John Joseph Gaspie

Photo added by Paul Halley

John Joseph Gaspie

Picao, Vila da Praia da Vitória Municipality, Azores Region, Portugal
Death 30 Jul 1961 (aged 76)
Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Burial Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Memorial ID 119468495 View Source
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Parents Jesse & Rose Gaspie of the Azores.

The following is from 'Building Provincetown' The History of Provincetown Told Through Its Built Environment:

“Lord Protector of the Quahogs,” was what the legendary chef Howard Mitcham called Gaspie, the town’s longtime shellfish warden. Befitting this exalted rank, Gaspie’s marker is topped with the bas relief of a quahog, rendered in elegant style by a fine hand — it looks like the work of William Boogar [?] — on an especially lovely marker.

Gaspie came from Pico, in the Azores; an evocative name for anyone who has read Frank X. Gaspar’s novel, Leaving Pico. (Gaspar, who grew up at 119 Commercial Street, was his one of his grandsons.) His marker describes him as “a true conservationist, a raconteur and wit,” and concludes with the epitaph: “Death, you old bugger, you can’t be proud of me. I’m just a handful of dust.”

Mitcham said Gaspie played Socrates to his Plato, “a teacher who helps to mold and shape his whole way of life and thought, for better or worse.” Every September, the two men would conduct a “Salute to Indian Summer” clambake, the recipe for which Mitcham divulged in his Provincetown Seafood Cookbook (1975). It calls for about 2,500 littleneck clams (five bushels), 40 pounds of haddock fillets, 150 ears of sweet corn, 25 pounds of linguiça, 300 bottle of beer — you get the idea.


Here lies the body of
John J. Gaspie
Born in Pico, Azores
August 8, 1884
Died in Provincetown
July 3, 1961
For many years the Shellfish
Warden of this town, a true
conservationist, a raconteur
and wit, beloved by all
who knew him.
Death, you old bugger, you
can't be proud of me. I'm
just a handful of dust.

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  • Created by: W Piety
  • Added: 29 Oct 2013
  • Find a Grave Memorial 119468495
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Joseph Gaspie (8 Aug 1884–30 Jul 1961), Find a Grave Memorial ID 119468495, citing Provincetown Cemetery, Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by W Piety (contributor 47945985) .