My name is Chris Spittle and I developed RockportMass.com as an
extension of my CapeAnnMass.com
portal. I have lived on Cape Ann all my life. My grandfather worked
loading granite on to schooners at Granite Pier (see photo below) and my
great uncle tended the North Light on Thacher's Island in the late
1800's. I have witnessed the Blizzard of '78 and the Perfect Storm in
1991 as well as dozens of other nor'easters. I have worked on lobster
boats and explored the crannies of Dogtown. I have taken thousands of
pictures on the island and I like the idea of
sharing this site with locals and visitors alike.
Rockport, Massachusetts was first settled in 1754 as Sandy Bay Parish of
neighboring Gloucester and was finally incorporated as an independent
1840. It is located on
the eastern tip of the island of Cape Ann. Located about 35 miles
northeast of Boston, Rockport is an historic art colony and fishing port
as well as having been a prime source for high grade granite during the
Many a Rockporter fought for this countries independence in the
mid-1700's at Bunker Hill and at wars end, Rockport found itself alone
and poor, stripped of even its one minister. But fishing saved the
little village surrounded by water and in 1790 there were over 60 small
fishing vessels calling Sandy Bay its home.
In the early 1800's the population doubled. Fishing was booming.
were constructed at Long Wharf and in Pigeon Cove (left). These wharves
helped vault the export of high grade granite in 1823, an industry which
would sustain Rockport's economy for many years.
Numerous churches were built thru the 1820's and 30's as well as
the first of several temperance movements, new fire apparatus and the
first newspaper. When, in 1840, Rockport became Rockport, the first
selectmen were a Babson, a Haskell and a Marshall. There were also
Tarr's, Parson's, Story's and, of course, Pool's.
Over the years many of the rich and famous have frolicked along the
sandy beaches, housed in grand inns such as Turks Head Inn (below) as
the hardened native Rockporter plied the ocean for lobster and
groundfish. The remnants of years
past sit yet still in many nooks and crannies of Rockport if one looks
Now a popular tourist destination, Rockport
specializes in quaint shops in original fish shacks,
art galleries of all mediums, a variety of
lodging options and eateries
that offer the best of the area. Rockport has come of age in the new
century having brushed aside the workings of a temperance raid which
lasted 150 years to finally allow alcohol in its eateries.
Nestled along the picturesque rugged granite shores of the
tempestuous Atlantic Ocean, Rockport opens its arms year after year to
those fascinated by the alluring confines, colonial feel and the waves
that echo an American freedom for which Rockport is so proud of. Enjoy!