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Catalog entry

inv. 58
The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene)
Harbor Scene (Gloucester Harbor, the Fort and Ten Pound Island); Harbor Scene (The Fort and Ten Pound Island)
1848
Oil on canvas
20 x 30 in. (50.8 x 76.2 cm)
Signed and dated lower right: F H Lane / 1848

Commentary

When Lane returned to Gloucester in 1848, after spending approximately sixteen years in Boston as a lithographer, he painted a series of extraordinary panoramic views of Gloucester’s Inner Harbor. These views, listed below, illustrate in great detail how the harbor and all its related industries were growing and changing after a decades-long slump. In the late 1840s, a confluence of factors caused a great expansion of Gloucester’s waterfront and fishing industry. The arrival of the railroad in 1847, increased coastal trade from Maine and Canada and new fisheries, and advances in vessel design all contributed to a building boom. Gloucester Harbor was set on the trajectory that would peak fifty years later with the great age of schooner fishing.

The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene) is the only painting we know of where Lane has shown shipbuilding in process. Gloucester did not have an active shipbuilding tradition, partly because the harbor waterfront was already quite crowded. Also, the necessary timber had long ago been cleared from Cape Ann and was difficult to transport from elsewhere. The William Collins wharf was an exception, and Lane has shown all of its activity in great detail. Marine historian Erik Ronnberg has marked and identified all the elements within this painting in fascinating detail below, from the uses of the various pieces of wood and tools to the buildings and wharves in the background. Also note that Lane has signed and dated the painting in the lower right corner on the wonderful wide board fence with the pointed crenellations on top.

Lane’s lithography training is in full view in this painting. He has organized an enormous amount of detail in the foreground in a logical and spatially correct manner without it seeming cluttered. He then takes the viewer into the middle and deep distance of the harbor, where the dead calm of the summer day has slowed all motion and infused the entire painting with a sense of peace and languor at odds with the intense labor of shipbuilding. Perhaps it is lunch hour, and the two fellows chatting in the foreground will be picking up their tools shortly.  

There is a feeling of nostalgia in many of these early harbor views. According to accounts of the period, many people were dismayed by the changes in the waterfront as new wharves and buildings covered up old landmarks, including the Old Fort. Lane may have felt the same way, or perhaps he was painting these pictures for an audience that did.

– Sam Holdsworth

 

A Visual Guide to the Painting

Foreground:

  William Collins (1787 - 1845) was a blockmaker – a trade whose products included many types of wooden rigging fittings, wooden bilge pumps, and a variety of hardwood deck fittings. His products were in constant demand for new and older vessels alike, assuring a prosperous occupation. On his death, his estate was retained by his heirs and the wharf was rented out to the Burnham brothers, who not only resumed the blockmaking trade, but added shipbuilding, rigging, sparmaking, and coopering to the previous services. The Burnhams also bought out Collins’ business inventory and tools, and set up a mast-stepping crane, which can be seen in the left margin of /cat:142/.

While it cannot be documented at this time, it appears that the Burnham brothers were beginning to change their business from a combination of shipbuilding and repair to specializing in the latter, the move to Collins wharf being the initial step in what would lead to a marine railway. That facility would end Gloucester vessel owners’ reliance on hauling facilities in Boston or having to ground their vessels on a graving beach and wait for low tide to clean and repair the hull bottoms.

1. A small vessel (probably a schooner) is under construction at a stage where it is said to be “in frame." The keel has been laid and the stem post set up; framing has commenced, starting amidships and progressing to the ends.

2. Rough timbers on the ground have been chosen for making the frames. The shape of each frame part is cut from the timber whose shape matches the shape of the frame at the point where it will be joined to other parts.

3. The long, straight timbers are for spars (masts, bowsprit, booms, and gaffs). They are first cut square (in cross section) and tapered, using a broad axe; then eight-sided and sixteen-sided with a draw knife. Finally, they are made round, using a spokeshave and a plane.

4. Behind the vessel in frame is a mast-stepping crane and hoisting tackle which lifts the masts at their balance points and positions them over the vessel. On deck, a stepping gang will haul down the lower end (or heel) until the mast is vertical and positioned over the mast hole in the deck. The mast is then lowered and its heel is seated in a slot in the keelson.

5. Alongside the wharf is the recently stepped mast of a vessel hidden from view. The shrouds (lines that support the masts) were seated over the masthead before stepping and are hanging slack until the riggers set them up with deadeyes and lanyards at the vessel’s sides.

6. The cooper’s shed houses a fireplace, a very large steam kettle, and a steam box for steaming and shaping staves for barrels. The staves must be softened by the hot steam so they can be shaped to fit closely to other staves that make up the barrel. This is done by placing them in the steam box and letting them cook for an hour or more. A partially assembled barrel next to the shed shows how the finished barrels are shaped and tapered.

7. A yawl boat with damaged planking has been hauled out for repairs. Boats with blunt bows like this one needed to have their new planks steamed and softened before bending them into place.

Vessels in Harbor Cove (from left to right):

8. A bark, probably in the Surinam Trade, is tied up at Frederick G. Low’s wharf. She has probably just arrived, and preparations are under way to unload the cargo. The sails, hanging loosely to dry, will be taken ashore for washing and repairs.

9. A lumber schooner (rigged as a topsail schooner, as defined by her square fore topsails) is lowering sail and preparing to anchor while waiting for a wharfside berth in which to unload. Gloucester’s Harbor Cove was very shallow at low tide, so vessels had to wait in deeper water for high tide to move to and from wharves and anchorages. The largest ships had to anchor in deep water outside Harbor Cove and be partially unloaded by barges called lighters before going to a wharf for final loading. The deep water between Fort Point, Ten Pound Island, and Rocky Neck was then called The Stream.

10. Beyond the lumber schooner is the bottom of a schooner hulk that has been condemned as unseaworthy and stripped of metal fastenings. What is left will be used as backfill when the new wharf for George H. Rogers is built at that part of Fort Point.

11. The large sloop beyond the lumber schooner’s bow is a stone sloop—used to carry granite blocks and rubble stone from quarry wharves to places where stone piers or buildings were being constructed. This sloop is laying down rubble stone, or riprap, as a foundation for the stone bulkhead pier from which a large timber wharf will be built out.

12. Two fishing schooners are at anchor, one of which appears to be getting underway for a fishing trip. Both vessels are of conservative design and probably used for hand-line fishing from the rails—not in dories. At this period in Gloucester’s history, the fishing industry was beginning to revive after two decades of decline.

13. Near the shore, a man is moving a small New England boat by poling—nudging the boat along by pushing with the pole on the harbor bottom. The boat has possibly been repaired at Fears’ Wharf, and will be poled along the shore to the wharf where it will be outfitted for shore fishing.

14. Beyond the New England boat is a brig tied up at George H. Rogers’s old wharf at the end of Sea Street (now what is left of the lower end of Hancock Street). The brig rig was popular for ships in the earlier years of the Surinam Trade; it slowly gave way to larger barks and ships as the trade grew. Gloucester Harbor was not dredged until the twentieth century, and when ever-larger vessels were needed, the foreign trade was moved to Boston, where harbor depth was not a problem. By 1860, Gloucester’s fishing industry had the harbor virtually to itself.

15. A yawl boat is tied up to an extension of George H. Rogers’s wharf. Yawl boats were used on hand-line fishing schooners as life boats and for harbor errands. This was also true for many merchant vessels, both in coastal and foreign trades. 

Fort Point land features:

16. Atop Fort Point are the remains of Fort Defiance, used for harbor defense from the mid-eighteenth century to the end of the War of 1812. Thereafter, it was allowed to crumble, prompting Gloucester citizens to help themselves to the bricks and stonework to build cellars for their new houses. 

17. To the left of the fort’s remains is a small wooden building used by fishermen for stowing their gear.

18. The long white building below the fort was built by George H. Rogers, circa 1847. This was the beginning of his office, storehouse, and wharf complex, whose construction was ongoing to 1850.

19. The fish wharf of John W. Lowe is the oldest such pier on Fort Point, dating back to the eighteenth century. The stone cob wharf with the gambrel-roof buildings is the oldest part, with timber-wharf extensions and a third building added later.

20. The low land to the right was part of Pavilion Beach, which connected Fort Point to Gloucester’s mainland. It was used as a flake yard for drying salt cod on long wooden racks called fish flakes.

Outside Harbor Cove:

21. Beyond Fort Point, and partially hidden by it, is Ten Pound Island—one of two islands in Gloucester Harbor, the other named Five Pound Island. Both islands were named for the number of sheep pounds they had, not the supposed money paid for them by Cape Ann’s early settlers. The white building is Ten Pound Island Light, with the lightkeeper’s house built around it.

22. On the horizon at left is Eastern Point and its lighthouse, marking the east side of the entrance to Gloucester Harbor.

Other views of Harbor Cove:

Surviving depictions of Harbor Cove by Lane have been dated from 1842 to 1850 (with another uncataloged possibility dated circa 1851). Listed chronologically, these include:

Old Fort at Gloucester, 1842 (not published)

The Old Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 28)

The Old Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 30)

The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1847 (inv. 271)

View of Gloucester Harbor, 1848 (inv. 97)

The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene), 1848 (inv. 58) (Invs. 97 and 58 use different viewing points)

Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240) (from drawing View in Gloucester Harbor, 1850s (inv. 143))

View Across Gloucester Inner Cove, from Road near Beach Wharf, 1850s (inv. 142)

View in Gloucester Harbor, 1850s (inv. 143)

– Erik Ronnberg

[+] See More

Supplementary Images

Viewpoint chart showing Lane's location when making this image (overall view)
Viewpoint chart showing Lane's location when making this image (close-up view)

Additional material

  • Letter: Letter from poet Charles Olson to Alfred Mansfield Brooks, June 12, 1960, published in Charles Olson: Letters Home 1949-1969, edited by David Rich, published by Cape Ann Museum, 2010. [click image to enlarge]
  • Document: Diagram accompanying letter by poet Charles Olson to Alfred Mansfield Brooks, June 12, 1960, published in Charles Olson: Letters Home 1949-1969, edited by David Rich, published by Cape Ann Museum, 2010. [click image to enlarge]
  •  

    Explore catalog entries by keywords view all keywords »

    Subject Types:   Harbor Scene »
    Vessel Types:   Brig »   //   New England Boat »   //   Schooner »   //   Yawl Boat/ Dory/Wherry »
    Vessel Activites:   At Wharf »
    Animals & People:   Children »
    Activities of People:   Shipbuilding »
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    Building Types:   Commercial Building »

    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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    artwork
    The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene)
    Fitz Henry Lane
    1848
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 30 in.
    Newark Museum, N.J., Gift of Mrs. Chant Owen, 1959 (59.87)

    Detail of harbor scene.

