Gloucester, city (1990 pop. 28,716), Essex co., NE Mass., on Cape Ann; settled 1623, inc. as a city 1873. It is a port of entry at the head of Gloucester Harbor, which is protected by a breakwater built from Eastern Point. The harbor has been used by fishing ships for over three centuries, and Gloucester still bases its economy on the fishing and fish-processing industries, although overfishing has severely reduced the catch. Once an important shipbuilding center, the city is supposedly where the first schooner was built (1713). The picturesque old city is also a popular summer resort. Tourist attractions include the famous bronze Fisherman, a memorial to the thousands of Gloucestermen lost at sea; Hammond Castle, which houses collections of medieval art; and numerous pre-Revolutionary houses. The city has furnished material for authors (e.g., Rudyard Kipling in his Captains Courageous ) as well as artists.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.