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Gloucester is a city on Cape Ann in Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It is part of Boston's North Shore. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 30,273. An important center of the fishing industry and a popular summer resort, Gloucester consists of an urban core on the north side of the harbor and the outlying neighborhoods of Annisquam, Bay View, Lanesville, Folly Cove, Magnolia, Riverdale, East Gloucester and West Gloucester. It is bounded by Rockport to the east, Ipswich Bay to the north, Essex and Manchester to the west and Massachusetts Bay to the south. The town was an important shipbuilding center, and the first schooner was reputedly built there in 1713. The community developed into an important fishing port, largely due to its proximity to Georges Bank and other fishing banks off the east coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Gloucester's most famous (and nationally recognized) seafood business was founded in 1849 -- John Pew & Sons. It became Gorton-Pew Fisheries in 1906, and in 1957 changed its name to Gorton's of Gloucester. The iconic image of the "Gorton's Fisherman", and the products he represents, are known throughout the country and beyond. Besides catching and processing seafood, Gloucester is also a center for fish research. In the late 19th century, a large number of Portuguese immigrants, mainly from the Azores, came to Gloucester to work in the fishing industry. Many of their descendents still are fisherman today, although many live in Gloucester and have entered other areas of work. Gloucester's scenic beauty, active fishing industry, and renowned arts community have attracted and inspired painters since the early 19th century, as they do today.

The first Gloucester painter of note was native-born Fitz Henry Lane, whose home still exists on the waterfront. The premier collection of his works is in the Cape Ann Historical Museum, which holds 40 of his paintings and 100 of his drawings. Gloucester's largest annual event is St. Peter's Fiesta, sponsored by the local Italian-American community. It is held the weekend closest to the saint's feast day. Highlights include the blessing of the fleet, and the greasy pole contest. The city has much significant architecture, from pre-revolutionary houses to the hilltop 1870 City Hall, which dominates the town and harbor. It also has exotic waterfront homes now converted to museums, including Beauport, built 1907-1934 by designer Henry Davis Sleeper in collaboration with local architect Halfdan Hanson, said to raise eclecticism to the level of genius.

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