The Road to Bearskin Neck, Rockport, Mass., c. 1934


In this view looking down Bearskin Neck, we can see three reminders of Rockport’s bygone days. The first can be found on the building that is slightly to the left of the picture’s center. Today, this building houses The Pewter Shop. According to the shop’s website, it was founded in 1935. I estimate this photo to be from about 1934, so the shop may have opened within a year or so of this photo.

On the facade of that building is a large sign advertising the Artists Ball. In the 1920s and 1930s, the ball was an annual event organized by the artists of Rockport. It was held in the old town hall, and when I enlarge this photo, I can make out the words “Town Hall” on the sign. As I wrote in a prior post, this event was so “spirited” that in 1932 town officials called in state troopers to help keep the party in check. One news report from 1926 described the dancing as continuing until 5 a.m., after which breakfast was served.

The second reminder of bygone days is the sign on the right for the Yellow Bowl. This was a tea room on Bearskin Neck in the 1920s and 1930s. I had another picture of it in this post. Over at the GoodMorning Gloucester blog, Fred Bodin posted a great photo of the Yellow Bowl in 1925, with Waddell’s shipyard in the background.

The third reminder is the white sign further down the road, just above the parked car. You probably can’t read it, but when I enlarge it, it says “Bowling” — an ad for the bowling alley that once stood on Bradley Wharf.

The postcard was published by Rockport Photo Bureau. It is not dated. I estimate it to be from around 1934, based in part on the clues I’ve already described, as well as on the cars that can be seen and the markings on the reverse.

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2 Responses to The Road to Bearskin Neck, Rockport, Mass., c. 1934

  1. cseavey says:

    I think the Artists Ball continued into the 1950s, although perhaps in a less rowdy form. I remember my parents attending an event, held at the Rockport Art Association, in costume. Somewhere in family archives we have a picture of them dressed as Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara on their way to the festivities. By 1943 the Pewter Shop was definitely so named- this links to a photo taken in June of ’43 by the noted photographer Gordon Parks. ( There is another one with “Mrs. Whitney,” presumably Lew’s wife in about the same spot.

  2. Anna says:

    Beautiful Memories! Love the Handmade Items(Jewelry) available from the Pewter Shop! Thanks for Sharing! Sharing=Caring!

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