"When men go down to the sea in ships..." Gloucester Things to Do Tip by Bunsch

Gloucester Things to Do: 40 reviews and 94 photos

  Wonderful architectural spaces
by Bunsch

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.

Address: 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA 01930
Phone: (978) 283-0455
Website: http://www.capeannmuseum.org

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 21, 2008
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