    [ top]

    William Collins likely inherited his father's blockmaking business in 1810, including a shop and the wharf at the head of Harbor Cove. Blockmaking, which included the making of various types of rigging fittings (blocks, deadeyes, belaying pins, cleats, etc.) called for skilled workmanship and use of special types of wood. Inventories and auction announcements for William Collins’ estate give long lists of tools, materials, and products from his business. (Ref. 1)

    Maps of the harbor from 1835 identify the wharf as Collins property, one of them being labeled “Wm. Collins”, suggesting sole ownership by then. When William Collins died in 1845, the property remained in the hands of his family, as indicated in Walling’s map of Cape Ann (1851) and in the Commissioner’s Map of Gloucester Harbor (1865).

    Collins’ death did not mean the end of his wharf’s use in his line of work. An announcement in "The Gloucester Telegraph" that year stated that Parker Burnham & Brothers would resume the blockmaking business on the wharf, along with sparmaking and carpentry. All those activities were associated not just with shipbuilding, but with vessel maintenance and repair. They possibly marked the beginning of a major change in the Burnhams’ business, which had focused on shipbuilding to this point, but was now shifting to vessel repairs, and would lead to their building Gloucester’s first marine railway half a decade later.(Ref. 3)

    –Erik Ronnberg

    References:

    1. “Gloucester Telegraph”, April 2, 1845. Administrator’s Sale, April 9, 10 o’clock, Wm. P. Dolliver, Adm’r. Massachusetts Archives, Probate Records, Essex County, March 1845.

    2. Henry F. Walling, “Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Essex County, Massachusetts” (Philadelphia: A. Kollner, 1851). “Commissioners” Map of Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts” (Commissioners on Harbors and Flats of the Commonwealth, October, 1865).

    3. “Gloucester Telegraph”, May 7, 1845. “Removal”, Parker Burnham & Brothers, Gloucester, April 23, 1845.

    publication
    1845 Gloucester Telegraph 4.2.1845
    4.2.1845
    Newspaper announcement
    Gloucester Telegraph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

     AUCTION

    ADMINISTRATOR’S SALE

    ON WEDNESDAY, April 9th, 10 o’clock Workshop of Wm. Collins (deceased) near Willam Burnham’s, will be sold. ALL the STOCK, TOOLS. &c. &c., of said shop,

    Consisting in part as follows, About 400 Blocks of different sizes; 600 unfinish-ed Blocks; lot of Lignumvita  Belaying Pins; Jib Hanks; Hand Pumps; 2 Guns; Handspikes; Knives; 1 large Grindstone; Saws; Gouges; Chisels; Planes; Augers; Bitt Stocks and Bitts; 1 Turning Lathe; 2 Vices; Stove and Funnel; Crow Bars; Hammer and Drills; Wheelbarrow; 2 large New Purchase Blocks; 2 second hand do. do.; together with a variety of other articles too numerousto mention.

    Also, a SAIL BOAT

    Wm. P. DOLLIVER, Adm’r.

    If it should be foul weather, the sale will take

    Place the first fair day after.                    March 29

    [+]
    publication
    1845 Gloucester Telegraph 5.7.1845
    5.7.1845
    Newspaper announcement
    Gloucester Telegraph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    REMOVAL.

    The Subscribers have taken the Wharf of the Late Mr. Wm. Collins, where they will keep a large assortment of good BLOCKS, MAST HOOPS, JIB HANKS, Hand and Vessel PUMPS, and all articles made in a Block Maker’s Shop. Blocks repaired and Well Pumps made at short notice. They will also carry on Spar making with their Carpentering business.

    PARKER BURNHAM & BROTHERS.

    Gloucester, April 23, 1845

    [+]
    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail showing Collins' wharf)
    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."

    Segment of Harbor Village portion of map showing Collins' and other wharves in the Inner Harbor.

    Image: Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    [+]
    map
    1865 Commissioners' Map of Gloucester Harbor Massachusetts
    A. Boschke
    1865
    41 x 29 inches
    Courtesy of the Massachusetts Archives
    Maps and Plans, Third Series Maps, v.66:p.1, no. 2352, SC1/series 50X

    .

    [+]
    [ top]

    In the 1850s, Captain Frederick G. Low owned fully one-third of the land comprising Duncan's point, including the lot purchased by Lane for his home and studio. Much of his property fronted the Inner Harbor, including two wharves in Harbor Cove and a third jutting southeast from the point toward Harbor Rock (see Walling & Hanson map below.)

    Low's wharves are not conspicuous in any of Lane's depictions of Gloucester Harbor, which is ironic because many of his harbor scenes were sketched from Low's property. In The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene), 1848 (inv. 58), his wharf adjacent to the Collins estate wharf is obscured by a building on the Collins wharf and a  ship tied up to his own wharf. In Gloucester Harbor, 1852 (inv. 38), his wharf extending to Harbor Rock is concealed by the rocks off Fort Point with only a bark to mark the head of the wharf to which it is tied up.

    Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck, 1844 (inv. 14), depicting the town from Rocky Neck, is the only painting which shows the shore line where Lowe's wharves were located (or to be located, given the early, 1844, date of this work). Lane's lithograph of 1846 (View of Gloucester, (From Rocky Neck), 1846 (inv. 57)) is similarly problematic, and his 1859 version (View of Gloucester, Mass., 1859 (not published)) shows so many changes that the earlier wharves are no longer discernible.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    map
    Harbor Parish in 1845 after John Mason's survey
    1845
    Watercolor on paper
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    [+]
    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Gloucester Harbor)
    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, Printer. 1851. Population of Gloucester in 1850 7,805. Population of Rockport in 1850 3,213."

    [+]
    map
    1834–35 Mason Map: Gloucester Harbor (detail 1)
    John Mason
    1834–35
    Lithograph
    24 x 38 in.
    Gloucester City Archives

    "Drawn on a scale of one hundred feet to an inch. By John Mason 1834–45 from Actual Survey showing every Lott and building then standing on them giving the actual size of the buildings and width of the streets from the Canal to the head of the Harbour & part of Eastern point as farr as Smith's Cove and the Shore of the same with all the wharfs then in use. Gloucester Harbor 1834–35." 

    This map shows the location of F. E. Low's wharf and the ropewalk. Duncan's Point, the site where Lane would eventually build his studio, is also marked.

    The later notes on the map are believed to be by Mason.

    [+]
    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Cove)
    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."

    Segment of Harbor Village portion of map showing Low's, Rogers', and other wharves in the Inner Harbor.

    [+]
    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Parish)
    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."

    [+]
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail showing wharves)
    H. F. Walling
    1851
    44 x 34 in.
    John Hanson, Publisher
    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."

    [+]
    [ top]

    George H. Rogers was one of Gloucester's most enterprising citizens of the mid-nineteenth century. In the early 1830s, he ventured into the Surinam trade with great success, leading him to acquire a wharf at the foot of Sea Street. Due to Harbor Cove's shallow bottom at low tide, berthings at wharves had to be done at high tide, leaving the ships grounded at other times. Many deep-loaded vessels had to anchor outside Harbor cove and be partially off-loaded by "lighters" (shallow-draft vessels that could transfer cargo to the wharves) before final unloading at wharfside. To lessen this problem, Rogers had an unattached extension built out from his wharf into deeper water (see The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene), 1848 (inv. 58), right middle ground). The space between the old wharf and the extension may have been a way to evade harbor regulations limiting how far a pier head could extend into the harbor. Stricter rules were not long in coming after this happened!

    About 1848, Rogers acquired land on the east end of Fort Point, first putting up a large three-story building adjacent to Fort Defiance, then a very large wharf jutting out into Harbor Cove. Lane's depictions of Harbor Cove and Fort Point show progress of this construction in 1848 (The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene), 1848 (inv. 58)), 1850 (Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240)), and c.1851 (Gloucester Harbor (not published)). A corner of the new wharf under construction can also be seen more closely in Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 17) and Ten Pound Island in Gloucester Harbor, 1864 (inv. 104) (foregrounds). This new wharf provided better frontage for large ships to load and unload, as well as larger warehouses and lofts for storage of goods and vessel gear.

    By 1860, Rogers was unloading his Surinam cargos at Boston, as ever-larger ships and barks were more easily berthed there. His  Gloucester wharves continued to be used for deliveries of trade goods by smaller vessels. In the late 1860s, Rogers' wharf at Fort Point (called "Fort Wharf" in Gloucester directories) was acquired by (Charles D.) Pettingill & (Nehemiah) Cunningham for use in "the fisheries" as listed by the directory. in 1876, it was sold to (John J.) Stanwood & Company, also for use in "the fisheries." (1)

    Lowe's Wharf, adjacent to Fort Wharf, was acquired by (Sylvester) Cunningham & (William) Thompson, c.1877 and used in "the fisheries" as well. That wharf and its buildings were enlarged considerably as the business grew. By this time, Harbor Cove was completely occupied by businesses in the fisheries or providing services and equipment to the fishing fleet. In photographs of Fort Point from this period, it is difficult to distinguish one business from another, so closely are they adjoined.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    Reference:

    1. A city atlas, dated 1899, indicates that Rogers's wharf at Fort Point was still listed as part of his estate. If so, then Stanwood & Co. would have been leasing that facility from the Rogers's estate. 

    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Cove)
    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."

    Segment of Harbor Village portion of map showing Low's, Rogers', and other wharves in the Inner Harbor.

    [+]
    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Parish)
    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."

    [+]
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail showing wharves)
    H. F. Walling
    1851
    44 x 34 in.
    John Hanson, Publisher
    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."

    [+]
    map
    1865 Commissioners' Map of Gloucester Harbor Massachusetts
    A. Boschke
    1865
    41 x 29 inches
    Courtesy of the Massachusetts Archives
    Maps and Plans, Third Series Maps, v.66:p.1, no. 2352, SC1/series 50X

    .

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    View from Belmont House, of a fishing wharf, with the Old Fort of 1812 opposite
    William A. Elwell
    1876
    Photograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Ignatius Weber's windmill (now defunct) is shown.

    Image: Cape Ann Museum
    [+]
    [ top]

    The northeast quarter of Gloucester Harbor is an inlet bounded by Fort Point and Rocky Neck at its entrance. It is further indented by three coves: Harbor Cove and Vincent’s Cove on its north side, and Smith’s Cove on its south side. The shallow northeast end is called Head of the Harbor. Collectively, this inlet with its coves and shallows  is called  Inner Harbor.

