Children’s Day, Long Beach, Cape Ann, Mass., c. 1907

Back in the days when electric trolleys ran from Gloucester to Long Beach, the trolley company built this pavilion there. It housed a restaurant, dance hall, bowling alley and vaudeville theater.

The pavilion was built in 1895. According to comments posted to another postcard of the pavilion, the building later served as a hotel. It stood until the late 1950s or early 1960s, when it burned down.

In this image, scores of children appear to have just stepped off the trolley (or are waiting to reboard). The caption suggest that this was a special day for children at Long Beach.

The postcard does not identify a publisher. It has a postmark of Aug. 7, 1908. It was probably printed in 1907.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Granite Delivery and Wharf, Rockport, Mass., c. 1909


This postcard shows two separate wharves where granite was loaded onto schooners for shipment to places near and far. In the foreground is the present-day Granite Pier, then the wharf of the Rockport Granite Co. Behind it is the wharf used by the Pigeon Hill Granite Company. Known as Colburn’s Point, it is now the location of private homes.

For other views of the Rockport Granite Co. wharf, see:

For other views of the Pigeon Hill Granite wharf, see:

This postcard was published by Souther-Mears Co., a Boston publisher in business only from 1908-1910, and distributed by A.M. Simon, a New York City postcard publisher. It was postmarked in June 1913. The same publisher also produced this view of the wharf.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Main Street, Rockport, Mass., circa 1907


This view shows Main Street in Rockport around 1907. The card was postmarked in Gloucester on July 23, 1907. It is a divided-back postcard, a type of postcard that was first produced in 1907.

MainStreetViewTodayTo the right is a screen capture from Google Streetview showing the same scene today. The larger building to the left, originally built in the 1860s as the Haskins Building, appears to be the same today. In fact, however, it has been replaced by the all-new Shalin Liu Performance Center, completed in 2010 and designed to resemble the former building as closely as possible.

The building in the foreground to the left, which now houses Butler’s Haberdashery, was then the location of Smith’s Hardware, I believe. The building across the street, to the right of the picture, housed the Post Office and the Granite Shore Hotel. Note the trolley tracks running along the road.

For other views of Main St., see the posts here.

This postcard was printed by The Robbins Bros. Co, Boston, and distributed through the Metropolitan News Company, a larger Boston postcard publisher. Robbins was in business from 1907 to 1912.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Two Views of the Hospital, Rockport, Mass., both c. 1907



Here are two views of the former Leander M. Haskins Hospital, which stood at the top of Summit Ave., on what is now known as Hospital Hill. As I’ve previously noted in posts here and here, Haskins was a prominent Rockport businessman and civic leader and this was his home. When he died in 1905, his will left the house to the town to be used as a hospital and park. The hospital opened in 1906 and operated until 1918.

The top postcard was published by The Robbins Bros. Company of Boston, which also published a postcard showing the view of Rockport from Hospital Hill. The company was in business from 1907 to 1912.

The botton postcard was published by Charles H. Andrews of Pigeon Cove. I have one other postcard published by him, showing fishing boats in Pigeon Cove. It is fitting that Andrews published postcards, because from at least 1901 to 1917 (and maybe longer) he was the postmaster in Pigeon Cove.

It appears he also carried on various other activities. Various sources list him as also being an insurance agent in the early 1900s and a sales agent for the Lanesville Granite Company.

On January 24, 1903, the Pigeon Cove Hotel, originally built in 1871, was destroyed by fire, and the fire also destroyed Andrews’ residence, which was adjacent to it. At that time, the hotel was so well known that the story was reported in newspapers throughout the United States, including The New York Times.

According to these reports, Mabel Woolford, who had just purchased the hotel on Dec. 23, 1902, threw a masquerade ball for residents of Pigeon Cove. It is believed that flames from an open fire at the ball spread and caused the fire.

Andrews graduated from Rockport High School in 1882. In 1886, he was a charter member of a fraternal society known as Wonasquam Tribe, No. 23, Improved Order of Red Men. In 1887, he was secretary of the Pigeon Cove chapter of the Agassiz Association, an international association devoted to the study of nature and science.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Witch House, Pigeon Cove, Mass., c. 1915


This is a real-photo postcard of the house that still stands at 188 Granite Street in Pigeon Cove. The house — which is listed on The National Register of Historic Places — is often called the Witch House thanks to a popular story that it was built in 1692 by two brothers from Salem to protect their mother, who suspected of being a witch.

The house is also called the Garrison House and some believe it to be the earliest surviving building in Rockport. According to this story, the original part of the structure was built in 1676 as a defense garrison during King Philip’s War.

We know for certain that, starting in 1704, Joshua Norwood and his family lived here for some 30 years, until they moved to Gap Cove near Straitsmouth Point. In the mid-1800s, the house was run as a boarding house by John Wheeler. A prominent guest who often stayed there was Richard Henry Dana, the poet and lawyer and father of Richard Henry Data, the antislavery activist and author of Two Years Before the Mast.

For two years beginning in 1870, the house was occupied by Dr. Augustus M. Tupper, a popular physician in Rockport for 50 years. In 1925, the house was purchased by Oliver Williams and remains owned by the Williams family.

For more about the history of the house, see my prior posts here, here and here.

The postcard was postmarked in Rockport on Aug. 30, 1915. The sender’s note on the reverse says, “Rockport exceeds my dreams — it is wonderful.”


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Engine House No. 1, Rockport, Mass., c. 1912


This engine house on Front Beach in Rockport was home to the Sandy Bay fire company until 1939, when a new combined fire and police station was built on Broadway. The core of this building was originally constructed as a fire house in Dock Square in 1830 and then moved to Beach St. in 1855. The tower was for drying the cotton hoses they then used.

(Another source I found said that the building was constructed in 1827 in Dock Square and moved in 1829.)

Sandy Bay fire company2

Undated photo showing the steamer and firefighters Michael Slevin, William K. Evans, Frank Fears and Andrew Robb. (Probably c. 1900, when Robb was the captain of the Steamer No. 1 company.)

After it went out of service as a firehouse in 1939, it was used for many years as a facility for tourists. It was demolished less than a decade ago and replaced with new tourist restrooms.

The first fire department in Sandy Bay was organized in January 1807. The first fire engine was purchased in 1827. The second fire engine was purchased by Gloucester and located in the building pictured here. Around 1885, the town bought the steamer “Sandy Bay” and this building became its home.

This postcard was postmarked on July 30, 1912. There is no information about its publisher.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Bowling Alley on Bearskin Neck, c. 1938

Rockport Harbor Scene

A recent posting here show a view across T-Wharf towards Bearskin Neck and the building that once was adjacent to (or part of) Waddell’s boat yard. Someone posted a comment asking if it was true that the building once housed a bowling alley.

It is true, and in the photo above you can see the word “Bowling” painted along the side of the building, which stands near the foot of Bearskin Neck. This photo is from the Boston Public Library collection and is estimated to be from around 1938.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment