Thursday, December 25, 2014

"I'll be darned" - Folly Cove, June 15, 1893

A one-per-decade series of glimpses, 1860-1960

After dragging their dories on log rollers up past the high tide line, stowing their gear and checking tomorrow's bait, three Folly Cove fishermen enjoy a fraternal smoke before dinner.*
TW  Theosophilis Woodbury
HP  Howard Poland
HB  Howard Bates
Folly Cove fish houses1
TW  "Both of you fellows being Howards is the most aggravating thing I can think of. Howard Bates and Howard Poland in one small cove next to one big ocean. Now admittedly there's about a dozen of us Woodburys fishing around here but at least we give each other middle names."
HP  "Don't think I ever heard yours, Theosophilis." 

TW  "Don't think I need one. What about you, Howard Bates?"
HB  "Don't think I have one."

Howard Bates, Folly Cove2
 HP  "There's a story in here about that Clam Boil last night. It's the first time I ever saw Lanesville on the front page of the Gloucester Daily Times."

TW  "That's 'cause half of Gloucester was in the Rink for free clams and fixings, and giving speeches about linking Lanesville to the rest of world with the electric railway. Must be an election year."

HB  "Everybody was watching to see whether that new bridge at Bay View would hold up when the train cars went over it on the maiden run with all the civic people on board. Guess it did. And the Plum Cove trestle held up, too."

HP  "They're talking about bringing the railway right through here from Rockport. All the way around the Cape."
Electric street car, Rockport3
TW  "I'll be darned. I don't understand how they get power through wires to operate those things."
HP  "I can't figure it either, but those trolleys scare the hell out of the horses. I rode the trolley once. It knocked the wheel right off a milk wagon over in Riverdale."
HB  "That fellow shouldn't of left his wagon parked on the tracks."  
HP  "That kind of thing didn't happen in the horse-drawn days."
Horse-drawn trolley, Riverdale4
HB  "Sidney Harvey says it's going to be the end of his stage coach line.”
Stage coach 'Annisquam'5
HP  "I don't know. He might make out all right. I hear he's after the contract for a Lanesville lockup. Wants to have it built right into his stables down at Lane's Cove. Look at this here in the paper. It is reported that Lanesville is to have a lockup--and that the project depends on the granting of licenses for the sale of liquor. Lockup and Liquor. The more liquor the more need of a lockup."
TW  "I'll be darned. The next thing you know they'll be wanting to give Officer Walker a telephone."
Lane's Cove, fish shacks and stone boats6
HB  "Maybe he could use a telephone to direct traffic down at the Cove. You have to squeeze around the granite boats and Harvey's coal operations to get in there. And once you do you have to listen to Jacob Gronblad getting his picture taken."
Jacob Gronblad and cod, Lane's Cove7
TW  "Jacob brought that picture up to the sauna last week. It's like that Mark Twain fellow says, pictures of dead fish start to smell after three days."

HP  "Well, sometimes we've got to dodge in to Lane's Cove before the nor'easters make splinters out of us here in Folly. It's crazy not to run down there when the weather comes up." 

TW  "George Woodbury had it right. He went berrying."
Dip net and dories, Folly Cove8
HP  "Paper says Nellie Bly arrived at New York from her trip 'round the world."  

TW  "That was three years ago that she went 'round the world in 80 days. You must be looking at one of the old issues. I bet I've baited trawls enough to go 'round the world." 

HP  "I'm going to name my dory Nellie Bly.

HB  "Here comes Ezra. He says lobsters are bringing eleven cents a pound. They're packing 'em  in barrels and shipping 'em live to Boston."
Ezra Harraden9
TW  "I'll be darned. I don't suppose you're going to be shipping lobsters to town on that railway."

HB  "That's about as likely as flying 'em.”
*  These citizens of Folly Cove did experience these events, although exactly what they thought and said about them I have taken liberty to imagine. The accounts stem from reports of the time, listed below. Special thanks to the Gloucester Archives Committee; Mary Ray and Sarah Dunlap, Gloucester Massachusetts Historical Time-Line 1000-1999;  and Paul Harling for his unpublished monograph on Cape Ann Trolleys.
Minutes of the Board of Aldermen
City Documents, Gloucester, 1893
Cape Ann Advertiser
Cape Ann Evening Breeze
Gloucester Daily Times
1  NOAA, "Historical Ecology Slideshow"
2  Sandy Bay Historical Society
3  Paul Harling
4 , 5, 8  Cape Ann Museum
6, 7, 9  "Old Lanesville,” Lanesville Community Center

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