    The entrance to Inner Harbor is a wide channel bounded by Fort Point and Duncan’s Point on its north side, and by Rocky Neck on its south side. From colonial times to the late nineteenth century, it was popularly known as “the Stream” and served as anchorage for deeply loaded vessels for “lightering” (partial off-loading). Subsequently it was known as “Deep Hole.”

    Of Inner Harbor’s three coves, Harbor Cove (sometimes called “Old Harbor” in later years) was the deepest and most heavily used by fishing vessels in the Colonial Period, and largely dominated by the foreign trade in the first half of the nineteenth century. Its shallow bottom was the undoing of the foreign trade, as larger vessels became too deep to approach its wharves, and the cove returned to servicing a growing fishing fleet in the 1850s.

    Vincent’s Cove, a smaller neighbor to Harbor Cove, was bare ground at low tide, and mostly useless for wharfage. Its shoreline was well suited for shipbuilding, and the cove was deep enough at high tide for launching. Records of shipbuilding there prior to the early 1860s have to date not been found.Smith’s Cove afforded wharfage for fishing vessels at its east entrance, as seen in Lane’s lithograph View of the Town of Gloucester, Mass., 1836 (inv. 86). The rest of the cove saw little use until the expansion of the fisheries after 1865.

    The Head of the Harbor begins at the shallows surrounding Five Pound Island, extending to the harbor’s northeast end. Lane’s depiction of this area in Gloucester Harbor, 1847 (inv. 23) shows the problems faced by vessel owners at low tide. Despite the absence of deep water, this area saw rapid development after 1865 when a thriving fishing industry needed waterfront facilities, even if they were accessible only at high tide.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    photo (historical)
    Inner Harbor, Gloucester
    c.1870
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive (2013.068)

    Schooner fleet anchored in the inner harbor. Looking east from Rocky Neck, Duncan's Point wharves and Lane house (at far left), Sawyer School cupola on Friend Street.

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Head of the Harbor, Gloucester
    William A. Elwell
    1876
    Photograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    Image: Cape Ann Museum
    [+]
    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Gloucester Harbor)
    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, Printer. 1851. Population of Gloucester in 1850 7,805. Population of Rockport in 1850 3,213."

    [+]
    artwork
    Key to Lane drawing showing ownership of wharves on Inner Harbor
    Fitz Henry Lane
    View Across Gloucester Inner Cove, from Road near Beach Wharf
    1850s
    Graphite on paper (2 sheets)
    9 1/4 x 22 in. (23.5 x 55.9 cm)
    Cape Ann Museum / Erik Ronnberg
    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Harbor Cove and skyline from the fort
    unknown
    c.1870
    4 x 6 in.
    Cape Ann Museum, Benham Collection

    George Steele sail loft, William Jones spar yard, visible across harbor. Photograph is taken from high point on the Fort, overlooking business buildings on the Harbor Cove side.

    [+]
    map
    1830 Mason Map
    John Mason
    1830
    Series Maps. v. 13: p. 17
    SC1 / series 48X
    Massachusetts Archives, Boston
    Image: Courtesy of the Massachusetts Archives
    [+]
    map
    1834–35 Mason Map: Gloucester Harbor (detail 1)
    John Mason
    1834–35
    Lithograph
    24 x 38 in.
    Gloucester City Archives

    "Drawn on a scale of one hundred feet to an inch. By John Mason 1834–45 from Actual Survey showing every Lott and building then standing on them giving the actual size of the buildings and width of the streets from the Canal to the head of the Harbour & part of Eastern point as farr as Smith's Cove and the Shore of the same with all the wharfs then in use. Gloucester Harbor 1834–35." 

    This map shows the location of F. E. Low's wharf and the ropewalk. Duncan's Point, the site where Lane would eventually build his studio, is also marked.

    The later notes on the map are believed to be by Mason.

    [+]
    map
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail showing graving beach)
    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."

    Segment of Harbor Village portion of map showing Collins' and other wharves in the Inner Harbor.

    Also filed under: Graving Beach »

    [+]
    map
    1854 U.S. Coast Survey, Gloucester Harbor, Sketch
    A. D. Bache, Superintendent, Preliminary Chart of Gloucester Harbor, Massachusetts. (Washington, D.C.: Survey of the Coast of the United States, 1854.)
    Collection of Erik Ronnberg
    [+]
    map
    1865 Commissioners' Map of Gloucester Harbor Massachusetts
    A. Boschke
    1865
    41 x 29 inches
    Courtesy of the Massachusetts Archives
    Maps and Plans, Third Series Maps, v.66:p.1, no. 2352, SC1/series 50X

    .

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Black Rock Spindle, Gloucester Harbor
    N. L. Stebbins, Publisher
    1891
    Photograph in The Illustrated Coast Pilot with Sailing Directions. The Coast of New England from New York to Eastport, Maine including Bays and Harbors, published by N. L. Stebbins, Boston
    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Cape Ann Scenery: Artistic Series No. 29 East Gloucester from Friend street
    Procter Brothers, Publisher
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Cape Ann Scenery: East Gloucester
    E.G. Rollins, Publisher
    c.1870s
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    From East Gloucester looking towards Gloucester.

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Cape Ann Scenery: No. 908 Winter Scene, Gloucester Harbor
    Procter Brothers, Publishers
    1876
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Stereo view showing Gloucester Harbor after a heavy snowfall

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Five Pound Island
    c.1870
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Five Pound Island and Gloucester inner harbor taken from the top of Hammond Street building signs in foreground are for Severance, Carpenter and Crane, and Cooper at Clay Cove.  

    Also filed under: Five Pound Island »

    [+]
    artwork
    Gloucester Harbor
    Fitz Henry Lane
    Gloucester Harbor
    1852
    Oil on canvas
    28 x 48 1/2 in.
    Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Deposited by the City of Gloucester, 1952. Given to the city by Mrs. Julian James in memory of her grandfather Sidney Mason, 1913 (DEP. 200)

    Detail of fishing schooner.

    Also filed under: Schooner (Fishing) »

    [+]
    artwork
    Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck
    Fitz Henry Lane
    1844
    Oil on canvas
    34 x 45 3/4 in.
    Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Mrs. Jane Parker Stacy (Mrs. George O. Stacy),1948 (1289.1a)

    Detail of party boat.

    Image: Cape Ann Museum

    Also filed under: Party Boat »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Lane's House at Duncan's Point
    E. G. Rollins
    c.1869
    Glass plate negative
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    Detail from CAHA#00279

    The magnificent views of Gloucester Harbor and the islands from the top floor of the stone house at Duncan's Point where Lane had his studio were the inspiration for many of his paintings.

    From Buck and Dunlop, Fitz Henry Lane: Family, and Friends, pp. 59–74.

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Pinky "Mary" at anchor (detail)
    Martha Hale Harvey
    1890s
    Glass plate negative
    3 x 4 in.
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    #10112
    Image: Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    [+]
    photo (historical)
    View from Belmont House, of a fishing wharf, with the Old Fort of 1812 opposite
    William A. Elwell
    1876
    Photograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Ignatius Weber's windmill (now defunct) is shown.

    Image: Cape Ann Museum
    [+]
    illustration
    View of the Old Fort and Harbor 1837
    Fitz Henry Lane, attr.
    1860
    In John J. Babson, History of the Town Gloucester (Gloucester, MA: Procter Brothers, 1860)
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, Mass.

    See p. 474.

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    [ top]

    Preceded by Annisquam as the earliest permanently settled harbor and Gloucester’s original first parish, Gloucester Harbor did not become a seaport of significance until the end of the 17th century. Its earliest fishing activity was focused on nearby grounds in the Gulf of Maine, few vessels venturing further to the banks off Canada. After 1700, as maritime activity was well-established in fishing, shipbuilding, and coastal trade, the waterfront saw the expansion of flake yards for drying fish and wharves for berthing and outfitting vessels, loading lumber and fish, and receiving trade goods. Shipbuilding was also carried on, using shorelines with straight slopes not suited for wharves.

    By 1740, the majority of Cape Ann-owned vessels were berthed in Gloucester Harbor; three years later, Watch House Point (now called Fort Point) was armed and fortified. The fishing fleet continued to grow, numbering over 140 vessels by the time of the Revolution. A customs office was established in 1768, resulting in strong protests over seizures of contraband. Revolution brought hardship to the fishing industry, forcing many vessel owners to resort to privateering.

    Independence saw a much-diminished fishing fleet and a severely impoverished seaport. With the Federally-sponsored incentive of the codfish bounties, Gloucester fishermen began to rebuild their fishing fleet. By 1790, trade with Surinam was under way, leading to the building and purchase of merchant vessels, new wharves, and improvements to old wharves in Harbor Cove, which had become Gloucester’s center of maritime activity. In addition to shipyards and sail lofts, two ropewalks furnished cordage for rigging.

    The first four decades of the 19th century saw fitful growth in the fishing industry, due to the interruptions of war and financial panics. Few wharves were added to the waterfront in that period, and when new ones were built, their purpose was to serve the growing Surinam Trade. Fishing had come to its low point in the 1840s when the railroad reached Gloucester, opening a huge inland market for the fish it caught. The use of ice to keep fish fresh, combined with new and faster fishing schooners to get it quickly to port, sparked a revival in Gloucester’s fishing industry. 

    As Gloucester’s fishing industry revived, its growth in the Surinam Trade was hampered by its shallow harbor which made berthing of ever larger ships more difficult. Forced to seek a deeper harbor, merchants reluctantly sent their largest ships to Boston for unloading. Between 1850 and 1860, this process continued until ships and warehouses were relocated and their owners commuted to Boston by rail, leaving their old wharves to the fishing fleet. In 1863, the Surinam trade collapsed.                                                                                                                                 

    Gloucester’s fishing fleet grew dramatically in the 1850s for more reasons than ice, railroads, and faster schooners. The technology of catching fish also improved dramatically. Hand-line fishing (two hooks on a line) gave way to dory trawling with many hooks on a very long “trawl line,” while fishing for mackerel with hand-lines was replaced by “purse seining,” setting a 1,000-foot-long net in a circle around a school of mackerel. These dramatic improvements in productivity were expensive but made possible by the fishermen organizing a mutual savings bank to serve their needs and a mutual insurance company to cover their risks. These advantages could not be matched by any other fishing communities in New England or in the Canadian Maritime Provinces, sparking a huge migration of fishermen to Gloucester. These newcomers were welcomed to fill a growing work force while Gloucester’s native work force moved on to other, less dangerous, occupations.

    Lane’s depictions of Gloucester’s waterfront best illustrate the period before 1850. After that date, his attention turned more to the Harbor’s outer shores, to nearby communities such as Manchester, to New York, back to Boston, and north to Maine. While his lapse of interest is regrettable, the scenes and activity he missed were becoming popular with photographers while his earlier waterfront views are nowhere else to be found.

    –Erik Ronnberg

    References: 

    Dates and happenings were based on (or confirmed by):

    Mary Ray and Sarah V. Dunlap, “Gloucester, Massachusetts Historical Time-Line (Gloucester: Gloucester Archives Committee, 2002).

    Improvements to Gloucester’s fishing technology, management, and financing are based on:

    Wayne O’ Leary, “Maine Sea Fisheries” (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1996), pp. 166–179 (fishing technology), 235–251 (management and financing), and 235–251 (in-migration to Gloucester).

     

    photo (historical)
    Harbor Cove and skyline from the fort
    unknown
    c.1870
    4 x 6 in.
    Cape Ann Museum, Benham Collection

    George Steele sail loft, William Jones spar yard, visible across harbor. Photograph is taken from high point on the Fort, overlooking business buildings on the Harbor Cove side.

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Head of the Harbor, Gloucester
    William A. Elwell
    1876
    Photograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
    Image: Cape Ann Museum
    [+]
    photo (historical)
    View from Belmont House, of a fishing wharf, with the Old Fort of 1812 opposite
    William A. Elwell
    1876
    Photograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Ignatius Weber's windmill (now defunct) is shown.

    Image: Cape Ann Museum
    [+]
    1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail showing wharves)
    H. F. Walling
    1851
    44 x 34 in.
    John Hanson, Publisher
    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."

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Cape Ann Scenery: No. 44 Gloucester Harbor
    John S. E. Rogers, Publisher
    c.1875
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    This view of Gloucester's Inner Harbor shows three square-rigged vessels in the salt trade at anchor. The one at left is a (full-rigged) ship; the other two are barks. By the nature of their cargos, they were known as "salt ships" and "salt barks" respectively. Due to their draft (too deep to unload at wharfside) they were partially unloaded at anchor by "lighters" before being brought to the wharves for final unloading.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Cape Ann Scenery: No. 82 View of Sch. "E. A. Horton"
    Procter Brothers, Publisher
    1870s
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    "Said schooner was captured about the first of September, 1871, by Capt. Torry, of the Dominion Cutter 'Sweepstakes,' for alleged violation of the Fishery Treaty. She was gallantly recaptured from the harbor of Guysboro, N.S., by Capt. Harvey Knowlton., Jr., (one of her owners,) assisted by six brave seamen, on Sunday night, Oct. 8th. The Dominion Government never asked for her return, and the United States Government very readily granted her a new set of papers."

    Also filed under: Fishing »   //  Historic Photographs »   //  Schooner (Fishing) »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Cape Ann Scenery: No. 908 Winter Scene, Gloucester Harbor
    Procter Brothers, Publishers
    1876
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Stereo view showing Gloucester Harbor after a heavy snowfall

    [+]
    model
    Crib wharf model, period 1825
    Laurence Jensen
    c.1898
    Wood, metal, and paint
    20 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 10 1/2 in., scale: 1/2" = 1'
    Made for the Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1892–93
    Cape Ann Museum, from Gloucester Chamber of Commerce

    The wharf is built up of "cribs", square (sometimes rectangular) frames of logs, resembling a log cabin, but with spaces between crib layers that allow water to flow freely through the structure.Beams are laid over the top crib, on which the "deck" of the wharf is built. Vertical pilings (or "spiles" as locally known) are driven at intervals to serve as fenders where vessels are tied up.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    Image: Erik Ronnberg

    Also filed under: Cob / Crib Wharf »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Gloucester wharf
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Also filed under: Fishing »   //  Historic Photographs »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Inner Harbor, Gloucester
    c.1870
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive (2013.068)

    Schooner fleet anchored in the inner harbor. Looking east from Rocky Neck, Duncan's Point wharves and Lane house (at far left), Sawyer School cupola on Friend Street.

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    [ top]

    In the ninteenth century, the term "bark" was applied to a large sailing vessel having three masts, the first two (fore and main) being square-rigged; the third (mizzen), fore-and-aft rigged. The reduced square-rig made the vessel easier and more economical to handle, using a smaller crew. (1)

    Barks had significant presence in mid-nineteenth-century America, as indicated by Lane’s depictions of them. Hardly any are to be found in his scenes of major ports, but some do appear in his Cape Ann scenes (see The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene), 1848 (inv. 58), View of Gloucester, 1859 (inv. 91), Gloucester Harbor, 1850s (inv. 391), and Bark "Eastern Star" of Boston, 1853 (not published)), also in views of other small ports and of coastal shipping (see Clipper Ship "Southern Cross" in Boston Harbor, 1851 (inv. 253), Merchantmen Off Boston Harbor, 1853 (inv. 267), Approaching Storm, Owl's Head, 1860 (not published), and Bark "Mary" (not published)).

    Brigs, and to a lesser extent ships, were the vessels of choice for Gloucester’s foreign trade in the first half of the nineteenth century. They brought cargos from the West Indies, South America, and Europe, anchoring in the deeper parts of the Inner Harbor while lighters off-loaded the goods and landed them at the wharves in Harbor Cove, by then too shallow for the newer, larger merchant vessels coming into use. (2) By mid-century, barks were gradually replacing brigs and ships, while the trade with Surinam was removed to Boston in 1860. (3)

    Some bulk cargos still had to be landed in Gloucester, salt for curing fish being the most important. “Salt barks” brought Tortugas salt from the West Indies, and in the 1870s, Italian salt barks began bringing Trapani salt from Sicily. The importation of salt by sailing ships ended with the outbreak of World War I. (4)

    The term barkentine, like the bark, pre-dates the nineteenth century, but in the mid- to late 1800s referred to a large vessel of three masts (or more), with only the fore mast square-rigged, the others being fore-and-aft-rigged. In Lane’s time, the term was little known in the United States, while many other names were coined for the rig. One of these early terms was demi-bark, probably from the French demi-barque, which was applied to a very different kind of vessel. (5) Lane’s depictions of these rigs include a lithograph of the steam demi-bark "Antelope" View of Newburyport, (From Salisbury), 1845 (inv. 499) and at least three depictions of Cunard steamships The "Britannia" Entering Boston Harbor, 1848 (inv. 49), Cunard Steamship Entering Boston Harbor (inv. 197), and Cunard Liner "Britannia", 1842 (inv. 259). (6) None of these subjects typify the barkentine rig as applied to sails-only rigs as they developed in the years after Lane’s death.

    – Erik Ronnberg (May, 2015)

    References:

    1. R[ichard] H[enry] Dana, Jr., The Seaman's Friend (Boston; Thomas Groom & Co., 1841. 13th ed., 1873), 97 and Plate IV with captions; and M.H. Parry, et al., Aak to Zumbra: A Dictionary of the World's Watercraft (Newport News, VA: The Mariners’ Museum, 2000), 43.

    2. Alfred Mansfield Brooks, Gloucester Recollected (Gloucester, MA: Peter Smith, 1974), 56, note 10; 67, note 7.

    3. James R. Pringle, History of the Town and City of Gloucester (1892. Reprint: Gloucester, MA, 1997), 106–08.

    4. Raymond McFarland, A History of the New England Fisheries (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1911), 95–96; and Mark Kurlansky, Salt: A World History (New York: Walker & Co., 2002), 419–420.

    5. Parry, 44, 167. Dana has neither definition nor illustration of this rig.

    6. J[ohn] W. Griffiths, “The Japan and China Propeller Antelope," U.S. Nautical Magazine III (October 1855): 11–17. This article includes an impression of Lane’s lithograph on folded tissue.

    photo (historical)
    Photo of Bark
    [+]
    illustration
    Barkentine
    1885
    Engraving in Merchant Vessels of the Unite States (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1885)

    See fig. XX.

    [+]
    artwork
    The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene)
    Fitz Henry Lane
    1848
    Oil on canvas
    20 x 30 in.
    Newark Museum, N.J., Gift of Mrs. Chant Owen, 1959 (59.87)

    Detail of harbor scene.

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    photo (historical)
    Cape Ann Scenery: No. 44 Gloucester Harbor
    John S. E. Rogers, Publisher
    c.1875
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    This view of Gloucester's Inner Harbor shows three square-rigged vessels in the salt trade at anchor. The one at left is a (full-rigged) ship; the other two are barks. By the nature of their cargos, they were known as "salt ships" and "salt barks" respectively. Due to their draft (too deep to unload at wharfside) they were partially unloaded at anchor by "lighters" before being brought to the wharves for final unloading.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    [+]
    illustration
    Bark
    Engraving in R. H. Dana, The Seaman's Friend, 13th ed. (Thomas Groom & Co. Publisher, 1873)

    A bark is square-rigged at her fore and main masts, and differs from a ship in having no top, and carrying only fore-and-aft sails at her mizzenmast. 

    [+]
    artwork
    Silhouettes of vessel types
    Charles G. Davis
    Book illustrations from "Shipping and Craft in Silhouette" by Charles G. Davis, Salem, Mass. Marine Research Society, 1929. Selected images
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    [ top]

    The colonial American shallop is the ancestor of many regional types of New England fishing craft found in Lane's paintings and drawings, including "New England Boats" (known as "boats"), and later descendents, such as "Chebacco Boats," "Dogbodies," and "Pinkies." (discussed elsewhere)

    These boats were very common work boat types on Cape Ann throughout the 1800s. They were primarily used for inshore coastal fishing, which included lobstering, gill-netting, fish-trapping, hand-lining, and the like. They were usually sailed by one or two men, sometimes with a boy, and could be rowed as well as sailed. An ordinary catch would include rock cod, flounder, fluke, dabs, or other small flat fish. The catch would be eaten fresh, or salted and stored for later consumption, or used as bait fish. Gill-netting would catch herring and alewives when spawning. Wooden lobster traps were marked with buoys much as they are today, and hauled over the low sides of the boat, emptied of lobsters and any by-catch, re-baited and thrown back.

