Gloucester (est. 1632) is located in Massachusetts and is the oldest seaport in America. It has been serving the world as a harvester of quality seafood since 1623 and has been a destination community ever since.
Before Boston and Salem, there was Gloucester. Gloucester Harbor was first visited and mapped by Samuel de Champlain in 1605–06, and the site (at Stage Fort Park) was settled by colonists from Dorchester, England, in 1623. Named for Gloucester, England, and incorporated as a town in 1642, it has flourished as a maritime and fishing center since that time. Its fishermen sailed from the Capes of Virginia to Greenland and Iceland; the Fisherman’s Memorial, a bronze statue facing the harbor, honors those lost at sea (said to total more than 10,000). Since the late 19th century, the traditional Yankee fishermen have been reinforced by Portuguese and Italian immigrants. Gloucester’s maritime heritage inspired many books, including Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous (1897) and James B. Connolly’s Gloucestermen (1930). Norman’s Woe, an area just off Cape Ann, was the setting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem “The Wreck of the Hesperus.”
Also immortalized in the movie The Perfect Storm. Founded in 1623 by the Dorchester Company, the first settlement in what would in time become the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The land wasn’t good for farming, and at the time, fishing wasn’t the industry it was to become, so the settlement floundered. At least in theory, the earliest settlers were fisherman however, so Gloucester can lay claim to being America’s oldest seaport. One final interesting note. The United States of America has the largest number of seaports in the world with 587 ports.