the most famous of them all."    (9)


"For Arthur D. Storey was seventy-five when in 1930 he launched the last fishing schooner ever to sail out of Gloucester, the white-winged racer "Gertrude L. Thebaud". Two years later Mr. Story laid the last keel of his life, and with it the tradition of the Gloucestermen, to rest forever."     (6)

Two years later Arthur D. Storey would lay the keel for grandfather John A. Dahlmer's new boat the "Superior"

           She would be a different hull shape,  the start of a  different breed.
Sails became secondary and she was named for her new diesel engine "SUPERIOR"
But in 1930 the Gertrude L. Thebaud was launched - and fished- but really built to beat the Canadians in the International Schooner Races.

           "Gertrude L. Thebaud was an American fishing and racing schooner built and launched in Essex, Massachusetts in 1930. A celebrated racing competitor of the Canadian Bluenose,[1] it was designed by Frank Paine and built by Arthur D. Story for Louis A. Thebaud, and named for his wife, Gertrude Thebaud.[2] In their first meeting at Gloucester, Massachusetts in October 1930, Gertrude L. Thebaud bested Bluenose 2-0 to win the Sir Thomas Lipton International Fishing Challenge Cup.[3] However, in 1931, two races to none, and again in 1938, three races to two, Bluenose defeated Gertrude L. Thebaud to remain the undefeated holder of the International Fisherman's Trophy.[4] During World War II, the schooner saw service with the United States Coast Guard. The vessel sank in 1948 off the coast of Venezuela."  Wikipedia

        Louis Thebaud with his daughter at the helm of the "Gertrude L. Thebaud"

        Howard Blackburn and Louis Thebaud aboard the "Gertrude L. Thebaud".

         "Back in the recesses of the harbor, behind Ten Pound Island and Rocky Neck and Five Pound Island, by the Fort and Duncan Point, along Smith Cove and Vincent Cove and Harbor Cove, the shore sagged with wharves and shipyards, marine railways, chandleries and sail lofts, riggers, rope walks, net and twine factories, smithies, coopers and boxmakers, icehouses, warehouses, gashouses, paint shops, machine shops, sheds, stables, smokehouses, flake yards, oilskin makers, glue factories, fish dealers, salt dealers, outfitters, teamsters, brokers, agents, saloons, grogshops, poolrooms, barbershops, lunchrooms and boardinghouses."
- Joseph Garland

Canvas #17 Schooner and the City       L.A.Dahlmer
Smith Cove with a sloop heading out, and the end of Rocky Neck behind.
A schooner heading into the inner harbor with downtown Gloucester behind.

        The "Brownie" tied up to the Sibley property on Rocky Neck.  The derelicts tied up to what is left of the old Wonson Pier would soon be demolished as a WPA project, on the opposite shore, what is now the Gloucester Stage Company can be seen.

         The Gloucester Stage Company building was originally built for the Twin Light Garage.

        Perkins and Corliss used cars on the corner of Western Ave. and Middle St.

         from Wikipedia:
"The American Eagle is a two-masted schooner launched in 1930 that is one of the last of its type built in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her original name was Andrew and Rosalie.
As American Eagle, the schooner fished as a trawler from 1942 until July 1983, the majority of that time under the ownership of Gloucester brothers John, Joe, and Gus Piscitello, who acquired her in 1945.[3]"

        American Eagle in 1941.  The bowsprit has been cut off, diesel engine and wheelhouse added and now a dragger.

         from Wikipedia: " American Eagle"
"She is currently owned and Captained by John Foss, who rebuilt her for the cruise ship trade. She spends summers cruising Penobscot Bay in Maine on 3-7 day cruises, though she generally takes one longer cruise per year to places like Grand Manan island in Canada. She is one of the few schooners in Maine that goes on longer cruises, and one of the few that goes offshore looking for whales. She also generally returns to Gloucester every year."

