In 1918, George W. Perkins — described in news reports as a “prominent fish magnate” — constructed this freezer and cold storage building on T-Wharf in Rockport. Perkins had scouted locations along both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts before settling on Rockport to build his freezing facility. He believed that freezing fresh fish would be a vital new industry for the town.
Such was not to be. The Interstate Fish Corporation building was used only until 1921. It then sat empty for two years until it was destroyed by fire on Aug. 2, 1923. Today, the only vestige of its existence is the brick building at the beginning of T-Wharf that now houses restrooms for tourists, but that once served as the compressor building that circulated ammonia refrigerant to the freezer buildings.
It was not a good year for the Interstate Fish Corporation. Less than a year before the plant burned, a swordfishing vessel owned by the company, the Malicia Enos, was lost at sea with five crew aboard.
This postcard is from the Rockport Photo Bureau. It is unused and undated. The caption’s description of the building as “just completed” dates the photo as from 1918.
For more on the building, see this previous post.
What a fascinating photo and back story. These industrial buildings radically change the image we now have of the architectural landscape of the harbor.