    THE SHALLOP

    Like other colonial vessel types, shallops were defined in many ways, including size, construction, and rig. Most commonly, they were open boats with square or sharp sterns, 20 to 30 feet in length, two-masted rigs, and heavy sawn­frame construction which in time became lighter. (1)

    The smaller shallops developed into a type called the Hampton Boat early in the nineteenth century, becoming the earliest named regional variant of what is now collectively termed the New England Boat. Other variants were named for their regions of origin: Isles of Shoals Boat, Casco Bay Boat, No Mans Land Boat, to name a few. No regional name for a Cape Ann version has survived, and "boat," or "two­-masted boat" seems to have sufficed. (2)

    Gloucester's New England Boats were mostly double-­enders (sharp sterns) ranging in length from 25 to 30 feet, with two masts and two sails (no bowsprit or jib). They were used in the shore fisheries: hand­lining, gill­netting, and gathering or trapping shellfish (see View from Kettle Cove, Manchester-by-the-Sea, 1847 (inv. 94), View of Gloucester Harbor, 1848 (inv. 97), and /entry: 240/). (3)

    Larger, double­-ended shallops became decked and evolved in Ipswich (the part now called Essex) to become Chebacco Boats. (4) This variant retained the two­-mast, two-­sail rig, but evolved further, acquiring a bowsprit and jib and becoming known as a pinky (see Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck, 1844 (inv. 14), The Western Shore with Norman's Woe, 1862 (inv. 18), and The Old Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 30)). The Chebacco Boat became a distinct type by the mid-eighteenth century giving rise to the pinky in the early ninetennth century; the latter, by the early 1900s. (5)

    References:

    1. William A. Baker, Sloops & Shallops (Barre, MA: Barre Publishing Co., 1966), 27–­33; and “Vessel Types of Colonial Massachusetts,” in Seafaring in Colonial Massachusetts (Boston: The Colonial Society of Massachusetts, 1980), 13­–15, see figs. 10, 11.

    2. Howard I. Chapelle, American Small Sailing Craft (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1951), 136­–45.

    3. Ibid., 145, upper photo, fourth page of plates.

    4. Baker, 82–91.

    5. Chapelle, The American Fishing Schooners, 1825­–1935 (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1973), 23­–54.

    THE NEW ENGLAND BOAT

    By the 1840s, the Gloucester version of the New England Boat had evolved into a distinct regional type. Referred to locally as “boats,” the most common version was a double-ender, i.e. having a pointed stern, unlike the less common version having a square stern.

    Both variants had two masts, a foresail, a mainsail, but no bowsprit or jib. Lane depicted both in several paintings, beginning in the mid­-1840s (see View from Kettle Cove, Manchester-by-the-Sea, 1847 (inv. 94), View of Gloucester Harbor, 1848 (inv. 97), and /entry: 240/), all ranging 25 to 30 feet in length. In View of Gloucester Harbor, 1848 (inv. 97) and Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240), a double-­ender can be seen on the beach while a square-stern version lies at anchor in the harbor, just to the right of the former. (1)

    Lane’s depictions of the double-­enders show lapstrake hull planking in View of Gloucester Harbor, 1848 (inv. 97) and Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240), and cuddies (short decking) inboard at the ends for shelter and stowage of fishing gear in View from Kettle Cove, Manchester-by-the-Sea, 1847 (inv. 94). The few square-­stern examples (see View of Gloucester Harbor, 1848 (inv. 97) and Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240)) suggest carvel (smooth) planking and paint finish, rather than oil and tar. The presence of an example of the latter variant in Boston Harbor, as noted in Boston Harbor, c. 1850 (inv. 48), suggests a broader geographical range for this sub­type. (2)

    The primary use of Cape Ann’s “boats” was fishing, making “day trips” to coastal grounds for cod, herring, mackerel, hake, flounder, and lobster, depending on the season. Fishing gear included hooks and lines, gill nets, and various traps made of wood and fish net.

    Some boats worked out of Gloucester Harbor, but other communities on Cape Ann had larger fleets, such as Sandy Bay, Pigeon Cove, Folly Cove, Lanesville, Bay View, and Annisquam. Lane’s depictions of these places and their boats are rare to nonexistent. (3)

    The double­-ended boat served Lane in marking the passage of time in Gloucester Harbor. In View from Kettle Cove, Manchester-by-the-Sea, 1847 (inv. 94), we see new boats setting out to fish, but in View of Gloucester Harbor, 1848 (inv. 97) and Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240), a boat of the same type is depicted in a progressively worn state. In Stage Fort across Gloucester Harbor, 1862 (inv. 237), the boat is a stove hulk on a beach, and in the same year, Lane depicted the type’s shattered bottom frame and planking lying on the shore at Norman’s Woe in Norman's Woe, Gloucester Harbor, 1862 (inv. 1).

    Regional variants of the New England Boat appear in Lane’s paintings of Maine harbors, including one­ and two­-masted versions, collectively called Hampton Boats (see Bear Island, Northeast Harbor, 1855 (inv. 24), Ten Pound Island at Sunset, 1851 (inv. 25), Fishing Party, 1850 (inv. 50), Father's (Steven's) Old Boat, 1851 (inv. 190), and "General Gates" at Anchor off Our Encampment at Bar Island in Somes Sound, Mount Desert, Maine, 1850 (inv. 192)). Some distinctive regional types were given names, i.e. Casco Bay Boats ("General Gates" at Anchor off Our Encampment at Bar Island in Somes Sound, Mount Desert, Maine, 1850 (inv. 192) may be one), but many local type names, if they were coined, have been lost. (4)

    References:

    1. Howard I. Chapelle, American Small Sailing Craft (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1951), 141–42.

    2. Ibid., 152­–55.

    3. Sylvanus Smith, Fisheries of Cape Ann (Gloucester, MA: Press of the Gloucester Times, 1915), 96–­97, 102–05, 110­–13.

    4. Chapelle, 152–55.

    photo (historical)
    Casco Bay boat "Grey Eagle" at head of Lobster Cove, Annisquam
    Martha Hale Harvey
    1890s
    Photograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library and Archives

    Variant of the New England boat described by Howard I. Chapelle in American Small Sailing Craft (1951), pp. 152–55.

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    model
    Colonial Shallop model (broadside)
    MIT Museum
    Image: Colonial Shallop Model made by Malcolm Gidley under supervision of William A. Baker, N.A. Courtesy of Hart Nautical Collections, MIT Museum, Cambridge

    Also filed under: Ship Models »

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    model
    Colonial Shallop model (stern view)
    MIT Museum
    Image: Colonial Shallop Model made by Malcolm Gidley under supervision of William A. Baker, N.A. Courtesy of Hart Nautical Collections, MIT Museum, Cambridge

    Also filed under: Ship Models »

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    [ top]

    Schooners in Lane’s time were, with few exceptions, two-masted vessels carrying a fore-and-aft rig having one or two jibs, a fore staysail, gaff-rigged fore- and main sails, and often fore- and main topsails. One variant was the topsail schooner, which set a square topsail on the fore topmast. The hulls of both types were basically similar, their rigs having been chosen for sailing close to the wind. This was an advantage in the coastal trade, where entering confined ports required sailing into the wind and frequent tacking. The square topsail proved useful on longer coastwise voyages, the topsail providing a steadier motion in offshore swells, reducing wear and tear on canvas from the slatting of the fore-and-aft sails. (1)

    Schooners of the types portrayed by Lane varied in size from 70 to 100 feet on deck. Their weight was never determined, and the term “tonnage” was a figure derived from a formula which assigned an approximation of hull volume for purposes of imposing duties (port taxes) on cargoes and other official levies. (2)

    Crews of smaller schooners numbered three or four men. Larger schooners might carry four to six if a lengthy voyage was planned. The relative simplicity of the rig made sail handling much easier than on a square-rigged vessel. Schooner captains often owned shares in their vessels, but most schooners were majority-owned by land-based firms or by individuals who had the time and business connections to manage the tasks of acquiring and distributing the goods to be carried. (3)

    Many schooners were informally “classified” by the nature of their work or the cargoes they carried, the terminology coined by their owners, agents, and crews—even sometimes by casual bystanders. In Lane’s lifetime, the following terms were commonly used for the schooner types he portrayed:

    Coasting schooners: This is the most general term, applied to any merchant schooner carrying cargo from one coastal port to another along the United States coast (see Bar Island and Mt. Desert Mountains from Somes Settlement, 1850 (not published), right foreground). (4)

    Packet schooners: Like packet sloops, these vessels carried passengers and various higher-value goods to and from specific ports on regular schedules. They were generally better-maintained and finished than schooners carrying bulk cargoes (see The Old Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 30), center; and Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240), stern view). (5)

    Lumber schooners: Built for the most common specialized trade of Lane’s time, they were fitted with bow ports for loading lumber in their holds (see View of Southwest Harbor, Maine: Entrance to Somes Sound, 1852 (not published)) and carried large deck loads as well (Stage Rocks and the Western Shore of Gloucester Outer Harbor, 1857 (inv. 8), right). Lumber schooners intended for long coastal trips were often rigged with square topsails on their fore masts (see Becalmed Off Halfway Rock, 1860 (inv. 344), left; Maverick House, 1835 (not published); and Lumber Schooner in a Gale (not published)). (6)

    Schooners in other specialized trades. Some coasting schooners built for carrying varied cargoes would be used for, or converted to, special trades. This was true in the stone trade where stone schooners (like stone sloops) would be adapted for carrying stone from quarries to a coastal destination. A Lane depiction of a stone schooner is yet to be found. Marsh hay was a priority cargo for gundalows operating around salt marshes, and it is likely that some coasting schooners made a specialty of transporting this necessity for horses to urban ports which relied heavily on horses for transportation needs. Lane depicted at least two examples of hay schooners (see Gloucester Harbor, 1850s (inv. 391), left; and Coasting Schooner off Boon Island (not published)), their decks neatly piled high with bales of hay, well secured with rope and tarpaulins.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    References:

    1. Howard I. Chapelle, The History of American Sailing Ships (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1935), 258. While three-masted schooners were in use in Lane’s time, none have appeared in his surviving work; and Charles S. Morgan, “New England Coasting Schooners”, The American Neptune 23, no. 1 (DATE): 5–9, from an article which deals mostly with later and larger schooner types.

    2. John Lyman, “Register Tonnage and its Measurement”, The American Neptune V, nos. 3–4 (DATE). American tonnage laws in force in Lane’s lifetime are discussed in no. 3, pp. 226–27 and no. 4, p. 322.

    3. Ship Registers of the District of Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1789–1875 (Salem, MA: The Essex Institute, 1944). Vessels whose shipping or fishing voyages included visits to foreign ports were required to register with the Federal Customs agent at their home port. While the vessel’s trade or work was unrecorded, their owners and master were listed, in addition to registry dimensions and place where built. Records kept by the National Archives can be consulted for information on specific voyages and ports visited.

    4. Howard I. Chapelle, The National Watercraft Collection (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1960), 40, 42–43.