        Canvas #131            "American Eagle" off Black Bess by L.A.Dahlmer

         To list the food needed for 26 or 28 man aboard an offshore dory- trawling vessel early in the 1900s would take too long to put on paper. Some salt banking trips were as long as two or more months. Provisions filled the forecastle lockers and were all but empty when arriving in port.(Grocers love this.) A few items will give an idea of what it was like: say, two, maybe three barrels of flour, same with sugar; several 5 pound pails of lard(this was for bread making), which was a staple no fishermen would do without. Then the other items include yeast, baking soda, salt, fresh pepper, vegetables, for the first of the trip, canned goods, short barrels, kegs of corned beef still in the brine, slabs of bacon and pork, and fruits that would keep (like lemons and limes) - in fact everything wholesome and plenty of it. A type of soda cracker called "hardtack" was a needed staple; usually this item came locally from Hubbard's, a well known Gloucester bakery. A full belly the men happy. Some would say that the amount of "grub"taken aboard put the vessel down by the head. Today, with only a few men to feed for a few days, the cook is not quite so important. Day boats might have pasta, a boiled dinner, or even fish.


The sinking of the Grand Banks, the fishing banks off the coast of Newfoundland, which has been reported by the cable ships sent out to repair the cables snapped by the earthquake of November 18th, is causing grave concern to the Gloucester and Nova Scotia fishermen.

The preliminary reports from the cable shops indicate that the Gloucester halibut fishermen will have to seek new grounds for their catches when they sail out of their home port. For nearly a century the fishermen have found the expansive Grand Banks the most likely spot in the Atlantic where good catches of halibut could be obtained. The most recent reports sent out by the cable ships indicate that there has been an extensive and serious sinking of the sea's bottom off Newfoundland. If a similar sinking occurred on land a widespread area would be completely devastated. In places where the soundings previous to the earthquake gave a depth of 600 feet the cable ships report that a sounding of 15,000 feet, nearly 3 miles, is now necessary to reach bottom. Some of the cable ships report that for distances of 100 miles on the Grand Banks, the cables have disappeared and have sunk to unknown depths. Before the shock these copper strands were within 600 feet of the surface. While these cable ships are still making exhaustive soundings, they all have reported that the quake appears to have caved in the bottom of that section of the North Atlantic, thus rendering useless the charts that have been made for this area of water. How extensive this new condition will prove to be no one yet knows.

The news that the Grand Banks had sunk caused considerable apprehension in Gloucester. It means that a fleet of 27 vessels that goes out of this port seeking this important food fish will have to spend many weeks of blind searching for the new feeding grounds of the halibut. If the fish go toward Greenland, it will mean hundreds of dollars to the vessels in lost time in covering the longer distance between the fishing grounds and the ports where they market their fares. Years ago the veteran Gloucester fishermen fitted out for Greenland, but under the present conditions a vessel would have to secure $100,000 worth of halibut to show a profit. While the Gloucester fishermen depend on the Grand Banks for halibut, these grounds are also the mainstay of the fishing industry of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and some of the European countries. A fleet of French trawlers and many British schooners are at the Grand Banks most of the year. These are the largest banks in the world and therefore constitute the most extensive feeding ground for cod and halibut in the North Atlantic. The banks, tryangular in shape, cover hundreds of square miles and their disappearance would be a hard blow to hundreds of Northern communities which are dependent on fishing for a livelihood and whose fleets are not equipped to make long trips. The findings of the cable ships indicate that the sinking of the shoals has taken place in the territory where the Gloucester fishermen put down their trawls on the southern and western edge of the Grand Banks. Several of them, including Capt. Clayton Morrisey, stated yesterday that they have hooked the cables on their trawls while hauling in their catches. An agreement exists between the cable companies and fishermen by which the latter cut the trawls or anchors which have fouled on the cable, get the exact position of the tangle, and are reimbursed for the gear they have lost. Capt. Morrisey states that the Government would probably be asked to make a new survey of the Grand Banks in order to give the fishermen some idea of where

        This trolley car line which was opened up in 1855 ran to Long Beach. All electric cars left Cape Ann in 1910. The trestle was torn down in 1930.

