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J. C. Calef Dry Goods

The Dry Goods and Carpeting store of John C. Calef & Co. at 83–85 Main Street, Gloucester, (listed as 88 & 90 Front Street in 1860 city directory) was first established in Sandy Bay (now Rockport) in 1827 before moving to Gloucester in 1832. The store carried:

“elegant dress goods and trimmings, rich silks, shawls, cloaks, and wraps, laces and embroideries, notions, hosiery, and gloves in great variety, window shades, domestics, cottons, calicoes and linens, sheetings and towellings, ribbons, buttons, fancy goods, and small wares of every description.” (1)

Mr. Calef (1806–97), who was born in New Hampshire, married Eliza B. Haskell (1817–93) of Gloucester in 1835 and the couple reside on the corner of Pleasant and Warren Streets (now the Cape Ann Museum’s Sculpture Garden) in a house inherited by Mrs. Calef from her mother. They had nine children, three of whom died young.

– Stephanie Buck


1. The Industries and Wealth of Essex and Middlesex Counties, c.1889.

Related tables: Alex Patillo Dry Goods »  //  Patillo, Alex »

photo (historical)
Main Street, Gloucester
Stereograph card
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

Looking east down Main Street after storm of April 5, 1861; Centre Street enters from the left at "Job Printing" and John C. Calef, dry goods shop is on the right. (Buck and Dunlap, p. 97).

photo (historical)
Home of John C. Calef at 22 Pleasant Street
Corliss & Ryan
Cabinet card photograph
4 x 6 in.
Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

John C. Calef posing at front of house.

Citation: "Historical Materials." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. (accessed July 24, 2024).
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