Before I tell you about Gloucester, I need to tell you about the photo on the left. I have titled it "Sailing in Gloustah Hahbah." Now, if you say it just like it looks, you will sound just like a Gloucester native. Jim visits a Gloucester message board occasionally, and they even write like that. They go for "lobstah," and so on... funny! Jim gets a little out of joint when I tease him about it, but he has no one to blame but himself. Before him, I would not have thought of doing that. And, he actually gets a kick out of it, but would never say so. Now!....
Gloucester, Massachusetts is located on the Atlantic coast just about 30 miles northeast of Boston; it was founded in 1623 as a Massachusetts Bay Colony by the Dorchester Company. Fishing stages were set up in what is now called State Fort Park, and fishing was good. In fact it was so good that it has been the mainstay of Gloucester's economy and culture for almost 400 years! It brought people from many countries to Gloucester, and they stayed, becoming a permanent part of the culture of the area. Although the fishing brought people came from many other countries, they are dominated by the Irish, Portuguese and Italian fishermen Fishing is still a mainstay of Gloucester today.
The Foley family is Irish on both sides down through Jim's grandfather, who married Rose Gordon. However, with the marriage of Jim's father to Barbara Evangeline Greel, Portuguese blood was mixed in with all that Irish blood... and I don't know what happened, but the concoction has produced some very unique people. They pretty much all share the same traits. They are happy, and a lot of fun to be around, if you can handle their practical jokes; they are active, busy, "doers." And then there is their determination, that goes even beyond persistence, and all the way to obstinate. However, they have enough of the Irish charm to make up for it.
While none of them live in Gloucester, they all love it, and remember it very fondly. The large black and white drawings on this page were all taken from photos or paintings, for some book long ago. The images now are part of the archives at NOAA.
There were some great ones, but there is not room for that many of them here. I'll try to put a link so you can see more of them, as they document how fishing was done in the past.
I tried to take a sampling of several types of fishing, so you Foley family members can see how your ancesters did it in the "old days."
Although the book these are in was done probably in the twenties or thirties of the 20th century, the drawings chronicle fishing as it was done in the 19th, and probably 18th centuries. In case you cannot read the captions on them, the first one, the one above says, "The Mackerel Purse-seine Fishery." For you land-lubbers, purse-seining is a method of fishing. The drawing on the left says "The Haddock Fishery."
And, the drawing that's on the right is called "The Halibut Fishery." I had to reduce all of these drawings quite a bit, and it is hard for you to see at this size, the tremendous attention to detail that these drawings contain. It is amazing. They were done by excellent artists, and now are being archived to keep this history alive. If you look carefully, you can just barely see that some of the page edges are turning dark, and at full size it was quite a bit darker, from age.
This next photo is one that I found on the internet, along with the one at the top of the page. Now I have to hunt for the name of the person who took them. He/she is a very accomplished photographer!
Did you notice the nice old home back in the trees? It is just at that time of dusk when things are difficult to see, but once you see them, you wonder how you could have missed them
Jim has bent my ear many times talking about an area near Gloucester that was a section of the town. It had about forty homes there, the first ones built in the 1600s, but as the rest of the town built away from the area, it became an area where widows stayed, and then by the late 1800s, had been deserted altogether. It developed the name "Dogtown" after the widows lived there, since they all kept dogs to warn them of visitors, and was completely overgrown even when Jim was a child. He and Don used to go there when they were small and play in the woods. They found some strange boulders that Jim never did find out about until this year, when someone from Gloucester sent us a book about Dogtown (thanks again, Kimmie!), when he discovered that these big boulders had been carved, much like headstones, in the 1930s, I believe. I've kept a photo of one I discovered on a website, and he likes to look at it... it reminds him of when he was young. So, here you see it... a rock from Dogtown. Each of the boulders has a saying on it... this one says "Be On Time," as you can see.
The other thing that Jim loved about Gloucester was the woods and forests. There weren't too many people there at that time, and he and Don loved to get up into the woods. I think some of the funniest stories they have told me come from their trips into the woods, hunting or whatever. So, when I came across this photo of a woodland trail in the fall months I knew he would love to look at it. Gloucester is famous for it's beautiful "fall color" and people travel from all over the world to see it. I hope to be among them one day.
I discovered a great photo of the lighthouse and harbor. Jim says this one is called "Ten Pound Island." This is so good it looks almost as if it were painted.
Someone has his copyright info all over it, and I'm happy about it. I have a problem sometimes keeping them all straight if I am making alot of changes, such as now. So I'm happy to be able to give him full credit for it, it is a fantastic photo.
I hope you've enjoyed the photo tour of Gloucester... there is much, much more, but I just couldn't fit it all in.
Personally, I can't wait to visit Gloucester! I am going to love every bit of it. In fact, I'm beginning to think that Jim may be getting cold feet about even taking me there. He knows he is going to have to drag me, kicking and screaming, to get me to leave there. You see, I also love old homes, old dishes, old furniture, old... well, I could go on and on, but you get the picture, and Gloucester is just about as old as it gets in this country.
This is a
statue that sits before the harbor at Gloucester, a tribute to all
the fishermen of Gloucester
I have still not located the information to give credit for a few of the photos on this page. I anyone knows, could they please let me know so I can add it to the page? Thanks!
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