Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - NATALIE SHIPMAN

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

The author Natalie Shipman of Boston came to Devil’s Rock quarry off High Street every summer with her husband, Gurdon Saltonstall Worcester, psychologist. Sometimes Miss Shipman collaborated with her husband on a novel such as Perchance to Dream and Way of the Heart.

Miss Shipman’s books, dating back to the twenties, are full of New York and Boston society characters against a background of “new” cocktail parties, fabulous weddings, and tuxedoed escorts packing silver pocket flasks as they whirled along in convertibles. There is always an almost heady romance-just the kind people liked to imagine and dream about as they struggled with the realities of the Great Depression.

After she was graduated from Vassar, Natalie Shipman spent a year abroad, then two years in editorial jobs, and even tackled summer repertory theatre. Spring Is a Woman was her first novel, although she had already written short stories for many publications. She wrote Follow Your Heart, Once Upon a Summer. Call Back Yesterday, and at least five novels under her pen name, Phyllis Arthur.

For years, Natalie kept two orange cats she called Baby and Bully. Both sat with her as she wrote or trailed along as she carried her freshly baked lemon cake to a neighbor’s house for tea.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - JOHN I. COGGESHALL

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

Artist John I. Coggeshall, who painted from about 1877 until his death in 1927, divided his life between the homey woodlands of Lowell, Massachusetts on the Merrimack River, and the granite ledges and fishing village of Lane’s Cove. One of his most famous paintings is “Autumn Beechwoods.” “The Last Salt Ship,” a painting of a brig in Gloucester Harbor laden with salt from Spain, measured six feet by four-and-a-half feet. Another large painting is of the seventeenth century Rox Village bridge across the Merrimack River at Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Mr. Coggeshall was born in Fall River in 1857. His family lived in Maryland until the Civil War broke out, then they moved to a fruit and dairy farm on the shore of the Hudson River. In 1873 the young artist was in Boston learning engraving under William Preston Phelps, and later opened his own engraving business in Lowell until 1878.

By 1900 Mr. Coggeshall, who shared an enthusiasm for photography with sculptor Charles Grafly, built his studio “Redgates” on the shore at Cod Rocks. In 1905 he added a second building so he could have a summer art school. Students rumbled down in an express wagon from the depot in Gloucester or by streetcar, their trunks loaded on Harvey’s express wagon.

Led by Mr. Coggeshall, who carried both art equipment and his view camera, students perched on wharves at Lane’s Cove or at Squam, or sat in sunlit woods and fields behind Young’s dairy. In the evening they gathered in front of the stone fireplace at the studio to hear Mr. Coggeshall describe his adventures in Europe, particularly his side trip to Morocco where he painted “The Halt of the Caravan.”

Working at his easel took over most of the artist’s time, but somewhere he found a slot to begin the first Boy Scout troop on Cape Ann in 1914. They camped in tents on the shore and hiked up Mount Monadnock across the bay, turning out to reveille every morning.

When the artist presented paintings of Lowell, he called them the “Whittier Land Series.” He earned recognition as an artist who expressed lively color, whether in watercolor or oils. Sunsets over Ipswich Bay were his favorites. One critic wrote, “His studies in oil are pitched almost at the top of the scale in pigments …the result is pleasing to the eye.”

Mr. Coggeshall’s daughter, Edith Coggeshall Pulsifer, was an art instructor at Dean Academy and a gifted portrait and miniature painter. Sometimes she shared her father’s summer studio, now the home of Mrs. Stephen Hung. The two buildings at Cod Rocks have now become summer cottages visited by the artist’s granddaughter and great-grandchildren.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - CHARLES GRAFLY, Sculptor

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

Charles Grafly was born in Philadelphia, December 3,1862, son of a shoemaker. His first job at $3.00 a week was cutting stone in the Struthers Stoneyard nearby. As he became more skillful, he advanced until in 1883 he was a journeyman at $3.00 a day. At that point, he decided to become a sculptor, and attended a drawing class at Spring Garden Institute.

Mr. Grafly’s art dated from the Philadelphia Centennial in 1876 to World War I, and included thirty years of teaching at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He was greatly influenced by his painting and drawing instructor, Thomas Eakins, from whom he learned to understand the human figure and received a thorough instruction in anatomy.

The deeply respected Thomas Anshutz later became his teacher and continued the stress on depicting muscles, bones and sinews capable of movement. It was after the death of Mr. Anshutz in 1912 that Mr. Grafly attempted a portrait bust, using a death mask and photographs for reference. Suddenly, he threw them aside, destroyed his work and immediately, with great intensity, began again, this time from memory. He was satisfied with the result. Mr. Grafly studied in Paris under Henri-Michel Chapu and met the sculptor Cyrus Dallin there. A friend of Dallin’s, the Boston artist Joseph Rodefer Decamp, came to Lanesville in 1908 to sit for Mr. Grafly. The sculptor had married Frances Sekeles in 1895. Their daughter, Dorothy, who became a famous art critic in her own right, was born in 1896. The little family then began coming to Lanesville summers to “the farm.” In writing about her father, Dorothy Grafly Drummond said, “He fought for basic symbolism against general acceptance of the sentimental, the superficial and the illustrative. In his figures and in his heads, he dealt with fundamentals of character, structurally sound.” “Mr. Grafly was fine if you could stand the guff,” was the consensus of students, one of whom was Mr. Hancock. The teacher wasn’t one who led his students by the hand or with “pats on the back.” He usually came up to view a student’s work and said, “Very bad. Very bad.” Mr. Hancock, and no doubt Mr. Demetrios and Mr. Manship; were perfectly happy to absorb Mr. Grafly’s teaching, no matter what. Actually, Mr. Demetrios became his lifelong friend and shared his studio.

Mr. Grafly’s first public commission was a full figure of William Penn for the Penn Mutual Insurance Company in 1890; the figure was lost when the building was demolished. His best known work, and one he liked himself, is the imposing General George G. Meade Memorial on the Capitol Mall, Washington, D.C. It took ten years to complete. He had enlarged it in wax at Lanesville, then was so afraid of fire destroying it before it could be bronzed, he could scarcely sleep. Critics called the Meade “a realistic portrait powerfully done.’’

Lorado Taft, himself a sculptor and author of The History of American Sculpture, summed up the subject of Grafly ‘s portraits by saying “Grafly’s heads made all the heads modeled by his colleagues look like decaying vegetables.”

It was the custom of the day to do portraits of one’s fellow artists or students, and Mr. Grafly finished at least fourteen, including one of Hugh Breckenridge and his wife, Edward Redfield, Walter Elmer Schofield, Adam Emory Albright and Edwin Swift Clymer. Mr. Clymer had come to Folly Cove to spend the summer nearby, but is said to have had trouble making friends due to his bluff manner. Mr. Grafly did a first portrait of him with a wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek. Of course, Mr. Clymer promptly stowed it somewhere and sat for another more dignified portrait.

In 1905 the painter George Harding spent the summer in Lane’s Cove and sat for Mr. Grafly, who finished his portrait in six hours and thus won a bet. Another time, a delegation of women arrived at the Grafly home to escort Paul Bartlett, his sculptor friend, to a tea in his honor. They discovered both men on their knees on the grassy lawn pitching pennies. Unabashed, both rose, dusted their knees and greeted the women.

Early on Mr. Grafly had decided portraits were his forte. Among students and famous people who visited him at Woodbury Street were Walter Elmer Schofield, painter of impressionistic landscapes, about 1905; Blanche Stanley who came from East Gloucester in 1905 for her lessons; Dr. Joseph Price, who cared for Mrs. Grafly when he was needed; the entomologist Henry Lorenz Viereck, and William MacGregor Paxton, the painter. Mr. Paxton, in turn, painted a portrait of Dorothy Grafly in 1909. Clyde Bathurst was there that August and the sculptor, Albert Laessle, known for his animal studies, and who became a lifelong friend, sometimes modeling for Mr. Grafly’s compositions.

Three other students who have become known in their own right are Bruce Moore, Katherine Lane Weems of Cambridge (also an author) and Albin Polsk. The great artist Frank Duveneck posed for Mr. Grafly in 1915 at his studio here, and Childe HasSam, best known painter of his generation, came to the studio in 1918. He had also painted “Nymphs of the Sea” at Nicola D’Ascenzo’s new stone “castle” on the ledge at Folly Cove. Finally Mr. Humphrey Twombly, his elderly gardener, consented to pose for a portrait, which resulted in a valuable addition to Mr. Grafly’s collection of works.

When Mr. Grafly’s name is mentioned, many people think at once of his work, “The Pioneer Mother,” now in San Francisco. Done for the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, it caused a lot of controversy in the art world. Many people objected to the figures because the two children standing in front of the mother figure were not clothed. Mr. Grafly refused to compromise his artistic ideals except for changing the mother’s moccasins to high-buttoned shoes as asked.

Children came to the studio from the Lane School with their teachers to view the monument in progress, then write a composition when they returned to class. No one mentioned the lack of clothing, and all seemed to get the message, Mr. Grafly reported.

Only a year before his death in 1929, the sculptor did a full length figure of James Buchanan for Buchanan Park, Lancaster, Pennsylvania “with a hat and gloves in one hand and a cane in the other.” as described by Pamela Simpson in a dissertation on Charles Grafly. Later, in only ten weeks, he completed a head of Admiral David G. Farragut in bronze.

