Timeline 1970 to Today
Smith Cove from the air in the early 1970's. Rocky Neck Ave. and Wonson St. is running along the bottom of the photograph.
My resurrected Boston Whitehall
Canvas #41 Larry D. off of the "Chicken Coop",
Rocky Neck, East Gloucester
"Joseph Garland found Howard Blackburn's sloop GREAT REPUBLIC on Long Island and brought it home to Gloucester."
"Fitz Hugh Lane House included in National Register of Historic Places." (18)
"Population of Gloucester was 27,690." (18)
Gloucester starts Urban Renewal II
Howard Blacburn at the helm of Great Republic. He single handed her to Portugal in 1901, and followed that feat by sailing her across the United States.
Canvas #15 Capt. Howard Blackburn at the wheel of "Cruising Club" with the "Great Republic" over his shoulder.
Taken from "Substance to the Legend, Mystery to the Man" by Joseph Garland (1982?)
…."Great Republic", thank the fickle gods of the deep, survives. Her 17th owner, Pete Hulsart, wanted to sell her to me 20-odd years ago, but I was otherwise boated, worse luck. After he did sell her in '68 she never tasted salt again. When I caught up with her once more in 1970 in Lindenhurst, rain, snow, and molding leaves had done their work on keel, floors, and the lower deadwood and stem. Some of us in Gloucester bought her and gave her to the Gloucester Historical Commission, her 20th owner. Funds were raised, including the first grants for boat restoration ever awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Larry Dahlmer brought her back as close as we could figure from contemporary descriptions and photographs, hanging on to most of the planking, frames, and above all, shape."
42' cement boat built by "Gloucester Ferro Craft". As a special project at Northeastern University I became involved in the study and testing of ferro cement boats and ended up working for the company. In my senior year we built a 50' hull and ended up working closely with the Coast Guard.
Pen and ink drawing I did as a Christmas present.
"About 100 draggers operated" (18)
I graduated from Norheastern University with a B.S.C.E.
"Gloucester led East Coast fishing ports with landings of 113 million lbs. "
" Federal Clean Water Act prohibited dumping gurry and fish plant wastewater into Harbor."
"Orinance about pumping engine rooms, bilges, etc. in Harbor." (18)
1973 Brown's Department Store closed, sold, and renovated. (18)
GDT Sept. 19, 1974
Just out of college, and no longer
building "cement" boats, this was my
first wooden boat that I had built from "scratch". Phil Bolger, a Gloucester boat designer had drawn up the plans for me.
Officer Keith Trefry with Mary Tysver, assistant harbor master
St. Peter's Fiesta…"Greasy Pole"…going for the flag.
"Sixty eastern-rig side trawlers composed the fishing fleet along with a few small gill-netters and long liners."
"350th Anniverary celebration"
"350th Anniversary Time Capsule to be opened 2073 buried in City Hall lawn on left side of Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) monument."
"Smitty's Wharf demolished during Urban Renewal"
"City Hall and Hammond Castle included in National Register of Historical Places."
Back in 1957 the boat above had belonged
to my cousins, Billy and Jay Hubbard, my
father had borrowed it for an afternoon and
took me for my first sail in Gloucester harbor. They later sold the boat to Joe Garland, who had it rebuilt (see picture below, left) and then sailed it for a number of years before selling it to Capt. Tom Morse. It changed hands between the two of them until it finally got sold to someone from the Great Lakes, until it sank and Tom Morse got it back for "free". Of course, in towing it with a bull dowser ahore they had split the stem down the middle and ripped off the foredeck. Joe had seen the boat I had finished the previous year and so recommended to Tom that I would be just the person to put her back together. Tom owned the building that had once been part of the Wonson wharves (lower right), and after I had finished the boat there it would remain my shop for the next twenty plus years.
My first design, 18' hard chine built for fishing.
The boat being rebuilt at Mortillaro shop
down the Fort.
Standing in the entrance to my shop, talking to Capt. Tom Morse, before the Great Republic was brought in by Jimmy Thompson and crew.
Great Republic in my old shop at 235 E.Main St., East Gloucester. Shoreside of where many of the gill netters berthed.
Great Republic trucked to my shop from Motgomery's boatyard by Wheeler's Point Boatyard, run by Jimmy and Nancy (Tiger Lady) Thompson.
Top left: Joe Garland, Duke Ryan, and Ken Avery.
Bottom left: what's left of the stern, planking and deadwood
Right side: After a bit of work
Canvas #46 Floyd and the Man
One of the local "characters' when I was growing up; walking down Western Ave., and passing Gloucester's "Man at the Wheel" Memorial
Visiting with Capt. Bill Sibley aboard the "Peggybell".
Canvas # 45
Rented out as a gallery/studio in the summer, the cottage turned into Capt. Bill’s workshop for various winter projects.
The Sibley cottage at 17 Rocky Neck Ave.
"Rocky Neck Garden" by Joan Kerry
(her studio/gallery for many years .. Sibley cottage beyond)
Left..."Little Superior" in Gloucester Harbor. Above... my pen and ink of Joshua Slocum.
A complete rebuild with an original 17' Boston Whitehall.
Leo Hart was my shop neighbor at 235 East Main St. for many years. He made the "Gloucester Rocker" his specialty. RIP Leo….
Another major restoration. The boat had sunk and frozen in Smith Cove the previous winter.
Close to 40 years old in the picture above, a Chamberlain skiff I built when I was younger...
from Pavillion Mercato LLC - Birdseye - Gloucester
As Peter Anastas said in a 1979 editorial marking Urban Renewal's wake, and the old buildings, culture and memories it had destroyed, “Urban Renewal took that away from me – from all of us – and for that reason I can never quite forgive it or totally rationalize its value.”
21' Lee-board sharpie yawl designed by P. Bolger, constucted from
Capt. Tom Morse had Phillip Bolger, a Gloucester naval architect, design his next gill netter and again he would have her built in Deltaville, Virginia. He visited while she was being framed up, and they were supposed to call him when they started planking but when he went down they were finished planking…when they left for lunch he took his tape and measured her beam …a foot wider than the plans showed, they had promised to build his design…time to sue?….but in true "yankee" fashion he took her as built …but then named her "Surprise"!!!
The original “Bluejacket” on the ways. This photograph, out of the book “Best Boats”, was the inspiration for building my reproduction of it.
NAGUAL on Tom Morse’s Railway behind my shop at 135 East Main St, Ready to Launch.
Nagual all planked up in my old shop at Tom Morse’s - tight fit.
Nagual, in the inner harbor heading towards East Gloucester, with the City Hall in the background.
Boston Irish Hooker
tacking into Gloucester’s
Inner harbor, late 1800’s.
Nagual almost in the same location, 75 years later.
Canvas#43 was done from a glass plate negative. A friend took the photograph below.
Captain Bill Sibley on the WINCH '78
NAGUAL tide-hauled at the dock. “Cruising Club”, Howard Blackburn’s last boat, then owned by author Joe Garland sits on Sibley’s railways in the background.
21' Cutter, my design, simplified version of "Blue Jacket"
My two cutters in Smith Cove
Photo by Louise Welch
Oct 26, 1980 Cruising Club on the rocks
Matter of hours later…picking up the pieces.
My reproduction of an old design, the "Kingston Lobster Boat".
21' of beautiful graceful lines.
My reproduction of a 16' Gar Wood Speedster from the 1930's. A six cylinder inboard engine and a scary ride….tears in your eyes.
"Hot Dawn" by Bernard Chaet
My design of a vintage "Laker" (1920's) built for P. Anderson. Cedar planking on oak frames, long and lean.
Skipjack sailing out of Gloucester's inner harbor.
Skipjack still going strong and looking good off Beacon Marine in 2014.
St. Peter's Fiesta…finish of the "seine boat" race on Pavillion Beach from the roof of the Birdseye building.
12' inboard fantail launch, my design.
Fantail tied to the float in back of my shop.
Fantail hanging from the davits on the "Coastal Queen".
