A Brief Post-Pilgrim History of Cape Ann
Also see brief histories of: Rockport, Manchester, Gloucester and Essex.
Three years after the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock, a group from
that colony arrives in Gloucester Harbor while looking for favorable fishing
grounds. At the present spot of Stage Fort Park, the first fishing stages
(drying areas) are built and a small temporary settlement is established.
Immigrants from The Dorchester Company of England permanently settle
the area and name it Gloucester, after Gloucester, England.
Manchester-by-the-Sea is chartered to the Massachusetts Bay Colony
by England. The town is formally incorporated in 1645.
Masconomo, the sagamore of the Agawam Indian nation, is paid 3
pounds and 19 shillings for all land rights to Manchester-by-the-Sea
The first schooner is launched. The superior speed and seaworthiness
of this vessel, invented in Gloucester, allowed fisherman to reach new
The first Universalist Church in America is founded in Gloucester.
Its spire still adorns Gloucester's skyline.
Judith Sargent Murray, self-educated philosopher and political
strategist, publishes her essay, "On The Equality Of The Sexes",
the first argument for women's equality found in American literature.
Essex, one of the original shipbuilding centers of New England,
is incorporated as a town.
The Great Blizzards of 1839 inspire great American poet Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow to write The Wreck of the Hesperus
Sandy Bay portion of Gloucester incorporates as the Town of Rockport
Gloucester arguably becomes the largest fishing port in the world.
Fifteen of seventy schooners fishing Georges Bank are lost at sea, creating
70 widows and 140 fatherless children.
Local fisherman Alfred Johnson becomes the first to sail alone
across the Atlantic Ocean.
The worst year in Gloucester history -- 249 fisherman are lost
Gloucester dory fisherman Howard Blackburn, lost off the coast
of Newfoundland in a storm, rows for 4 days with his dead dory mate, his
hands frozen to the oars. He returns to Gloucester months later, a legend
and symbol of the toughness of the fisherman. Blackburn later sails solo
across the Atlantic.
Gloucester becomes increasingly popular as a visitor destination.
The first fashionable hotels are built, including the Hawthorne Inn, built
by George O. Stacy.
The Church of Our Lady of Good Voyage is built, housing the first
carillon (a series of chromatic bells) built in America.
Joshua Slocum embarks from Gloucester on the first solo round-the-world
voyage in the "Spray".
North Shore Arts Association is founded, the largest collection
of art by Cape Ann artists exhibited in the history of New England. Many
members become internationally recognized including Fitz Hugh Lane and
Clarence Birdseye invents frozen packaging of fish, patents the
process and later sells it to General Foods, former owner of the world
famous Gorton's of Gloucester seafood company.
John Hays Hammond, holder of over 800 U.S. patents, finishes his
grand Hammond Castle overlooking Norman's Woe Rock, the setting of Longfellow's
The Wreck of the Hesperus
The last of the great fishing schooners, The Adventure,
makes her final trip, marking the end of the age of sail.
The Adventure is brought back to Gloucester as a living museum
to the great age of sail. The 121 foot schooner is now a National Historic
Landmark, and on Gloucester's Maritime Trail walking tour.
The first annual Gloucester Seafood Festival is held in celebration
of the city's maritime and historic significance as America's oldest working
Warner Brothers adapts Sebastian Junger's book 'Perfect Storm' for the big screen. Films tale
of the FV Andrea Gail in Gloucester.