Tomorrow is Motif No. 1 Day, Rockport’s annual celebration of its iconic fishing shack. In conjunction with that, Leslie D. Bartlett will premiere his film tonight, The Fish Shack Float that Charmed Chicago, the story of Rockport’s first-prize-winning entry in the 1933 American Legion convention parade in Chicago.
Here are two postcards that commemorate that event. The top one was published by E.C. McIntire of Gloucester and was postmarked in 1936. The bottom one does not identify a publisher and has an unused back.
If you won’t be able to make Bartlett’s film tonight, you can read a detailed account of the float in Eleanor C. Parsons’ 1998 book, Rockport: The Making of a Tourist Treasure. An interesting footnote to the story is that Rockport’s sole police officer at the time, James Quinn, rode his motorcycle to escort the float on its five-day trip from Rockport to Chicago. In doing so, according to Parsons’ book, he set the world’s long distance record of that time for a police motorcycle escort.