Gloucester had been a summer destination since the 1870s, but the really rich Episcopalians began to build sumptuous houses and attend St. John’s beginning in the 1890s. The most generous of these was John Hays Hammond, mining engineer, who gave both the parish house and the rectory. At the same time, the hordes of unattached dorymen disappeared with the invention of a reliable marine engine and World War I. Many thousands of men from the Maritimes were choosing not to go back, but settle in Gloucester, marry and raise families. These families became the core of the parish. They did not forget their roots, but supported the unfortunate fishing families, particularly through the Grenfell Mission and the Newfoundland Society. The most famous parishioners among them were Captain Ben Pine and Howard Blackburn.
During the 1920s, the parish prospered with the rest of the country, then ran into problems during the Depression, and World War II, but throughout kept the faith alive and the services and education programs going. With the post-war prosperity, St. John’s sprang to life again.