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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Gloucester in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Samuel Sawyer

 
 
Samuel Sawyer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2017
1. Samuel Sawyer Marker
Inscription.
Samuel Sawyer was a great Gloucester philanthropist. A very successful ship owner and merchant, Mr. Sawyer donated Gloucester's City Hall clock and bell. He bought up woodlots to preserve the 600-acre Ravenswood Park. He founded the City's first free library, complete with an art gallery filled with personally chosen works from Europe as well as from Cape Ann.

At the library's dedication he said, the "prominent motive or object of my life (is) to do something to promote the best interests of the young… Books are the food of the mind…" Sawyer founded a competition to reward outstanding students at a time when many young people left school to work on the wharves. The Sawyer Medal is still awarded to Gloucester public school students annually and remains a prestigious honor.

Among the library's collections are local oral histories, and the fine art on display includes Fitz Henry Lane paintings. Ravenswood Park is located on scenic Rte 127 in Magnolia and is open to the public.
 
Erected by Gloucester Harborwalk. (Marker Number 31.)
 
Location. 42° 36.825′ N, 70° 39.779′ W. Marker is in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is at the intersection of Warren Street and
Marker detail: Samuel Sawyer Medal image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2017
2. Marker detail: Samuel Sawyer Medal
Dale Avenue, on the right when traveling west on Warren Street. Touch for map. Marker is located near the sidewalk, at the intersection, directly across from the Sawyer Free Library entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Dale Avenue, Gloucester MA 01930, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gloucester Spanish American War Memorial (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rocky Neck (about 700 feet away); Charles Heberle (about 800 feet away); Cape Ann Granite (approx. 0.2 miles away); Salting Fish (approx. 0.2 miles away); Captain Howard Blackburn (approx. 0.2 miles away); Captain Alfred (Centennial) Johnson (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dogtown & Babson Builders (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gloucester.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a composite plaque mounted on a 4-foot tall granite pedestal.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Gloucester Harborwalk
 
Also see . . .
1. Samuel Sawyer. Samuel Elwell Sawyer was born in Gloucester on Nov. 25, 1815 and he died 73 years later in Gloucester on Dec. 15, 1889. He loved and remained thoroughly dedicated to the community. He was a diligent and hard worker. He was bold and forward in his thinking; not afraid to try new things. He was tenacious
Samuel Sawyer Marker (<i>tall view; Sawyer Free Library in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2017
3. Samuel Sawyer Marker (tall view; Sawyer Free Library in background)
— he didn’t give up even when he experienced financial losses. He was very interested in promoting the intellectual welfare of the community, especially Gloucester’s children and schools. He established a fund to incorporate music into the school curriculum; gave money to furnish medals as prizes for excellence in studies. (Submitted on March 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. The Saunders House.
The Saunders House is an outstanding example of a mid-nineteenth century home built in Gloucester. It has been the home of the Sawyer Free Library since 1884. The house was constructed in 1764 by Thomas Saunders, a successful merchant and a representative to the Massachusetts General Court. The house had seven owners before Samuel Sawyer purchased it for the library. Before this generous donation, the library had a series of different locations including the residential parlor of F.G. Low, 135 Front Street, City Hall, and the Baptist church. (Submitted on March 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Sawyer Medal tradition continues.
Philanthropist Samuel Sawyer left $3,000 in his will when he died in 1889, stating it should be used by the School Committee to provide medals “to be awarded to meritorious scholars in the High and Grammar Schools - courtesy and exemplary conduct to be considered.” His wishes were carried out once again Wednesday night as the
Sawyer Free Library image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2017
4. Sawyer Free Library
Gloucester School Committee presented 19 Sawyer Medals to the top students in their class who had not received one previously. (Submitted on March 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

4. Gloucester Harborwalk 31: Samuel Sawyer.
On February 15, 1830 nearly 100 Gloucester residents met and formed the Gloucester Lyceum to bring community together to participate in lectures and debates which fostered ideas and information. Among the many intellectual luminaries of the day who appeared were Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. The Lyceum inevitably led to the formation of a library through the great philanthropy of ship owner and merchant, Samuel Sawyer, and other public donations. (Submitted on March 26, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicCharity & Public WorkEducation
 
Sawyer Free Library (<i>newer building adjacent to original Saunders House seen at left</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 23, 2017
5. Sawyer Free Library (newer building adjacent to original Saunders House seen at left)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on March 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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