The summer of '84 found thousands of copies of the Guide to Cape Ann
carrying my image as a "native fisherman" confronting a "typical" Gloucester
Pung in Montgomery's Boatyard where she had been built in 1944. Thirty one
feet long and tired, but the best $1200 I ever spent. Grass was starting to sprout on the foredeck, but half the boat was open cockpit allowing for an easier rebuild.
Photograph on the right shows Jim McDonald …probably my best customer over
Stan DeCoste and Dave Schaffer help me haul out the engine and I start removing the cockpit sole, putting in new floor timbers and refastening some of the butt blocks.
Framing up the "gig" for the women's rowing team.
Photo by Louise Welch
14' Thompson rebuilt for John Nesta
Pung launched into Smith Cove after the start of her first rebuild.
New ribs, floor timbers, refastening and the start of her new cabin.
Hauling Pung out on the railways in back of my shop at 235 East Main St.
Mid 1960's Chris Craft Utility
After customizing: adding four feet to length, new deck and interior.
Rebuild for Fred from Manchester.
Caulking Jabberwock for Tom Halsted after he had aquired it from Joe Garland.
Capt. Jim Sharp bringing "Adventure" back to her home port of Gloucester.
Pung (yellow canvas) from the stern. In Barnstable Harbor on her first extended cruise to Cape Cod and as far down as Menemsha Pond, Matha's Vineyard.
John Nesta's newly customized Chris Craft and Old Pung in Gloucester Harbor.
St. Peter's Fiesta…Salvi Benson, "champion" of the greasy pole walkers, going for the flag.
"Poor Baby" a 23' Fantail Launch I built for D. Browne from a design done by P.Bolger of Gloucester.
Pung spends the winter frozen in Smith Cove.
Pung tied to Sibley's dock, still with her original stern.
Ken Avery in the "no-name" storm
with "Old Pung" riding it out tied to the wharf
Lobster boat with new deck framing and then a new cabin.
Gloucester Daily Times November 11, 1991
The Andrea Gail and it's six-man crew are presumed lost at sea following a seven day Coast Guard search for the missing Gloucester fishing vessel. The Coast Guard called off it's search Friday night, 11 days after the crew of the Andrea Gail reported encountering thirty foot seas and 50-60 knot winds off Sable Island. Those lost aboard Andrea Gail were:
Captain Frank W. "Billy" Tyne Jr.
Pung's topside sanded down, getting ready for a layer of Dynel and "West" epoxy.
The Halloween 1991 "Perfect Storm"strengthened into a hurricane on Nov.1, 1991, off the East Coast.
On hauling "Pung" in the fall the vertical arm on the carriage caught on a new wharf plank that extended out a 1/4" more than the old one, causing the cariage to come off the tracks and Pung laid over on her side. Friends soon gathered to help right the situation.
Steel angle iron delivered to be Pung's new keel shoe.
At long last Great Republic finds a permanent home, the Cape Ann Historical Museum, second floor had to take down a brick wall.
August…Pung in Gloucester Harbor
I lengthened "Old Pung" by five feet, and gave her a rounded stern.
31' New York Consolidated in Portland, Me., before the rebuild
Old Pung, Elida, and Dolphin in Bucksport, Maine
February, with help from Mark Sheldon, Great Republic set up with a slight heel.
December 18, 1993.. time to haul Pung out for the winter.
left to right…John Steiger, Mark Sheldon, Larry D., Tom Morse.
"Fiesta Scene" by Sven Ohrvel Carlson
Canvas #36 Huck Wonson and Ken McCurtey on the Sibly wharf.
The “Eunice W” was Huck Wonson’s boat, pictured on the railways, before lunching, and being condemned, an old strip planked hull that would no longer function. For a week he would come and bail her out, but she wouldn’t swell and tighten up. George offered to get a dumpster and a crew to dismantle her, but Huck said, in true “yankee” spirit, no dumpster - if she’s to come apart she’ll go in my stove. Huck was in his 80’s, but the pictures above show him rowing the submerged boat Home. Over the course of a week, with the help of the of the wind and fair tides, he made it down Smith Cove, across the harbor, through the Blynman Bridge and up the Annisquam River to his former marina, where Route 128 comes onto the island. That winter the Eunice W. helped keep the heating bill down.