         Western Ave. before the houses along the harbor were torn down or moved and it would become Stacey Boulevard.

          Good Harbor Beach

        "Gloucester Houses" by Max Arthur Cohn

        "Gloucester Docks"
 by Isabel Cartwright

        "On the Fish Docks, Gloucester" by Lubomir P. Saponoff

        "Gloucester" by Donald Blagge Barton

        "Anchors" by Stuart Davis

        "Gloucester" by Morris A. Blackburn

        "After the Storm" by Gifford Beal

        "Bass Rocks" by Gifford Beal

        "Bass Rocks" by Henry Hammond Ahl

        "Buildings and Boats, Gloucester"
by Jan-Matulka 

        "Cape Ann" by Allen Tucker

        "Dogtown" by Jan Matulka

        "Early Sunday Morning"
 by Edward Hopper 

        "Ellie, Portrait of Eleanor Weber Hershey" by Samuel Hershey

        "Gloucester from the Shore"
by Tunis-Ponsen 

        "Gloucester Fisherman's Shack" by Gershon-Benjamin

        "Gloucester Harbor View"
by Glenn-O'Coleman

        "Gloucester" by Milton Avery

        "Gloucester Scene" by Caroline M. Bell

        "Quarry Worker" by Iver Rose

        "Quarry Worker" by Iver Rose

        "Riggs Street, Gloucester"
 by Clara-Deike

        "The Red Sail Boat"
by H.Boylston Dummer

        "Going to Sea" by Jan Matulka

        "Guinea Boats Off Five Pound Island"
by Benson Bong Moore 

        "Gertrude L.Thebaud Dory Trawling by Moonlight" by Larry OToole

        "Gloucester" by Morris A. Blackburn

        "Ocean Dreams" by Jan Matulka

        "Harbor Cove" by William Meyerowitz

        "Gloucester Terrace"
 by Sydney Raynes

     The Grand Banks Tsunami — 85 Years Ago Today
Posted on November 18, 2014 by Rick Spilman

On November 18, 1929, at 5:02 PM local time, the Grand Banks was rocked by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. The earthquake triggered a large underwater landslide, which severed 12 submarine transatlantic cables. The landslide also generated a tsunami which raced towards Newfoundland at speeds of up to 140 km/hr, before slowing to about 40 km/hr in shallower water. Three waves would crash into Newfoundland’s Burin Peninsula, flooding dozens of communities and washing entire homes out to sea. Twenty eight residents would die in tsunami’s path.


          July 1931, the USS Constitution visits Gloucester Harbor.

        Canvas #150         L.A.Dahlmer
 The "Gertrude L.Thebaud" from the deck of "Elsie"during the schooner races off Gloucester in 1931.   

              Babson Reservoir
                and Sanctuary
                  (1150 acres)
   "This reservoir, watershed and reservation are for the people of Gloucester, the land having been given in memory of my father and grandfather who roamed over these rocky hills.  They had the vision that some day it should be conserved for the use of the city and as an inspiration to all lovers of God and nature."
                                        Roger W. Babson
                           AD 1931

        "Landscape with Drying Sails"                  "Landscape with Garage Lights"
                                                                 by Stuart Davis 

         "Altar Boulder, Dogtow"
            by Marsden Hartley

        "Dogtown" by Marsden Hartley

        "In The Moraine, Dogtown"
                by Marsden Hartley

       "Mountains in Stone, Dogtown"
                 by Marsden Hartley 

        "Portrait of Robert Callahan" 
                 by Eben F. Comins

        "Self Portrait" by Theresa Bernstein

         "Boy in a Golden Chair"
             by Margarett-Sargen


      Building the "Superior"

      Keel and Frames

         The Superior was designed by Jacob Story and built for Capt. John A. Dahlmer in 1932 at the Story Shipyard in Essex, Ma. Her keel was the last laid down by famous Essex Shipwright, Arthur D. Story. At the time, the Gloucester Daily Times noted that she was considered by many to be one of the finest vessels ever turned out by that famous yard. She was powered by a 350 HP heavy duty Superior diesel.
She was documented #231833 at 110’ length X 19’ beam X 10’ draft.

