Two days ago, I posted a postcard, Building Breakwater, Pigeon Cove, Rockport, Mass., circa 1905, that I described as depicting the building of the Sandy Bay breakwater. An astute reader pointed out that the land in the background of the picture looked like Folly Point.
Of course, there is a breakwater at Folly Cove, as anyone who has visited the Lobster Pool restaurant would have seen. Not able to find anything about when the Folly Cove breakwater was constructed, I put the question to the Cape Ann Online discussion board.
Sure enough, I was pointed to the Annual Report of the Massachusetts Board of Harbor and Land Commissioners for 1906. It showed approval of two separate petitions for licenses to build wharves and breakwaters at Folly Cove. The first (Number 3038) said:
Petition of the Rockport Granite Company of Massachusetts for license to build a stone pier and breakwater in extension of its wharf in Massachusetts Bay near Folly Cove, in Rockport. Granted April 2, 1906.
The second (Number 3127) said:
Petition of Charles P. Babson, guardian, for license to build a wharf in Folly Cove, in Rockport. Granted Nov. 16, 1906.
With the benefit of this information, it seems certain that the breakwater being built in this picture was at Folly Cove. Further, because the postcard was produced prior to 1907, it would be the breakwater approved for the Rockport Granite Company. That petition was approved in April 1906, early enough for construction to begin and this picture to be taken within that year — probably that summer.