Gloucester in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Gloucester Fishermen's Memorial
The first settlers came from England in 1623 to harvest the ocean's bounty. They concentrated on the rich fishing banks between Gloucester and Newfoundland, and later ventured throughout the Atlantic. During the 1800s, immigrants from many lands joined in the perilous work. Sustained by the hope of prosperity, they came from the Canadian Maritimes, Scandinavia and Ireland. Later, they came from Italy and Portugal. These Intrepid men established an industry that has yielded countless millions of pounds of fish.
Their legacy came at a tremendous cost: the loss of over 5300 men. Some were overtaken by the howling winds and mountainous seas of a catastrophic northeaster. Some met their fate in the solitude of a small dory gone astray from the schooner that brought them to the banks. Some ships collided in storms and tragically sank. Others were run down by steamers in the shipping
These courageous men have been known by names other than fishermen. They were father, husband, brother, son. They were known as the finest kind. Their lives and their loss have touched our community in profound ways. We remain strengthened by their character, inspired by their courage and proud to call them Gloucestermen.
Numbers alone can never chronicle the loss of human life, yet the statistics reflect the magnitude of Gloucester's sacrifice. On these plaques are the names of men known to have been lost. This memorial also stands to honor those men and ships lost without record.
Men known to be lost at sea and honored here: 5368
Of the nearly 1,000 ships lost, those lost with all hands: 265
Thousands of widows struggled to survive and raise their children and many of those fatherless children entered the trade of their lost fathers.
Between 1860 – 1906, a staggering 660 ships sank. While many of the fishermen were saved, 3880 men were lost.
A single storm in 1862 claimed 15 schooners and 120 men, while another devastating storm in 1879 took the lives of 159 men.
Let us remember, honor and celebrate these fishermen who made their final voyage from this great port.
Location. 42° 36.603′ N, 70° 40.213′ W. Marker is in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is at the intersection of Western Avenue (Massachusetts Route 127) and Babson Court, on the right when traveling north on Western Avenue. Located in Stacy Boulevard Waterfront Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Gloucester MA 01930, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ten Pound Island Lighthouse (a few steps from this marker); Coast Guard Aviation Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Gloucester Korean – Vietnam Veterans Monument (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stacy Esplanade (approx. 0.2 miles away); Blynman Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Memorial (approx. Ό mile away); In Honor of Nathaniel Haraden (approx. 0.3 miles away); Salting Fish (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gloucester.
More about this memorial. The famous Man at the Wheel statue is one of New England's most recognized landmarks. The Gloucester Fishermans Memorial was built in 1925. The sculpture was designed by English sculptor Leonard Craske and cast by the Gorham Company of Providence, Rhode Island.
Regarding Gloucester Fishermen's Memorial. A personal note from the contributor. Seven ancestral relatives are listed on the memorial plaques: Thomas 1784, John 1800, Solomon 1800, Samuel 1818, Joseph, Jr. 1820, Daniel 1870, Henry 1884.
Plaque 2 (1862) and has the names of two of my relatives on it. Robert Hamilton (listed at Robert Hambleton on the Memorial) and Michael Welch were both lost at sea on February 24/25 1862 on board the Schooner "Contest."
Robert's name appears on his family's headstone at St. Mary's Cemetery in Newburyport, MA.
I would love to hear from any other person that had family lost on February 24th 1862 at George's Bank out of Gloucester. Please email the editor and your email will be forwarded to Mr. O'Connell
— Submitted December 29, 2010, by Mark O'Connell of North Attleborough, Massachusetts.
Topics. This marker is included in this topic list: Landmarks
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 1, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 5,117 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on October 1, 2010, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut.