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Parkes finds document linking grandfather to two historic Gloucester structures

Ralph Parkes of Gloucester, has discovered documents linking his grandfather, Andrew Jenkins, to the building of the Gloucester Court Circle wall and the Boy Scout cabin near Botetourt Elementary School on Main Street.

These structures were built by Jenkins and other craftspeople of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. The program was funded as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

According to a World War I draft registration card, Andrew Jackson Jenkins was born in 1875, though Parkes maintains he was born in 1874. Citing oral history told by his mother, Parkes described his grandfather as a captain of a bugeye. Bugeyes, according to the Mariners’ Museum, were vessels created by local fishermen that combined aspects of dugout canoes, New England oyster dredges and the Chesapeake Bay schooner. These boats had shallow drafts and could carry up to 300 bushels of oysters, making them well suited for local fishing operations.

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