Granite Street and the Bulfinch House, Pigeon Cove, Mass., circa 1900

This is not a postcard, but a photograph from the collection of Pigeon Cove native Merry Seppala. As I’ve mentioned before, Merry has graciously allowed me to scan some of her old photographs and postcards.

A contemporary view of the Bulfinch House.

The elegant Greek Revival home at the center of this picture, which still stands at 96 Granite St. in Pigeon Cove, is full of history. Known today as the Bulfinch House, the house was built in 1840 and supposedly was designed by Charles Bulfinch, one of the leading architects of his time. Among his many accomplishments, Bulfinch designed the original dome and portico of the U.S. Capitol, the Massachusetts State House, and Boston Common. Born in 1763, Bulfinch died in Boston in 1844. If he did, in fact, design this house, it would have been near the end of his life.

Equally as interesting is the man who commissioned the house, Ezra Eames. Eames was just 39 years old when he built this house. He had grown wealthy by buying up granite ledges in Pigeon Cove just as the area’s granite industry was beginning to grow. He also purchased the then-open fields at the top of Pigeon Hill. Eames went on to form the quarrying company Eames, Stimson & Co., in partnership with John Stimson and Beniah Colburn, which later become the Rockport Granite Co., and he was later a founder of the Cape Ann Granite Co. Eames also helped form the original Rockport Railroad Company in 1847 and was the first president of the Rockport National Bank in 1851.

If I have my lineage straight, Eames was the maternal grandfather of Charles Cleaves Jr., the Rockport lawyer and photographer who founded the Rockport Photo Bureau and who photographed so many of the images you see on this blog. Cleaves’ mother Emma was one of the seven children of Ezra and his wife, Miriam Colburn Eames.

The photo is not dated, so I’m guessing at the date. I’ve also cleaned up some stains and scratches that were on the original.

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