Chamber Magazine

2016 Cape Ann Guide

2012 Cape Ann Guide – Experience Cape Ann…serving Essex, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport. Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.

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Page 8 of 75 9 home to the famous Chebacco boat, and the main builder of schooners for Gloucester's fshing feet. More two-masted fshing schooners were built in Essex than anywhere else in the world - over 4,000. In its heyday Essex boasted 15 working boatyards. Today the Essex Shipbuilding Museum and the Lannon and the Ardelle, both Essex-built charter schooners, remind us of that legacy. In the late 1800s Essex turned to its rich mud fats, part of the largest salt marsh in New England, and the high quality shellfsh they provided. The Great Salt Marsh stretches from New Hampshire through Essex and is home and breeding ground to many species of fsh, shellfsh, amphibians, mammals and birds, some of them rare. This vast network of wildlife refuges, beaches and waterways is enjoyed today by bird watchers, boaters, hikers, hunters, kayakers and beach goers. The fried clam was invented in Essex and today's visitors can enjoy a fresh, succulent, fried clam dinner and more in the town's many restaurants. Other attractions include the one remaining shipyard still building wooden vessels, the colonial-era farmhouse Cogswell's Grant, home to an extensive collection of American folk art and the town's numerous antique shops. Rockport Rockport, originally called Sandy Bay, started out as the source of timber for Gloucester. As the wood was cut, the lots were sold and merged, and homesteaders moved in. In 1753 the residents of Sandy Bay were allowed to have a church and became Gloucester's Fifth Parish. Fishing became big business, and by the mid 1800s the granite industry was in full operation, attracting immigrants from Finland, Scandinavia and Italy to work in the quarries. By the 1830s Rockport's quarry industry was on the rise with granite being shipped up and down the eastern seaboard. Rockport granite was used in the building of Fort Warren, the Custom House and the Post Offce in Boston, the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown, the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia, Dog Bar Breakwater and St. Ann Church in Gloucester, to name but a few. It provided the polished stone at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel in New York, the fountain bowls for the Union Station Plaza in Washington, DC, and thousands of paving stones for big city streets. As the granite quarry business rose, the community gained in self-reliance, as did their desire to become self governing. In 1840 the town was set off from the rest of Cape Ann and named, by popular vote, Rockport. With the decline in demand for granite in the early 1900s, Rockport reinvented itself as a thriving artist colony and summer tourist destination. Today's visitors are invited to walk along the granite headlands on well-marked public paths, amble among Rockport's shops and galleries, explore Halibut Point State Park and the Twin Lights, or just enjoy Rockport's sandy beaches and quiet charm. Stephanie Buck, Archivist & Librarian, Cape Ann Museum Shipbuilding c.1895 ©Cape Ann Museum Shipbuilding c.1900 ©Cape Ann Museum Granite workers, Cheves Quarry c.1905 ©Cape Ann Museum Boston Custom House Eagle, 1914 ©Cape Ann Museum

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