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Welcome to Debbie Mason’s Harmony Harbor

Welcome to Harmony Harbor, population 9,500. Debbie Mason, top travel expert on all things Harmony Harbor, shared some insider info about this gorgeous coastal town…

 

On how Harmony Harbor came to be: There was some kismet involved in the choice of location for Harmony Harbor. I had just decided that after spending four years in the Colorado Rockies with my last series that I was going to set the new series at the beach when I sat down with my hubby to watch one of his favorite TV shows: “Wicked Tuna.” I also happened to be reading “The Perfect Storm” at the time, and I learned both “Wicked Tuna” and “The Perfect Storm” were filmed in Gloucester, Massachusetts. As the oldest fishing port in America (settled in 1623) with a large Irish and Italian population, Gloucester was the perfect fit for the Gallagher and DiRossi families. Gloucester is also home to Hammond Castle. And what could be more ideal for a ghost than to take up residence in a castle…

On the history: William Gallagher, who was reputed to be a pirate, founded Harmony Harbor in the early seventeenth century. It was said that wherever William went, he heard music, from the whistling winds in the forest trees to the ocean waves on the rocky shores, and that was why he named the area Harmony Harbor. The Gallaghers’ musical gifts and love of song were passed down from him.

Must-visit hangout spots: Greystone Manor — built to resemble a medieval castle, complete with turrets, stained glass windows, a suit of armor in the lobby and a resident ghost — hosts many of the town’s events in the ballroom. Along with being the Gallagher family residence, the manor is also a hotel and in recent years has become the premier wedding destination on the North Shore. Kismet Cove, which is located on the estate, is a popular place for sunbathing, swimming and bonfires. For some nighttime entertainment, beer and pretzels, you’ll want to head to the Salty Dog at the corner of Main Street and South Shore Road. A pirate-themed pub, some of the serve-and-protect Gallaghers have been known to sing there on occasion.

One thing that will surprise visitors: Visitors might be surprised to learn that half the town is looking for a memoir written by Colleen Gallagher, who died in 2016 at the age of 104. Colleen’s memoir, “The Secret Keeper of Harmony Harbor”, is believed to contain not only the Gallagher family secrets but everyone else’s in town. Some people believe the book is hidden in Colleen’s suite in the tower while others believe that Jasper, Colleen’s right-hand man and confidant, has the book locked away for safe-keeping. But I have it on good authority that the book might be in either of those places…

A fun fact: Sixty percent of Harmony Harbor’s population is made up of people who came for a visit and never left so you’ve been warned. (Who could blame them with the natural beauty, rich seafaring history, and quaint Main Street?) I believe the real draw is the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Harmony Harbor. It’s a place where neighbors look out for one another and are always willing to lend a helping hand.