Creator: Robert L. French
Dates: 1893-2001, (bulk, 1971-1987)
Quantity: 3 linear feet (6 document boxes)

Accession #s: 2000.3.1, 2001.20, 2001.21.2a

Donated by: Robert L. French, 2000 & 2001

Identification: A46; Archive Collection #46
Citation: Papers of Mayor Robert L. French, Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.
Copyright:  Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be addressed to the Librarian/Archivist.
Language: English
Finding Aid: Processed by Howard Thomas, 2007, and Peter Brown, 2010; supervisor, Stephanie Buck, Librarian /Archivist.


This collection was donated by Robert L. French, who was the mayor of Gloucester from 1972 to 1973. It is comprised of his files relating to various events that were in process during his tenure. These include: development plans for Dogtown, Gloucester shopping survey, zoning ordinances, Greenbelt, and Addison Gilbert Hospital activities. The collection includes reports, books and pamphlets, organizational and financial information, and handwritten notes.


I. Biographical material.

II. Development Plans, 1985-1996: development plans, manuals and pamphlets on a variety of subjects: Dogtown, Community Development.

III. Gloucester Shopping Survey 1974-1975: statistics, reports, notes and slides.

IV. Zoning 1927-1993: zoning ordinances and revisions.

V. Miscellaneous Documents, 1893-1987: pamphlets and reports on : Charter Commission, mollusks, Universalist Church, Sawyer Free Library, Senior Home Services, Annisquam Yacht Club.

VI. Captain R. Barry Fisher, 1928-2001: his writings and obituary.

VII. Joseph Solman: a biographical letter from Solman and photographs of his work.

VIII. Greenbelt 1968-2000: correspondence, fund raising, newspaper articles, maps, and newsletters with specific emphasis on Goose Cove, Stoney Cove, Susan Point, Jersey Barriers and Dogtown.

IX. Addison Gilbert Hospital: correspondence and reports on: fund raising, F.H. Lane painting, AGH centennial. Also newsletters and handbooks.

X. Artifacts

XI. Political Career: City Council, Mayor


Box 1

Series I: Biographical material

Folder 1: Biographical material Series II: Development plans, 1985-1996

Folder 2: Final Report Dogtown Steering Committee, 1985

      Gloucester Community Development Plan, 1990

      Gloucester Industrial Profile, 1991

      We Love This Place, Cape Ann P.A.R. Report, 1996


Series III: Gloucester Shopping Survey, 1974-1975

Folder 3: Form and compilation of statistical results, 1974

      Preliminary report, 2/13/1975

      Notes and slides, oral report in City Hall, 2/13/1975

      Ward 1, list of residents, n.d.


Series IV: Zoning, 1927-1993

Folder 4: Zoning Ordinance, 11/30/1927

      Zoning Ordinance with revisions, 9/27/1950

      Changes established by Chapter 808 of Zoning Act, 1/2/1976

      Zoning Ordinance, 4/1/1993


Series V: Misc. Documents, 1893-1987

Folder 5: Manual of City Government, 1893 

      The Story of Mollusks and related pamphlets, 1919

      Final report of harter Commission, 9/5/1974

      Universalist Church fundraising and restoration, 1986

      Gloucester City Charter, as amended, 11/3/1987


Box 2

Series VI: Captain R. Barry Fisher, 1928-2001

Folder 1: Obituary, program, publications and career outline.

A Doryman’s Legacy, 1994

Dedication of the Korean War Memorial, 1995

A Wharf Rat’s Tale, n.d.

Development of the Northwest Pacific Whiting Fisheries, 1995

A Doryman’s Day, 1996

Critical comments, report on Eveline M. Goulart, 1997

Mysterious Ways of the Lord, 1998

Dedication of NOAA building to Capt. Barry Fisher, 2001


Series VII: Joseph Solman, 1990

Folder 2: Letter from Solman re. his life story

6 color and 2 b & w photographs of Solman’s work.


Series VIII: Greenbelt

Folder 3: Goose Cove, 1968-1969

Correspondence, fund raising

Folder 4: Stoney Cove, 1977-1983

Fund raising material, 1977-1978

Contributions and publicity, 1978

Correspondence, 1978-1979

Newspaper articles, 1978

Bruce Anderson Memorial & maintenance, 1981-1983

Folder 5: Susan Point, 1982

Solicitation material, 1982

Contributions n.d.

Maps, n.d.

Folder 6: Jersey Barrier Case, 1983

Summary of facts and work notes, 1983

Copy of law suit court papers, 1983

Correspondence, 1983

Newspaper articles, 1983

Folder 7: Dogtown, 1985

Fund raising material




Box 3

Series VIII: Greenbelt

Folder 1: Fund raising & membership, 1975-1987

Annual membership renewal, 1979-1987

Fund raising appeal, 1982-1987

Membership statistics, 1975-1986

New member recruitment, 1981-1984

Corporate recruitment & pamphlets, 1984-1985

Folder 2: Essex County Greenbelt Assoc. Newsletters, 1973-1991

Folder 3: Essex County Greenbelt Assoc. Newsletters, 1992-2000


Series IX: Addison Gilbert Hospital

Folder 4: Fund raising, 1969

Steele wing, memorial gifts.

