Category Archives: Rockport



Additionally Sherri Casey from the Rockport Garden Club writes: All RGC members and guests are welcome to attend our July 9 evening meeting at the Rockport Art Association. This should be a beautiful, informative talk by Kim Smith titled, “Beauty on the Wing: Life Story of the Monarch Butterfly.” The evening starts at 6:00 with a wine and cheese reception followed by Kim’s presentation. If you would like to attend but do not drive at night we can arrange for a ride. Please contact Sherri Casey.

In Gloucester: Fireworks. Rockport: We light the outhouse on fire.

Small dragon comes out of the outhouse. Becomes much bigger and rids Rockport of arm hair.

Even from this distance, this bonfire is making Rubber Duck cry propylene tears

Everyone who used to be closer now has no hair on their arms. That is when you move back.


Friends Sarah Kelly and Mary Faino are launching their second book collaboration, Rome a day. You may recall their previous charming and beautiful collaborative book, a day in Rockport.

Congratulations and best wishes to Sarah and Mary for their new book!

Motif No.1 Day Fest THIS Saturday rain or shine!

Lots of good stuff is happening in Rockport this weekend as Rockporters and visitors celebrate the ol’ fishing shack known as Motif No.1 at the annual Motif No.1 Day Fest.

Arts activities, roving poetry, dance, live music, theater, local food, aerialists, acrobats, and much more are on the schedule. It all kicks off with the Motif No.1 Day 5K & Fun Run at 9am, with proceeds going to benefit the Rockport Public Schools’ WELL initiative. We’ll have tents to keep you dry in case of rain, lots of great food, balloons, face-painting, print-making with Rusty and Ingrid, a Pet Parade to benefit Cape Ann Animal Aid – the list goes on…

The Schedule of Events:

So who organizes the Motif No.1 Day Fest? I can hear you asking. Is it the Chamber of Commerce? The Town of Rockport? Magic fairies? No, the organizers of Motif 1 Day volunteer for a local nonprofit called Rockport Exchange. Rockport Exchange works with commercial, cultural, and civic groups to help create a strong sense of community through events and initiatives that promote local food, culture, and industry. Rockport Exchange works hard to be self-funded, but could use your support in sustaining the free community programming the organization provides.

One fun way you can help fund Motif No. 1 Day is by entering the “Win Free Coffee for a Year” raffle at Brothers’ Brew. A $20 ticket gives you a chance for a free cup of coffee every day at Rockport’s favorite doughnut (and more) shop. And the staff at BB throws in specialty coffee as part of the deal for the winner, which makes this prize practically priceless. Last year Rockport’s Harbormaster, Rosemary Lesch, won. And since Rosemary holds court in the corner table nearly every day at Brothers’ Brew, she got her money’s worth with that winning raffle ticket over this past year. Think she can win again? Rosemary is hopeful and has already bought her raffle ticket. You have a few days left to stop by Brothers’ Brew and buy your ticket! Thanks for your support and we’ll see you at the Fest! For more details, go to







The photos were taken after the storm on Tuesday morning, at dead low tide, standing almost to Salt Island and looking toward Thacher Island. I don’t recall ever seeing such enormous waves at low tide and will stay tuned in the future. Look for the surfer’s head in the waves 🙂


Super huge shout out and congratulations to David Robinson, artist and owner of the Rockport gallery Windmere Art and Antiques, for entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will fellow band members Ric Okasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes, and Ben Orr (posthumously).

The ceremony airs on May 5th at 8pm on HBO, and in the meantime, here are some clips. Read more in the Boston Globe here.

 The Cars: David Robinson, Ric Okasek, Elliot Easton, Greg Hawkes




A huge shout out to Thacher Island Association and president Paul St. Germain for winning an Essex National Heritage Area partnership grant to restore the elevated pedestrian lighthouse walkway on Straitsmouth Island.

