Live and Thrive Wherever You Are

Lighthouse and Castle in Gloucester, MA

August 2016

Closer to home (temporary home, that is) is Gloucester, Massachusetts. H was determined to visit as many lighthouses in New England as possible, so our research brought us to the neighboring town port. It was just over an hour’s drive from our place and for the most part, the drive was pleasant and traffic flowed. Until we hit Gloucester itself.

We avoided the worst traffic on our way to the Eastern Point Lighthouse, though we did get lost looking for it. We drove around twice until we parked at the beach and tried to figure out what Google Maps was telling us. I looked at the small beach with dismay, already crowded with sunbathers. The water didn’t look deep enough and the sand appeared rough. After a few minutes of snipping at each other, H ventured toward a road that headed toward a private residence where a sign warning off people was clearly posted. We asked the guy directing traffic and he pointed us to the right direction. Through the residential area. I guess the residents didn’t like tourists clogging their streets.

Boats and water

I imagined the great Renaissance painters painting this scene

Another 10 minutes and we found the dirt road that brought us to an unpaved parking area that could only accommodate 8 medium-sized cars. Parking was $10 for the whole day.


Eastern Point Lighthouse, built in 1832, now owned by the Coast Guard

While we were able to see the lighthouse and walk the sea wall, the lig

hthouse itself was closed to the public as it was privately owned. I read online that some people were known to have disregarded the sign, set up a picnic on the lawn or knocked on the door and peered at the windows.

Sea Wall

From the Lighthouse, we drove to a castle 25 minutes away on the other side of the island. We could see the castle from the sea wall so we thought it would be fun to visit it. It was, if not for the slow-moving traffic.

Hammond Castle, now a museum, was built between 1926 and 1929  and used to be the home of the inventor John Hays Hammond, Jr.

He was an inventor who was a pioneer in the study of remote control and held over four hundred patents. The building is composed of modern and 15th-, 16th-, and 18th-century architectural elements and sits on a rocky cliff overlooking Gloucester Harbor. – wikipedia


When the owner was still alive, guests were told to use this drawbridge to enter

Archways to the Garden

Archways leading to the garden. Hammond left instructions that upon his death, he be buried in the garden and his tomb covered with poison ivy

Archways and water

Imagine sitting here with a book on your lap


The castle evoked a medieval atmosphere with its small drawbridge, great halls, inner courtyards, and other artifacts.

The castle was constructed as a wedding present for his wife Irene Fenton Hammond to prove how much he cared for her.   In addition, the building housed the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Dr. Hammond produced over 400 patents and the ideas for over 800 inventions.  Second only to Thomas Alva Edison in number of patents, John Hammond was one of America’s premier inventors.  His most important work was the development of remote control via radio waves, which earned him the title, “The Father of Remote Control.” –

Pool inside the castle

The owner was known to jump to the pool below naked

John Hays Hammond Jr

John Hays Hammond Jr sculpture at the inner courtyard

Great Hall with Pipe Organ

The Great Hall with its banners and organ pipe

Bishop's Chair

Hammond was also said to sit on this bishop chair at night

From there, we went in search of food and was stuck in traffic due to the bridge being lifted to allow boats to pass. Because Gloucester is a fishing town, we opted for seafood at Gloucester House.

Salmon and Sweet Potato

Salmon, sweet potato, and rice

Food at Gloucester House

Lobster and shrimps



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