Saturday, August 9, 2008
Some Tales of the Blue Shutters and Gloucester
We've learned some interesting facts about the Blue Shutters and Good Harbor Beach in recent weeks, and we thought we'd share these with you. According to one of our guests, a long-time Gloucester native, the Hindenburg blimp once flew over the Blue Shutters, back in the 30's. Another guest told us that actress Bette Davis spent her honeymoon here. And we've always heard that the consulate from Siam once made this his official residence. I just finished a great book about Gloucester, The Last Fish Tale, and among it's many stories it talks of a 1919 silent movie that had a scene on Salt Island, which is just off the beach and visible from the Shutters. The producers built a medival castle on the island and blew it up as part of the film. Speaking of that book, I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in Gloucester. It's an entertaining and informative look at this community and the history (and future) of the fishing industry. It tells of the explorers, artists, writers and other famous folks who have who lived here -- for example, did you know that the frozen vegetable innovator Clarence Birdseye once set up shop here and came up with the process to freeze fish? And that Cape Ann was named after King Charles' mother (a guest recently asked about the origins of the region's name -- and thanks to this book, I had the answer). And that Thatcher Island, home to the twin lighthouses just off Good Harbor Beach, was named after a family that lost all its children in a shipwreck. You'll find these and other tales of Gloucester in this book. If you have other stories to tell, please let us know.