Paul St. Germain writes, “We will restore the original C 1850, 220-foot granite and wooden timber walkway to provide safe and easy access for the public to visit the lighthouse from the keeper house. This walkway has been there since 1854 and was destroyed sometime in the 1930’s. Besides its usefulness it has also been an iconic signature of the island’s profile for over 80 years.”

This unique 1906 photo shows the 315-foot walkway, the oil house, and keeper house, as well as Thacher Island’s Twin Lights in the distance.

Facts about Straitsmouth Island Light Station

  • First lighthouse was established in 1835 to mark the entrance to Rockport Harbor.
  • The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1851 and again in 1896.
  • A 6th order Fresnel lens was installed in the lantern in 1857.
  • The current Victorian styled keeper house was built in 1878 similar to the one on Thacher Island.
  • In 1932 the light was converted from white to green.
  • Coast Guard moved the station to shore at Gap Head and sold the island to private parties in 1934.
  • Coast Guard continues to maintain the light as an official aid to navigation today. In 1967 the island (except for the lighthouse) was donated to Massachusetts Audubon Society who maintains it as a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Straitsmouth Island was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
  • In 2010 the lighthouse and 1.8 acres of land was given to the Town of Rockport by the coast guard.
  • In 2014 the Town of Rockport signed a long term 30 year lease with Mass Audubon for the use of the keeper and oil houses.


Straitsmouth Island pounding waves after March nor’easter


Lowell’s Boat Shop 

Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, will be carrying out urgent and emergency projects including the structural repair, stabilization, and shoring of facility footings and foundation piers, which are being eroded and causing the building to sag. Funding from the Essex Heritage grant program will enable Lowell’s Boat Shop to construct a proper footing that would mitigate erosion and allow them to slowly return the structure back to level and set it on a foundation pier that will be permanently stable.

Andover Historical Society

Based on a successful 2017 pilot program intended to augment a lack of local history in the school curriculum until 3rd grade or even high school, Andover Historical Society will be offering “Discovering my Neighborhood,” in which students will examine objects, photographs, and maps that tell the story of their neighborhood and the town. Students will be able to consider how Andover has changed, how it stayed the same, and how it might change in the future. The program will be tailored to each neighborhood, the historical development of Andover being reflected in its five school districts.

Bread and Roses Heritage Committee, Inc.

Taking place September 3rd in the historic Campagnone Common, Partnership Grant funding will be used to make possible The Bread and Roses Labor Day Heritage Festival, a unique event commemorating the Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912, now known world-wide as the Bread and Roses Strike. The free, family-oriented event that hosts the city’s many community organizations, educational workshops, and discussions on historical and contemporary issues aims to bridge the relationship between the immigrants of the past and present by revealing common struggle through music, theater, dance, food, art, historical tours, presentations, and family activities. Historical interpretation occurs through  guided trolley tours, walking tours, at talks and discussions at the Lawrence History Live! tent, and by exhibitors in our History and Labor area.

Marblehead Museum

With the goal of maintaining and protecting the 1768 Jeremiah Lee Mansion, the Marblehead Museum will be working to continue re-stabilizing the 20 front windows of the building using a durable putty to seal the glass to the frames and secure all framing members, effectively protecting the mansion and sealing out the elements. The two-to-four week long project will be carried out this summer, proactively preventing the glass from coming loose from the frames, and moisture being allowed to continue damaging the internal plaster and floors.

Middleton Stream Team

The Middleton Stream Team with utilize their Essex Heritage grant in order to construct an unpaved walking path in the Henry Tragert Town Common, along which they will place unobtrusive interpretive signage displaying short narratives on the natural and historical significance of the area.

Historical Society of Old Newbury

The Historical Society of Old Newbury will use their partnership grant to update their current museum, which was last updated in 1995 and was victim to unfortunate water damage. Partnering with five local schools to offer new programming, the museum will be turning its focus to its collections and exhibits relating to the American Revolution and Civil War to provide deeper interpretation of these two major conflicts that figure prominently in local history. The update will also ensure that these events are well-represented by the museum’s collections, and align with the curricular interests of local school groups by paying special attention to the events effects on a local level.

