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Catalog entry

inv. 124
View in West Parish on Lower Road
c. 1863
Graphite on paper (3 sheets)
9 1/4 x 27 1/4 in. (23.5 x 69.2 cm)
Inscribed lower center (in pencil): F.H. Lane del. / Probably a view in West Parish on lower road

Commentary

The location of the site of this drawing is speculative. The inscription on it, probably by Joseph Stevens, suggests that it is in the West Parish, on the other side of Little River and the Annisquam from Riverdale. One historian of Gloucester has suggested that it shows the farm of Alfred Presson, but we do not know what evidence supports that.

The drawing is one of Lane's relatively few landscape scenes—showing the road along a river, the various fences, and a house along the road.

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Subject Types:   Landscape »
Landscape Types:   Farm / Buildingscape »
Building Types:   Barn »

Historical Materials
Below is historical information related to the Lane work above. To see complete information on a subject on the Historical Materials page, click on the subject name (in bold and underlined).

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map
1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Annisquam River)
H. F. Walling
1851
44 x 34 in.
Henry Francis Walling, Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Essex Co. Massachusetts. Philadelphia, A. Kollner, 1851
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

"Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts. H.F. Walling, Civil Engineer. John Hanson, Publisher. 1851. Population of Gloucester in 1850 7,805. Population of Rockport in 1850 3,213."

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People: Presson, Alfred

Alfred Presson owned land in West Parish which is believed to be the farm depicted in the Lane drawing View in West Parish on Lower Road, c.1863 (inv. 124).

Alfred, who married Mary A. Moore in 1837, was both Treasurer of the Cape Ann Savings Bank and Secretary of the Marine Insurance Company for many years. He lived on India Square with his wife and children, and rented the land in West Gloucester for the support of his mother.

In the continued absence of his older brother William, away at sea, Alfred took on the responsibilities of caring for their widowed mother and managing the Presson Point estate and land that his mother had inherited from her Eveleth ancestors.

The Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives has a large collection of letters from Alfred and his mother to his brother William. Alfred’s are full of local news; his mother is constantly worried about her oldest son’s health in the fever-ridden Caribbean and her daughter’s love life in Gloucester.

Alfred was born February 10, 1807, and died October 17, 1873. He was married November 19, 1837 to Mary A. Moore (1816–66).

letter
Alfred Presson to William Presson, 2.3.1840
Alfred Presson
1840
Letter
Cape Ann Museum Library & Museum, Gloucester, Mass.

This letter was written by Alfred Presson to his brother William, who made long voyages out of New York as a hired captain on traders to the West Indies and the North West Coast of Africa. William rarely returned to Gloucester and was always eager for news of his old hometown. Alfred was Treasurer of the Cape Ann Savings Bank and Secretary of the Marine Insurance Company.

Alfred writes:

"The present winter has been one of great severity to the shipping on our coast. I send you a paper containing an account of the destruction caused by the gale of the 15 Dec. in our harbor. There are some little inaccuracies in the acc. but is not at all exaggerated - the vessels came ashore at the Old Stage, Freemans Beach and at the Steep Bank - I was down there until dark and saw nearly all of them ashore - the vessels that rode out the gale cut away their masts after it came on dark.

The gale of the 26 Dec was perhaps equally severe for a short time, but fortunately few shipping in the harbor, 2 brigs & 2 sch’s drove ashore, the 2 Brigs were entirely lost, cargo of one partly saved, the Sch’rs were got off much injured - the Captains wife of one of the brigs drowned.

You will undoubtedly have heard of the death of Mr. Alphonso Mason and Capt. John G. Low of this town, by the burning of the Lexington, Mason was a valuable man in the community and is very much missed."

Also filed under: Blizzard of 1839 »

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Marks & Labels

Marks: Inscribed upper left (in red ink): 80 [numbering system used by curator A. M. Brooks upon Samuel H. Mansfield's donation of the drawings to the Cape Ann Museum]

Exhibition History

No known exhibitions.

Published References

Cape Ann 1974: Paintings and Drawings by Fitz Hugh Lane, fig. 42.
Citation: "View in West Parish on Lower Road, c. 1863 (inv. 124)." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/catalog/entry.php?id=124 (accessed December 13, 2019).
Record last updated December 27, 2015. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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