Page 1

UMASS/AMHERST

312DbbDllfl27133


^^-'^^--^i^tS.^


Old Roads Alone ^ the I!

of

Cape Ann

PRINTED BY & A. H. MCKENZIE GLOUCESTER, MASS.

F. S.

1923


Copyright. 1923

By Cape Ann

Scientific

All

and Literary Association

rights reserved


To Mrs.

SARAH

C.

ROGERS,

WHOSE INTIMATE KNOWLEDGE OF THE "OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN" HAS MADE POSSIBLE. THE CAPE AND LITERARY ASSOCI-

THESE CHAPTERS

ANN

SCIENTIFIC

ATION. AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBES THIS

MODEST PUBUCATION.


FOREWORD This

little

book

in

going forth on

its

two-fold mission

seeks to guide the stranger into pleasant paths hitherto

unknown them

him

well, the

haunts. is

to

No

;

and

to bring

back

to

him who knows

cheerful recollection of old beloved

liberty of trespassing

here encouraged, and

it is

on another's property

hoped

that an earnest desire

to conserve our native flowers has

been engendered.

among quotations from the may be found from our own

Scattered here and there old familiar poets, lines native writers;

these

we

wish to acknowledge and

also express our thankful appreciation to

A.

Foster,

Mr. Harold Trowbridge

Joseph Auslander

for

Miss Edna

Pulsifer

and Mr.

permission to use their verse.


"So

will

And And

I

build

my

the blue sky

altar in the fields,

my

fretted

dome

shall

be;

the sweet fragrance that the wild-flower fields

Shall be the incense

I

will yield to

Thee/*


I

TO SPLIT-ROCK PASTURE FOR SKUNK CABBAGE Cape Ann,

|E were within three leagues of

and

we

as

saw every

and every island

gay woods and high

we came

to the shore, the

sometimes joined

which

we

or

supposed to be brought

full

The

trees.

more flowers

sheets nine

in

in

ten in

nearer

yards long,

by the

five

us to a fine sweet harbor,

where there was an

of our

strawberries,

God was the sweet

and

men went

gooseberries,

six o'clock

and

merciful in giving us a taste fruit

month

And

island

roses.

back

Thus

and smell

of

as an earnest of his bountiful goodness.**

This quaint entry Higginson makes the

tide.

brought

ashore, bringing single

of

abundance;

A westerly wind between where four

we

along the coast,

sailed hill

of June,

now,

if

1

in his

Journal in

629.

we

wish to seek out our

Spring flower, and see Nature

earliest

in its first unfolding,

we must take our walk in the breezy month of March. The Skunk Cabbage is sometimes found earlier, but it is

safer to wait

till

the middle of March.

start at

the foot of Mt.

known

locality to

for

a stranger

we

Vernon

St.,

people resident

might say,

start

which

We is

in Gloucester,

from the

will

a well-

but

post-office.


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

10

go up Pleasant

walk

St. to Prospect, turn to the right

we

Mt. Vernon, which

to

hill,

following the road

which crosses

moment this

Now we

St.,

till

of

view

Lamb

viewing

turn

we come

We

the woods.

across

we come

till

at right angles;

to enjoy the fine

point.

Perkins

it

this

locality

was a

the

name

the

later;

we

swamp on

Do

up

opportunity

entire

this

and from the the rocks,

not

of

We

the

fact

got

to extricate themselves,

Lamb

Ledge.

to the right across the ballground,

well defined public way. in

fine

among

soon come out on the old Rockport

Cabbage.

going

left,

Once

moraine.

and were unable

the place acquired the

and

stop a

a path leading up into

to

large sheep pasture,

keep

we

of the harbor visible at to

that the lambs often strayed

We

to Perkins St.,

unusual assemblage of rocks, a

of the terminal

in,

left.

go up the

follow this path, which takes us

section

wedged

we

and here

Ledge, and gives us a

in

on the

find

Starting then from the foot of the street,

and

Road which

walk along

left,

we

look fbr leaves,

find

this

the

— they

and is

a

road,

Skunk appear

shall only see pointed spathes, piercing the

brown, cheerless meadow. "Come gentle Spring! And from the bosom

ethereal mildness! come,

yon dropping cloud, While music wakes around veil'd in a shower

Of shadowing

roses,

This plant belongs

of

on our plains descend."

to the

Arum

family, the tiny

flowers being ranged along the spadix, like the Calla


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN Lily to

which

it is

II

the mottled, purple

closely related;

spathe corresponding to the pure white one of the latter.

unfortunate that

is

It

won

has

it

energy and courage;

Spring

earliest

have the unpleasant odor that

flower, should suggests, but

our

this,

name

its

a place in our regard by

knows no

for the plant

rest,

its

the

fallen and withered leaf being transfixed by the rising

bud.

Having now obtained our home, and our walk

Nature

is

Far

see

The view Dogtown and beauty

all

where

and

the

of

own,

hills

for

I

appealing than that of the

and there out

of

While

off

calls his ruffian blasts."

further west to

its

will return

attire,

Winter passes

surly

to the north

we

be uninteresting.

will not

not yet in her Spring

"We

quest,

out towards

stretching

Annisquam

know little

of

no

possesses a

more

sight

here

evergreens rising

grey bouldered pastures

the

sil-

houetting themselves against the bare deciduous trees

about to respond to the regenerating touch of Spring.

