The Pavilion, Long Beach, Gloucester, circa 1910

Long Beach starts in Gloucester and ends in Rockport, and the Long Beach Pavilion was once a popular stop for tourists traveling from one town to the other — provided they were traveling by foot, because Thatcher Road had not yet been constructed. The electric trolley from Gloucester to Long Beach was built in the late 1800s and the trolley company constructed this pavilion in 1895. Within it were a restaurant, dance hall, bowling alley and vaudeville theater.

I have found references to this pavilion through 1915 but cannot find any record of what came of it. It suffered a bad fire in 1909, according to a news report, but apparently was salvaged and continued to operate. If anyone knows the fate of this lovely building, please let me know.

This postcard was postmarked in August 1911. It was published by Edwin C. McIntire, Gloucester.

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16 Responses to The Pavilion, Long Beach, Gloucester, circa 1910

  1. Gil McCarthy says:

    My Father-In-Law bought this hotel in the early 60’s and ran it for about 3 years before it burnt down at the same time as some other hotels in the area. My wife used to work there in the summers. This is the first photo of the hotel that she has ever seen. Thanks!

    Nice work with the historic photos! I have built and shown some “movies” of historic houses and locations at the Community House in Rockport to a packed house of Senior Citizens and they couldn’t get enough! I show the photos with music to make it seem like a silent movie. I just built another one about Pigeon Cove and this should please the folks from Pigeon Cove who feel they are under-appreciated with all attention going to Rockport. This work takes a huge amount of time and your “Vintagerockport” Post cards have filled in some gaps in my searches at the Rockport Library. I now have three movies “In the Can”

    Again, Thanks!

    Gil McCarthy

    • Gil: Let us know when the next movie is showing. I’d love to see it.

      • Gil McCarthy says:

        Robert, the “Pigeon Cove” movie (shown at no charge) will start at 7pm on November 17 at the Rockport Community House (our Senior Center). The last show was SRO as we had to add seats and benches from other rooms. We didn’t really push this show with advertising. It seemed that this looking back at the past really resonated with our Seniors and their children. Whole families showed up and wanted more after almost 2 hours.

        I used a laptop to run the program (Microsoft Movie Maker) and it was projected with a less than new overhead unit. We bought a new one after seeing the huge crowd of very happy people.

        The audience participated without any nudging. I would ask if anyone knew the names of the people or places up on the screen and they roared the names out. Many times this became spontaneous as a familiar face hit the screen. “There’s Bob!” They wanted more pictures of people from their past for the next show. I have a whole section with people from the past.

        I will e-mail Diane Bertolino, the Director of the senior center to include you in the reserved seating list. No more surprise crowds at the door. You might want to send her an e-mail asking for the reserved seat for Nov 17. Her e-mail is “Diane Bertolino”

        Thanks for being there for me with an occasional photo that I just couldn’t find anywhere
        else. You will see a couple of “VintageRockport” photos up on the screen when you come!

    • Ruth Evans says:

      Hello there. I’m working on a book that includes a chapter about dancing halls at trolley parks. Long Beach shows up as a park on my 1900 street railway map, and the accompanying trolley guide says: “Another branch to Long Beach affords a popular trip. Here are found, in addition to sea bathing on a beautiful sandy beach, a pavilion and dancing hall, bowling alleys and other popular attractions.”. I’ve found two mentions of the Pavilion in the Boston Globe: one is an ad for a business opportunity in 1891 that offers the chance to rent showcases to sell “fancy goods and confectionaries” at the Pavilion, and the other is from 1917 advertising the Pavilion’s lobster dinners with seating for 300.
      If your father-in-law owned the property as a hotel, do you have any idea when it was remodeled into a hotel? Thanks for any info!

    • Joanne Russell says:

      Dear Gil,
      My family purchased the house across the street from the hotel in 1952. Our family cottage was moved from your side of the street where it was the hotel’s care keeper’s cottage. My mother, Teresa Russell, used to run kids’ dances at the hotel. I was born in 1962 and my first memory is driving up to Gloucester to see the ruins of the 1965 fire. I wonder if you knew my parents. Thanks!

  2. Gil McCarthy says:

    I forgot to tell you that the shows are “Then and Now” efforts with current photos of everything still available.

  3. Gil McCarthy says:

    I am also a Director on the Board at the Rockport Council on Aging.

  4. Pingback: All Aboard for the Ballgame, Rockport, Mass., circa 1908 | Vintage Rockport

  5. Ruth Evans says:

    BTW, there’s another old photo of The Pavilion without the trolley car in the way in the photo tour at the Cape Ann Motor Inn’s site:

  6. Pingback: Children’s Day, Long Beach, Cape Ann, Mass., c. 1907 | Vintage Rockport

  7. Pingback: Family Photos of Long Beach in 1920 and 1936 | Vintage Rockport

  8. Ruth Evans says:

    For those of you who were following this discussion, my dance history book (which includes a chapter on trolley parks and their dance halls) is now out: Twirling Jennies: A History of Social Dance (and other mischief) in the City of Spindles 1820–1920. You can check it out at or at

    Thanks everyone for your help!

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