Fishermen’s Memorial Wall Of Remembrance
1999- 2000 Gloucester, Massachusetts
Resting on a granite base in the center of Gloucester's long, narrow Stacy Esplanade is the Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial. It is an eight-foot tall, bronze statue of a fisherman dressed in oilskins standing braced at the wheel on the sloping deck of his ship. It is positioned so that the fisherman is looking out over Gloucester Harbor. The English sculptor Leonard F. Craske (1882-1950) designed the sculpture, and it was cast by the Gorham Company of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1925. A small plaque on the north or street-facing side of the base reads, "MEMORIAL TO THE GLOUCESTER FISHERMAN, August 23, 1923." A larger recessed panel on the front or harbor-facing side of the base holds an inscription of bronze letters taken from the 107th Psalm, which reads: THEY THAT GO
DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS 1623 - 1923
The Gloucester Tercentenary Permanent Memorial Association sponsored an artistic competition to commemorate Gloucester's 300th anniversary and to permanently memorialize the thousands of fishermen lost at sea in the first three centuries of Gloucester's history. In 1879 alone, 249 fishermen and 29 vessels were lost during a terrible storm. In preparing for the competition, Craske spent many hours aboard fishing schooners, sketching and photographing fishermen at work. His design was accepted and cast at a cost of $10,000. Generally acknowledged as Craske's finest work, the Gloucester Fisherman's Memorial is viewed by thousands of visitors annually and has become a symbol of the city, commemorating Gloucester's link to the sea.
The concept of the esplanade was promoted by the park commissioner, George Stacy in 1923. It was designed as an open, public space with a sea wall, promenade, landscaping, and boulevard. In September of 2000, the Wall of Remembrance was added to the Fishermen’s Memorial. Gray Architects provided the concept designs that consists of bronze tablets on granite slabs inscribed with the names of approximately 5,400 Gloucester men who were lost at sea.