Live Saving Station, Rockport, Mass., circa 1905

The U.S. Live Saving Station on Gap Cove in Rockport was built in 1889 and remains there today, now a private residence. Originally named the Gap Cove Station, the name was changed to Straitsmouth Station on July 1, 1902. It was active as a life saving station until July 1964.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the first keeper of the station was Jabez Marchant Jr., who was appointed in 1874, at the age of 35, and who resigned Jan. 4, 1896. Next was Charles A. Bearse, appointed Feb. 3, 1896. Next came Frank E.Aublin, who was acting keeper for a time until his appointment on Nov. 12, 1915; Robert F. Pierce, who was reassigned from the Orleans station on July 6, 1921, and who retired on Dec. 11, 1923; and
John J. Glynn, who was keeper from Oct. 15, 1927, until June 20, 1932. Glynn was followed by Chief Boatswains Mate S. H. Cobbett, but he returned on July 20, 1934 and remained until July 18, 1935. He was followed by Everett M. Mills, who arrived on July 12, 1935, and remained until Nov. 4, 1937.

There appear to be two horses and wagons by the shore. I presume they belonged to farmers gathering seaweed to use as fertilizer. Alternatively, they could have been collecting popplestones to use as ballast, but generally sturdier carts would have been used for that.

The postcard is unused and undated. It was published by The Metropolitan News Co., of Boston, which was in business from 1905 to 1916. This is a divided-back postcard, meaning it was produced no earlier than 1907. However, the picture appears to be from even earlier. Note that you can see Straitsmouth Island to the far right of this picture, but you do not see the Straitsmouth Inn, which was built at the tip of Gap Head in 1906. That leads me to believe that the picture is from before the inn was built.

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4 Responses to Live Saving Station, Rockport, Mass., circa 1905

  1. Bob Joseph says:

    The keeper from 1923-1927 was George A. Joseph, my father.

    • Thanks for filling in that gap! Did he share any stories about his time there?

      • Bob Joseph says:

        Ithink he was transferred to that station in 1921. His time there must have been quite uneventful because unlike his time at Pt. Allerton where he had an interesting run-in with rum-runners and was in on some rescues of sailors.. I think in the 20’s, a lot of the work of the CG was rescue of fishermen and sailors. I was born in 1929 so I was not there for his service at Gap Head(Straitsmouth)thanks for your interest. Bob Joseph

  2. Marvin Strong says:

    marvin strong 1960 straitsmouth lifeboat station later maintained island, for William f. Gibbs

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