Today, Steel Derrick Quarry is a popular swimming spot for locals. At the time this picture was taken, it was an active granite quarry, one of two owned by the Pigeon Hill Granite Co. Founded in 1870, Pigeon Hill was Rockport’s second-largest granite company, second to Rockport Granite Company. (Earlier posts here have shown Rockport Granite’s Old Stone Bridge, its wharf and its quarry.) Stone from this particular quarry, known at the time as Pigeon Hill’s “upper pit,” was used in construction of the Longfellow Bridge between Boston and Cambridge.
I will confess, I am not 100% positive this is Steel Derrick. If there are any quarry experts out there reading this, your help would be appreciated. Everything I’ve read about the upper pit quarry seems to place it right about at the location of Steel Derrick. Added to that, I came across this 1907 map of Rockport’s quarries drawn by the U.S. Geological Survey. I’ve drawn a red circle around the upper pit quarry. Comparing this to a Google map view of Steel Derrick, it appears to be an exact match.
I am also guessing at the date of this postcard. I can say with certainty that it was from somewhere between 1907 to 1913. No publisher is identified but the backside indicates that the card was printed in Germany.