The definitive fishing history of Gloucester, from its emergence in the 17th century to its decline in the 20th century. Using diaries, business records and interviews with surviving dorymen, John N. Morris paints an indelible portrait of a key New England industry and the port that has seen expansion and retraction, loss and tragedy.
Morris chronicles such events as the Great Yankee Gale of 1851, which smashed into the Gloucester fishing fleet off the coast of Prince Edward Island. There is also the story of the waves of immigrants – from the Azores, Nova Scotia, Sweden, Norway and Sicily – who went to sea in their quest for the American dream. He traces the history of the great Gloucester schooner, the Oretha F. Spinney, one of the last working schooners. His own grandfather, Steve Olsson, was working for the schooner when he was lost at sea.
With seventy vintage photographs and maps, an extensive glossary of fishing terms, and a detailed chronology of the Gloucester fleet, including all the fishermen and vessels lost at sea since 1693, Morris’ book is a valuable resource for maritime buffs and historians, families of fishermen and anyone interested in a good yarn about life on the sea.