Thursday, December 18, 2014

Lanesville, July 4, 1888

A one-per-decade series of glimpses, 1860-1960

On the western flank of Halibut Point, Lanesville makes up the northernmost portion of Gloucester. While the national frontier moved west, Lanesville's nineteenth-century frontier moved down into the earth. Granite ledges close to shoreline coves could be exploited for shipping stone products to a growing America.
Moving quarried granite by ox cart1
Large numbers of immigrant workers especially from northern Italy and Scandinavia began flooding into the village in the 1880s. Some of them arrived with skills in stone cutting or carving. Most of the newcomers just came looking for a better life, initially at low wages. It was grueling and dangerous work.

The Statue of Liberty had been dedicated in New York two years earlier but Emma Lazarus's poem of welcome to the world's "huddled masses yearning to be free" would not be affixed to Lady Liberty until 1903.
Woodbury Hill paving cutters
John Hill, Salman Hautamaki, Nestor Niemi,
Matt Ray, John Mylly, Mike Aho
As the great national holiday rolled around in 1888, villagers planned a Fourth of July Parade. Ethnic tensions colored the marchers' themes with biting humor. The Gloucester Daily Times, founded only a month earlier, reported on the parade in delicious detail, as you will see reprinted below.

The Parade originated in Lanesville, marched to Annisquam, back to Folly Cove, then returned to the village. Along the route you would have encountered people and scenes like these.
Annie Farson and Baby Helen Cheves

Granite train crossing Washington Street
Hodgkins Cove, Bay View

William R. Cheves in carriage
Helen and Robert Cheves, with Sprague's dog

Bay View Fire Station steamer

Boys on Norseman Avenue

Butman's Pit, Washington Street
Congregational Church in the distance

Dr. Saunders and family
1103 Washington Street
Photo credits
1 - The Rodgers Collection, in "Pictures from the Past, Volume 1," Lanesville Community Center, 2009.
All other photographs are from Cape Ann Museum collections.
Further reading
Barbara Erkkila, Hammers on Stone, 1980, and Village at Lane's Cove, 1989
Martin Ray, "Immigration in the Growth of Gloucester," 1977 (Sawyer Free Library)
Antiques and Horribles
The Gloucester Daily Times, July 5, 1888  
As usual, the racket attending the celebration of the 4th commenced at midnight. Early in the morning the Antiques and Horribles began to gather in the vicinity of the Catholic church. The procession started at half-past 4 o'clock, marching to Annisquam, countermarching to Folly Cove and returned to Lanesville and disbanded.
        The procession was headed by Chief Marshal N. F. Cook and his aides. Then came the chief of police with a squad of policemen in costume, each one wearing a badge as large as a stove cover. The Mozart Band of Rockport furnished the music. The first team was a wagon with four occupants representing old women, with the motto, "City Appropriation for the 4th in Wards 6 and 7, $000000." Just as the team started the horse balked and the wagon was upset and the old women were thrown out, and the procession moved on. In the procession we noticed the following turnout--
        A large wagon filled with boys tastily dressed with the motto, "The Future Defenders of our Country." A young lady dressed in white represented "The Goddess of Liberty."
        One team with several youngsters, motto "Battery B" and "Dynamite Gun."
        A carpenter and his wife in a two-wheel chaise, motto, "Carpenters wanted. Finns need not apply."
        Four men on a paving team, mottos, "The Height of our Ambition, Cheap Labor, Finns and Napes $1.50 per bbl. A Cordial Welcome is extended to the Heathen Chinese." "Americans and Irishmen Must Go, we have no Use for Them." "You Must Work Smart, we Cannot Afford to Pay You Much." "Plenty of Men, no Work in the Market." "Last Year Dividend very Small." " We Will Take a few Green Paving Cutters."
        A "box" of Finns marked "Cape Ann," motto "Here we are, now for the Granite Quarries." "Wanted 10,000 Foreign Quarrymen, no Yankees need Apply. None but Finlanders are wanted." "Tallow and fish cheap at the stores."
        Two men rode in an open buggy with a banner representing a poorly fed horse, with the motto "Selling off at Cost."
        An old carryall with four men, motto "The Head of our Country."
        A paving team, with an old man with a load of children, motto "Frozen out, we cannot digest tallow and stale fish on 80 cents a day. Rats, Rats."
        An ancient couple in an old carriage covered with mosquito netting, motto "No Flies on Us."
        A large wagon filled with masked young ladies, motto, "Tremont Temple Convention, For President Belva Lockwood of Cal., Vice President Lucy Stone of Mass."
        A tally-ho coach filled with masked young gents, mottos "Blubber Hollow and 'Squam Flats." A box on the rack marked "1-2 gross Finlanders for Peavy's Granite Quarries and Bay State Works."
        A team with a man and blacksmith bellows, motto, "The Fraud Blacksmith." "Bush Hammers."
        An old dilapidated chaise with musician playing the violin, motto, "Bay View is Good Enough for Me to Play in." This get up was awarded the first prize.
        An old wagon with three riders, motto, "This Day has 'cooked' poor Chief Cook."
        A large wagon carried a load of Italians with musical instruments of various kinds, motto, "imported band."
         A chemical engine was represented by several youngsters, and was a good get up, the lettering being "Ward 7 Left," "No Free Show from Gloucester, but we Pay for it all the Same." A nursing bottle filled with milk with the words, "Suggestion to the Committee on Fire Department," "This is the proposed Chemical for Lanesville, Come Down Insurance, Go Up Gloucester Fire Department." "Lanesville," "We like Pork, but dam a Hog," "Ward 7 gets there just the same."
        A large wagon represented a milk farm, an old pump being in use throwing water. There were several mottos, one being, "Condensed milk is not good for Children."
        A large wagon was filled with musicians with brass instruments, the piece representing the bass drum, being lettered "Bay View Brass Band;" a drummer from New York played the kettledrum. The following motto was displayed, "Lanesville for Money, Gloucester for Glory, Annisquam for Thanks."
        A fellow on horseback burlesqued the Chief Marshal, and rode up and down the line offering his orders in a pompous manner. There was also an Indian Chief on horseback.
        A man in fancy costume followed in the rear with a wheelbarrow handsomely decorated with flowers representing a large wreath, and in the center was seated a pretty little girl neatly dressed.
        In the evening there was a large gathering near the Lanesville engine house to hear the concert given by the Bay View Band. The selections were well performed and reflected much credit to the band and their leader Wm. M. Williams.
        The picnics at Mount Locust and at Langsford's grove were well patronized, and the day passed off without any serious accident. There was good order and but very little drunkenness.
            Two Continentals appeared on horseback, and were awarded the second prize. 


  1. Robert Cheeves, the little boy pictured with the dog and his sister married Vera (Cedarstrom) Cheeves, for many many years the organist of the Congregational Church - a bright woman, and good hearted.

  2. BTW, the pit near the Congo church is Butman's, not Canney's.