Mr. Grafly was standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street in Philadelphia on April 19, 1929 when a car ran out of control, climbed the curbing and struck him. Two weeks later he died of his injuries. The sculptor had asked Mr. Hancock to take over his teaching duties at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and sculptor George Demetrios to arrange for storage of his work. Mr. D’Ascenzo also had been entrusted with last minute things to do to help. The bulk of his works, plaster studies, sketches and most of his papers, are now at Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, sent there by his daughter as he wished.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - LILIAN WESTCOTT HALE

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

One of the first women artists to win the Altman Prize of the National Academy was Lilian Westcott Hale, thus nationally recognized for her portraits of children. Sharing her life as an artist was her husband, Philip L. Hale, also a distinguished painter and art critic for the Boston Herald. They had been married twenty nine years when he died unexpectedly, shattering her world for a while.

Theirs was the granite studio home planned by Ellen Day Hale, Philip’s aunt. Once a relative was showing the home to a visitor, explaining that Miss Hale had built the studio. “Well, she must have had a boy to help her,” the newcomer said. Actually, Alex Jungquist was the mason who built the studio, as well as others for Nicola D’Ascenzo and Walker Hancock.

Lilian Westcott Hale was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1881, and studied art there for several years. She then came to Boston, at the insistence of Edmund Tarbell, on a scholarship to work under Tarbell at the Museum of Fine Arts school. She had always been surrounded by people working with art, for her grandmother taught watercolor painting in Miss Pearson’s School for Girls in Litchfield. Her father was a draftsman who put her on his knee and drew figures and heads for her entertainment.

Philip Hale was teaching at a school in Boston where he eventually met Lilian Westcott. They were married when she was nineteen. He was the son of Edward Everett Hale, and Ellen Day Hale’s nephew. Their daughter was the late Nancy Hale, author, wife of Professor Fredson Bowers of Charlottesville, Virginia, who used to come to stay and write at the studio in the summer.

When asked about her work, Lilian Hale would turn the conversation to her husband’s endless patience, and how he always encouraged her. When he arrived home after a day’s teaching, he was interested to see what she had painted. She said, “He had humor and kindliness.”

At one time Lilian Hale studied for a while with William Merritt Chase at Hills Summer School, Shinnicock, Long Island. She found this teacher instilled in her an enormous amount of confidence and inspiration. She greatly admired the famous artist Cecelia Beaux, who also lived on Cape Ann. Lilian characterized her as “a very handsome and vital woman.”

Lilian Hale’s first exhibit was at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, followed by an exhibit with her husband at the Copley Society in Boston. Her first important award was a bronze medal for her painting, “The Fortune Teller” in 1910 shown at the exposition in Buenos Aires. Her canvas “Lavender and Old Ivory” won an award in 1915, &id a work entitled “When She Was a Little Girl” won the Potter Palmer Gold Medal and a money prize from the Art Institute of Chicago.

The portrait she particularly enjoyed doing was of Taylor Scott Hardin, a Folly Cove summer resident, for “he had a very bony structure, was very picturesque in his riding outfit, and he loved to pose.” In 1927 Lilian Hale won the much coveted National Academy’s First Altman Prize, including $1,000, with the Hardin portrait. In 1931 she became an Academician of the National Academy of Design.

Lilian Westcott Hale was noted for her paintings of children, and among them were many of her daughter. The artist was praised for “excellent draftsmanship” with a “carefully thought-out design.” She did portraits of many women as they posed close to a window, or in winter, worked on snow scenes observed from her upstairs room. During her last years, after Philip Hale died, she lived in Virginia with her daughter, Nancy Hale, and her son-in-law. Lilian died in St. Paul, Minnesota on November 7,1963.

When the women of the Folly Cove art colony would meet over a cup of tea, one of the little stories they never tired of relating was how all had submitted paintings to an upcoming show in Rockport. They were later speechless to hear that Lilian Westcott Hale’s painting had been rejected by a jury. She was one of the few women national academicians exhibiting. So they all withdrew memberships, paintings, support and looked to Gloucester for their future activities. At that time, emphasis was being put on the new art, that “blobby garish type that hit the art world in the early thirties.” But even at East Gloucester artists became divided over traditional versus modern art, resulting in two separate groups there. But the support of North Shore Arts Association by the Folly Cove artists has helped keep it in existence today.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - GABRIELLE deVEAUX CLEMENTS

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

One of the first artists to appreciate strong contrasts and angles of light in a Cape Ann granite quarry was Gabrielle deVeaux Clement, born in Philadelphia in 1858 and died in 1949. She had met Ellen Day Hale when both were studying under Bouguereau in Paris in 1882. Miss Clements favored etching as her medium.

In Harper’s Weekly, March 1885, to illustrate an article Miss Hale wrote, the Folly Cove etcher has two scenes: “On the Way to the Quarries,” showing a heavy wagon being drawn up by oxen from a distant wharf. The illustration most familiar is “The Derrick,” also an etching, presented full page. It was sketched at Flat Ledge quarry, Pigeon Cove, while quarrymen loaded a huge granite block on a garymander wagon. Oxen stood ready to tug it off to the dock at a flick of the driver’s whip.

In 1895 Miss Clements won a prize in Philadelphia for her painting of a granite quarry. She had stayed at the fashionable Fairview Inn in East Gloucester during the summers of 1881, 1883 and up until 1892, skipping a season or two when she traveled with Miss Hale.

During the 1924 annual exhibit of the Gloucester Society of Artists, Miss Clements presented: “The Herring Fleet,” “Home from the Banks,” “The Return,” and “Square Rigged,” all etchings and all probably done while at the Fairview, so close to the harbor.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016


This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

Gurdon Saltonstall Worcester, psychologist and inventor, “found” his quarry pit while a college student. When he married Natalie Shipman in 1934, he ordered a summer home there, the first prefabricated house in the village. Andrew Pistenmaa, a neighbor, did the stonework, finishing it in 1936, and Louis Palelli, the carpentry.

Mr. Worcester majored in English at Harvard and ran a newspaper, The Roxbury Tribune, for a while. Then he decided he was much more concerned with people’s emotions and how they cause illness, prompting him to join his father, the Reverend Dr. Elwood W. Worcester of Emanuel Church in Boston, helping the mentally ill through psychotherapy.
About 1940 Mr. Worcester opened his own office at 3 Marlborough Street in the Back Bay section of Boston. But he and Natalie came to Lanesville in the summertime, entertaining their friends with outdoor concerts beside the quarry, and “modern” cocktail parties.

Mr. Worcester loved the unusual, the exciting and the thrill of astounding others as he did the day he fired off a rocket he had invented. Wreathed in trails of cigarette smoke, his brown eyes full of mischief, Mr. Worcester always had something happening. He had Mr. Palelli build a Chinese houseboat for him so he could float about in the quarry pit, feeding hamburger to his pet trout. In another pit across the driveway, he kept two sea lions, one named Tony. Sometimes, Tony wriggled through his fence, and then all High Street friends were called in to help search for him.

In the winter of 1962, with Natalie at the little portable on the kitchen table (she found the hum of electric typewriters intimidating), Gurdon Worcester dictated his children’s book, The Singing Flute, the story of Hilli, a Finnish girl who lived on the edge of Dogtown, Gloucester’s deserted village. He loved every new adjective and word just coming into use such as “panache.” As he dictated, his words flowed in beautiful prose with dozens of descriptive phrases as he paced back and forth across the wide kitchen. Silently, Natalie edited in Yankee efficiency as he talked, knowing he would like the end result. They knew each others’ literary skills so well.

Gurdon Worcester was a person with great charm, who always greeted people down at the grocery store with as much warmth as anyone of his friends from Beacon Hill.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - VIRGINIA LEE BURTON, Author, Illustrator

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

Virginia Lee Burton (Jinnee) set out on many phases of a career in the arts and succeeded in all of them except ballet dancing. She had her own studio at home at Folly Cove where she did all the illustrations for her children’s books such as Choo Choo in 1935, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, 1939; Calico, the Wonder Horse and Katy and the Big Snow, written especially with credit to the Gloucester Highway Department. Her book Maybelle, the Cable Car, 1952, is read and reread in San Francisco, particularly since Miss Burton went there to help publicize the cable cars when funds were needed to restore them, as they are now again.

Miss Burton was always the dancer, even when walking from the studio to her house. She had a particular grace of movement and she wore full skirts as though she might slip off her shoes any minute and dance in the daisy strewn fields.

When folk dancing first became popular, Jinnee and her husband, George Demetrios, began to teach their friends at their farm, sometimes at the Manship home and on the lawn at the Nortons on Revere Street.

In 1938 Jinnee organized a small group for a sketching class which she taught, then began guiding them in the technique of linoleum block printing, creating designs from simple objects such as beach grass, Cape Ann birds, a Saturday night bean supper or a quarry locomotive. This group became the famed Folly Cove Designers, eventually selling their hand blocked fabrics to such famous department stores as Lord and Taylor in New York City. They used to stamp on blocks with their bare feet, but progressed to a printer’s proof press capable of taking larger blocks, offering a greater range of design as well as being faster.

Jinnee Burton’s first pupil was Aino Yjrola Clarke who gave violin lessons to the Demetrios boys in exchange. Aino designed fabrics with musical motifs such as Instrument! Antiqua, 1959; Musicale, 1950, and Fiddle Dee Dee, 1951.
Miss Burton’s own designs were many, ranging from Kitnip, Ocelot, Reducing, Stitch in Time, Finn Hop, 1943; Finnish Dancers, Dance of the House, 1956; to Farmer’s Almanac, Little House, Spring Lambs 11, Zodiac, Zaidee, Choo Choo, Commuting and Early Bird, 1965. Her first large class in the summer of 1940 had fifteen students, the final number of designers, forty-five.’

One of the social events of the summer was the Finnish-style coffee social and exhibit by the Folly Cove Designers in the renovated barn purchased by Jinnee Demetrios. The Finnish custom of putting the “coffee pan” on when a guest arrives is just the opposite to the established Yankee way of offering a cup of tea as one’s guest announced her departure. (Of course, it was a matter of polite timing.) During a large coffee social, people came to the table in groups by turns, allowing time for the hostess to wash cups and saucers and slice more nisu coffee bread.

