Famous Twin Lights, Thatcher’s Island, 1905


This beautiful image of the Twin Lights on Thachers Island bears the inscription, “Copyright 1905, Martha H. Harvey, Annisquam.” I have another of Harvey’s images in a postcard from 1897 showing the Annisquam River. Note that the postcard also references the Turk’s Head Inn, so perhaps it was produced for the inn.

Harvey, who lived from 1862 to 1949, was an artist and naturalistic photographer. She and her husband, the artist George Wainwright Harvey, lived on River Road in Annisquam and had side-by-side studios there.

Harvey made her living primarily as a photographer, using an 8-x-10-inch camera to produce hundreds of large-format photographs of Gloucester and Cape Ann.

The majority of Harvey’s glass-plate negatives were acquired by Yankee magazine. In 1994, the magazine donated them to the organization Historic New England as part of a collection of more than 2,000 negatives showing New England from the 1890s to the 1930s.

In a reader’s comment to my prior post about Harvey, Chris Shattuck tells a story from the 1960s about how his Annisquam neighbor, Elliot C. Rogers, had come into possession of Harvey’s negatives and of how he convinced Yankee magazine to purchase them.

George Wainwright Harvey, who lived from 1855 to 1930, is described on Cape Ann Museum’s website as one of Cape Ann’s most skilled native artists. According to an 1883 newspaper article about an exhibition of his watercolors, he was “a young Gloucester fisherman whose only instruction in art was gained by watching the artists whom he took out in his boat.” In 1886, George and Martha traveled to Holland so that he could study painting.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Ketchopulos Meat Market, circa 1950


Until the early 1970s, Ketchopulos Meat Market occupied the space at 19 Broadway that is now the location of Rockport House of Pizza. By all accounts, the market was a favorite of locals and tourists alike. But it was the flowers that made it so memorably picturesque.

From at least the 1920s, the market, run by George and Mary Ketchopulos, had pots of flowers decorating its front from spring through fall. But around 1940, Mary added to the display by hanging a trailing purple lantana beneath one of the decorate arches. She received so many compliments that, when the next summer came around, she added nine more lantanas with blue tubs of hydrangeas at the base of each post.

An undated picture of the market.

An undated picture of the market from the Outdoor Gardening book.

The 1962 book, Outdoor Gardening in Pots and Boxes, gives the full details:

Familiar to visitors to picturesque Rockport, Massachusetts, in the summer are the trailing purple lantanas along the front of Ketchopulos Market. Thirty-three years ago, Mrs. Mary Ketchopulos hung a single specimen in one of the arches of the facade which faces northwest. She received so many compliments that the next summer, she added nine more with blue tubs of blue hydrangeas at the base of each post. Here, everything is regularly watered twice a day and three times in very hot weather. Once a week, plants are fed a liquid fertilizer. Over the years, visitors from many states have stopped to admire these container plants.

The market’s floral displays were so popular that, in 1950, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society awarded the market its Bronze Medal. In the society’s annual report, it gave this account:

From the arches of the colonnaded front which abuts the sidewalk, suspended lantanas drip down between tubs of hydrangeas, framing the display of fruits and vegetables whose vivid harvest colors are multiplied by an overhead mirror. Its gayety and beauty delight the flower lover and invite the gourmet.


The market as depicted in a 1925 painting.

Artist Viola Anderson depicted the market in a 1925 painting. As you can see from the picture to the right, there were flowers on display even then, before the arched overhang was added to the building.

As best as I can determine, the market opened in the early 1920s and remained in business until the early 1970s. Just to the right of it was a Jenny service station, the roof of which you can see in this postcard.

The Good Morning Gloucester blog has a picture of the market as it appeared in 1931.

Mary Ketchopulos died in 1964. She was born in Tripolis, Greece, and came to the United States around 1912. George and Mary had two sons and a daughter. I believe that George predeceased Mary.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Surf on Beach Street Near Fo’Penny Knoll, Big Storm of March 4, 1931


As this postcard documents, a major nor’easter hit the Massachusetts and New Hampshire coasts on Wednesday, March 4, 1931, bringing snow, howling winds and the highest tide in 21 years.

The Boston Globe called it the most destructive storm since 1898, reporting that hundreds were made homeless, scores were rescued on the North and South Shores and at Hampton Beach, N.H., and nearly $1 million in damage was caused.

The Boston Globe report did not specifically mention Rockport, but it said that damage was extensive all along the North Shore, with Nahant a virtual island, Salem’s streets flooded, and surf having reached a hotel’s second floor in York Beach, Me.

A New Hampshire newspaper reported:

Never has New Hampshire’s seacoast been so devastated as by the storm and terrific tide of Wednesday morning when mountain-high surf literally lifted cottages into the air, throwing them aside like a bunch of kindling, nothing left worth salvaging.

Remarkably, just four days later, on March 8, a second nor’easter again battered New England. This second storm, the Boston Globe reported, “did little damage other than spread the debris” of the March 4 storm, but it nevertheless created such a “pounding, roaring sea” that roads were clogged with “surf-gazers” all along the North Shore.

This postcard, from Rockport Photo Bureau, shows the surf from the storm hitting against the seawall at Front Beach. It was postmarked on June 24, 1931, indicating that Charles Cleaves, the owner of Rockport Photo Bureau, wasted no time in getting this card printed and in stores.

The caption of the postcard says the picture is on Beach Street near F0’Penny Knoll. That name refers to the rocky outcropping at the north end of Front Beach where the gazebo is located.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Come See Vintage Rockport Tuesday at Rockport Public Library

Vintage postcards poster rev.1 8-9-16

Join us this Tuesday evening, Aug. 9, for a slideshow presentation of postcards from this blog and from my collection. The presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Rockport Public Library on Broadway. The event is sponsored by the Sandy Bay Historical Society.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Foggy Day At Loblolly, Rockport, Mass., c. 1920


Thacher Island and its Twin Lights are dimly visible through the fog in this postcard. The view over Loblolly Cove is from somewhere above Eden Road near where it intersects with Penzance Road.

On several older maps of the area, Loblolly Cove was called Lamorna Cove and Eden Road was called Tintagel Road.

The postcard is from the Rockport Photo Bureau. It was never used or postmarked. By comparing the printing on the reverse to other postcards from the Rockport Photo Bureau, I estimate it to have been published around 1920.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sunset, Rockport, Mass. circa 1904

Here is a classic view of the sun setting over Rockport harbor, as seen from the Headlands. This postcard was postmarked on Aug. 19, 1912, but the picture has to be earlier than that because of what it shows.

Note the smokestack in the center left of the picture. That is from the old Annisquam Cotton Mill, which once filled the area along Broadway between School Street and Main Street. It was destroyed by fire in 1882, but the ruins remained there for another 22 years, until they were finally removed in 1904.

Given that the smokestack was removed in 1904, the picture is from then or earlier.

See also:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

Dock Square, Rockport, Mass., c. 1928


A shoe repair sign is prominent on the right side of this circa 1928 view of Dock Square in Rockport. It is difficult to make out here, but on the road out to Bearskin Neck, near the center of the image, is a banner strung between two light poles displaying the word “Lobsters.”

There is a pole with a sign in the center of the square where today there is an island. In this view from just a couple years later, that pole appears to be gone. In this much earlier view, there was a large tree at that point, just as there is today.

Compare this picture to these two other postcards showing Dock Square:

This postcard was published by the Rockport Photo Bureau. It is not dated. Judging by the appearance of the reverse side and by the cars visible in the picture, I estimate it to be from around 1928.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment