Friday, March 28, 2014

Sunset Saga, Part 2

About a century ago a photographer recorded this scene at the base of Halibut Point. It was likely hand-colored either as a postcard or a small painting. Folly Cove resident Sarah Dunlap discovered it in the early 1970s at Mr. Gray's used furniture store in Pigeon Cove, framed and glued to cardboard. We can't turn to the back side for clues of origin. 

(1) Folly Cove Pasture
At the rear of the picture above Granite Street rises the sunset-viewing hillside noted in my last posting, a part of the Babson Farm reverting to brush and trees. Bay View Avenue at left gave access to land development efforts and the quarries.  A derrick  crowns the skyline. Cows were walked over to graze from Seppala's farm at the head of Folly Cove. The sun has set on all these times. 
(2) Folly Cove, from the bend in the road

Photographer Charles Cleaves stood beside Granite Street at the center-rear of scene (1) above, probably at an earlier period. He took many such views on glass negatives in the first decades of the twentieth century. Notice the trolley tracks that served Cape Ann until 1920. The accompanying utility poles do not appear in the first picture, suggesting that they had been removed by the time of the pasture scene.

Large granite blocks from Halibut Point quarries reached the Folly Cove pier over a railroad trestle. Many of these were destined for the Sandy Bay breakwater prior to 1916. Cobblestones piled on the far side of the road in this photograph (2) await shipment to street surfacing projects in distant cities.
(3) The field in the bend in the road

A companion view shows the land beside Granite Street - the pasture of the first photo - being cultivated by horse and plow. The cobblestones piled by the shore await sloops or schooners. They may have been carted down here by paving cutters working all winter in 'motions,' the small quarries on Woodbury Hill above Folly Cove.

(4) Baiting trawl lines, 1860s
The shoreline itself had long been occupied by the shacks and flake yards of local fishermen who kept their dories at the head of the Cove. In the photo above are rows of tubs, anchors, and fish curing racks (flakes).
(5) Margaret Hoyt sketching
G. D. Clements photo, c. 1930

In this photograph of serenity and change the modern era closes in on Folly Cove. Although a caption note tells us that there are flake yards below, refrigeration and the diesel-powered Gloucester fleet will soon replace the dories along the beach. These hybrid vessels still utilize sails while seining. 

Near this spot distinguished artists Ellen Day Hale and Gabrielle DeVeaux Clements relocated the homestead of first-settler Samuel Lane uphill to a superior view and began attracting painting students to their summer studio. One of these was Margaret Yeaton Hoyt who arrived in 1916 with her husband and infant son William D. "Bill" Hoyt, Jr. They commissioned their own cottage named "The Folly," with marvelous sunsets to seaward. 

Bill Hoyt took a great interest in photographing the schooner fleet, which he documented in Hanging On: The Gloucester Waterfront in Change, 1927 to 1948. His extensive collection of Cape Ann memorabilia has contributed greatly to the resources of the Sandy Bay Historical Society.  We are fortunate to have his witness and record of the sunset of an era.
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Today the William D. Hoyt, Jr. Wing extends the welcoming capacity of the Sandy Bay Historical Society and provides a research center for perusal of its archives. The preservation and documentation of invaluable photographs, under the guidance of Leslie Bartlett, has made possible these visual time-travels into the story of our place. 

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