After Jinnee’s death, the Barn and Folly Cove Designers came to an end, October 1969. Block printed material representing every design was given to the Cape Ann Historical Association for a permanent exhibit.

Virginia Lee Burton was born on August 30, 1909, in Newton Center, Massachusetts, daughter of an Englishwoman, who was a poet and musician, and Dean Burton of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. One of her earliest memories was of Maypole dancing and celebrating Twelfth Night with costumes and singing. Her parents also put on marionette shows for Jinnee and her sister and friends. At Christmas, her father always gave her a beautifully illustrated children’s book. She said her interest in such books must have begun then.

When Jinnee was eight, the family moved to California where she and her sister studied dancing, and appeared in local productions. She wanted to go to art school and won a scholarship while a junior in high school. She traveled to San Francisco by train, ferry and cable car, passing commuting hours by sketching her fellow passengers.
In 1928 she returned to Boston to join her father and also to resume her studies in acrobatic dancing so she could appear with her sister on the stage. She had to give up her plans, however, when her father broke his leg, and her care was required. So, undaunted, she turned to sketching. She worked on the old Boston Transcript, sketching for H.T. P. (Parker), famous drama and music critic, and signed her drawings “VLeeB.”

It was in the fall of 1930 that she heard about George Demetrios, a great teacher of sculpture and drawing. So she enrolled in his Saturday morning class at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts school. By spring they were married. Two sons, Michael and Aris (born in 1935) inspired her to write books for them. Her book, Life Story, particularly in the last section, tells the tale of the little family at Folly Cove.

When Jinnee Burton started a book, she frequently completed sketches first, pinning them to the walls of her studio. Then she worked on the text, but put it off until last, even after she had, made up the dummy. She said, “If I can substitute pictures for words, I do. Each new book is a new experience, not only in subject material and research, but in learning a new medium and technique for the drawings.”

Her book about the little engine which ran away was written for Aris when he was four. He is now a sculptor living in California who has had his own work recognized nationally. Her son, Michael, is the subject of her book Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. In an attempt to take the two boys’ attention away from comic books, she did Calico, the Wonder Horse. In 1942 she won the Caldecott Medal for The Little House, which told of their own home and how they moved it into-a field with apple trees growing around. Her book Life Story took eight years to complete. At the same time she did design work, wrote and managed her home. But she was never satisfied with this book, and she died before it could be published.

Jinnee traveled to Japan two years before her death to speak at the American Cultural Center and to autograph her books just translated into Japanese. When she left for home, the children’s librarian and her committee presented her with two Samurai swords. The Folly Cove artist, designer and author left a priceless heirloom to her colleagues and for others to enjoy-the ability to observe their world more closely, note small detail and then as she taught them, work a design that shares with others the newly discovered treasures. Jinnee was certainly a remarkable woman.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Artists of Lanesville - MORRIS HALL PANCOAST, Painter

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

While most artists pack up their easels and paints and travel to sunny shores during the winter, Morris Hall Pancoast (1877-1963) was tucked into a little cottage on Andrews Street overlooking Lane’s Cove, painting snow scenes of Lanesville and Mr. Pancoast, a Quaker, never had financial backing for his art education. He was born in Salem, New Jersey on April 27, 1877. His father was a partner in the Salem Glassworks of Hall, Pancoast and Craven. Some years later, Mrs. Pancoast, then a widow, watched her son continually sketching in his free time, convinced he should be an architect. When he was sixteen, he worked odd jobs in Philadelphia, at the same time encouraged by a newspaper artist to study art seriously.

While the young student worked as a bookkeeper by day, he attended classes at Drexel Institute. Then he began night courses in 1897 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. There he came under the influence of kindly Thomas Anshutz. At Fort Washington, where both lived, the two spent much time together until the teacher’s death in 1912.

Convinced at one point that he must study in Europe, the young Pancoast withdrew every cent from his bank account and sailed to Europe in 1902. By illustrating and writing he earned enough to stay three years, including study in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens the Julian School. Then he investigated all the art treasures and painters’ locations throughout France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and England. To return home, he had to borrow enough for his passage, but he quickly paid it back.

Mr. Pancoast and his wife, Minnie Laehy Baer, a concert singer, came to Lane’s Cove for the first time in 1920, and stayed at the Andrews Street cottage. They could view the entire Cove before them, including the Gap and granite breakwater. Mr. Pancoast was in fine spirits, for his first painting had been recognized and “The Pennsy Train Shed” had been purchased by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts the season before.

Some years later, Mr. Pancoast had at least thirty-two paintings to his credit, twenty-eight were of Cape Ann and fifteen of those were of Lanesville and Lane’s Cove in particular. Once asked if he thought he had been influenced by French Impressionists, he said he doubted it for what he painted was probably “Pancoast Impressionism.”

In 1923 the artist told a friend, “It isn’t the thing you paint that makes your work poetic, it is the man who creates the thing. Twachtman could make poetry of a barn…”
Mr. Pancoast was painting from their next home on Beach Street, Rockport and Minnie was running the Studio Gallery by the Sea at the time of the stock market crash in 1929. Over a period of years, they kept selling their antiques, finally returning to Lane’s Cove as Minnie’s health worsened. She died in 1953. Mr. Pancoast’s last exhibit was in Concord, Massachusetts in 1957. He died on July 30, 1963, and his ashes were scattered to the winds and the sea from atop Lane’s Cove breakwater as he had wished.
Mr. Pancoast once said, “A painter need have no knowledge or love of nature in order to fake a snow scene or a vivid fall coloring. It is the painter who puts into his work the delicate truth which he has discovered through actual contact with the out-of-doors…”

More on
Morris Hall Pancoast, American, (1877-1963).

The paintings of Impressionist Morris Hall Pancoast are almost all peaceful New England shore scenes and winter landscapes, and they often have an expressionist freedom of brushwork, and an intensity of color. Cape Ann and Rockport, Massachusetts were his favorite locations, where this painting was likely executed.

Pancoast was born in Salem, New Jersey in 1877. His father was a partner in a Salem glassworks. Morris attended the Salem Friends' School and the Salem Public Schools, and for two years worked as a shipping clerk. A turning point came in 1895, when he took a job as a bookkeeper and assistant cashier with the "Philadelphia Public Ledger" newspaper.

He met illustrator Frederick R. Gruger, who encouraged him to study art. Despite his studies at night at Drexel University and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Pancoast felt frustrated. He was tired of his job at the paper, and he could not get work in an art department because of his inexperience.

In 1902, he took every penny he had out of the bank and went to Europe. At the Academie Julien in Paris, he studied with Jean Paul Laurens. By the end of three years, after travel throughout Europe, he returned to Philadelphia and got a job with the art department of the "Philadelphia Inquirer" from 1905 to 1907 and then the "North American" as a cartoonist from 1907 to 1919.

By the early 1920s, Pancoast and his wife had moved to New York City, where he worked as a freelance illustrator and painter, and he and his wife spent their summers in Rockport, MA where she ran their "Studio Gallery By the Sea".

Pancoast's career was launched. His work was shown at the Pennsylvania Academy, the Brooklyn Museum and at the National Academy of Design. This painting was exhibited at the National Academy in 1922.

After the stock market crash of 1929, however, the lives of the Pancoasts changed. For about 20 years, they wandered through Maine, Florida and Massachusetts, selling antiques. They settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1945, and rented
a small house, which Pancoast used as a gallery and studio; his wife operated a tearoom and antique shop. He died in 1963.

Morris Hall Pancoast was a member of the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Gloucester Society of Artists, North Shore Art Association, Pennsylvania Academy Society of Artists, Philadelphia Sketch Club and the Salmagundi Club.

His work is held by the J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Municipal Art League, Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia;
and the Reading Public Museum and Art Gallery in Pennsylvania.

Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art

As a side note, Morris Pancoast and his wife lived in the gray house right next to us here on Lanes Cove.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Artists of Lanesville - JOHN MANSHIP, Painter

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

John Manship usually paints in the ox-barn studio which his father, Paul Manship, internationally known sculptor, used as an exhibit hall for guests. Sharing John Manship’s working area is his wife, sculptor Margaret Cassidy.

John Manship’s art career began when he was quite young, and when he was “wearing the dark glasses of esthetic theory.” Since then he has become a traditional artist, expressing the vitality, the variety and beauty of the visual world. He paints in oils or watercolor and his subjects are scenes in Italy where he lived for fifteen years.

He can be found anywhere on Cape Ann during the summer, sometimes painting at his own quarry pit. His portrait of his father was shown at one of the early studio exhibits. The senior Manship was so proud of it, he hurried out to meet visitors so he could take them directly to it.

Artists of Lanesville - MARGARET CASSIDY, Sculptor

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

Margaret Cassidy, sculptor, works in the Manship “grain room” used by the late Paul Manship as a retreat to work. Her husband, John Manship, works on art close by. She has completed portrait heads in bronze, works equally well in marble and wood, and lately is working with hydrocol, a special plaster reinforced with marble.

Margaret Cassidy studied under Antonio Berti, the sculptor in Florence, Italy. While there she assisted on the St. Louise de Marillac Group filling the last niche in St. Peter’s, and on the DeGasperi Monument in Trento. Her figure of Cardinal Newman on the facade of Newman Center at the University of Massachusetts is best known of all her work. While in Italy on a visit, she was commissioned to do a portrait of Pope John Paul from life. The attempted assassination happened when she was in the Square. To complete her work, she was given a studio area, but had to rely on photographs.
In addition to her work in sculpture and now in stained glass, Margaret Cassidy is researching the subject of American artists and their portrait, sculpture and paintings, a project that combines nicely with her husband John’s work in writing a book about his father, Paul Manship.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Artists of Lanesville - WALKER HANCOCK, Sculptor

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

The range and variety of Walker Hancock’s sculpture is truly remarkable, and all of it is created with his characteristic artistic integrity. He prefers to call his work “sculpture for architecture” rather than “architectural sculpture.” He has completed countless portraits as well and still receives commissions for them.

