Oak Knoll, Pigeon Cove, Mass., circa 1918

[Update 1/2/13: Thanks to a comment below, I’ve identified the present-day location of the former Oak Knoll. See my updated post with photos of the home as it appears today.]

Oak Knoll was a boarding house for summer guests in Pigeon Cove. As best as I can determine, it was located on the east side of Granite Street, between Phillips Avenue and Haven Avenue. I cannot find when it opened or closed, but I found one newspaper reference to it dated Aug. 30, 1914.

Oak Knoll was operated by Mrs. Edwin Canney. I have been unable to find any details about Mrs. Canney, but a Mr. Edward Canney of Pigeon Cove ran quarries in Lanesville and Pigeon Cove and also operated a marine-salvage business. He bought his first quarries in the 1880s. His main pit was near the office of the Cape Ann Tool Company and he also owned pits on the Babson Farm property near Halibut Point.

In 1895, Canney sold all of his Pigeon Cove quarries, totaling some 75 acres, to the Rockport Granite Company. Four years later, in 1899, he bought a quarry in Lanesville. That pit remains on Washington St. in Lanesville, adjacent to Butman’s quarry, on the property more recently owned by famed sculptor Paul Manship, and is still sometimes called the Canney quarry. It produced mostly paving stones and its stones were used in Boston, New York and Philadelphia, as well as in Gloucester.

After buying the Lanesville quarry, Canney constructed an inclined railway that ran from the pit, across Washington and Langsford Streets, down to a granite pier he built. A steam engine carried the granite down the railway, where the stone was loaded on schooners for transport. A flagman stood watch on Langsford Street to stop traffic as the engine approached.

In addition to owning quarries, Canney had a business salvaging shipwrecks from local harbors. For example, in 1905, the Army Corps of Engineers contracted with him to remove the wreck of the schooner Albert H. Harding from the entrance to Pigeon Cove harbor, where it had sunk mid-channel just outside the harbor’s entrance. He was paid $300 for the job.

This postcard was published Rockport Photo Bureau. It has no date or postmark. In the early days of the Rockport Photo Bureau, its cards were numbered. This one, you can see on the image, was number 1072. Based on how that compares to other numbered cards I have, I estimate this to have been published around 1918.

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4 Responses to Oak Knoll, Pigeon Cove, Mass., circa 1918

  1. coffeecup says:

    Excellent research, Bob.

  2. Eoin says:

    This reminds me of a house on Phillips. Across the street from Ken Nickerson place.

  3. Pingback: Update on Oak Knoll: Location Found on Phillips Ave. | Vintage Rockport

  4. Jane O'Maley says:

    Hi Eoin,
    You are correct. The view of it in the picture is from Ocean Ave.

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