    5. Ibid., 42–43, 73.

    6. Ibid., 74–76.

    photo (historical)
    Coasting schooner "Polly"
    Photograph
    [+]
    Lumber schooner in Gloucester Harbor
    1852
    Photograph

    Also filed under: Lumber Industry »

    [+]
    illustration
    Topsail Schooner
    In R. H. Dana, The Seaman's Friend, 13th ed. (Thomas Groom & Co. Publisher, 1873)

    A topsail schooner has no tops at her foremast, and is fore-and-aft rigged at her mainmast. She differs from an hermaphrodite brig in that she is not properly square-rigged at her foremast, having no top, and carrying a fore-and-aft foresail instead of a square foresail and a spencer.

    [+]
    object
    1892 Gloucester Harbor Diorama (detail of marine railway)
    Lawrence Jensen, Erik. A.R. Ronnberg, Jr.
    Detail views: marine railway and hauling cradle for vessel
    Wood rails, metal rollers, chain; wood cradle. Scale: ½" = 1' (1:24)
    Original diorama components made, 1892; replacements made, 1993.
    Cape Ann Museum, from Gloucester Chamber of Commerce, 1925 (2014.071)

    A schooner is shown hauled out on a cradle which travels over racks of rollers on a wood and metal track.

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Lobsterman and dory at Lane's Cove
    Photographer unknown
    c. 1900
    Glass plate negative
    Collection of Erik Ronnberg

    Also filed under: Lobstering »

    [+]
    PDF
    view ]
    publication
    Maine Register for 1855 (Lumber)
    George Adams, publisher
    "The Maine Register for the Year 1855, embracing State and County Officers, and an abstract of the law and resolves; together with a complete business directory of the state, and a variety of useful information."

    Details about Maine's lumber trade in 1855, see pp. 250–52

    Also filed under: Castine »   //  Lumber Industry »

    [+]
    illustration
    View of the Old Fort and Harbor 1837
    Fitz Henry Lane, attr.
    1860
    In John J. Babson, History of the Town Gloucester (Gloucester, MA: Procter Brothers, 1860)
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, Mass.

    See p. 474.

    [+]
    [ top]

    Sloops are one-masted sailing vessels which, in American examples, set fore-and-aft sails but usually no square sails. Thus, staysails, or jibs, are set from the fore stay(s) and a quadrilateral mainsail is set from the mast and spread by a gaff and a boom. The larger sloops would often set a triangular topsail over the main sail. (1)

    The sloops depicted by Lane were used in various coastal trades, each with its own requirements, which dictated the sizes and details of their hulls and rigs. Most elegant were the packet sloops, which transported passengers, mail, and higher value goods between specific ports on regular schedules. They usually measured between sixty and seventy-five feet on deck, as dictated by anticipated shipping volume. Finely finished, they usually had stern galleries—a row of windows across the transom with ornamental moldings—and varied color schemes. Examples of packet sloops are in Gloucester Harbor from Rocky Neck, 1844 (inv. 14) (center, middle ground) and Study of Ships, 1851 (inv. 141) (foreground), both of which probably made trips between Gloucester and Boston, or Gloucester and Newburyport. (2)

    Another specialized sloop of similar size was the stone sloop, used to ship granite blocks from stone-loading piers around Cape Ann to other ports. They were similar in rig to packet sloops, but of heavier construction with greater hold capacity and absence of decoration. Their stout appearance was augmented by simple color schemes, or even tarred topsides, reflecting the wear and strain imposed by their heavy cargos. Lane depicted these vessels in his painting of Fresh Water Cove from Dolliver's Neck, Gloucester, Early 1850s (inv. 45), with a sloop (at left) preparing to load at wharf-side, and another (at right) sailing out with a cargo. (3)

    Sloops of the more work-a-day sort are the most commonly seen examples in Lane’s paintings, most of them appearing in his views of Boston Harbor. Usually deep-loaded and looking weather-worn, they contrast sharply with the packet- and clipper ships which dominate the scene. Sloops of this type are rarely seen in Lane’s paintings of Gloucester Harbor and the Maine coast, although they were certainly needed for short-distance transportation (see Bear Island, Northeast Harbor, 1855 (inv. 24), View of Camden Mountains from Penobscot Bay, c.1852 (inv. 207), Sunrise on the Maine Coast, Mount Desert Island, 1856 (not published)). For coastal Maine, lack of railroads for heavier freight and greater distances between ports made the use of schooners with larger carrying capacity a greater necessity. (4)

    In Lane’s views of New York Harbor, a regional sloop variant, the Hudson River Sloop, appears in New York Harbor, c.1855 (inv. 46) (bow view, left) and A Calm Sea, c.1860 (inv. 6) (stern view, right). This type had become prominent in the Hudson River packet trade between New York City, Albany, and beyond to points north and west as far as the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal.  Large vessels for their rigs, they were well-finished and well-kept, reflecting pride of ownership and rivalry among their owners and crews. (5)

    – Erik Ronnberg

    References:

    1. A Naval Encyclopaedia (Philadelphia: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1884. Reprint: Detroit, MI: Gale Research Company, 1971), 59.  See first definition of "sloop" and definition of "sloop-rigged."

    2. Robert Greenhalgh Albion, William A. Baker, and Benjamin Woods Labaree, New England and the Sea (Mystic, CT: Mystic Seaport Museum, 1972; reprinted in 1994), 127–28.

    3. Howard I. Chapelle, The History of American Sailing Ships (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1935), 300–02.

    4. Ibid., 300.

    5. Ibid., 298–300.

    illustration
    Sloop
    Engraving in R. H. Dana, The Seaman's Friend, 13th ed. (Thomas Groom & Co. Publisher, 1873)

    A sloop has one mast, fore-and-aft rigged.

    [+]
    publication
    Bermudian sloop
    1884
    A Naval Encyclopaedia:
    Dictionary of nautical words and phrases
    Special Articles on Naval Art and Science
    Philadelphia: L.R. Hamersly & Co.

    'Mudian, "Mugian, or Bermudian. A boat special to the Bermuda islands, usually decked, with the exception of a hatch; from 2 to 20 tons burden; it is short, of good beam, and great draft of water abaft, the stem and keel forming a curved line. It carries an immense quantity of ballast. Besides a long main- and short jib-boom, it has a long, taperking, raking mast, stepped just over the forefoot, generally unsupported by shrouds or stays; on it a jib-headed mainsail is hoisted to a height of twice, and sometimes three times, the length of the keel. This sail is triangular, stretched at its foot by a long boom. The only other sail is a small foresail or jib. They claim to be the fastest craft in the world for working to windward in smooth water, it being recorded of one that she made five miles dead to windward in the hour during a race; and though they may be laid over until they fill with water, they will not capsize.

    [+]
    artwork
    Bermudian sloop in St. Georges Harbor, Bermuda
    Edward James
    c. 1864
    St. George's Historical Society
    Detail of painting of St. George's Harbour, Bermuda, during US Civil War, with a Confederate blockade runner anchored in the foreground.

    Also filed under: Puerto Rico »

    [+]
    object
    Scale model of stone sloop "Albert Baldwin"
    William Niemi
    c.1940
    Wood, metal, cordage, cloth, paint.
    Scale: ¼ in. = 1ft. (1:48)
    Cape Ann Museum. Gift of Roland and Martta Blanchet (1997.17.3)

    Although built in 1890 and larger than the stone sloops of Lane’s time, the "Albert Baldwin’s" hull form, rig, and loading boom are very similar to those of the 1840s and 1850s.

    [+]
    artwork
    Silhouettes of vessel types
    Charles G. Davis
    Book illustrations from "Shipping and Craft in Silhouette" by Charles G. Davis, Salem, Mass. Marine Research Society, 1929. Selected images
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    [ top]

    The yawl boat was a ninteenth-century development of earlier ships' boats built for naval and merchant use. Usually twenty feet long or less, they had round bottoms and square sterns; many had raking stem profiles. Yawl boats built for fishing tended to have greater beam than those built for vessels in the coastal trades. In the hand-line fisheries, where the crew fished from the schooner's rails, a single yawl boat was hung from the stern davits as a life boat or for use in port. Their possible use as lifeboats required greater breadth to provide room for the whole crew. In port, they carried crew, provisions, and gear between schooner and shore. (1)

    Lane's most dramatic depictions of fishing schooners' yawl-boats are found in his paintings Gloucester Outer Harbor, from the Cut, 1850s (inv. 109) and /entry:311. Their hull forms follow closely that of Chapelle's lines drawing. (2) Similar examples appear in the foregrounds of Gloucester Harbor, 1852 (inv. 38), Ships in Ice off Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, 1850s (inv. 44), and The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1847 (inv. 271). A slightly smaller example is having its bottom seams payed with pitch in the foreground of Gloucester Harbor, 1847 (inv. 23). In Gloucester Inner Harbor, 1850 (inv. 240), a grounded yawl boat gives an excellent view of its seating arrangement, while fishing schooners in the left background have yawl boats hung from their stern davits, or floating astern.

    One remarkable drawing, Untitled (inv. 219) illustrates both the hull geometry of a yawl boat and Lane's uncanny accuracy in depicting hull form in perspective. No hull construction other than plank seams is shown, leaving pure hull form to be explored, leading in turn to unanswered questions concerning Lane's training to achieve such understanding of naval architecture.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    References:

    1. Howard I. Chapelle, American Small Sailing Craft (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1951), 222–23.

    2. Ibid., 223.

    artwork
    Ships in Ice
    Fitz Henry Lane
    1850s
    Oil on canvas
    12 1/8 x 19 3/4 in.
    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Bequest of Martha C. Karolik for the M.and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865 (48.447)

    A schooner's yawl lies marooned in the ice-bound harbor in this detail.

    Image: Cape Ann Museum
    [+]
    artwork
    Gloucester Harbor
    Fitz Henry Lane
    1847
    Oil on canvas
    28 1/2 x 41 in.
    Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester, Mass., Gift of Estate of Samuel H. Mansfield, 1949 (1332.20)

    Detail showing yawl boat having its bottom seams payed with pitch.

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    [ top]

    The Eastern Point Light is located in the town of Gloucester, Massachusetts on the east side of the entrance to Gloucester Harbor. In 1829, an unlit stone beacon was erected on Eastern Point to help mariners navigating Gloucester Harbor. Shortly thereafter, in 1832, a wrought-iron and copper lantern was added to the stone tower, and the first Eastern Point Light was born. During the 1840s, Gloucester became one of the most important fishing ports in America, and to cope with the increased fishing traffic, a new Eastern Point Light was built in 1848. The new 34 foot tower gained the nickname "The Ruby Light" due to its unique fixed red light. The Eastern Point Light was further improved upon in the following decades with the addition of a fourth-order Fresnel lens and fog bell.  