Bill Hubard

                                              July 9, 1932
"Superior" launched into the Essex River, then towed to Gloucester to be finished off and rigged for fishing.

          Canvas #124            L.A.Dahlmer
                 Grandfather John A. and the Launch of "Superior"

          Canvas #3                      L.A.Dahlmer                                                                                                           My father in the Wheelhouse of “Superior”                                  

          The Superior home from a three week “trip” fishing in the cold
Atlantic. The “x” on the photograph is the pilot house window.

         My father and the “gang” clearing                             “Superior’s” deck.

                Canvas #22   Frankie Palmer & Wilson Wolf aboard "Superior"
                                                 by L.A.Dahlmer

        Canvas #21       Sails Drying - “Superior & Company”                       
                                                    by L.A.Dahlmer

          October 1932 Schooner race off Gloucester

         Howard Blackburn dies at the age of 73.

        Approach to "Peter's Pulpit in dog town

        Looking down into the outer harbor

        "Gloucester, Ma. drying nets"
        Photo by Elanor Parke Custis

        "Gloucester" by Earl Horter

        "Gloucester Morning" by Leon Kroll

        "Lady in Red, Portrait of Pauline Manship" by Leon Kroll

        "Main St.,Gloucester" by Max Kuehne

        "Old houses in East Gloucester"
                      by Haley Lever

        "The Mansard Roof" by Edward Hopper

        Arthur Story and workman

         Frames going up in the Story Yard in 1931.


“Salt cod and mackerel hung on stubbornly in Gloucester, into the thirties and the Depression, but the fleet, landings, and the number of men employed struck bottom. Then, a reprieve: in 1933 redfish, which the fishermen had always discarded contemptuously as trash, was “discovered” for its filleted qualities, which displayed the taste and texture of fresh water perch. A huge market was opened up, centered in the Midwest.  Redfish saved the Gloucester fisheries. From a few thousand pounds in 1934, landings rose to 177,690,000.

        Schooners "Alcala", "Independence", "Bluenose" and "Canadea" in first elimination race International Fishermans Trophy

        "Superior" fishing

        Sailors aboard the sloop (sic) Superior repairing a 300 foot tear in
  their net, a job that took 18 hours of labor with needle and shuttle.  The net ripped during the first cast off Cape May and allowed about 50,000 pounds of fish to swim free.  Seine is 1,700 feet long and 125 feet wide.  
 Right:  Larry Dahlmer, first mate and brother of the captain, "shooting the sun" with a sextant to determine vessel's position. 

        Mending the nets on the State Fish Pier by Custis

“ The harbors, coves, beaches inlets, rivers and salt marshes of Cape Ann were an Atlantic coast delta for the entry of illegal alcohol during the years of National Prohibition from 1920 until the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1933. The shuttling of booze in small, fast boats from the ships anchored on “Rum Row” outside the twelve-mile limit and the smuggling of liquid contraband under a fare of codfish were a thirteen-year headache for Prohibition agents, local police and the Coast Guard, who had the disagreeable duty of playing cops and robbers with an important segment of private enterprise.
These years were packed with excitement, with raids on land and sea, chases, piracy, hijacking, homicide, narrow escapes, comedy and errors – all in the infinitely contrived avoidance of an unenforceable law and very little of it any great credit to Cape Ann. But the circumstances were made to order, if not extenuating, and the temptation to engage in bootlegging were too often irresistible.” (9)

        Canvas #122      "Caught  Rum Running Off "Mother Ann"
by L.A.Dahlmer

          By Chris McDonough/Special to the Beacon
Cape Ann Beacon
Posted Jul 15, 2010 @ 05:17 PM

