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New England's Lost Places #3: A HERO’S HOME

On August 8th, 1775 the British ship “Falcon” had chased a Salem based schooner into Gloucester harbor. The schooner was in trouble because it became grounded on the flats between Pearce’s Wharf and Five Pound Island.

The Falcon attempted to board the schooner but were turned away when two swivel guns and multiple muskets prevented the schooner from being captured. the British captain in turn fired his cannons into Gloucester and dispatched men at Fort Point in order to burn the town.

They were unsuccessful and were captured by the townsfolk but not before two of their own were killed - Benjamin Rowe and Peter Lurvey.

Two hundred or so years later we tend to forget that these people had real lives, spouses, children, hobbies, along with their hopes and dreams.

On August 8th 1775, Peter Lurvey and his wife were spending the day huckleberrying. When the alarm sounded, he said goodbye to his wife, went to his home to get his gun and then ran back again to the village to face the enemy. She never saw him again.

On a hill overlooking Gloucester harbor are the remains of Lurvey’s home. the homesite was secluded from other parts of town in part due to the size of his property (over 2 acres if measure within the remaining stone walls). To access the site (No I’m not telling you where it is), you have to go across country for a bit.

The hill as you approach The Lurvey Homesite.

The cellar hole at the Lurvey homesite is approximately 18 X 28 feet.

One of the many rock walls around the homesite.


(All artifacts were surface finds)

Fork/Spoon/knife? Handle



Close up of juglet's stamp

Bowl of a Pipe with the initials TD. TD is a manufacturer’s mark signifying that is was manufactured by Thomas Dormer. This style of stamp indicates an early Dormer pipe 1760-1780

A Piece of ‘Chinaware’ (Plate?) in the common willow pattern. This blue and white porcelain was a common import to the colonies.

Pipe stems

Pipe bowl


Human tooth with massive cavity. This was obviously pulled due to the cavity and promptly disposed of in the family rubbish heap.


Peter Lurvey

Birth: 14 AUG 1739 in Gloucester, MA

Death: 8 AUG 1775 in Gloucester, MA

Marriage Sarah Wharfe b: 9 APR 1742 in Gloucester, MA

  • Married: 29 MAR 1764 in Gloucester, MA


  1. Martha Lurvey b: 22 MAY 1765 in Gloucester, MA

  2. Sarah Lurvey b: 27 SEP 1766 in Gloucester, MA

  3. Peter Lurvey b: 4 DEC 1768 in Gloucester, MA

  4. Samuel Lurvey b: 21 APR 1771 in Gloucester, MA

  5. Mary Lurvey b: 22 AUG 1773 in Gloucester, MA

UPDATE: As of 2015 the site has been severely damaged and dug up. It is a sad thing to see such a site destroyed by 'treasure hunters'




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