Several old postcards show the granite bridge that still connects Rockport and Pigeon Cove. But this is the only one I’ve seen that includes the locomotive that hauled granite between Flat Ledge Quarry and Granite Pier.
The Rockport Granite Company, which operated from 1865 to 1933, owned this quarrying operation. It built this 65-foot arched bridge in 1872. It took just 11 weeks to build and, at the time, was one of the largest bridges in the state, according to the Gloucester Times,
In the picture, the locomotive is heading away from the pier, towards the quarry. In the background, through the bridge, you can see the masts of a schooner and the derricks used to load the granite onto the boats.
The picture is by the Rockport Photo Bureau. The postcard is not dated. Because it is an early, divided back postcard, printed in Germany, it is probably from about 1910.
An an interesting aside, I came across this clip from the June 18, 1899, New York Times, reporting on the end of a 15-week strike by workers at the Rockport Granite Company. As you can see from the clip, the workers won, with the company giving in to all their demands. But few workers these days would consider it a victory. They still had to work six days a week, nine hours a day weekdays and eight hours on Saturdays, with time-and-a-half pay for overtime.
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