Gloucester —
Franklin Delano Roosevelt quietly sailed into Gloucester Harbor 10 minutes before midnight on June 20, 1933. Arriving a day earlier than planned, the harbor was devoid of fanfare. The next morning, Gloucester Captain Ben Pine presented Roosevelt with an Emile Gruppe oil painting of the Gertrude L. Thebaud. Aside from its fame for its victories in the Canadian fishing races, Roosevelt recognized the schooner from its docking in Washington D.C. just two months before.
Roosevelt’s visit to Gloucester completed the circle of a little known series of interactions between the Roosevelts and the Gloucester fishing community chronicled in The New York Times archives from April to June of 1933.
In 1933, the Gloucester fishing community was in the midst of a serious shortage of cod and surplus of mackerel. Ronald H. Gilson recalls in his memoir, “Island No More,” that fishermen were known to dump their loads overboard in protest of low prices. The New England fishing community and regulators were starting to negotiate and impose catch limits in an attempt to gain some control over prices. Rumors were also floating around of Canada trying to negotiate the lifting of the U.S. duty on fish.

          The old hulks were tied up to the old Wonson pier extending off the causeway to Rocky Neck in Smith Cove. It was a WPA project to dismantle the old stone sloop "Albert Baldwyn", an old Coast Guard boat and another.

        on shore another derelict "La Mia Botteca"
  …My workshop

        "As soon as possible will pay to the BEARER on demand ONE DOLLAR in Currency, Scrip, or Clearing House Certificates at its option"

        The 1933 St. Peter's Fiesta altar

        "Gloucester" by Abraham A. Manievich

        "Sailing in Rough Seas"
        by Emile Albert Gruppe

        "Fresh Water Cove"
by Natalie Hays Hammond 

        "Reclining Nude"
     by Umberto-Romano

         "The Diver" by Walker Hancock

        "Wash Day-Gloucester"
                    by Clara-Deike

         "Early Morning, Gloucester"
                 by Emile Gruppe


        The foredeck of Superior as built.

                                             THE BEST OF INVENTIONS
                                                                                                       by Michael Crowley

.....” On the other hand, when Gloucester, Mass. fishermen saw that one of their own had come up with the idea of the whaleback, it was quickly accepted. Either way, a good idea will hang around and make a fisherman’s life more efficient.

Once internal combustion engines were put into fishing boats, fisherman would say that the draggers, either going to windward or taking seas on the quarter, seemed to spend half their time running under water. So it’s surprising that it took so long to come up with a design that would beat back boarding seas while providing the crew some protection.
It was’nt until about 1934, that a fisherman got the idea to build up the bow area over a dragger’s fo’c’sle. That someone was John Dahlmer owner and skipper of the 110’ x 19’ dragger Superior.
The boat, built by Jacob Story in Essex, Mass., spent two years mackerel seining. Then Dahlmer converted the boat to a dragger, Dahlmer added the whaleback. (This name seems to have come from the bow area’s likeness to a whale). When he was asked why the boat needed the whaleback, Dahlmer said, “Well you see fishing is a pretty hard job; it’s wet and cold out there, especially in the fall and winter time, then the men need all the protection they can get. There are times when the decks are awash, and it’s blowing a gale. The seas break over the bow and drop down on the men when they are working and there’s no protection for them. Of course, the whaleback throws most of the water outboard, and it breaks the wind away from the deck. There’s a dozen ways that it helps. Good, dry storeroom space there, too, keeps tackle in good shape.”
The whaleback design was described in the January and February 1944 issues of Fishing Gazette as rising “ above the main deck gunwhale above the fo’c’sle anywhere from four to six feet, depending on the size of the ship. This is decked over watertight. Running from each corner of the whalehead is a v-shaped coaming which is about 18” high, built tilting forward, this intercepts the seawater and sheers it off from the top of the whalehead back into the sea.
“The whalehead itself stands sheer from the foredeck like a snowplow. And like a snowplow throws the snow off the road, so does the bow throw the water out of the ship’s path. Thus when the ship is dragging to windward, the crew
stands in the lee of the whaleback as comfortable as an engineer sits in his cab.”
Besides the comfort, weather and safety benefits, people felt that a boat with a whaleback was better looking than a boat without one.
When a whaleback was added to the Superior, it was the start of the Depression. Consequently, it was 1943 or 1944 before many other boats were retrofitted or built with a whaleback.

         Superior gets repowered

        1932 Oldsmobile
           Patrician 2

        "Superior" coming across the harbor with her new bow.

        The largest bill ever printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing was the $100,000 gold certificate. However, they were never put into circulation and were used for transactions only between Reserve banks. Woodrow Wilson is the president featured on the bill.
 These Series 1934 gold certificates (of denominations $100, $1000, $10000, and $100000) were issued after the gold standard was repealed and gold was compulsorily confiscated by order of President Franklin Roosevelt on March 9, 1933 (see United States Executive Order 6102), and thus were used only for intra-government transactions and not issued to the public. Of these, the $100,000 is an odd bill in that it was printed only as this Series 1934 gold certificate. This series was discontinued in 1940. The other bills are printed in black and green

        …"On May 9 a colossal dust storm had swung out of eastern Montana, rolled across the Dakotas and Minnesota, dumped 12 million tons of dirt on Chicago, and then moved on to tower over Boston and New York.  As they had in November 1933, people stood in Central Park and looked skyward, agast at the blackened sky.  Somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 million tons of American topsoil had become airborne in that single storm."    (23)

       The Gloucester Daily Times spring 1934.
 Just guessing.. but…to get by as a seasonal business the building was rented out in the winter … run as a "men's club"…. cards, pool table, maybe a flask or two…grandfather John A. would attend… so I've heard.

        Showing the corner of Wonson St. and Rocky Neck Ave.

        The Rockaway on Rocky Neck.

                              from the Gloucester Daily Times
                            "Brother, can you spare a nickel"
 was the plaintive song sung by one of the crew of sch. Superior, recently in Manhattan this spring, when Capt. John A. Dahlmer's craft went in there with a trip of fish. The young fisherman who had taken his first peep at New York, was warned not to wander too far from the dock for fear that he would get lost in the canyons of high buildings.
But he forgot all about the warnings, and didn't even take a cent of change with him, and for a couple of hours had a great time viewing the sky-scrapers. Then came time to return to his craft and for the life of him he failed to appreciate which way was north or which was south. He missed his compass, and the fact that the stars hadn't yet made their appearance so that he could navigate to the boat.

          Gloucester Daily Times June 1934

The seiner Orion had some interesting times of late according to the gang. On the last trip out there was one Charley Cavanaugh who received an impromptu ducking when he was swept into the drink as they were fishing off Chatham. It seems that Charlie was stationed in a dory and the boat was traveling along at a good rate, when as he stood in bow at work, he lost his footing and over he went. Instead of being worried he waited for assistance and was saved without any undue excitement. They are one of the youngest crews in the fleet and Capt. Ronald Dahlmer, their skipper, one of the youngest masters.

                             Gloucester Daily Times June 29, 1934

Efforts are still being made to have the Federal government take over the surplus mackerel catch of the seining fleet, and some definite announcement may be made in a day or two. R.L.Tweedy, Regional Engineer for New England and New York, of the Ferderal Emergency Administration, is in Washington for a conference with officials in charge of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. A $10,000 appropriation is sought to try out the distribution of surplus mackerel for two weeks.
In an endeavor to hurry along the Washngton approval, Jeremiah Foster yesterday wired Mr. Tweedy at Washington, asking if it would be advisable for Mayor Newell, Capt. John A.Dahlmer; president of the Fishing Masters Producers Association to go to Washington for a conference with Harry L.Hopkins, Federal Administration, S.A.Baker and Mr. Tweed

         Later the pilothouse would be raised.  From my cousin Bill Hubbard…."I was aboard her several times the last couple years before she was sold. I used to row my skiff across and tie it alongside to go up town to do errands. Uncle Eber took me to the machine shop and introduced me to the guys there and told them I had permission to tie alongside. I remember the double windows in the pilot house. They blocked them with black painted plywood and raised the deck inside so an adult could use the new windows."

        "Mug Up" aboard "Gertrude L.Thebaud"

        86 Main St.

        The west end of Main St. "Busy Bee" Taproom on the left.

        "American Bread Winner" byUmberto Romano

        "Sally and Milton Avery" by Mark Rothko

        1930's "Quarry Pool" by
         Joseph De Martin

        "Gloucester View" by Jon Corbino

        "Sun on Prospect Street"
             by Edward-Hopper

        "Whales Jaw, Dogtown Common"
                       by Marsden-Hartley

        "New England Tragedy"
            by Umberto-Romano 

        "Mrs. Kroll in Yellow" by Leon-Kroll


        Fishing industry made a comeback based on frozen fish business.    (18)

  City Hall mural painted by Charles Allen Winter "High School Education"   (18)

                       Mural over the City Hall stage
 "Build Not For Today Alone But For Tomorrow As Well"

     Gloucester's new Post Office.

           Done as a WPA project, "Education" by Charles Allen Winter.

        Intersection of Main St. with Hancock St.

         Fishing vessel Babe Sears

        St. Peter's Fiesta

         "Beach Scene" by Aiden Lassell Ridley

        "Dog Town Common" by George

        "Bright Day in Gloucester Harbor" 
              by Emile Albert Gruppe

        "St. Peter's Fiesta" by Gifford-Beal

        "Education"WP Mural
 by Charles Allan Winter

        "Gloucester, Mass." by Sandor Bernath

        "Gloucester Street" by Louise M. Woodroofe

        "Gloucester Harbor"

        "Waterfront" by Stuart Davis

        "36 Red Flowers and Sailboat"
                   by Marsden-Hartley

        "Self Portrait" by Tibor Gergely

        "Rooftops, Gloucester" by Anthony Thieme

        "Three Scudding Sailboats
           by Charles-S. Hopkinson 

        "Lighthouse, Ten Pound Island"
                     by Stow-Wengenroth 

        "Harbor Cove" by Gordon Eastcott Payne


         Grandfather - John A. at the end of the dip-net with a deckload of mackerel.

        "Artists Against War And Fascism"
                        by Stuart-Davis

        "Schoonermen" by Warren Long


        Captains Courageous is a 1937 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer adventure film. Based on the novel by Rudyard Kipling, it had its world premiere at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles.

         Gloucester Coal and Lumber

        From Cape Ann Museum "Fiesta"by John C. Adams

        "Shining Sea" by James Milton Sessions

        "Bridge to the Sea,Good Harbor
                 Beach" by Milton Avery

        "Man Sings Of Man"
       by Umberto Romano 

         "Helen" by Leon Kroll


         Five Pound Island in the middle of the inner harbor
          with the Gorton wharves in the foreground.

         In 1938, a $1,250,000 community fish pier and freezer, financed jointly by state, federal and city funds, was built over filled land on to Five Pound Island in the inner harbor.” (9

         Canvas #63                           L.A.Dahlmer
                                   Five Pound Island in the late 1800’

         Canvas #40                      L.A.Dahlmer
                        Five Pound Island with Sunrise Over East Gloucester
Five Pound Island in the early 1900’s. The business's gone, wharves
collapsed, government money came in to help Gloucester and the fishing industry.

         Superior at the wharf, over her bow the start of the
         new fish pier can be seen.

        Gertrude L. Thebaud on the ways at Parkhurst Bros. in Gloucester.