Theater in the Open

Theater in the Open will utilize an Essex Heritage grant to engage a qualified contractor to repair the roof and help to replace the exterior shingles of the Maudslay Gatekeeper’s House garage and garden, designed by William Gibbons Rantoul and built in 1903. The garage and garden are both highly visible from the road, making a big impact on the appearance of the Gatekeeper’s House to all visitors to Maudslay State Park. This spring, visitors will also see a completely restored entrance porch to the main house and significant improvement to the grounds.

Peabody Historical Society and Museum

Partnering with the City of Peabody and the Peabody Historical Commission in their efforts to improve Crystal Lake Park, the Peabody Historical Society will be implementing the “Witch Trials Legacy Trail of Peabody” by developing and providing three new interpretive displays clarifying witch trial history as it relates to Peabody as well as removing and re-placing two signs already at Crystal Lake Park to compliment the new design. In addition to the improved signage, the Peabody Historical Society will be developing an interactive audio tour, information for which will be displayed on the new signage.

Thacher Island Association

Thacher Island Association will replace the original c. 1850, 220-foot granite and wooden timber walkway to provide safe and easy access for the public to visit the lighthouse. This walkway has been there since 1854 but was destroyed sometime in the 1930’s. Besides its usefulness it has also been an iconic signature of the island’s profile for over 80 years. The walkway provided access from the keepers house to the lighthouse, and the rebuilt walkway will serve the same function for visitors to the lighthouse once the island is reopened to the public next year.

Hamilton Hall

Arriving in Salem from Curacao in 1798, John Redmond took up living quarters in an apartment at Hamilton Hall, serving as its caretaker upon its completion in 1805. Working as a barber, caterer, and restauranteur, Redmond became the preferred caterer and provisioner for all social events at the Hall, and over time he came to be known as “principal restauranteur” in Salem, and his family went on to be active in the early abolitionist movement. Hamilton Hall will use their partnership grant to develop inclusive narrative content about John Redmond’s life and the role that he played in Salem and Hamilton Hall’s early history, complemented by visual interpretive aids to broaden their reach to better reflect the culture and population of Salem.

Topsfield Historical Society

Originally built in 1683 and largely unaltered, the wood frame edifice of the Parson Joseph Capen House is a well-known icon arguably ranking among the most architecturally significant structures in the Essex National Heritage Area and is considered by many authorities to be one the finest extant examples of Colonial Era architecture anywhere. The Topsfield Historical Society will use their Essex Heritage grant to replace deteriorating clapboarding of various materials – including oak, pine and cedar – and prevent damage to and decay of the structure caused by allowing moisture to penetrate the frame.

Wenham Historical Association and Museum

As the Topsfield Fair marks its 200th anniversary, the Town of Wenham also celebrates its 375th anniversary and the Wenham Museum its 95th anniversary. To highlight an important and often overlooked facet of local history, the museum seeks to install this exhibition on Col. Timothy Pickering, whose legacy is common to all of these entities, this year. Using their partnership grant from Essex Heritage, the Wenham Museum will create an interactive exhibit devoted to Col. Timothy Pickering’s life in Wenham, his impact on agriculture, and his role in founding the Essex Agricultural Society, as well as improving the museum’s Pickering Library.In the exhibit, visitors will see historic Pickering Family textiles, such as a crest and wedding coat. Correspondence, reproductions of portraits, a family tree, visual interpretations of agricultural “best practices,” and text relating to the founding of the Essex Agricultural Society will also be included.

Congratulations to our 12 recipients, who will be working to implement a diverse range of educational, interpretive, and preservation projects throughout Boston’s North Shore and the Merrimack Valley over the next year!

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