Gloucester is a city on Cape Ann in Essex County, Massachusetts, considered part of the Massachusetts North Shore. An important center of the fishing industry and a popular summer destination, Gloucester consists of an urban core on the north side of the harbor and the outlying neighborhoods of Annisquam, Bay View, Lanesville, Folly Cove, Magnolia, Riverdale, East Gloucester and West Gloucester.
Gloucester was founded at Cape Ann by an expedition called the Dorchester Company, consisting of men from Dorchester (in the county of Dorset, England) chartered by King James I in 1623. It was one of the first English settlements in what would become the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This settlement’s founding is marked by a memorial tablet, affixed to a 50-foot boulder in Stage Fort Park.
The town was an important shipbuilding center, with the first schooner said to have been built there in 1713. The community developed into an important fishing port, largely due to its proximity to Georges Bank and other fishing banks off the east coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Gloucester’s most famous seafood business was founded in 1849 as John Pew & Sons. It became Gorton-Pew Fisheries in 1906, changing its name in 1957 to Gorton’s of Gloucester. The iconic image of the “Gorton’s Fisherman” is known far and wide. Gloucester is also considered an important center for fish research.