The sculptor’s favorite is the thirty-nine foot War Memorial in Philadelphia’s Thirtieth Street Station. When the tall, winged angel grieving over a dying soldier figure was finally finished, Mr. Hancock said he hoped travelers from all walks of life would find it moving, yet austere enough to hold its place properly in the architecture of that great station.

The piece presented a tremendous challenge because, as he said, ‘‘There was great danger of falling into sentimentality on the one hand or lack of emotion on the other. Such matters can only be decided by one’s individual feeling. Nothing can be written about them.”

Leaders in the arts and literature have sat in Mr. Hancock’s granite studio by the quarry pit, people such as Booth Tarkington in 1934, who said to him, “Never criticize yourself while you are working. Wait until it’s all done, then stand back and criticize it.”

Robert Frost, the much loved American poet, came to sit for Mr. Hancock in 1950 and walk the paths in the woods there. The bust was finished in time for the poet’s birthday at the end of the week. President Dwight D. Eisenhower sat for him in Washington, D.C., and so did Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, and Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. He has sculpted other famous people from history such as President Abraham Lincoln for Washington Cathedral, a full-length heroic-size figure of General Douglas MacArthur, a head of President Woodrow Wilson and a seated figure of President James Madison. The list is long.

Born in St. Louis on June 28, 1901, Mr. Hancock had always wanted to be a sculptor, and became convinced when in kindergarten he successfully modeled a bird’s nest with eggs. A few years later he attended art school on Wednesday nights and Saturdays all day. His studies finally took him to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where his teacher, a person he admired and respected, was the taciturn Charles Grafly. “But he was worth it,” the sculptor said.

While at Lanesville in his early days, Mr. Hancock came for meals at Mrs. Frisbee’s at Folly Cove, Warren Poland’s home. To his pleasure he discovered as many as ten artists and writers at the table for dinner the first day. He enjoyed the conversation and when it seemed indicated, he related what he thought was an interesting story. Suddenly, to his amazement, Mr. Clymer, himself an artist, slammed both fists on the table and said in a loud voice, “Cut out the hot air and pass the beans!”

Mr. Hancock was combining studies with Mr. Grafly both in Philadelphia and in Lanesville in the summertime. One year, Mr. Grafly left him in charge of his studio with permission to work on his own projects. Immediately, Mr. Hancock did a head of Toivo Helberg, a Finnish boy, his “first really serious finished head.” With it he later won the Widener Memorial Gold Medal. Of course, when Mr. Grafly returned, he examined his pupil’s work, saying nothing good or bad. But picking up a small piece of clay, he put it lightly above the left side of the forehead of the bust before silently walking off. Mr. Hancock thought it over a long time, then sent it out to the competition without the change. “But do you know, I think he was right,” he commented recently.

That same winter the sculptor completed a portrait of Waino Natti, the first young man he met when he came to the village. That sculpture won the Pris de Rome and earned him three years at the American Academy there. Going to Rome always had been his dream. Despite Mr. Grafly’s urging to stay at the studio, he sailed to Italy and Rome to what he called “a whole life and a whole world.”

When Mr. Hancock returned from Rome he stayed in New York City for a while, then came once more to Lanesville to build his granite studio here in 1930. He could not forget the village nor its people. While the granite blocks were being shaped and set in, he took his meals with a few Finnish families who lived nearby, such as the Gusti Stenbergs and the John Erkkilas. At times, he stayed with Mrs. Idah Austin, a former dietitian who later operated Folly Cove Inn.

Mr. Hancock was immediately “adopted” by the whole village. He is so enthused about the smallest thing done for him and so appreciative. He always has had a sense of humor, a quick smile, just enough so one senses also the fine-tuned awareness and serious nature of the artist he is.

When his studio was finished at “Deep Hole,” as the quarry is called, he invited the boys who swam in the pit to come back after supper to sit out on the granite terrace in summer until mosquitos drove them inside. In winter they gathered around the fireplace to listen to classical music. He also shared with them his “discoveries” of art treasures in Italy, a subject entirely new to them, for it was not taught in the schools. In return the boys brought in Finnish records of folk songs and dances. They also gave him the Finnish equivalent of his own complete name, calling him “Kavelia Kasikikko”. His old friends still greet him that way.

While in Rome the first time, Mr. Hancock completed a statue of Aphrodite for an estate in Chicago, and had it carved by the famous Piccirilli Bros. of Philadelphia, the stone carvers who did the Lincoln Memorial figure for Daniel Chester French.

For two years Mr. Hancock was a captain in the Army Intelligence Fine Arts and Archives Division, one of a team of ten special officers assigned to the European area north of the Alps for the purpose of preventing damage, where possible, to great works of arts hidden by the Germans. Sometimes paintings were discovered in castles, caves and even in remote hospitals. In one vast salt mine, 1,800 feet deep, Captain Hancock located his greatest find. Besides paintings by the great masters, there were treasures such as regalia dating back to the fifteenth century, the coffins of Frederick William I, first king of Prussia, his son, Frederick the Great, and also a vast library of that era. The last huge box of treasures was hoisted up the mine shaft to the surface on V-E Day, 1945. All treasures were later sorted and returned to their owners or to cathedrals as indicated. Captain Hancock left Germany in December 1945 and returned home to join his wife, Saima Natti, a former schoolteacher, whom he had married December 4,1943.

One day, while demonstrating sculpture in Rockport at a church fair, Mr. Hancock began a portrait of his friend, Russel Crouse, the playwright, and decided to finish it later at his studio. The sculptor has often worked on a larger scale such as the heroic group for the St. Louis Memorial Building and works for Kansas City’s City Hall.

In August 1952, led by General Omar Bradley, the War Memorial for the 1,300 employees of the Pennsylvania Railroad who had died in the service was unveiled at Philadelphia’s Thirtieth Street Station with great ceremony. People have written from all over the country to tell Mr. Hancock about their own feelings on viewing the angel figure with the soldier. It’s an emotional experience, and there’s much pride, too, that the Lanesville sculptor created such an art treasure.

The Academy’s Gold Medal of Honor, the highest award given, was awarded to Mr. Hancock in Philadelphia on May 20,1953 during the National Cresson Day awards event at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Only five people had received the award in the previous thirty-three years.

Mr. Hancock, his wife, Saima, and their little daughter, Deane, returned to Rome in October of 1956 when he had been appointed sculptor-in-residence at the American Academy. While there he superintended the high-relief carving of his communication theme in white marble on black for the Bell Telephone Company, Montreal, Canada. Just previous to traveling there, he had finished a nine-foot statue of Admiral John Paul Jones, American Navy, for Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park.

Governor Percival P. Baxter of Portland, Maine, sailed to Rome while the sculptor was in residence to sit for him. Done in bronze, the statue is the first to be in the Maine State House. Meanwhile, at Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina, his sculptures had been grouped in a section called “The Hancock Oval.”

For thirty-eight years Mr. Hancock taught at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, on leave from 1956 to 1957 and again from 1962 to 1963.

Although the sculptor emphasizes he was only the consultant for the 300-foot wide carving on a section of the 800-foot high dome of granite comprising Stone Mountain, Georgia, left unfinished by Gutzon Borglum and then Augustus Lukeman in 1928, Mr. Hancock spent many months and completed many studies in his studio to “clean up the carving.”

The panel on the mountain includes the heads of General Robert E. Lee riding his horse, Traveler (Lee’s face alone is twenty-one feet tall), General Stonewall Jackson and the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. Granite had to be cut into new dimensions to finish the men’s heads, the heads of their horses and upper part of their bodies so the “arc of the finished sculpture would blend into the natural bald granite outline of Stone Mountain.” Mr. Hancock gave “emphasis to essential features while avoiding a stark realism where it would be inappropriate.” Dedication Day was May 9, 1970 with Mrs. Hancock and Deane there. Some of his neighbors flew down also.

In 1980 the sculptor completed a work called “Air” for the Civic Center in Philadelphia, in the garden in front of Exhibition Hall. The figure seems to hover over the global earth below, his arms and legs gently stretched out in a beneficent gesture. “The problem was to make it a powerful figure, yet in a gentle mood,” says Mr. Hancock.

The sculptor was working on a portrait of the late Vice President Hubert E. Humphrey in 1981, to be cast in plaster then carved in marble. He finished the seated figure of President James Madison for the new building of the Library of Congress and had it carved in the Italian village of Pietrasanta where stonecarvers have lived for hundreds of years.

In between his portrait busts, his commissions for sculpture for architecture and models for upcoming works, Mr. Hancock has somehow found time to complete forty figures, each about eight inches high, all studies of basketball players. The sculptor explained saying more action of the human body can be studied in basketball than any other sport.

At Washington Cathedral, Washington, D.C., the sculptor has completed the central figure of Christ in Majesty high in the reredos. On the north side there is a small chapel called the Good Shepherd, and there Mr. Hancock has a sculpture “The Shepherd.”

Working on the heroic bronze of President Abraham Lincoln has given Mr. Hancock great pleasure and inner satisfaction. The statue was dedicated in February of 1984 in Washington Cathedral. The Great Emancipator is portrayed as he appeared to the people when he spoke his famous farewell in a cold drizzle in Springfield, Illinois on February 11, 1861. “His speech was only nine sentences long,” the sculptor points out.

