A one-per-decade series of glimpses, 1860-1960
Babson Farm Quarry,
Halibut Point, 1913|
Oil painting by Leon Kroll
When Leon Kroll fixed his gaze on Halibut Point in 1913 he encountered dual majesties of nature and industry. He approached this scene with a bright innocence very different from his usual subdued palette and emphasis on human figures. The composition and colors offer a child-like response to the choo-choo train dwarfed by an immense man-made hole in the rocky shoreline. It's the kind of painting he might have made years earlier in the company of the Impressionists he studied with in France, but nothing like his canvases that were winning praise and prizes at the New York Armory Exhibition of 1913. It suggests he was flabbergasted by what he saw.
Leon Kroll in his
Folly Cove studio, c. 1940s|
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute
From his vantage point in that first encounter he might have observed Altti Peterson in this drilling crew at the Babson Farm (Halibut Point) Quarry.
Babson Farm Quarry c.
Altti Peterson second man from right
shuttling granite blocks from quarry to wharf|
beneath the bridge on Granite Street
lifting a granite block to the locomotive at Babson Farm Quarry,|
for transfer to the shipment point at the Folly Cove Pier
Granite Company inspectors at the quarry|
Placing capstones on
the Sandy Bay Breakwater|
Halibut Point - Folly
Watercolor tinted etching by Kruseman Van Elten
The light of full citizenship lifted immigrants out of a low-paying and dangerous workplace. The light of natural beauty eventually resulted in the acquisition and dedication of Halibut Point to quiet enjoyment for the Commonwealth.
·Marie-Claude Kroll Rose (daughter of Leon Kroll), 2014
·"The Reminiscences of Leon Kroll," Columbia University oral history manuscript, 1957
·Fred Peterson, 2013
·Mary Balzarini Anderson (daughter of Antone Balzarini),
in Rockport Recollected, ed. Roger Martin, 2001.
CAM Cape Ann Museum
SBHS Sandy Bay Historical Society