An online project under the direction of the CAPE ANN MUSEUM
Lane did a remarkable series of paintings from Brookbank, the Sawyer homestead, which overlooks Fresh Water Cove. They show Dolliver’s Neck and how it protects the cove from the harbor. It is also visible in, though somewhat disguised by the rest of the western shore in that view. He did a drawing and painting from Dolliver’s Neck looking west in .
Dolliver’s Neck is a small arm of land pointing north off the western shore of the Gloucester’s Outer Harbor. It is the cradling arm that creates Fresh Water Cove, a small cove where Samuel de Champlain found fresh water on his first visit to Gloucester Harbor in 1606. It was named for Samuel Dolliver who came from Marblehead in 1652 and bought a farm there.
In Lane’s time there were a few fishing shacks visible in some of his paintings where onshore fishermen could put their boats in from the pebble beach and salt marsh and be out in the center of the harbor without the long row or sail from the Inner Harbor. Fresh Water Cove itself is not deep enough at low tide for larger vessels to moor there so it has retained its small scale and intimate feel down through the years.
In 1900 a Coast Guard lifesaving station was built and manned on Dolliver’s Neck and many lives were saved along that rocky and treacherous coast between Gloucester and Magnolia.
From bound volume owned by publisher Francis Procter
Collection of Fred and Stephanie Buck
"We visited the studio of Mr. Fitz H. Lane a few days since, and were much pleased in examining some fine paintings from the pencil of this talented artist. Among the collection was a view of Long Beach, in this town, with which we were particularly interested.
The scene is taken immediately after a storm. The waves with their snowy crests are rolling in upon the beach, breaking against the sides of a vessel which has been driven ashore. In the background is seen the residence of Mr. Fessenden, and the surrounding scenery; on the right are visible the high headlands near the residence of Mr. Geo. Hovey, while stretching far away in the distance may be seen Fresh Water Cove, Dolliver's Neck, and the Old Pine Tree, the whole forming a beautiful picture and true to Nature.
Several other paintings were in process of completion, one a beautiful sunset scene, which was really beautiful to gaze upon; also a view of a gale at sea, with a gallant ship plunging madly through the waves, forming a striking contrast to the mild placid scene of the picture at its side.
Mr. Lane's paintings are true to nature, and in viewing them one can but admire the skill and genius of this talented artist, We advise all lovers of the art, who wish to spend an hour pleasantly, to visit the studio of Mr. Lane on Locust St. We can assure them that they will come away highly gratified, and have an earnest desire to call again." (1)
(1) See p. 2, column 3, Courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society
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."
"Mr. Lane has just completed a third picture of the Western Shore of Gloucester Harbor, including the distance from 'Norman's Woe Rock' to 'Half Moon Beach.' It was painted for Mr. William E. Coffin of Boston, and will be on exhibition at the artist's rooms for only a few days; we advise all our readers who admire works of art, and would see one of the best pictures Mr. Lane has ever executed..."
"...solitary pine, so many years a familiar object and landmark to the fisherman."
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
"Cape Ann Scenery, John S. E. Rogers, Low's Block. #54 Dolliver's Neck. Taken from Steepbank, on the western side of Gloucester Harbor, and showing a small boat at anchor in the cove, then the Neck and the sea beyond."