When the Reverend Richard Bamforth of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Rockport returned from the dedication exercises for the Lincoln figure, he described the event to friends, concluding, “After thinking over all the compassion, warm feeling for his fellow man, and great dignity expressed in the Lincoln statue, I felt that the same attributes could well be applied to the sculptor.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

In Gloucester, a gathering place scattered all about

The Boston Globe

In Gloucester, a gathering place scattered all about
Storm leaves hole in a sea wall, and in a city’s psyche
(Joanne Rathe/Globe Staff)
By David Rattigan
Globe Correspondent / January 9, 2011

Days after the late-December storm that had damaged part of the Lanes Cove sea wall in the Lanesville section of Gloucester, a steady stream of local folks stopped in to have a look.

Rick Paolillo described a "hidden jewel" where people could come to enjoy some scenery, or do some fishing. He said that he would walk along the smooth ledge of the sea wall — built on both sides of the cove — all the way to the center entrance, dubbed the “hole in the wall."

“This is a great place to come to watch the sun go down," said Paolillo, a retired firefighter who lives in nearby Rockport.

“That’s why it’s sad to see something like that," he said, pointing to a section of sea wall that had been turned into a pile of granite blocks.

The curious were still stopping by to take a look this week, as the city was trying to determine the extent of the damage, the first step in the effort to repair the historic landmark (it was dedicated in 1842) that offers protection for residents who still keep their boats moored and gear stored in the cove.

With Governor Deval Patrick declaring a state of emergency, the city was hopeful that it might receive state and federal disaster relief funds.

“There are a number of families who make their livelihood lobstering out of that area,’’ said Michael Hale, the city’s Department of Public Works director. “For those people, we need to restore it to its previous condition."

Restoring it quickly is also a concern, Hale said, since with the wall already weakened, “another storm could do a lot more damage."

On Thursday, Hale met with representatives of Newburyport-based Vine Associates, which the city hired to do a structural assessment of the damage.

Hale hopes to have a damage estimate by tomorrow, and he will submit that figure to federal and state agencies handling relief funds.

“The wall didn’t collapse, but it might be ready to," said harbormaster Jim Caulkett. “So we need a good study of the whole area."

Depending on the extent of the damage, Hale said that repairs could run from $300,000 to more than $1 million.

The sea wall is built from granite slabs, quarried locally, that weigh five to eight tons each. Approximately 30 feet of the sea wall was knocked down by the storm, and a ledge alongside another section also collapsed.

Caulkett also noted that chunks of debris littered the parking lot. “The ocean’s a powerful force," he said. “It can move rocks."

The rest of Gloucester sustained very little damage in the post-Christmas nor’easter, but in Caulkett’s words, “Lanes Cove got the full brunt of the high tide and the wind-driven sea — the storm surge.’’

Hale agreed.

“There were walls of water running through the bay," Hale said. “That bay is fairly calm, but the swells coming through Ipswich Bay during that event were enormous — 35-foot swells. It was pretty dramatic watching them.

“At the tail end, they had become 10- to 12-foot waves, smashing against the rocks and really slamming that wall with force. I live a couple of blocks up, and even with the window closed I could hear the pounding all night long. It was a ferocious storm."

On Jan. 5, the DPW installed jersey barriers and signs warning people to stay off the wall, for safety reasons.

Exactly what the next step is will be determined by Vine’s assessment, Hale said, but the city might need to move quickly if the damage is significant.

In addition to the 40-plus moorings in the cove, the sea wall provides protection for some houses.

“We need a structural analysis and assessment of current conditions," Hale said, noting that, “Wherever you see damage, there could be more damage that we can’t see."

The sea wall has become a favorite spot for those wishing to fish, swim, walk a dog or watch a sunset.

Up until recently, the cove was the site of an annual bonfire, which became a victim of its own success when it was canceled because town officials determined that it was drawing too large a crowd.

“It’s kind of nostalgic in its own sense," said Hale. “It’s the kind of place where you’ll see the community come together."

© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A piece of history crumbles

December 28, 2010
A piece of history crumbles


By Richard Gaines
Staff Writer
The Gloucester Daily Times
Tue Dec 28, 2010, 11:19 PM EST

The Lane's Cove seawall, built at a painstaking pace — 14 years from conception to dedication in 1842 — has persevered through a most unstable history for locally cut granite blocks weighing five to eight tons each.

The thematic history of the seawall, to be sure, can be understood to be the Lanesville people's refusal to accept nature's clear conclusion that no permanent impediment to the force of the waters of Ipswich Bay around the natural opening into a harbor small enough to be called quaint can be allowed.

The latest sign of the people's violation of the natural law was a force of water and wind Sunday night and Monday morning — in the harridan of a storm that marked the start of winter and took a couple of big bites out of the wall.

The damage described in Tuesday's Times significantly understated the harm done, according to the first comprehensive report and assessment made by Harbormaster Jim Caulkett, in an e-mail to Mayor Carolyn Kirk.

"Lane's Cove has received severe damage in two locations, standing on land looking out at the entrance (commonly called the 'Hole in the Wall'), Caulkett wrote. "The left hand side (south side) lost several courses of stone for a length of about 100 feet on the outer main wall. The right hand side (north side) has a 20 foot to 30 collapse to the inner wall where the boats actually moor."

Public Works Director Michael Hale said Tuesday he would not be able to even estimate the cost of repair before a firm with expertise in seawall construction does a structural evaluation. Such a firm is Vine Associates, which has consulted to many recent city projects including the Cripple Cove seawall reconstruction in the early years of the last decade and the continuing work on Stacy Boulevard, said Hale.

His "guess" was that repairs would cost at least $1 million, with possible contributions from the federal government or state, which declared a storm emergency on Sunday, opening the door for application.

The last repair/reconstruction of the seawall was carried out in 1994-95, using more than $500,000 in funds provided by the Federal Emergency Management agency for damages done in the storms of 1969, 1973, 1978 (the Blizzard of '78) and 1983, according to the archives of the Times.

As with most things Lanesville, fierce discussion, even argument galvanized the planning for the last rebuild.

Reporting on a community meeting at the Plum Cove School on Sept. 16, 1994, Barbara Erkkila, the author/journalist/historian wrote for the Times that the strong sentiment was reinforced historical accuracy.

Concrete was used to give the wall more strength to resist the fierce combinations, waves of blows blown in by nor'easters, similar to the one that did the recent damage.

"Lanesville people were also reassured that, as original blocks of stone were removed to work the reinforced concrete in place, the stones would be replaced exactly as they were," Erkkila noted,

"It seems," she wrote, "that most villagers are familiar with each stone in the breakwater and they don't want them out of place when it is completed."

From the earliest records, even before the settlement took its name from the settler John Lane in 1700 — when it was called descriptively Flatstone Cove for the remarkably flat granite face that pancakes out into the bay to the south of the Gap — villagers, fishermen first and later quarrymen saw the need for a seawall.

Its history is traceable to members of the original settlement, who ventured north past the mouth of the Annisquam estuary, before "the Cut" was made and found shelter from a surprise nor'easter in the little harbor and saw the obvious clear need for a breakwater.

As Erkkila wrote in her book "Village at Lane's Cove," the construction of the breakwater waited for the arrival of the granite quarrying technology that would be required to bring in and assemble the blocks.

The architect and organizer of the project was Michael Duley, for whom the approach road to the cove is named.

Granite was quarried from the earliest days for moorings and for mill stones — there is "the" millstone for the original Riverdale mill outside the Richdale convenience store on Washington Street.

In their book, "The Saga of Cape Ann," Melvin T. Copeland and Elliot C. Rogers describe how six-foot square stones 10 to 15 inches thick would be bored through to create a doughnut structure into which "the trunk of an oak tree, with the top cut off about 20 feet from the base then was shoved through the hole in the block. The roots were left on the oak truck and kept it from pulling through the hole in the stone."

When a rope was tied to the top of the tree, the tree was dropped at the spot chosen for a mooring, and in such a way, the boats of Lanesville's early years as a fishing and farming village were held secure from tide and storm.

But in 1828, the first industrial quarrying began. The Lanesville Granite Co. was incorporated in 1828, and it constructed the loading pier in the cove for the granite schooners and then came the breakwater and for its first few decades the cove was primarily used for granite loading. As many as 350 people were cutting and hauling granite.

The industry spread to Bay View and Hodgkins Cove was adapted for the freighters, which were loaded with stone cut from the quarries on either side of the railroad that ran along what is now Quarry Street.

In her history of Lane's Cove, Erkkila counted "more than 50 small two-man quarries scattered all the way from Halibut Point to the Bay View line ... There was solid noise every day in the village."

"There was solid noise all day everywhere in the village," she wrote. "Quarry pumps ran all night and there was continual blasting with black powder. Shrill whistles signaled derrick movements, or warned of explosions to come, often followed by a special whistle for doctors to hurry there."

Whatever else they lacked, in their effort to keep nature at bay, the villagers of Lane's Cove and Lanesville had no dearth of granite for their redoubt.

Richard Gaines can be reached at 978-283-07000, x3464, or at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lanes Cove Bluefish Tournament - 2010

It was a beautiful day for the Bluefish Tournament this year.

Gloucester Daily Times
September 10, 2010
Lanes Cove bluefish event one for the ages

Ebb & Flow By Peter K. Prybot Fri Sep 10, 2010, 10:56 PM EDT

Good weather, catches, participation, organization and execution made last Sunday's 22nd annual Lane's Cove Bluefish Tournament flow like never before.

The tournament officials even frequently smiled, and two new twists occurred during this local premier game fish tournament that always takes place on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

One was named Hurricane — then Tropical Storm — Earl, which was supposed to hit Friday night but fizzled and turned out to be a category 5 media hurricane — where at least one Boston TV station urged viewers "don't panic."

