"King of the Mackerel Killers"
Solomon Jacobs Landing & Park were named for Captain Solomon Jacobs, who fished in the early 1900s.
A native of Newfoundland, he was known as the "King of the Mackerel Killers" for his ability to land huge catches of mackerel.
Years ago, this area was filled with dozens of sail lofts, warehouses, fish plants and multi-family houses.
Most of those buildings were demolished in the name of "progress" during Urban Renewal projects of the 1960s and 1970s, and replaced with "modern" structures.
The park was created in 1975 as part of that renewal process.
Today, this is one of the best places to watch the ever-changing boat traffic in the harbor.
New Public Landing
In 1999, the City's Waterways Board established Solomon Jacobs Landing, the first new public landing in decades.
The Landing includes the pier at the end of the Park and new floats and gangways for public access to the water.
Public landings are to provide places where residents and visitors alike can tie up boats for short periods of time while they buy supplies, eat, or otherwise spend time ashore.
This Landing is also the base tor Gloucester's Harbormaster.
Plans for additional public restrooms, showers and other improvements are under consideration.
Fitz Hugh Lane House
of the few buildings that survived urban renewal is the Fitz Hugh Lane House, located on top of the hill overlooking the harbor.
The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and now contains offices and public restrooms.
The City recently erected a statue of Lane, a brilliant painter, on the hillside.
Many of Lane's works can be found at the Cape Ann Historical Museum, just a couple of blocks inland from here.
To the left of this buoy kiosk, one can see the entrance to Gloucester Marine Railways, one of the oldest businesses of its type in the country.
A marine railway is a track that extends underwater from the upland.
When a boat needs to be hauled out for repairs, it is placed above a cradle on the track at high tide.
As the ride goes out, the boat rests on the cradle, and it is then hauled above the high water mark where the boat is accessible for repairs.
Tied up at the Railways is the Adventure, a 122-foot knockabout schooner built in 1926 in neighboring Essex.
Retired from commercial fishing in 1953, Adventure was the last American dory trawler in service.
Owned by the non-profit, Gloucester Adventure, Inc., it is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is also on the National Register of Historic Places.
It is open to the public by appointment.
Plans for a new waterfront museum with Adventure as the focal point are underway.
This buoy kiosk and the adjacent bandstand were renovated in 1999 by the Gloucester Waterways Board with financial assistance from the Essex National Heritage Commission, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management, and the City of Gloucester.