Life Saving Station and Straitsmouth Inn, Rockport, Mass., c. 1915


Even though the Life Saving Station and the Straitsmouth Inn were nearby each other on Rockport’s Gap Head, it is rare to see them together in the same postcard. This view looks across Gap Cove from along Marmion Way, and shows Straitsmouth Point before other houses were built there.


A portion of the same scene today.

The Straitsmouth Inn was built in 1906 and stood until New Year’s Eve in 1958, when a fire burned it to the ground. For a view of the granite fireplace inside the inn, see this postcard.

The Life Saving Station was build in 1889. It was originally called Gap Head Station and then became Straitsmouth Station in 1902. It was active as a life saving station until 1964.

I am not certain when this postcard was published. It was published  by the Frank W. Swallow Post Card Co. Inc., Exeter, N.H. Swallow produced postcards from 1904 to 1927. This card bears a logo on the back that says that Swallow’s company was incorporate in 1911. That means this image could be from anytime in the range of 1912 to 1927.

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Boiling Spring, Pigeon Cove, Mass., c. 1912


I need your help with this one. The location depicted in this postcard is a mystery to me. I am hoping that some astute readers can provide me with more information. Some sources believe it was in the area of Pingree Park and the former elementary school on Story Street.

The card is titled, “Boiling Spring, Pigeon Cove, Mass.” There appears to be a sign on the tree, which suggests this was a place people visited.

In a discussion of this same postcard at the Cape Ann Online forum, someone suggested that the location might have been somewhere near the former elementary school.

I also saw a reference to the Boiling Spring on the blog Memoirs of a Rolling Stone, where the author mentioned that he had been searching for it. In an email exchange, he told me that he never located it with certainty, but he added that someone had given him their “best guess” that it was in back of Pingree Park.

The card was published by Charles H. Andrews of Pigeon Cove. I wrote about him in some detail in an earlier post. Andrews was the postmaster in the Cove during the years 1901 to 1917, and possibly longer.

This postcard is not dated. It was printed in Germany, which tells us that it was printed sometime prior to 1917, the year the U.S. entered World War I.

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Old Garden Beach, Rockport, Mass., circa 1935


This is a linen postcard showing Rockport’s Old Garden Beach. Although it is undated, I estimate it to be from around 1935 for a couple of reasons. For one, linen postcards were produced primarily from 1930 to 1945, so it was somewhere in that range. For another, it was published by E.C. McIntire of Gloucester, who I believe was in business from 1907 to 1937. That narrows its date to somewhere between 1930 and 1937.

Compare this postcard to one that has a very similar view of Old Garden Beach, but roughly 10 years later. the only readily noticeable difference is that the more recent view includes a tower in the background, most likely at the lifesaving station at Gap Cove.

I have been trying to determine, without success, when the stone wall behind the beach was built. If anyone has that information, please let me know.

UPDATE: The two houses above the wall were built in 1925 (5 Old Garden Rd.) and 1930 (3 Old Garden Rd.). It seems likely that is when the wall was built.

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Rockport Granite Co. Advertising Booklet, c. 1895

This is an eight-page advertising brochure for Rockport Granite Company. It was engraved and printed by John A. Lowell & Co. of Boston. It is undated. I estimate its date to be around 1895. My reason for this is primarily because the back cover lists Charles S. Rogers as treasurer of the Rockport Granite Co. He became treasurer in 1892, so this was sometime after that. Interestingly, the cover image was used as early as 1883, when it was the cover for the Thanksgiving menu of a restaurant called The Arlington. Two of the images are taken from an 1885 issue of Harper’s Magazine.








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Visiting Day at the ‘Witch House,’ Pigeon Cove, circa 1920


A couple days late for Halloween, but here is another view of the Witch House in Pigeon Cove. I’ve posted several other images of this house, which you can find herehere, here and here.

The name comes from the popular story that the house was built in 1692 by two brothers from Salem to protect their mother, who fled Salem on suspicion of being a witch. The house is also called the Garrison House and some accounts say the original structure was built in 1676 as a defense garrison during King Philip’s War.

The caption and picture on this postcard suggest that the house was once open to visitors. The house is now a private residence. It had been owned by the same family since 1925, but was sold to a new owner last year.

The postcard was published by Rockport Photo Bureau. There is no date or postmark. Judging by the markings on the reverse of the card and the fashion of the people pictured, I estimate it to be from around 1920.

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Eaton Cottage, Rockport, Mass., circa 1908


This house still stands at 50 Eden Road in Rockport. The legend on the postcard says that the house was built in 1908 by Bailey & Hosmer. (Online listings for this house say it was built in 1906.)

The postcard identifies it as the Eaton Cottage. From records I’ve found, the house was then owned as a summer cottage by Mr. and Mrs. Francis Eaton of Medford, Mass.

I have other postcards showing houses built by this same construction firm. I assume these were printed by the firm to use as promotional materials.

Note the cottages in the background to the left of the house. These are also still there. Two of them are easily recognizable as twins. Previously, I posted three 1910 views of Eden Road in which you can see both the house pictured above and the twin cottages.


This is a view of the same house taken recently, shot with a zoom lens from across Loblolly Cove.

This postcard was mailed on May 5, 1909, to a Frank Crandall of Dorchester, Mass. There was a person by that name born in Dorchester in 1890, which would have made him 19. He later moved to Weymouth, Mass.

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Pigeon Cove from Pigeon Hill, circa 1912


Here is a view of Pigeon Hill in the days when it was much more bare and cows roamed its pastures. This postcard is from the Rockport Photo Bureau. The card is not dated, but based on its similarity to other cards, I estimate it to be from approximately 1912. Note the chimney of the Cape Ann Tool Company in the background.

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