Dogtown Days 2018 research updates and special events! Cape Ann Museum May 5 & ribbon cutting May 6

Dogtown Days 2018

Dogtown Days 2018

 

CAPE ANN MUSEUM PROGRAM, SATURDAY, MAY 5, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m

“This program, presented by the Friends of Dogtown, offers an opportunity to remember the past and imagine the future of Dogtown. Free and open to the public.

Starting off with a presentation by local artists recalling Thoreau’s 1858 visit to Dogtown, Dogtown Days will present a collection of newly discovered historical photographs of the early 20th century landscape and will debut new poetry inspired by the “ghosts” of the old settlement. Members of the Gloucester Historical Commission will review the history of archaeological investigations, including the recent survey of Dogtown, and will explain the process and implications of its inclusion in the National Register of Historical Places. The City of Gloucester’s Dogtown Advisory Committee and privately-supported Cape Ann Trail Stewards will describe ongoing projects including site cleanup, trail maintenance, and the construction of a new footbridge at the site of Gloucester’s first mill. The program will conclude with a presentation by members of the Friends of Dogtown on a new project that is underway to restore key historical, ecological, and art landscapes in Dogtown.”

ENTRANCE TO DOGTOWN –RIBBON CUTTING – SUNDAY MAY 6th 10am-noon

“celebrating the new footbridge constructed by Gloucester High School students followed by tours of the art, ecological and historical landscapes described on Saturday.”

2016 PDF vision for dogtown (maybe visitor center)

Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease

Old tree Rockport Road ca.1892

Dogtown is eligible for the National Register! Will Gloucester earn another major district designation?

Nov 29th, 7PM, Public Meeting

Come to a special public presentation November 29th in Kyrouz Auditorium in Gloucester City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue, at 7pm.

Read excerpts from the press release shared by Bill Remsen, local project coordinator, and Mary Ellen Lepionka, co-chair Gloucester Historical Commission, and some Dogtown maps and memorabilia 1633-1961:

Continue reading “Before Dogtown was Dogtown: Archaeological Survey project to be presented at City Hall November 29! Maybe hello blueberries bye bye Lyme Disease”

What if…a section of Dogtown brush was cleared away? If you missed Chris Leahy at Sawyer Free Library last week come to a summit by Essex County Greenbelt & Mass Audubon at Cape Ann Museum March 4

“This Saturday morning forum is offered in collaboration with Essex County Greenbelt, Friends of Dogtown, Lanesville Community Center and Mass Audubon and held at Cape Ann Museum. The forum will be moderated by Ed Becker, President of the Essex County Greenbelt Association.”

Register here

UPDATE: Cape Ann TV is scheduled to film the event!

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Edward Hopper Cape Ann Pasture watercolor drawing (ca.1928) was gifted to Yale University in 1930
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East Gloucester Atwood’s Gallery on the Moors as seen on the left in 1921–open vistas at that time

 

Chris Leahy gave a presentation at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library on February 23, 2017: Dogtown- the Biography of a Landscape: 750 Million Years Ago to the Present
A photographic history through slides presented by the Gloucester Lyceum and the Friends of the Library. Mary Weissblum opened the program.

Chris broadly covered the history of the local landscape from an ecological bent with a bias to birds and blueberry picking, naturally. New England is a patchwork of forested landscapes. He stressed the evolution of bio diversity and succession phenomenon when the earth and climate change. “Nature takes a lot of courses.” He focused on Dogtown, “a very special place”, and possible merits of land stewardship geared at fostering greater biodiversity. Perhaps some of the core acres could be coaxed to grasslands as when parts of Gloucester were described as moors? Characteristic wildlife, butterflies, and birds no longer present may swing back.  There were many philosophical takeaways and tips: he recommends visiting the dioramas “Changes in New England Landscape” display at Harvard Forest HQ in Petersham.

“Isolation of islands is a main driver of evolution”

“Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary in Worcester has the highest concentration* of native butterflies in all of Massachusetts because of secondary habitats.”  *of Mass Audubon’s c.40,000 acres of wildlife sanctuaries statewide. “The fact that Brook Meadow Brook is in greater Worcester, rather than a forested wilderness, underscores the value of secondary habitats.”

“1830– roughly the time of Thoreau (1817-1862)– was the maximum period of clearing thus the heyday for grasslands…As farmsteads were abandoned, stages of forests return.”

Below are photos from February 23, 2017. I added some images of art inspired by Dogtown. I also pulled out a photograph by Frank L Cox, David Cox’s father, of Gallery on the Moors  (then) compared with a photo of mine from 2011 to illustrate how the picturesque description wasn’t isolated to Dogtown.

img_20170223_200058img_20170223_190206img_20170223_190350img_20170223_200204

hopper-2
Edward Hopper, Cape Ann Granite, 1928, oil on canvas can we get this painting into the Cape Ann Museum collection?

dogtown-cape-ann-massachuestts-by-louise-upton-brumback-o-c-vose-galleryLouise Upton Brumback (1867-1929), Dogtown- Cape Ann, 1920 oil on canvas

atwood-cox-gallery-on-the-moors-photo-1921

DOGTOWN DAYS A TREMENDOUS SUCCESS!

Dylan L'Abbe-Lindquist Dier Beer ©Kim Smith 2015

Dylan L’Abbe-Lindquist serving Cape Ann Brew Pub Dier Beer

Although it sounded so interesting, I very unfortunately missed the Dogtown Days lecture program held at the Cape Ann Museum as I was covering the Rockport Harvestfest (we oftentimes say on GMG that we are incredibly blessed that here on Cape Ann we have an embarrassment of riches in wonderful and worthwhile things to do and see). I did however attend the reception held afterward at the Sawyer Free. This is the second annual Dogtown Days event sponsored by the group of citizens Friends of Dogtown, a relatively newly formed outfit dedicated to restoring, protecting, and celebrating Dogtown, along with the far reaching goals to construct a visitor’s center and to help mitigate the ongoing misuse of the landscape.

Mary Weissblum ©Kim Smith 2015 jpg

Mary Weissblum’s Swamp Cake

Two of the highlights of the reception were Mary Weissblum’s Swamp Cake and Cape Ann Brew Pub’s colonial Dier Beer, both made with ingredients mentioned in historical accounts of Dogtown. Mary is going to provide GMG readers with the Swamp Cake recipe, spiced with ginger and nutmeg, and super delicious. Dylan L’Abbe-Lindquist’s Dier beer was outstanding and is going to be available at the Brew Pub in about a week. The brew was richly dark, made chocolatey in color almost, from the molasses and special carmelized flavored hops. Most amazingly, Dylan and his wife, along with their little baby, scoured Dogtown trails for authentic ingredients, which include Staghorn Sumac, winterberries, cranberries, and beach plums–it truly is a wonderfully flavorful brew. Ask for it at the Brew Pub, you won’t be disappointed.

To learn more about Friends of Dogtown, visit their website here.

Kit Cox Dylan Lindquist ©Kim Smith 2015

Kit Cox and Dylan