    This information has been shared with the Lane project by Jeremy D'Entremont. More information can be found at his website, www.newenglandlighthouses.net or in The Lighthouse Handbook New England. This information has also been summarized from Paul St. Germain's book, Lighthouses and Lifesaving Stations on Cape Ann. 

    Related tables: Eastern Point »
    photo (historical)
    Eastern Point Light
    Photograph
    U.S. Coastguard
    http://www.uscg.mil/history/weblighthouses/easternpoint1832.JPG

    For over 100 years the fishermen of Gloucester have been guided back to their home port by a lighthouse on Eastern Point. The present brick tower, painted a gleaming white, and standing on the long rocky point forming the eastern side of the harbor, was built in 1890, replacing on the same foundation the original tower built in 1832. Before 1832 a still older lighthouse, on Ten-Pound Island well inside of the harbor, had served as an entrance light, but this light was never visible until ships had actually found the entrance, hence the building of a lighthouse on the Eastern Point where it could be seen from far offshore.

    Courtesy United States Coast Guard.

    Also filed under: Historic Photographs »

    [+]
    map
    1830 Mason Map
    John Mason
    1830
    Series Maps. v. 13: p. 17
    SC1 / series 48X
    Massachusetts Archives, Boston
    Image: Courtesy of the Massachusetts Archives
    [+]
    publication
    1861 Cape Ann Advertiser 8.9.1861
    Procter Brothers
    8.9.1861
    Newspaper

     "There are quite a number of visitors in town at the present time, who come to spend a few weeks by the seaside, during the sultry weather of August."

    [+]
    publication
    1862 Cape Ann Advertiser 1.31.1862
    1.31.1862
    Newspaper clipping
    Cape Ann Advertiser
    Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck

    "MARINE PAINTING. – F. H. Lane, Esq., has recently completed a picture for Dr. H. E. Davidson of this town. The painting represents a sunset scene in our harbor, which is taken near the cut bridge, introducing the beach covered with rocks and pebbles, steep bank, and Stage Fort, with the surrounding scenery in the vicinity. . . It is impossible to give an adequate idea of this painting by any description of ours, for it must be seen to be appreciated. It is the largest painting the artist has yet finished, and, in our opinion, his best. The painting is now on exhibition at the Studio, for a short time, where those who are interested in works of art can have an opportunity of viewing it."

    Image: Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck
    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Eastern Point Light
    1891

    Plate from The Illustrated Coast Pilot with Sailing Directions: The Coast of New England from New York to Eastport, Maine including Bays and Harbors, published by N. L. Stebbins,1896.

    Also filed under: Eastern Point »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Eastern Point Lighthouse
    1860s
    Photograph
    National Archives
    Photography courtesy of : http://www.newenglandlighthouses.net

    Shows the lighthouse constructed in 1848.

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Eastern Point Lighthouse
    John Heywood
    1860s
    Stereograph card
    Published by Frank Rowell
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Also filed under: Eastern Point »

    [+]
    object
    Fourth Order Fresnel Lens for Eastern Point Light Beacon
    Barbier, Renard and Turenne, Paris, France
    mid-19th century
    Four circular glass prism lenses in a brass frame:
    Lens diameters 19". Base 21" square x 19-1/2" high.
    Cape Ann Museum. On permanent loan from the United States Coast Guard, 2013

    When installed, the light source was fixed and the lens mount rotated.

    Also filed under: Objects »

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    [ top]

    The Ten Pound Island light was built on a three-and-a-half acre island at the eastern end of Gloucester Harbor. Built as a conical stone tower, the original 20-foot-tall Ten Pound Island Light was first lit in October, 1821 after the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Gloucester ceded 1.7 acres to the U.S. Government for the construction of an inner harbor lighthouse to help mariners navigate the harbor. Ten Pound Island light was a popular subject with artists, including Winslow Homer, who boarded with the lighthouse keeper at Ten Pound Island in the summer of 1880. It is frequently featured in Lane's paintings of Gloucester Harbor.

    This information has been shared with the Lane project by Jeremy D'Entremont. More information can be found at his website, www.newenglandlighthouses.net or in The Lighthouse Handbook New England. This information has also been summarized from Paul St. Germain's book, Lighthouses and Lifesaving Stations on Cape Ann.

    Related tables: Ten Pound Island »
    map
    1830 Mason Map
    John Mason
    1830
    Series Maps. v. 13: p. 17
    SC1 / series 48X
    Massachusetts Archives, Boston
    Image: Courtesy of the Massachusetts Archives
    [+]
    artwork
    Engraving of the first Ten Pound Island lighthouse
    1871
    Lithograph
    History of Ten Pound Island Light, Gloucester, Mass.
    © Jeremy D'Entremont
    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Postcard of Harbor View and Ten Pound Island
    Unknown
    c.1900
    Colored lithograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library and Archive

    Also filed under: Ten Pound Island »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Ten Pound Island Lighthouse
    Stebbins, N.L. Publisher
    1891
    Photograph

    From The Illustrated Coast Pilot with Sailing Directions. The Coast of New England from New York to Eastport, Maine including Bays and Harbors, N. L. Stebbins, 1891.

    Also filed under: Ten Pound Island »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    The first Ten Pound Island Lighthouse
    c.1860s
    Photograph
    U.S. Coast Guard
    Photography courtesy of : http://www.newenglandlighthouses.net

    The photo shows the first lighthouse constructed in 1821.

    [+]
    illustration
    View of the Old Fort and Harbor 1837
    Fitz Henry Lane, attr.
    1860
    In John J. Babson, History of the Town Gloucester (Gloucester, MA: Procter Brothers, 1860)
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, Mass.

    See p. 474.

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    [ top]

    The harvesting of granite from quarries dug deep into the earth was an important industry on Cape Ann from the 1830s through the early 20th century. Second only to fishing in economic output, for 100 years the granite business played a pivotal role in the local economy providing jobs for many, turning profits for some and generating tons and tons of cut granite that was used here on Cape Ann and shipped to ports all along the Atlantic seaboard.

    Granite quarrying started slowly in this area in the late eighteenth century with small operations peppered across the rocky terrain. Construction of a fort at Castle Island in Boston Harbor in 1798 followed by a jail in nearby Salem in 1813, jump-started the granite industry here on Cape Ann. During the 1830s and 1840s, the trade grew steadily. By the 1850s, the stone business was firmly established and Cape Ann granite was known throughout the region. So extensive and so awe-inspiring were operations during the second half of the nineteenth century some observers feared that the business might actually run out of stone.

    While granite was taken from the earth in all different sizes and shapes, Cape Ann specialized in the conversion of that granite into paving blocks which were used to finish roads and streets. Millions of paving stones were shipped out of Cape Ann annually, destined for construction projects in New York, Philadelphia and all along the Atlantic seaboard. While paving blocks were basically uniform in size, there were subtle differences leading some to be referred to as Philadelphia blocks while others were identified as Boston blocks or Washington blocks.

    – Martha Oaks (April, 2015)

    photo (historical)
    Eastern Point granite quarry
    c.1880
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    This view shows a wood derrick for hoisting granite blocks.

    Also filed under: Eastern Point »   //  Historic Photographs »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    West Gloucester granite quarry with oxen
    c.1880
    Stereograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Also filed under: Historic Photographs »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Lanesville granite scow
    c.1880
    Stereograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Also filed under: Gundalow / Scow »

    [+]
    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."

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Eastern Point granite quarry
    c.1880
    Stereograph card
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    This view shows a wood derrick for hoisting granite blocks.

    Also filed under: Eastern Point »   //  Historic Photographs »

    [+]
    object
    Galamander model
    1959
    Painted wood
    Scale: 1:16. Galamander shop, Vinalhaven, Maine.
    Cape Ann Museum. Gift of Barbara Erkkila, 1997

    In the nineteenth century granite was hauled from Cape Ann quarries on heavy carts called garymanders which were pulled by oxen or horses (known as "galamander" in Maine.) A boom rigged above the rear axle was used to hoist the stone so it could be held by chains beneath the wagon. The garymander oak wheels were eight feet high with iron rims made by a blacksmith.

    Also filed under: Objects »

    [+]
    object
    Granite quarryman's and blacksmith's tools
    Box of granite tools originally owned by Martin O'Hearn (1884–1944)
    Cape Ann Museum (1994.65)

    Oilcan originally owned by Frederickj "Rick" Larsen
    Cape Ann Museum (1994.76.3)

    Peen hammer originally owned by Johann Jacob Erkkila (1877–1939)
    (Cape Ann Museum) 1994.76.23a

    Heavy blacksmith's sledge owned by John Fuge (1873–1967)
    Cape Ann Museum (1997.24.0)

    Although from a later period, these tools are similar to tools used in Lane's time.

    Also filed under: Objects »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    Granite scow
    c.1900
    Photograph
    Private collection

    Granite scow being unloaded at Knowlton's Point, Sandy Bay. Sandy Bay Ledge visible in right background, Dodge's Rock in left background.

    Also filed under: Gundalow / Scow »

    [+]
    object
    Scale model of stone sloop "Albert Baldwin"
    William Niemi
    c.1940
    Wood, metal, cordage, cloth, paint.
    Scale: ¼ in. = 1ft. (1:48)
    Cape Ann Museum. Gift of Roland and Martta Blanchet (1997.17.3)

    Although built in 1890 and larger than the stone sloops of Lane’s time, the "Albert Baldwin’s" hull form, rig, and loading boom are very similar to those of the 1840s and 1850s.

    Also filed under: Ship Models »   //  Sloop »

    [+]
    photo (historical)
    West Gloucester granite quarry
    c.1880
    Stereograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Also filed under: Historic Photographs »

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    [ top]

    The timber trade played an important role in New England’s economy from Colonial days through the mid-19th century, supplying the vast quantities of lumber which a rapidly growing nation demanded.  While Cape Ann’s woodlands were depleted early on, timber continued to be harvested from northern New England and the Maritime Provinces right up to the Civil War.

    With a deep and safe harbor, Gloucester often served as a layover spot where vessels bound from Maine to Boston, New York or Baltimore and heavily laden with lumber could ride out bad weather.  Because of this, Fitz Henry Lane’s paintings of Gloucester Harbor often show a schooner or a brig, loads of lumber clearly visible on their decks, sheltering along the Western Shore.

    References:

    Honey, Mark E., "King Pine, Queen Spruce, Jack Tar," An Intimate History of Lumbering on the Union River, Volumes 1-5. This source, in its entirety, lays down the foundation of Downeast Maine's unique culture which was built upon pine lumber and timber, the cod fisheries, coasting, shipbuilding, and the interrelationships of family and community.