Folder 5: Opposition to Acute Care Plan, 1977

Testimony on hearing, correspondence, newspapers articles

Folder 6: Fitz H. Lane painting, 1979-1983

Documents on history of the painting, correspondence


Box 4

Series IX: Addison Gilbert Hospital

Folder 1: Building Fund campaign, 1979-1981

Steering committee, John F. Rich Feasibility Study, campaign for the “Eighties Highlights,” Executive Committee campaign, campaign materials and correspondence.

Folder 2: Fund raising, trustees, and advance gifts, 1980

Solicitations and summary.

Folder 3: Market analysis, 1981

Folder 4: Development office, 1982-1990

Report of giving.

Folder 5: William Warren Babson Fund, 1985

Proposal, Babson Operating Suite, fund raising materials, list of assigned prospects, correpondence.

Folder 6: Auxiliary/Volunteer relationships, 1987-1988

Steering Committee review and report, auxiliary service proposal bylaws.


Box 5

Series IX: Addison Gilbert Hospital

Folder 1: Centennial, 1989

Committee, activities, proposed displays, historical data, special supplement to AGH 100 Years of Service, GDT report.

Folder 2: Ride and Fall of the Babson Society, 1989-1992

Correspondence, fund raising material.

Folder 3: Misc. papers, 1977-1987

Policy on Trustees and Corporators, 1977-1987

Formation of Community Advisory Unit, 1977-1978

Correspondence re. Finance Committee, 1978-1982

Activities as President, 1981

Presentation to Bond Rating Agencies, 1981

Ad hoc committee review of Psychiatric Unit, 1983-1984

Infection control, personal experience, 1987

Folder 4: Resignation and related matters, 1992-2000

Correspondence 2 copies of Update, MA Hospital Assoc., 1992

Addison Gilbert Foundation by-laws, 1991

Newspaper articles by Joe Garland, 1988, 1989, 2000

Folder 5: Corporation Handbook, 1977

Black, loose leaf, 3 ring binder.


Box 6

Series IX: Addison Gilbert Hospital

Folder 1: Annual Reports, 1972-1992

(1973 & 1990 missing)

Folder 2: Publications, 1969-1989

Fund Raising Brochures, 1969-1987

Newsletter, Spring 1973, Winter-Spring 1974

Quarterly Reports, 1981-1984 (many missing)

Update, 1985-1986 (many missing)

GDT article Scharfenstein Resigns, 5/16/1989

Misc. publications n.d.

Folder 3: Northeast Health Systems Publications, 1997-1999

Annual Reports, community benefits report.


Series X: Artifacts

1. Photograph of Bluenose, color, 8” x 10”, framed, signed Angus J. Walters, Master and J. E. Knickle, Mayor of Lunenberg. Presented to Mayor Robert L. French, July 26, 1972

2. Video tape: A Doryman’s Tale, Capt. R. Barry Fisher (in Video Collection)

3. Booklet: Rockholm in Annisquam (in D30 FF9)


Box 7

Series II: Development Plans

Folder 1: Dogtown Steering Committee acquisition proposals, 1988.

Proposed City acquisition of Dogtown plots.

Emminent Domain procedures (MA. General Law).

Correspondence re: Clancy & von Rosenvinge plots.

Maps of Dogtown with proposed acquisitions.

Fund raising activities.

Folder 2: Dogtown Management Program.

Letters to Gloucester Times re: Dogtown.

Letter to Robert L. French in response to his letter in the GDT.

Proposals for protecting and managing Dogtown.

Map of Dogtown.


Series V: Miscellaneous Documents.

Folder 3: Universalist Church Restoration Program, 1985-86.

Estimates of cost.

Planning stages.

Folder 4: Universalist Church Fund Raising, 1988.

List of donors.

Folder 5: Library Fund Campaign, 1973.

History of the library.

Statement of needs & costs.


Folder 6: Senior Home Services Fund Raising, 1982-83.

Correspondence. Annual Report, 1981.

Campaign plans.

Folder 7: Annisquam Yacht Club, 1974.

Survey of Membership re: activities, dining, dues, governing board.


Box 8

Series XI: Political Career.

Folder 1: Campaign for City Council, 1971.

Campaign literature & speeches.

Newspaper clippings of results.

Top vote-getter.

Elected mayor.

Folder 2: Mayor, 1971-72

Speeches, photos, plans.

Folder 3: City Council, 1974-75.


Folder 4: French vs Alper for mayor, 1976.

Photos, newspaper clippings.

Folder 5: Gloucester Daily Times.

My View Columns, 1980