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 town in 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 1800's.

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. Larger wharves 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 carefully. 

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!

 

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