June 19, 2023 Bob made our special Sunday breakfast and we were on the road by 10:30. It was a sunny day, but cooler at 64 degrees. We took Highway 1A south to Gloucester which is celebrating its 400th anniversary (1623-2023) commemorating Gloucester’s first European settlement.
It was a scenic drive through some interesting small coastal towns–Newbury, Ipswich, Rowley, and Essex to name a few. There were many historical buildings and New England-style homes in each town.
Ipswich has many first period historical buildings and is known for its clams. Ipswich was founded by the son of one of the founders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630.
We crossed over the Annisquam River where we saw many boats in the harbors there.
We entered the city of Gloucester and began heading for the harbor to get views of the boats and the water.
We stopped to take in the view over Wonson Cove.
Looking in another direction, we saw the Ten Pound Island Lighthouse in the inner harbor.
We could also see this huge yacht at anchor there.
Looking from another direction, we could see a helicopter on the back of the yacht.
From that location, I could see the Eastern Point Lighthouse marking the entrance to the harbor.
We also got a great view across the harbor to the other side of town.
We turned down Rocky Neck Ave. which took us into a section of town called the Rocky Neck Art Colony. Sailor Stan’s looked like an interesting place.
From there, we followed the roads lining Southeast Harbor. This home was built on top of this huge boulder.
There were huge estates with outstanding views of the ocean on Atlantic Road.
We continued on Atlantic Rd. along the rocky shoreline.
From Long Beach, we could see the twin lighthouses at the Cape Ann Light Station.
We also got a look at Long Beach Gloucester from across the bay at Good Harbor Beach.
We drove back into town along Main St. and noticed some beautiful murals painted on the sides of the buildings.
We made our way down to Gloucester’s Inner Harbor and Solomon Jacobs Public Landing and Park.
Standing near the Harbormaster’s Office on the main dock, we got a great view of the 3 double-masted sailboats docked there. These were the same ones that we had seen sailing in the bay earlier today.
Next door was the Coast Guard station which had these colorful buoys hanging on one of their buildings.
This building, The Manufactory, near the harbor entrance, was used to produce Tarr-Wonson copper bottom boat paint until 1985. This type of paint is still used on boats today to prevent barnacles from growing on the bottom of boats.
We continued our drive through downtown which still seemed to be decorated with Christmas decorations.
We were searching for the Fisherman’s Memorial Statue on Western Avenue. We found Western Ave. lined by neatly kept houses.
The statue sat at the waterfront lined with flags along the promenade. It was an outstanding tribute to the fishermen lost at sea.
From there, we took a drive up to Stage Fort Park at the top of the hill.
There, we discovered this huge boulder with a plaque embedded on it that described Stage Fort as a fort that existed from 1635-1895 at Stage Head, which is now Stage Head Fort Park. Stage Head was named for a fishing “stage” dating back to the original settlement in 1624. The area was first fortified in 1635 and manned until the Spanish American War. The Welcome Center there in the park tells part of the Fort’s history.
As we drove back along the shore, we could see the Dog Bar Lighthouse across the bay at the end of the breakwater.
We drove back through town to walk the docks and to stop at the Wicked Tuna Store.
If you watch the TV show “Wicked Tuna” you know what I’m talking about. It’s a show about different commercial fishing boats competing to catch the most giant Bluefin tuna.
I found a nice Christmas ornament of a lobster trap to commemorate our visit to Gloucester.
We walked around the docks there and discovered one of the boats from the Wicked Tuna show–Hard Merchandise–docked there.
Walking by the Blue Collar Lobster Company, I got hungry so we shared a delicious bowl of clam chowder in the outside seating area.
The prices were high for their lobster rolls and oysters.
Afterwards, we stayed to watch the commercial fishing boats arrive and off-load their catch.
After enjoying our clam chowder, we jumped in the Jeep and headed for the campground. We took the same route back, except we ended up going through the town of Newburyport. Newburyport has some very historic homes as seen by these plaques on the homes, listing the name of the original owner/builder, their occupation, if known and the date.
There were many historical homes here and there is so much history in this part of the country. It’s amazing to think they have been around this long and people had the forethought to preserve them.
We arrived back at the campground around 2:30 and sat outside with Auggie. These 2 retro campers have been in the campground since we got here. They are so unique!
Bob made some calls to the medical professionals back home to diagnose the cause of his cough, only to find out its probably a viral infection that needs to run its course. Bob grilled chicken for dinner and then Auggie and I took our walk. It cooled off again as the sun went down and the temp has been steady in the low 60s all day. We watched a movie and made our plans for tomorrow. We had a great day in Gloucester being around the boats and the water, and of course, the lighthouses!