11 Broadway Ave., Rockport, Mass., c. 1911

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This is a real-photo postcard showing a house with a woman and her dog standing at the gate. The house is not identified anywhere on the postcard. However, I have identified it as the house that still stands at 11 Broadway Avenue in Rockport. The card was mailed in 1911. There is a long note on the reverse side but it is illegible.

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The same house as it looks today.

An 1884 street atlas of Rockport identifies this property as then belonging to “Levi Gott Heirs.” As far as I can determine, there was only one Levi Gott who ever lived in Rockport in the 1800s. He was a descendant of Samuel Gott, one of Rockport’s first settlers. He married Martha Tarr, a descendant of Richard Tarr, Rockport’s first settler. Levi died in 1876, which would comport with the 1884 atlas listing referring to his heirs.

Interestingly, the fathers of both Levi and Martha — John Gott and Jabez Tarr — fought at the battle of Bunker Hill.

Levi and Martha had two children: John S. Gott, born Dec. 2, 1843, and Susan Tarr Gott, born May 25, 1837. John died in 1928 and is buried at Beech Grove Cemetary.

A later 1899 atlas does not identify the owner of this property, but it shows the house next door as belonging to “J.S. Gott.” It may be, then, that Levi left this property and the one next to it to his children — or at least to John.

The back side shows that the card was mailed on Jan. 9, 2011.

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At Paradise Cliff, Rockport, Mass., c. 1910

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This real-photo postcard shows the view from Paradise Cliff along Eden Road in Rockport. In the distance is Thacher Island and its twin lighthouses, while a schooner passes between the island and the shore.

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1903 ad for lots at Paradise Cliff.

As I explained in an earlier post, this area off Flat Rock along Eden Road was developed as a community of cottages just after the turn of the century. The developer, J.F. Reynolds, himself lived in a house at 34 Eden Road, right at the corner where Eden Road turns sharply westward after following the coastline in a northerly direction. Continue reading

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Old Mill Pond, Rockport, Mass., c. 1912

Old Mill Pond, Rockport, Mass.

This image of Mill Pond looks from the pond’s east side across to the west side and to houses on King Street. The dam is to the right. All of the houses you see here are still standing. The house in the background with the cupola on the roof is today the Linden Tree Inn.

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The same scene today. The mansard roof house now has a deck and a small white cottage now obscures the view of the house next to it.

Mill Pond was built in 1702 by John Pool, the second settler of Sandy Bay. In 1701, he acquired the rights to build a grist mill here. To power the mill, he constructed a dam across the stream, which was then called Davison’s Run and is now called Mill Brook. Most accounts say he also built a saw mill there, from which he supplied lumber used to build Long Wharf in Boston in 1710. Continue reading

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Gott House, Pigeon Cove, Mass., c. 1905

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An 1873 view of the house, before the dormers were added.

An 1873 view of the house, before the dormers were added.

Samuel Gott, a weaver, was the first resident of the area of Pigeon Cove known today as Halibut Point. The postcard identifies his house as having been built in 1701, but most sources put it at a year later, 1702. A Massachusetts Historical Commission report says it could have been anytime between 1702 and 1730.

Whatever the exact date, there is no dispute that it was one of the earliest houses in Pigeon Cove and Sandy Bay. It still stands today and, although it directly borders Halibut Point State Park, it remains privately owned. Continue reading

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Then and Now: The Columbia and The Adventure

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The original Columbia off Gloucester in 1926.

The Adventure racing off Gloucester in 1926.

The Adventure racing off Gloucester in 1926.

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The new Columbia off Gloucester today.

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The Adventure leaving Gloucester harbor today.

The Columbia and The Adventure.

The Columbia and The Adventure preparing to race today off Gloucester.

In 1926, The Columbia and The Adventure competed in the Gloucester schooner race. Today, they competed again. It was an historic match-up in that both boats were more or less resurrected this year. Continue reading

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Best Wishes from Rockport Postmaster ‘Uncle Bill’, 1909

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Here is a highly unusual postcard that was both printed for and sent by William E. Parsons, long known around Rockport as “Uncle Bill” or “Uncle Billy.” Parsons was postmaster of Rockport between 1898 and 1914 and also gained acclaim as half the theatrical team of Parsons & Pool, who traveled widely in the late 1800s putting on performances of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Continue reading

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

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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. Continue reading

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