Canvas # 37
Looking across Rocky Neck Ave., at the former “Bickford’s Marina and Smith Cove.
Old Pung in Gloucester Harbor
off Niles Beach.
The "Coronet" built in 1893
"The Kingdom, a religious organization founded by Frank Sandford, purchased the ship in 1905 for $10,000 and took it around the world on prayer missions, including to Palestine. Coronet took a poorly planned missionary voyage to Africa in 1911 which resulted in six persons on board dying of scurvy. After the voyage, The Kingdom kept the yacht moored at Portland, Maine as well as Gloucester, Massachusetts and owned her until 1995.
Coronet was the first registered yacht to cross Cape Horn from East to West"
Canvas #57 Coronet drying her sails at Beacon Marine Basin.
"The International Yacht Restoration School, in Newport, Rhode Island acquired the boat in the 1995 and began restoring of the vessel. IYRS added Coronet to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. In December 2006, IYRS conveyed title of the boat to the Coronet Restoration Partners in San Francisco to complete the restoration on IYRS's campus in Rhode Island, where restoration works started in 2010." Wikipedia
John Nesta and his customized Chris Craft, 9 years after rebuild.
On the way home from a trip to Cape Cod…. an unexpected stop at Pymouth, Ma.
Pung back in Gloucester.
New York Consolidated finished and launched
"Gloucester Reveries" by Don Gorvett
Canvas #35 showing the West Wharf summer apartment building,
just weeks before it's fall.
Gloucester Urban Legend
Back in the day, it was common for many property owners to do their own repairs. If you look closely at the painting you can see the pilings that hold up the structure at varying angles, pilings were hard to replace yourself. One day the owner decided to replace a section of the gas main. Shutting off the gas flow, he measured and cut out the piece to be replaced and ran across town to buy it. Returning back to the project he found that it was too short, but he had'nt measured wrong….the gas pipe had acted as a "deadman", anchoring the building to the shore…with a loud crash the building fell over into the harbor….luckily nobody was hurt.
Old Pung on the way to Maine, and at Green's Island off Vinalhaven.
Constitution turnaround off Boston.
"Old Pung" in Rockland, Maine, on her annual trip.
Photographs of the second "Laker" I did for Pete A., 33 feet long and 6.5 feet wide. Long and lean, this is how they got speed before they developed the "planing" hull.
Added a little enclosure over the companionway on Tom's new boat.
Purchased the Easterly, a 27' Van Breen, for my "southern" boat, hoping to escape the New England winters.
Dom Nesta takes to the oars.
Working on my first figurehead "The Last Cod" aboard Pung, after her beginning in my shop.
Centerboarder sloop for Jim M.
Bill and the rebuilt Hereshoff 12 1/2.
Originally purchased by Harold Bell, president of the Cape Ann Museum, she now resides with his son on the edge of Smith Cove.
Gloucester Ma. - Official Website - Harbor Planning & Development
I4-C2, 65 Rogers Street - Under Idea Development
In 2010, the City successfully regained ownership of 65 Rogers Street, a 1.82 acre parcel on the city’s inner harbor, is located in the historic heart of the fishing industry and one block from Main Street and the Civic Center District.
Commonly referred to as I4-C2, the parcel was created by Urban Renewal in the 1970s, and never successfully redeveloped.
The City will pursue development that furthers its focused economic development work on building a diverse maritime economy.
OLD PUNG gets a new
stem and forefoot.
Dom's Tide Skipper gets hauled out
"Greasy Pole Contest" by Bob Stephenson
Canvas #105 Good Harbor Fillet
Boston Business Journal
Birdseye views 102-room hotel in Gloucester
Mar 12, 2012
Staff Boston Business Journal
"Preliminary plans for the Beauport Gloucester hotel at the Birdseye site call for a four-story structure, containing 102 midpriced rooms, the Gloucester Times reports.
