I’ve written several times here about the regular summer visits to Rockport of the North Atlantic squadron and of the to-do its arrival caused among the townspeople. While I’ve seen various photos of the fleet anchored off Rockport, I’ve never seen one that so dramatically conveys the excitement its arrival must have caused. The sight of these warships powering into Sandy Bay must have been something to see.
A July 14, 1906, Boston Daily Globe article gives a taste of this. Headlined, “Rockporters Agog Over Coming of Admiral Evans’ Fleet,” the article began:
All is in readiness for the event to which the townspeople have looked eagerly forward for the past eight weeks, the coming of the North Atlantic squadron to Rockport for its summer headquarters and evolutions. The fleet will remain here during July and August for practice and evolutions, making an occasional visit to other places along the New England coast, then returning to its base.
Sixteen of Uncle Sam’s mightiest floating machines of war, the largest number ever assembled on this coast, it is expected, will be at anchor within this magnificent roadstead, under command of that doughty sea fighter, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans.
The name of the publisher is obscured on this postcard. It bears a Gloucester postmark of Aug. 27, 1907. Since it is unlikely that the picture was taken during the fleet’s 1907 visit, it could well show the very 1906 arrival discussed in the above news article.