In the end, it left hardly a residual swell on tournament day. Instead, a 15 to 20 mph westerly fanned the 74 degree sun-saturated dry air and also gave the contestants gusto; even though a 2-to-3-foot-high short chop often dropped their hulls below the waterline. Many of the anglers fortunately found a good body of bluefish stalking within the leeward waters between the Essex and Ipswich rivers.

Another was the registration format.

"This year, we did Saturday 9 a.m. to noon and Sunday 6-9 a.m. registrations," explained veteran tournament official Jen Grace. "Sunday's line got to be ridiculous, and people ended up waiting too long."

Previous tournaments had only a 3-hour-long Sunday morning registration. Kendra Hardy, Don Peavey and his son Brandon, Brian Cusick and officer Joe Parady once again assisted Grace with the tournament.

The team of area lobstermen Steve Boudreau and Chris "Skully" Jewell were the first registrants among this year's 441, while Gloucester electrician Sean Cranston was number 441 — three more than in 2009. A record 597 people partook in the 2007 tournament.

This year's collective $10 entry fees allowed for $1,500, $900 and $600 respective first, second and third prizes, as well as for several $100 and $50 raffle prizes. Everyone got a raffle ticket during registration.

Cape Ann businesses also contributed to the tournament. Not only did The Fisherman's Outfitter and Winchester Fishing Gear Company give rods and reels for the raffle, but Steve Connolly Seafood Company and Sea Breeze Liquors also donated gift certificates, while the Yankee Fleet gave half-day whale watching and deep-sea fishing trips.

T-shirts and sweatshirts were contributed by Rose's Marine, Pratty's and Three Lanterns Ship Supply. Cape Ann Brewing Company added a 12-pack of their bottled product along with some of their mugs. Gloucester fireman Gregg Marchant further donated one of his hand-crafted Nana Maae wooden boats. And Lanesville Package Store even paid for the two on-site portable toilets.

Not wanting people to go hungry or thirsty, area residents Dusty Ketchopulos, Chuck Walima and Nick Avelis set up several tables, complete with paper plates and plastic utensils and served water, grilled hamburgers, hotdogs and sausage, and barbecued pork cooked on a stainless steel rotisserie that Ketchopulos fabricated.

At 3 p.m., Peavey, the master of ceremonies, punctually sounded his siren and soon announced over his loudspeaker, "All right, we are going to get it (the hour-long weigh-in) going."

Ron and Nancy Parnell, their daughter Denise, and Nancy's sister Diana — crew of Denise's boat, the Sun Up — were among the first to weigh out. Contestants had to first present their tournament number, which was corroborated from the master list, before any weighing. All weigh-outs were done with a precise digital scale.

Part way through the weigh-out, Peavey announced, "Just bring the big ones up. The fish as of now has to be over 10.36 pounds to get in at third."

Four things became evident during this tournament's aging.

First, "everybody caught fish today," said Don Peavey's brother Bob, also one of the tournament founders.

Second, in sharp contrast to 2009's tournament, "There were a lot of fish this year," Cusick explained.

Co-captains and owners, Chris Wayrynen and Hal Wentworth hooked about 70 bluefish aboard the tuna boat, Went-Way, between 6 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

"We had three rods out, and we had triple hook-ups all the time," Wayrynen said. Many anglers quickly released their unwanted bluefish that had no chance of winning throughout the day.

Furthermore, this year, "The average fish size was bigger this year," said Parady.

The median weight range was up at least a pound over last year to 10 pounds.

As contestant Ross Clayton, a senior at the University of Rhode Island, lastly explained, "the bluefish were all pretty much the same size."

Don Peavey promptly ended the weigh-out at 4 p.m., and announced the tournament's Big Three, which for the first time ever turned out to be only two. The team of Ari Knowlton Miller from Lanesville and Squammer David "Dirt" Murray hooked the respective top two prizes with 12-pound and 11.9-pound bluefish. Longtime Bay View contestant, Richard Belding's 11.66-pound fish took third prize.

"I can't believe it," said a jubilant Miller, who also won first prize in the 2008 bluefish tournament with Murray.

The two hooked their winners around 8:30 a.m. with a Repala Magnum trolling off of Bay View, which was also about the same time they landed their prize fish two years ago.

Their 12-pound fish lost about a pound of flesh after being hit by their outboard's propeller.

"I almost threw the fish away after it got hit by the prop, but I said that's a big fish, let's keep it," said Miller.

"This is the first time since I began participating in the tournament in 1994 that I ever won," Belding said.

His sons Patrick, 16, and Daniel, 13, were with their father when he snagged the third prize around 6:30 am between the Essex and Ipswich Rivers, also using a Repala Magnum.

The raffle was held immediately after the big prize awarding.

"You have to be here to win," said Peavey from the bed of his truck to the surrounding crowd that numbered in the hundreds.

The raffle winners included:

Rods and reels — Bob Peavey, Zack Johnson and Nick Parisi, Jr.

The Fishermen's Catch — Scott Weatherby

Gift certificates — Steve Thibodeau and Brian Painter

Half-day deep-sea fishing trip — Capt. Mark Byard

$50 — Kevin Ryan and Rebecca Betting

$100 — Nick Parisi, Sr. and Nicole Lukegord/Dan Brown

Boat model — Josh Labrie

T-shirts and sweatshirts — Steve Conti, Ken Hubbard, Pete Carlson, Mike Appleton, Dean Horne, Larry Fennessy, Tim Lodge, Mike Jewell, Erik Lemieux and Dusty Ketchopulos.

Before the tournament came to a close, the officials further tossed about 100 hats to the crowd.

Peavey next gave his trademark tournament-ending speech:

"Thanks, everybody," he said. "I hope everybody had fun. See you next year."

Gloucester lobsterman Peter K. Prybot writes regularly for the Times about the fishing industry and other local issues.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lanes Cove - A New Destination for Overnight Boaters

Seems recently we've been getting boaters coming in on weekends and rafting up at the dock in Lanes Cove and staying overnight. They've even set up a tent onshore! I know that Lanes Cove is one of the best spots on this side of the Cape and it looks likes some other folks have discovered it to. Hey, what's not to like--plenty of free parking for your friends, gorgeous scenery, no pesky harbormaster or police to bother you and a liquor store a couple of minutes away. Now that's heaven!

Monday, April 05, 2010

Beautiful Weather for April

The weather was just beautiful this weekend, and is predicted to continue for the next several days. After the wettest March on record, things are greening up and budding all around. Of course this is New England, where fierce snowstorms are not unusual in April, and I once lost a bet that it wouldn't snow in May. Often times it feels like we never get a true spring--or at least not until June. One downside is every crazy with a loud toy (dirt bike, motorcycles with straight pipes, overpowered speed boats) decided to crawl out of their cave and descend on the Cove. Well, at least the weekend is over and we can get back to some of the truly peaceful quiet here on Lanes Cove.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve on Lanes Cove

I must admit that I've neglected my blog about Lanes Cove. Like so many of us, there are many other things vying for my time. One of these is the number of computers it takes to provide the two camera feeds, a weather feed, plus one for a ham radio Internet to RF (radio frequency) link known as Echolink. Try keeping four computers running 24/7 sometime.

This is the lowest depth as far as sunlight, plus the farthest south the sun travels along the horizon. The sun for us now sets behind the hill where the Lanes Cove Cemetery is and will remain there for quite a while. Once the sun starts making its way back north along the horizon, it will pick up speed quickly as we approach spring.

We have had a good week of stiff, steady wind from the north and northwest. It has finally calmed down, but it was fun watching the waves our on Ipswich bay and the ice build up on the shallow end of the Cove.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Artists of Lanesville - GEORGE DEMETRIOS

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

The late sculptor George Demetrios of Folly Cove came to Lanesville to study under Charles Grafly at Folly Cove, but as soon as he won two traveling scholarships from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, he went to Europe. He remained a lifelong friend of Mr. Grafly, sharing his studio in later years. Mr. Demetrios’ wife, the late Virginia Lee Burton, was a creator of illustrated children’s books and founder of the Folly Cove Designers.

George Demetrios was born in Macedonia in 1896 in the village of Pyrgoi. He died at the age of seventy-eight in December of 1974. Reading about Abraham Lincoln in school set him on the track for America and he sailed to Boston in 1911. His first job, after casting out the prospect of dish washing, was as a shoeshine boy on Washington Street in Boston at the Hotel Avery. He netted about five dollars a week working fourteen hours a day, eighteen on Saturday and six on Sunday.

It didn’t take young Demetrios long to learn English, for he was already fluent in Greek, French, Turkish, and Slav Macedonian, an unwritten language. He traded lessons with an Englishman named Alfred Hurbers, in English and Greek, using French as their communication language. This Mr. Demetrios often referred to as “linguistic pandemonium” and the reason he spoke with a British accent.

Before long George Demetrios was working on the Boston Herald where he could do art work. Two years later, he was attending the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He had made the jump successfully from Greek immigrant boy to student of sculpture.
For seven years he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and as an assistant to Antoine Bardelle in Paris. Then he returned to Boston to teach at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts school. He married Virginia Lee Burton in the spring of 1931. They lived for a while in Lincoln, Massachusetts before coming to Folly Cove.

In 1945 the sculptor was commissioned by the US Army Chemical Warfare Service to work with the laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to find ten heads which would be typical of all the GIs in the nation. The lab had conducted a survey and presented the results to the artist for his opinion. Mr. Demetrios then sculpted ten bronze heads, five normal and five unusual. From all of these, gas masks were developed in sizes, resulting finally in a single mask to fit any one of the ten.

In January 1949 Doll & Richards Gallery in Boston presented an exhibit by Mr. Demetrios. His works in bronze were: “A Merry Carpenter,” “Finnish Child,” “Laura,” “Stonecutter,” “A Dreamer,” “The Prayer,” “Fred” and “A Greek Woman.” Other works were: “Old Pete,” in terra cotta, matte glaze; “Victory,” terra cotta, majolica; “Smalley Memorial,” “Ben Stad Memorial,” “A Hypocrite” and “A Communist” in plaster. There were also reliefs in terra cotta and direct line drawings of the nude, a technique for which Demetrios became famous.

Mr. Demetrios won the Thomas R. Proctor prize for the best portrait in sculpture in 1950 at the National Academy of Design’s 125th anniversary exhibition in New York. It was a bronze head of a boy entitled “A Dreamer” which he had exhibited the year before, posed by his older son, Aristides, called Aris.

The sculptor once said, “To me, the only artist is the independent artist, whose function in life is to contribute a perception of the times in which he lives, in the only international language in the world; namely, understandable art by all.” In his fiery manner, tossing his words out quickly while his brown eyes sparkled, Mr. Demetrios encouraged his drawing classes: “Do the whole thing at once, but with a motive, not just a fact.”

The portrait of “Old Finlander” won a prize when it was submitted to the National Academy of Design in 1955 during the 130th Annual Exhibition. The late Peter Gronblad of Lane’s Cove, himself a second generation Finn, had posed for the sculptor.

A major work was dedicated in Kansas City, Missouri, in August of 1959. It was a sixteen-foot bas-relief dramatically portraying Moses with the Tablets of the Ten Commandments, “Atop Mount Sinai,” a bronze figure set in a red brick Wall of the Reform Jewish Synagogue of Congregation B’nai Jehudah. Mr. Demetrios spent two years on the work and journeyed to Italy where he could personally supervise the casting. He also completed a sculpture, “Let There Be Light,” for the synagogue’s chapel.

Mr. Demetrios was intrigued with what he called the “ironies of life,” and made many sketches to illustrate them: “Gadgets,” “Lipstick Mania,” “Early Spring,” “Technocracy,” “Business and Art in America,” “Modern Freedom,” “Politico-hypnosis” and “Swing Your Partner.”

When their house was moved farther back from the road, the Demetrios family had space to allow sheep to graze and the sculptor began an extensive garden. In September of 1947, a short circuit in wiring caused a bad fire at their home. They lost not only most of their clothes, but Mr. Demetrios suffered the loss of 120 drawings that he had been preparing for a new book. Neighbors helped carry out all they could from his work room.

When the fire started, the sculptor was in his own studio nearby, suddenly alerted by the sound of crackling. The family was promptly invited to stay at the Manship summer home until its own was again in order.

During the war years, when materials for sculpture were sharply curtailed, Mr. Demetrios became interested in experiments by Professor Frederick H. Norton of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who lived on the Dennison Farm, Revere Street. He had been experimenting with a new terra cotta clay that had strength, fine texture and was virtually non-shrinking. Several casts were possible from one set of molds and this quality appealed to sculptors everywhere. For a long while, Mr. Demetrios tried using an electric kiln installed in his home studio.

In 1967 Mr. Demetrios finished a figure he called “Homage to JFK,” and in 1968, together with Walker Hancock, he was awarded the 75th Anniversary Medal of the National Sculpture Society. The bronze medal is given to a sculptor who has attained outstanding achievement.

Mr. Demetrios was often praised for his storyteller’s humor, no doubt arising from his first book, When Greek Meets Greek, published by Houghton Mifflin Company in 1947 and illustrated with his own line drawings. Ted Ashby of the Boston Globe once wrote of Demetrios, calling him a dynamic and faultless technician: “He arrived here, spoke no English; four years later he was declared a genius."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunset on Lanes Cove

The sunsets are now racing south along the horizon and soon they will set behind the hill (toward the left), where they will remain for several months.

Essex County Chronicles: Tiny Cape Ann village became a big draw for artists

The Salem News

Essex County Chronicles
Jim McAllister

September 21, 2009 12:03 am

In the basement of the Cape Ann Historical Museum in downtown Gloucester is a room dedicated to the works of the many sculptors, painters and textile artists who practiced their craft, summers or year-round, in that far-flung corner of the city known as Folly Cove.

Folly Cove is actually part of Lanesville, which was originally settled in the early 1700s by John Lane and which for many years was a predominately Finnish community. The Folly Cove name is attributed to a master mariner named Gallop who somehow managed to crash his vessel on the rocky cove in 1635. For many years after the incident, the neighborhood was called Gallop's Folly, but, mercifully for the reputation of Capt. Gallop, the name somewhere along the way was changed to its present version.

Because of its isolated location near the tip of the peninsula bounded on one end by Rockport and the other by Annisquam, its breathtaking view of Ipswich Bay, regular trolley service, and later — when the Cape Ann granite industry fell apart — the availability of affordable property, Folly Cove became a popular destination for artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many built or bought second homes in the area and returned year after year.

Some of these artists came from Boston, including Ellen Day Hale and her sister-in-law, Lillian Prescott Hale; while others, like Gabrielle de Veux Clements and Charles Grafly, hailed from Philadelphia. New York's contributions included the painter-muralist Leon Kroll, who spent nearly 60 summers on Cape Ann, and Paul Manship.

Kroll bought a home in the Folly Cove neighborhood during World War II, and during his time on Cape Ann produced many stunning views of local quarries, farms and beaches, often enhanced by the figures for which he was so well-known.

The already famous sculptor Manship also purchased 14 acres of land in Lanesville in 1943. He moved to the site, an abandoned quarry, a house and a barn, the latter to serve as his studio. But Manship, who is best known for his massive statue of Prometheus in New York City's Rockefeller Center and his lively monumental work at the Bronx Zoo, used the studio infrequently because asthma limited the amount of time he could spend on Cape Ann.

Manship's son, John, and his sculptor wife, Margaret (Cassidy), took over the property after Paul's death. Both were to have magnificent careers in their own right — John primarily as a painter and Margaret as a sculptress. Robert Frost sat for both and Margaret produced bronze busts of two popes, John Paul II and Pius XII, and American presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

One of Paul Manship's teachers, Charles Grafly, who headed the sculpture department at the Pennsylvania Academy of Art, had been the first of many sculptors who summered or lived in the Lanesville area. After his tragic death — the result of being run over by a car — Grafly's position at the academy was taken by an up-and-coming sculptor named Walker Hancock. The St. Louis native would follow his mentor's lead in choosing a summer sanctuary.

Hancock acquired an abandoned quarry in Lanesville and married a member of one the area's preeminent Finnish families. During his long and impressive career, Hancock's output included the Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial in Philadelphia, the Soldiers' Memorial in St. Louis, and busts of Russell Crouse and family friend George Bush.

Another sculptor who chose to settle in Folly Cove was a Greek immigrant and great teacher of drawing and sculpture named George Demetrios. His wife, Virginia, became famous for the children's books, including "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel," which she wrote under the name Virginia Lee Burton. She also started the group known as the Folly Cove Designers who became known across the country for their artistically designed fabrics. Samples of those fabrics are on display in the Cape Ann Museum.

The art critic and biographer James Mellow also owned a summer home for many years in Folly Cove just north of Folly Point. A Gloucester native who relocated to Clinton, Conn., Mellow penned biographies of Nathaniel Hawthorne, which won for him the National Book Award, Gertrude Stein and her circle, Ernest Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds, Scott and Zelda. Much of his writing was done in a small studio overlooking Ipswich Bay.


Jim McAllister of Salem writes a weekly column on the region's history. Contact him at

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Artists of Lanesville - PAUL MANSHIP

This excerpt is from A Village at Lane's Cove by Barbara H Erkkila recently reprinted and available through Ten Pound Island Book Company. Barbara was the best chronicler of Lanesville and also authored the book Hammers on Stone-The History of Cape Ann Granite available in bookshops around Rockport and Gloucester, and The Cape Ann Museum giftshop.

Paul Manship, internationally known sculptor, and his wife, Isabel, made many friends when they came to Lanesville in the 1940s to live in their summer home overlooking Butman’s Pit. The sculptor died in 1966 at the age of eighty after a life filled with art, begun when a student at the American Academy in Rome at the age of twenty-three.

It is said that Mr. Manship was an artist who kept alive the traditions of the great works of Greece and Renaissance Italy whether he was modeling the young Abraham Lincoln for Fort Wayne, Indiana, a Greek goddess or the Little Country Mouse.

Probably the best known work of Mr. Manship’s is “Prometheus Bringing Fire from Heaven” finished in 1934, located in the sunken plaza, Rockefeller Center, New York City. Below the flying figure is a circle bearing in low relief the signs of the Zodiac. His most famous animal groups complete with six-foot high bronze bears, ten gilded bronze-birds, a deer, a lion, a baboon and a leopard with silver spots, are worked into a double-arched forty-two foot gate called the Paul J. Rainey Memorial Gateway in the Zoological Park in New York, also finished in 1934.

Mr. Manship’s sure, strong technique is demonstrated in his animal figures. He made them seem friendly-not in an overwhelming manner, but just enough to allow young and old a little smile of pleasure on seeing them. Many of his animal figures can be seen in Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina.

The sculptor was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on Christmas Eve, 1885. By the time he was fifteen, he was making masks of his family and was ready to study design. A few months at the Art Students League followed, and then he became an assistant to the sculptor, Solon Borglum. In 1906 Mr. Manship studied for a while under Charles Grafly at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, but at that time, he had no interest in portrait sculpture, so he sailed to Spain. While in Europe he became an assistant to Isadore Konti for two years and there he learned much about the technique of modeling.

