See the Working Waterfront
Samuel de Champlain visited Gloucester in 1604 and was so impressed, he named the harbor “Le Beauport”, or beautiful harbor. Indeed, our deep protected harbor made it a natural place for early English settlers to come to fish. Half Moon Beach at Stage FortPark was where they set up their first fish drying stages.
The Massachusetts Bay Compact was signed here in 1623, making Gloucester the oldest seaport in the United States, even older than neighboring Salem & Boston. Since then many generations of Gloucestermen have gone to sea in search of cod, haddock, halibut, swordfish, and lobster.