Rockport Granite Photos: Granite Pier or Bay View?



These are two prints of photographs taken by Herman W. Spooner of workers at the Rockport Granite Co. The photographs are undated but were most likely taken between 1900 and 1910. The question is where they were taken — Granite Pier or Bay View. If you can help answer that, let me know.


The building at Granite Pier.

Rockport Granite had piers in Rockport, at what is today known as Granite Pier, and in Gloucester, at Bay View. Both piers had buildings that looked just like this. For a view of the building on Granite Pier, see this. For a view of the building at Bay View, see this.

If it was Granite Pier, the perspective would have to be from the other end of the building than you see in the picture at right. The houses in the background don’t seem to match any you see from there today, but there is a lot of new construction and tree growth, so it is hard to say.

The photographer, Spooner, lived from 1870-1941. His day job was as a civil engineer in Gloucester. But he was also a member of the turn-of-the-century Cape Ann Camera Club and a prolific photographer of Cape Ann scenes, vessels and people. Some of his photos are at the Cape Ann Museum and others can be found in Joseph E. Garland’s 1983 book, Down to the Sea: The Fishing Schooners of Gloucester.

Possibly one of Spooner’s most recognizable photographs is his 1900 portrait of fisherman Oliver Emerton. You can see more about it at the Cape Ann Museum. As best as I can determine, Emerton was close to 90 when this photo was taken (he was born in 1814 and died in 1908). His father, also named Oliver Emerton, was also a seaman and was lost at sea during a voyage in 1815, when Oliver was just a year old.

As an engineer, Spooner in 1904 designed a tunnel to run under the Blynman Canal in order to supply fresh water to the city of Gloucester. For 100 years, the Spooner Tunnel supplied water to over 70 percent of Gloucester. It was finally replaced in 2013.

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3 Responses to Rockport Granite Photos: Granite Pier or Bay View?

  1. These are from Bay View.

  2. Anna says:

    Definitely, Bay View! I agree with Leslie!

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