Paul Manship was married to Isabel McIlwaine in Grace Church, New York, January 1, 1913. Two years later he had his first traveling exhibit, a collection of thirty-eight works, mostly bronze statuettes. His first daughter, Pauline Frances, was born in 1913. When the baby was three weeks old, he modeled his little daughter, a work which was acclaimed at once for its sensitivity and delicacy of design. In 1914 he was awarded the George Widener Memorial Gold Medal for his statue “Duck Girl.”

Although Mr. Manship created many statues of Greek gods and goddesses, he was never restricted to mythological subjects. At one period, the years before 1920, he was influenced by the East. The “Dancer and Gazelles” is one of his exacting bronzes, the “Woodrow Wilson Celestial Sphere” in the Gardens of the Palace of the United Nations at Geneva is another. Imagine the challenge of accurately fixing stars and positioning sixty-six constellations, and yet achieving that clean, uncluttered look for which Mr. Manship was famous. Friends coming to visit usually found him out on the terrace in the early dark, his arm around one of his three daughters, pointing to one constellation or another in that particular segment of sky while the other children eagerly joined in.

It was about 1944 when the Manships’ daughter, Pauline, married a Lanesville young man, Ilmari Natti, and went to live in a quarryman’s house near Moving Rock. The sculptor knew Cape Ann had a large number of artists, both permanent and summer residents, so he bought land off Leverett Street including two quarries, moved a house over from Pigeon Cove to the rim of Butman’s Pit and redesigned it to include a large picture window. Outside he planned a green lawn, but it was a real challenge since the entire area was covered with sharp granite chips left by paving cutters long ago. Villagers, at first skeptical, then admiring, saw him set up a grape arbor supported by massive lengths of a derrick boom and mast found in the quarry. Then he leveled off and paved an area for a terrace and found polished granite for a table and benches. Later, he grew wild blueberry bushes as a low hedge handy to the kitchen door.

Mr. Manship hunted for a large barn, for it was wartime and lumber was not available. Lorenzo Berry’s ox barn at Bay View proved to be just the thing. It was brought down in sections and rebuilt close to the house. Facing the old quarry road and warmth of the sun, the renovated barn became the sculptor’s summer studio and exhibition building, at times holding 200 models and studies representing most of his work to that date. His small “den” was an old grain room just inside the door where he could disappear to work. Hung as a curtain were lengths of fishing line with lead sinkers to hold them vertically against weathered boards. Outside he coaxed his first espaliered fruit tree to grow. He was as proud of this as he was of his latest work or his grandchildren. Later, he designed a pergola overlooking Canney’s Pit.

During one of the first Cape Ann Festivals of the Arts, the Manships opened their home and studio for a Finnish-type coffee party to which hundreds came. People admired the bronze and plaster models, especially on the upper terrace where the sculptor had placed his large sundial called “Time and the Fates.” This was surrounded by his four “Moods of Time” which he did for the World’s Fair of 1939 in New York. The highlight that day was a scene from the play “Life with Father” with the two playwrights, Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay attending with their wives.

Mr. Manship gained still more prominence with his work for the World War I1 Memorial at Anzio, Italy, entitled the “Portal of Freedom,” “Memory,” 1952; “Immortality,” 1952; “Comrades in Arms,” 1953 and the “Altar Triptych,” 1955. He also sculpted small items such as ashtrays with signs of the Zodiac, medals for special friends and for his family, a sculpture for Steuben crystal and even a Four Freedoms Postage Stamp for the United States Government.

As other people collect photographs of their children growing up, Paul Manship had his own “album” of studies of his son, his three daughters and his wife in terra cotta and marble. When he retired, he continued to work in his den or in his New York studio, continuing his album with his first grandchild, Anne Murtha.

In 1961 Mr. Manship was awarded the “Oscar” of the art world, the international prize of San Luca in a program at the Borghese Palace in Florence, Italy. At that time the sculptor said, “If I have absorbed something of the light and spirit of Florence it has been a gain that has lasted me all through my life’s work."

Mr. Manship’s final work, one he never saw set in place, was the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial on a small island in the Potomac below the Georgetown Bridge. People walk across a narrow causeway to visit the area.

In 1966 the great sculptor died at age eighty of a heart attack while in his New York apartment. Shortly after, his son John found in the pocket of his father’s dressing gown a scrap of paper on which was written, “The primary impulse in the Arts is to give permanence to the fleeting moment, to bid it stay, because we cannot bear to lose it.”

Bluefishers happy despite weather, low catch figures

Gloucester Daily Times

Ebb & Flow
Peter K. Prybot

September 11, 2009 10:08 pm

"There weren't a lot of fish caught, and the weather drove a lot of people away."

So explained Don Peavey, one of the annual Lane's Cove Bluefish Tournament's officials and founders.

But despite those negatives, participants did leave last weekend's 21st annual tournament happy, especially for winning a prize or just getting their feet back on solid ground, and everyone was grateful for this tournament and to the people —-Don and Brandon Peavey, David, Jen and Christy Grace, Kendra Hardy, Brian Cusick, Russell Haselgard and Joe Parady — who made it happen.

By the 9 a.m. tournament registration cut-off at Lane's Cove, 438 people signed on, paid their $10 entry fee and received their raffle ticket, down from 585 last year and 2007's record 597. Scott Amero was the first contestant in line, while James Bennett was the last.

A naughty east wind up to 25 miles per hour woke up early that clear, cool Sunday before Labor Day, and already riled three-to-five-foot white-capped waves by daybreak. These simple harmonic motions continued racing towards and self-destructing at the shore most of the morning, still leaving behind a sloppy ocean surface by afternoon. The bluefish hunt took place all around Cape Ann, including within Gloucester Harbor, to as far south as Boston Harbor.

Around 2:30, a fleet of tournament boats, including Capt. Mark Byard's 56-foot gillnetter S.S. Melon III and Capt. Ryan Drohan's 38-foot lobster boat Katlyn D, docked at the Cove's float and continued their on-board barbecues on an even keel. Fish talk flowed from the site as well as from the crowd on the east wharf.

"We had 15 people aboard, including 7 girls (young ladies). We caught just one fish. It was pretty rough out there. We were in the tournament for fun," said Drohan, of Rockport.

Mark Luzzio, one of 12 guests aboard the S.S. Melon III, gave his account for the day:

"We did a little trolling," he said. "We got one hit and lost him. We had some seasick people aboard."

Capt. Dean Horn of the vessel Split the Difference and his crew of Chris Smith, Bob Orlando, vessel owner, Guy Cloutman, Brian Watson and Paul Boudreau "... went all the way to Salem Sound."

"You had to; the fish were pretty scarce everywhere," said Horn. "We got two here."

Fishermen ever so slowly began bringing their largest fish to the well-run weigh-out station, complete with a digital scale, from 2:30 p.m. onward to see if they had a winner.

"Bring them up, bring them up," Cusick regularly broadcast to a growing, well-behaved crowd.

"Two years back, Grace and his Beacon Roofing Supply Company in Peabody donated the digital scale," Peavey explained.

"We're down to five minutes on the tournament," Peavey soon announced. By then most of the approximately 60 fish weighed fell within the 8 to 11-pound range.

"This is the smallest amount of fish I've ever seen weighed," remarked David Grace.

One of the bluefish, transported in a cooler, was still flapping during its weigh-in. Soon, deemed not a prize winner, the fish's owner then no longer wanted it, tournament officials returned it to the Cove, and the fish swam away. Other bluefish drop-offs were picked up by different people for food.

Peavey promptly terminated the tournament at 4 p.m.

Brothers Chris and Zach Jewell snagged the 11.8-pound $1,350 first prize fish trolling a lure aboard Chris' 34-foot lobster boat McKenzie Rose.

"We got him around 8 a.m. right off the bell buoy (at the mouth of the Annisquam River). We got three fish with three losses," said Zach.

"I got him in Boston Harbor around 10:30 a.m. just using some herring (as hook bait and chum)," said Mike Gingras. He's talking about his 11.5-pound second prize, fish worth $700. Gingras fished off his boat, Naughty Boy. Although Gingras resides in Nashua, N.H., "I still come up for the tournament," he said.

Brian Cusick has officiated and also participated in all 21 tournaments "... and haven't won a damn thing," he said.

That changed this year. Cusick and his crew aboard the Ellie Mae — Don and Brandon Peavey, Butch Oliver of Mesa, Ariz., and Carl Brown from Danvers — snagged the $500 third-prize bluefish also near the red bell buoy at the mouth of the Annisquam River.

"It was just before lunch. We'll split it (the prize money) five ways," said Cusick.

Their fish weighed 11.26 pounds, and Cusick and crew had several close elimination calls right up to 4 p.m.

Raffle prizes were also awarded. Capt. B.G. Brown and Andrew Moulton each pocketed $50, while Ken Marshall and George Ketchopulos did the same with the $100 prizes. Daryl Seppala won a deep-sea fishing trip for two. Furthermore, Sean Cranston's, Tony Crystal's and Scott Russell's winning raffle ticket numbers got them each a rod and reel.

A most generous and kind-hearted Cranston, owner of Cranston Electric Co., donated his over $100 rod and reel to Sky Foote. The young girl was sitting on Peavey's truck from which he stood and called out names and handed out prizes.

Cranston "... did that all on his own," said Jen Grace, who, along with the rest of the crowd, was clearly touched by his kind move.

Gloucester Harbor Yankee Fleet donated the fishing trip. The Fishermen's Outfitter, Winchester Fishing Company and Three Lanterns Ship Supply kicked in the rods and reels. The tournament also donated a rod and reel.

The tournament officials ended the event by hurling hats into the crowd and by a final announcement from Peavey.

"That's another year, folks. I hope everyone had fun."

Gloucester lobsterman Peter K. Prybot writes weekly about the fishing industry and related issues for the Times.

Copyright © 1999-2008 cnhi, inc. directory