The plans will be brought before City Council today in the first in a series of meetings held by Gloucester's Planning Board and the council's Planning and Development Subcommittee, the Times reports."
Birdseye Destruction caught by Gloucester photographer Louise Welch.
The proposed new hotel.
Picton Castle anchored off Ten Pound Island in July.
The hotel under construction on August 1, 2015.
My first book cover for Barry Stacks, formerly from Gloucester, now writing mysteries that take place in his hometown from Florida.
Old Pung at Sibley's wharf, 71 years since her launch.
Dom's Novi gets a little work...
Nephew Zack and Abby get married.
Gloucester Daily Times August 1, 2016
Fishtown Local: The way the metal overlays the wood
by Gordon Baird
“Clang, clang, toink, toink, blatt!” came the whack of steel-on-steel, hammer to keel, muscle to skeg, sinew to boat.
Who else could it be, coming from dead center underneath a 19th century, classic Glosta vessel up on the ways of the Low Tide Yacht Basin deep in Smith Cove? One had to duck, passing around the prow of this magnificent black bow — don’t want to hit your head on the protruding anchor, hung along a perfect New England bowsprit and a slightly bent boat hook just waiting to get back to work.
But one has to pause to gaze longingly at this perfect Gloucester profile of wood, rope and metal that is the silhouette of Old Pung’s bow.
Resembling nothing more than the bow of a British man-o-war from centuries earlier — just in much smaller scale. A world beater, she be, if it be a smaller world we be a’beating.
A head emerges, then a face, as if anyone familiar with the wharves didn’t know the sounds and the quiet grunts could come from anyone other than Larry Dahlmer. To call him a master mariner would be too narrow a description. Master wood crafter, master adapter, master Gloucesterman. Whatever it takes to bend, adapt, reform, shape, hone, squeeze, design or join — they don’t exactly carry parts for boats like his in stores. He has to make them and sometimes make them up, invent them. Where else but Fishtown would you find a master Larry wriggling out from under an eight-ton repair job on a mini railway In July? “Just got my new keel done!” he smiles proudly, rewarding himself with several caresses of the beard. “On nice and straight this time! Last time I did it, I was 23 years old. That was a few years back. “ Probably won’t be his last, I betcha.
Diamonds in the rough. That’s what Gloucester is: diamonds in the rough. You live your life, you meet these people in and around that aren’t like people you meet other places. You meet a man like Larry out in the harbor, winter sailing his old classic around the harbor in the 80s, you get to thinkin’ you know him after a few decades. And he’s not the only one ...
But lately — the past 10 years — he has also revealed himself as a master painter. In fact, he spends far more time these days painting what he sees around him. Sometimes, he subtracts and takes the viewer back a century or so in the harbor scene. Looking more like the days when everyone did what Larry does when it’s time to install a new keel, they just did it. That was the business model then. That’s Larry’s business model now: just do it yourself. Quit complainin’ and get to work. I’d like to see him do a painting done from the bottom of the keel, looking up.
Where else but Gloucester would you find an art gallery like the Last Stop that sells Larry’s paintings while selling homemade food, soups, muffins, meals, happy advice, you name it. Keeps a steady stream of lookers in front of his art. He just hangs, having a perpetual mug-up with Sandy and Jean, who run the store. Sometimes he watches the register and makes change but even then, he’s imaging scenes from long ago on the water and thinking pensively about the sweetness and perfection of the way the metal of the keel overlays the wood. He’s living the life and painting the results.
Go on in to live the art with him when you pass through East Gloucester, right before Rocky Neck. Get a muffin and a cup of joe and join the conversation. Nobody is in a hurry in there, not even the boats plowing through the paintings. It takes as long as it does to get there on those old wind driven beauties. Go enjoy a piece of that old Gloucester. And when you’re there, ask Larry about that new keel. He’ll be beaming when you do ...
Gordon Goeteman in his gallery on Rocky Neck.
Jan. 29, 2016
The 31' "Laker" that I had built back in the 80's gets redone in Maine.
Another spectacular "Greasy Pole Walk" at this years Fiesta.
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