          The path of the 1938 hurricane, coming ashore on Long Island on
          September 21, 1938


The New England hurricane of 1938 the great hurricane was the first major hurricane to strike New England since 1869 the storm lawn near the coast of Africa in September of the 1938 Atlantic hurricane season, becoming a category five hurricane on the Saffir - Simpson hurricane scale before making landfall as a category three hurricane on Long Island on September 21. The hurricane was estimated to have killed between 682 and 800 people. Damaged or destroyed over 57,000 homes, and caused property losses estimated at $306 million ($4.7 in 2012). Even as late as 1951, damaged trees and buildings were still seen in the affected area. To date it remains the most powerfull, costliest and deadliest hurricane in recent new England history, eclipsed in landfall intensely perhaps only by the Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 .

“This classic series between the fastest fishing schooners afloat came to an end in 1938, on the eve of WWII. It was the finish of a rivalry which endured for nearly two decades, often marred by bitter feelings and harsh accusations. But to the world it was the termination of one of the great eras of man’s struggle with the sea – fishing the banks under sail. The contest was the more poignant for it - the last working schooners, closing the age of sail, in a symbolic race home to market.” (9)

           Canvas #138                        L.A.Dahlmer
  Gertrude L. Thebaud leading the "Bluenose"with Sterling Hayden as tactician

Left to right: From the Bluenose crew Mitchell, Stuart Cooney, Marian Cooney,
Capt. Cecil Moulton, Harry Eustis, Sterling Hayden, Elroy Prior,Everit Jodrey, and Tom Horgan of Assoc. Press at companionway.

         Ben Pine

         Ben Pine standing in front of the trophy's from his wins. Photograph from the Rosenthal Collection at Mystic Seaport.

        Canvas #27                     L.A.Dahlmer 
                                           Hard Over

        Sterling Hayden
He was navigator on the Essex-built schooner Gertrude L. Thebaud under Captain Ben Pine in the 1938 Fisherman's Cup races vs the Canadian schooner Bluenose. Partly due to the intense media coverage of those races, he was discovered by the press: his photo in the Boston Post captioned "Thebaud Sailor Like Movie Idol" led to modeling opportunities in New York and a call from Paramount Pictures.

         To Link to an article about Sterling on "Good Morning Gloucester" written by E.J. Lefavour

         "The early part of August 1938, a strange looking craft rounded Eastern Point, headed for Gloucester Harbor and dropped anchor for a visit of several months.  Her original name was ANNAPOORANVAMM and she hailed from Candia, Isle of Crete, 5000 miles away.  She came to Gloucester as she was purchased by a party from Ipswich, Mass., and her name was changed to FLORENCE C. ROBINSON."        (17)

 William A. Robinson ran a shipyard in Ipswich, and during the war ran what had been Booth Fisheries, outfitting boats for war duty.  The big crane is still running today, but the impressive machine shop is no longer in operation.

“The redfish market declined over a period of time, due primarily to overfishing of the slow-growing species. Fish-stick processors turned to imports in the form of blocks of frozen fish. Some of the slack was taken up by a turn to whiting, but these landings also subsided gradually I the face on an unreliable price structure and restrictions by the government on the taking of this seasonal fish by draggers within the three-mile limt. The shrinking, aging fleet concentrated on haddock, only to encounter supply problems, especially on Georges Bank where a massive, mechanized onslaught by the Russian fishing industry threatened depletion of this rich ground, once almost exclusively the preserve of Gloucestermen.” (9)

         Canvas #33   "Mending Time"           
                                   by L.A.Dahlmer   

         Booth Fisheries of East Gloucester, run as Robinson's Yard during WWII and after the war sold to the Alexander's to become Beacon Marine Basin.

        Crew of "Yankee" as craft lay at Rocky Neck Railways.

        "Constitution" in Gloucester Harbor

        Gloucester Harbor by Tunis Ponsen.
   Looking down onto Wonson's Wharf, with Rocky Neck on the other side of Smith Cove and the city beyond the entrance to the inner harbor.

        "A View From The Hill"
           by Henry Gasser (date?)

        "Gloucester" by Howard Klippert

        "Gloucester Harbor" by Stuart Davis

        "Swing Landscape" by Stuart Davis

         Dedication of the new "State" fishpier".
 "Bluenose" and "Thebaud" tied up.

        "Bluenose" tied up across town.