    Lumber schooner in Gloucester Harbor
    1852
    Photograph
    [+]
    Bangor Log Raft
    Advertisement for The Bangor News Company, est. January 31, 1881
    Castine Historical Society Collections (2008.02)

    Also filed under: Historic Photographs »

    [+]
    PDF
    view ]
    publication
    Maine Register for 1855 (Lumber)
    George Adams, publisher
    "The Maine Register for the Year 1855, embracing State and County Officers, and an abstract of the law and resolves; together with a complete business directory of the state, and a variety of useful information."

    Details about Maine's lumber trade in 1855, see pp. 250–52

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    To judge from Lane's depictions of Gloucester Harbor, It would seem that the harbor was devoid of shipbuilding activity, with only one painting The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene), 1848 (inv. 58) showing a vessel under construction. While the historical record shows far more shipbuilding activity in nearby Essex, Gloucester did have significant shipbuilding in the years 1800 to 1865, amounting to 93 registered vessels and an unknown number of enrolled vessels. The registered vessels included 82 schooners, four (full-rigged) ships, one bark, four brigs, and two sloops. The numbers of enrolled vessels is unknown, but they were likely to be smaller craft with sloop and schooner rigs, and built in significant numbers. (1)

    Official records were compiled by the U.S. Customs Service for all merchant and fishing vessels, registry being applied to vessels trading or fishing in foreign waters and ports. "Enrolment" (as spelled on customs documents) was applied to vessels fishing or trading only in U.S. territorial waters. Registry documents were filed with the Register of the Treasury in Washington, DC, as well as with the local customs offices. Enrollment documents were filed only with local customs offices and were subject to loss due to fires or careless storage, leaving many voids in the record of American coastal fishing and shipping. (2)

    Shipbuilding was a time-consuming process, needing a sizeable space for lofting, millwork, storage of shipbuiding timbers and lumber, not to mention the building- and launching ways. Prime waterfront space was not a necessity. As long as the launching incline is straight, and the water is deep enough to float the vessel at high tide, the building site can utilize unwanted shoreline, as it did in Gloucester's Vincent Cove for many years. The likelihood that Gloucester shipyards were in out-of-the-way places around the Inner Harbor is probably why Lane (and his clientele) paid so little attention to them.

    The vessel in Lane's painting is probably a very small schooner—more likely to be enrolled than registered. Building vessels on a wharf was common in Gloucester, even into the twentieth century, but launching was difficult for larger vessels. The example in Lane's painting will probably measure (not weigh) about twenty tons - a small vessel which should be easy to launch this way. Needless to say, the launching would take place at high tide, when the drop from wharf to water was minimal.

    – Erik Ronnberg

    References:                                                                                            

    1. Ship Registers of the District of Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1789-1875 (Salem, MA: The Essex Institute, 1944)

    2. Forrest R. Holdcamper, "Registers, Enrollments and Licenses in the National Archives", The American Neptune 1, no. 3, 275–83.

    photo (historical)
    Vincent's Cove
    William Augustus Elwell
    1876
    Print from bound volume of Gloucester scenes sent to the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.
    11 x 14 in.
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives

    Schooner "Grace L. Fears" at David A. Story Yard in Vincent's Cove.

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    photo (historical)
    Launch of Sch. Actor at Tom Irving's shipyard in Vincent Cove
    1902
    Photograph
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    The schooner Actor was built for Captain Jerome McDonald.

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    PDF
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    publication
    Maine Register for 1855 (Shipbuilding)
    George Adams, publisher
    "The Maine Register for the Year 1855, embracing State and County Officers, and an abstract of the law and resolves; together with a complete business directory of the state, and a variety of useful information". Published by George Adams. 1855

    Details about Maine's shipbuilding industry, see pp. 252–57.

    Also filed under: Castine »

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    publication
    The Practical Ship-Builder
    Lauchlan McKay
    1839
    The Practical Ship-Builder: Containing the Best Mechanical and Philosophical Principles for the Construction Different Classes of Vessels, and the Practical Adaption of their Several Parts, with Rules Carefully Detailed. Collins Keese & Co, New York, 1839. Oblong 4to, 17x20 cm, (2), 107, (4) pp, ill., 7 fold. plates.
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    publication
    Transcript: Sketch of Reminiscences
    Nathaniel Francis
    1867

    "October 1, 1844 contracted for the building of the bark Mary (named for my wife) with Mr. Foster and Taylor. Was successful in building and completing. She was a good white oak vessel. Was about 300 tons and superintended by Capt. Hopner. She was owned by myself 5/8 Mr. Lovell 1/8 Mr. Torsleff 1/8 Capt. Hopner 1/8 and was commanded by Capt. Hopner who as as I consider one of the best ship masters that sailed out of Boston without exception. . . .We sailed the bark Mary for three years after making three successful voyages, taking each about one year going from Boston to Norfolk and to Rio and St. Petersburg and Boston and then sold her to Wm. H. Boadman for the sum of $16,500 being about what she cost when new and she had about paid for herself."

    Also filed under: "Mary" (Bark) »

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    Maritime & Other Industries & Facilities: Surinam Trade

    Surinam was to Gloucester what China was to Salem, and for the first half of the 19th century Gloucester merchant ships monopolized the trade of exchanging salt fish for molasses. The fish was often of poor quality, destined for the mouths of plantation slaves, but the molasses was rich and dark and a necessary ingredient of the very lucrative New England rum business. The wealth of many of Gloucester’s merchant families was based on this trade.

    – Stephanie Buck

    manuscript
    Amanda Stanwood Babson Diary
    Amanda Stanwood Babson
    January, 1839
    Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive

    Accounts of voyages, lyceums, meetings, etc:

    8. Prepared for company Nancy Elwell, Amelia Annette here to tea Low girls, Eliza Stacy, Maria Rogers in evening with Eben etc. Brother William.

    9. Children past the afternoon at Grandma Babsons with a party of little folks - call from C Shaw, Mrs Redding, Nancy, Amelia, Mrs Mary Collins

    10. Children went with Mary to see little Amanda - attended Bible Class in eve at Mrs Dales - David quite an ill turn

    11. A summer day - Children gone in to show Grandma new books that Father gave them - went back in afternoon with me took tea with Mrs Nancy Davis

    12. Delightful weather we have - went up to Mrs Centers found her quite unwell - called into G Saville’s with Esther, Hannah - went into store purchased a piece of beautiful cheese

    13. Attended meeting in forenoon heard Mathew H Smith did not go out again - call from Nancy, AK Johnson, Father B

    14. Grandma sent down for the children to go out with her - they went and called at Abby Rogers, Mrs Whittemores, Mrs Smiths, Betsey Stevens etc - came home with new books delighted with their walk. E Saville came in with a letter from George S, she stop to tea. MI Lane went with her in eve to call upon Mrs Smith went to Mrs Lowes to communicate news. 

    15. Went over to Dexters for Mother - into Mrs Rogers - heard of Capt Rowes arrival at Vineyard

    16. Attended Society at Mrs Houghs, Lyceum in evening a lecture from Mr. Putnam of Portsmouth not much liked.

    17. Perfect day - took the children out over to Cousin Nat’s - into Lucy David - Grandma Bs Mrs F Low - Bible Class at ME Lows 

    18. Went with mother to Mrs Smith, Mrs Jones, Mrs Pearce - Mother B into stores - Lucy told me she should leave next week. 

    19. Went over in street with Mother in eve, quit unpleasant - found letter on my return that Capt Rowe carried to Surinam

    20. Went to meeting all day and eve. Esther in, hope Capt Fitz will get in soon.

    21. Pleasant morn, but bad snow storm afternoon and eve - Lucy left me felt relieved - Dr. Chapman came to see David - still quite sick

    22. Lydia Ann Davis here to tea call from Nancy Amelia 

    Also filed under: Babson, Amanda Stanwood »

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    chart
    Chart showing the voyage of the brig Cadet
    c.1980
    Painting on board
    72 x 48 in.
    Collection of Erik Ronnberg

    Chart showing the voyage of the brig Cadet to Surinam and return, March 10–June 11, 1840.

    Image: Erik Ronnberg

    Also filed under: "Cadet" (Brig) »   //  Brig »

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    PDF
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    manuscript
    Edward Babson Ledger for Brig "Cadet"
    Edward Babson
    1840
    Manuscript
    Cape Ann Museum Library and Archive
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    Provenance (Information known to date; research ongoing.)

    Exhibition History

    1969 Cummer Gallery: Cummer Gallery of Art, Jacksonville, Florida, American Paintings of Ports and Harbors.
    1975 Whitney Museum: Whitney Museum, New York, New York, Seascape and the American Imagination.

    Published References

    Olson 1960: Charles Olson: Letters Home, 1949-1969, p. xviii. p.15, and ill. in color p.14. ⇒ includes text
    Wilmerding 1964: Fitz Hugh Lane, 1804–1865: American Marine Painter, p. 55.
    American Neptune 1965: The American Neptune, Pictorial Supplement VII: A Selection of Marine Paintings by Fitz Hugh Lane, 1804–1865. ⇒ includes text
    Dodge, Joseph Jeffers 1969: American Paintings and Harbors, 1774–1968.
    Wilmerding 1971a: Fitz Hugh Lane, pl. II.
    Stein 1975: Seascape and the American Imagination, no. 68.
    Newark Museum 1981: American Art in the Newark Museum: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, p. 31.
    Hoffman 1983: "The Art of Fitz Hugh Lane," p. 30.
    Ronnberg 1988a: "Imagery and Types of Vessels," pp. 55–58. ⇒ includes text
    Labaree 1998: America and the Sea: A Maritime History, p. 241.
    Kugler 2003: William Bradford: Sailing Ships and Arctic Seas.
    Ronnberg 2003: "William Bradford: Mastering Form and Developing a Style, 1852–1862," pp. 55–58. ⇒ includes text
    Slawek 2003: Revelations of Gloucester: Charles Olson, Fitz Hugh Lane, and Writing of the Place, Il. 6.
    Ronnberg 2004: "Views of Fort Point: Fitz Hugh Lane's Images of a Gloucester Landmark," fig. 4. ⇒ includes text
    Wilmerding 2005: Fitz Henry Lane, pl. 2.
    Citation: "The Fort and Ten Pound Island, Gloucester (Harbor Scene), 1848 (inv. 58)." Fitz Henry Lane Online. Cape Ann Museum. http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/catalog/entry.php?id=58 (accessed April 23, 2017).
    Record last updated February 7, 2017. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
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