Friday, April 4, 2014

The Head of the Cove

Let's return to the earliest available picture of Folly Cove, a stereopticon view of a fisherman preparing his trawl lines alongside Granite Street.

(1) "Baiting Lines," by flake yard, 1860s
Over his shoulder sit mid-nineteenth century houses at the head of Folly Cove. By enlarging the photograph (2) some interesting details come forward: a fishing dory pulled up on the rocks, a vegetable garden in the foreground, and a barn to the right. These signs of  local self-sufficiency could be augmented by salted fish from the flake yard sold for cash.  

Granite Street brings us here from Rockport. We're close to the Town Line where it changes name to Washington Street as it runs between these rows of houses, continuing seven miles to Gloucester Harbor. Carts and carriages conveyed people to town in those days.
Just visible in the photograph below is a gabled building on Mason Square that eventually became an inn. Back then Mason Square was a segment of the main road preferred to the steeper grade on Washington Street.

(2) Head of the Cove
It's interesting to speculate about the orderly wall at the tide line in the photograph. Presumably yesterday's ocean rearranged stones as readily as does today's. In picture (3) a team of men and horses is hauling stones away on a sled. They may be clearing up after a storm or engaged in construction. Or both.

(3) Samuel Seppala and team hauling stones
Samuel Seppala operated Sunnyside Farm  at Folly Cove from 1919 to 1943. Though his actual land area was small, he made pasturing and haying arrangements in the neighborhood.

(4) Samuel Seppala and son taking cows to pasture
The dairy herd walked back and forth to pasture daily. Here they are crossing the Gloucester-Rockport line indicated by the sign beside the road, probably in the 1920s after the trolley tracks have been removed.

(5) Hay ride
Uno Seppala, Richard Seppala, Marjorie Wheeler,
Martha Koski, Vera Seppala, Hilda Ross
There was time for a little fun on the farm.

(6) Dories on the rocks, 1939
G. Newton Morgan, lobster fisherman
Ensio Ronka, son of Finnish Lutheran minister
The beach at the foot of the farm was and continues to be a public landing. Opening to the northeast, the Cove has always proven unpredictable as a mooring, which may account for its original name of Gallup's Folly Cove. Small boats have to be carried above the tide line over tricky footing.
Photographs from the collection of the Sandy Bay Historical Association. Photos (3-5) by Gabrielle DeVeaux Clements. Captions (3 - 6) by W. D. Hoyt, Jr.

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