The

and

both

beginning to

show

color.

see a

flat

this wall,

Beeches and

We

now

stone in the wall to the

is

school-house.

a cellar

By

—

said to

We

this

till

we

get over

path and the

be that of an old

we come

out to

take a path

by a

following this path,

Alewive Brook, and

are quite

Maples are

go along

left.

and see a path; between

wall, there

the

Tag Alder

graceful tassels of the

evidence,

in

we now


12

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

ridge

which leads

to

higher ground; here

we

find

another path, which brings us out to the same old

Rockport Road, only

farther

down;

and without

going

we may find our way to town by down Trask St., through Judy Millet's parlor,

or by

Maplewood Avenue.

further direction

If

this

walk

Spice-bush buds Plantain,

is

taken in April, Hobble-bush and

may be

found;

Wild Roses and Lady

pasture; in June, Curtis* pasture,

in

May, Robin's

Slippers in Babson's

Mountain Laurel; and

Red

Lilies

and Polygala.

in July, in


II

HEATER ROAD FOR ARBUTUS

AROUND THE

LITTLE

"What joy when Winter lingered long To seek with ever new surprise The dripping banks, whose mouldering leaves among The modest Mayflower lifts its tender eyes."

OUBTLESS above

lines

the feeling that inspired the

has found a responsive chord

in our ow^n hearts,

and accounts

for the

ardor with which, with every recurrent Spring,

we

seek the lovely Arbutus blossoms, to which

the Pilgrims gave the

The

name

of

Mayflower.

long winter has yet scarcely passed from our

remembrance, but the snow has given place to the moisture of thawing sod, and we hunt under the mouldering leaves

With what if

after

few

joy

we

for the

behold the

a long tramp,

clusters,

we

very abundant in

modest but fragrant flower.

feel

we

first

blossom; and even

are able to take

home

repaid for our exertion.

our woods, and

now

just

a

Never

probably not

so abundant as in former years, there are places on the

Chasm road and Magnolia Avenue where it yet may be found. To this latter place we will wend our way this afternoon. We take a West Gloucester bus, and get Rafe*s


— 14

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

off at

Magnolia Avenue, once called the

name from

Road.

It

territory

enclosed by the connection of

received that

West

the Magnolia and

Heater

Little

the fact, that the

road with

this

Parish roads, took a three

cornered shape, similar to an old-fashioned snovy^-plow,

which was

We

called a heater.

pass the station, and

when about

a mile at least from the station

we

of the road,

shall find the

turn in this road,

way

half

— on the

through

hand

left

side

Arbutus.

Please be careful in picking the flower, not to disturb the root, for is

it

will not

be long, unless the plant

more tenderly handled, before

become

binger of Spring, will

woods.

we

this

beautiful har-

entirely extinct in our

Searching beneath the

**

mouldering leaves'*

have culled a modest bouquet, and

an abrupt turn

up

to the

left,

Here we are

to a brook.

now we

likely

to find

Violets, Hobble-bush, Bellwort, Cassandra,

We

Gale.

the path

but

cross the

we

still it

is

are

will

back

to

being quite a crooked one;

the way, leading us up over a

Pond on the left, and bringing camp by Fernwood Lake. Here

sit

down and wait If we have

town.

will take out our

"The to

east,

passing Wallace

hill,

us out to the Gipsy

we

all

Yellow

and Sweet

brook and go toward the

now on

a path

take

following a path that leads

it

"Wild

bus that takes us

our Whittier with

volume and read

Mayflowers** in her

for the

— Mrs.

Dana

Flowers**,

and

his

poem

us,

we

called

cafls our attention

particularly to the


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN lines that

poet

15

brought courage and hope to the Quaker

in the

dark period of the Civil War.

" But warmer suns erelong shall bring

To life the frozen sod, And through dead leaves

of

Afresh the flowers of God."

hope

shall spring


III

TO SALT ISLAND FOR DUTCHMAN'S BREECHES. AN APRIL WALK " Yet not alone

By Ocean's But

all

With

^

t^

my

being grew

influence vague

and

free.

the secret of the Springtime

knew

beauty's patient growth in flower and tree."

HUS sang James Parsons, a lineal descend-

-^

ant of that Jeffrey Parsons,

home in 1685 on now Witham Street. his

what analogy

who made Road,

the Joppa

We do

Ancient Joppa appealed

to the

know

not

to the

early residents of this locality, that they should

given

it

this

name.

We know that the fishing business

was once vigorously prosecuted here, and road was once lined with fishermen*s homes also the latter

may,

road leading

reason alone it is

have

it

to

the sea.

received

over this old road

noon toward Salt Island

in

we

its

that this

—

Perhaps

name; be

it

was

for the

that as

it

shall traverse this after-

our search for Dutchman's

Breeches and Dogtooth Violets. In

taking this walk,

we

must make our time

conform to the requirements of the at

tide, for

it

is

only

dead low water that a dry crossing can be made

the Island; but, having

we

made

to

the necessary calculations,

take the Rockport bus, and proceed to

Witham


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

18

where we

Street,

and walk down the quaint

get off

old road, noting the few old houses

among

nestling

original Jeffrey

the road

to

We

Heights.

It

is

still

be seen on

we

the last house before

turns

that

off

Starknaught

to

follow this road to the shore, and

have been fortunate enough

rectly,

The

gone, but one built

may

place,

its

originally stood.

it

coming

we

is

here

though on the opposite side of the road from

left,

where

left

the trees and overgrown bush.

Parsons house

not long after to take the

still

if

to time ourselves cor-

pass over dry-shod to the island, get our

flowers without waiting long enough to be overtaken

by the

tide,

month

or in

may be

and recross

May, Columbine and

found on the

Returning,

Later

to the mainland.

also

in the

Anemones

island.

we may reach home by various routes; is the shortest, but if we our walk, we can go along the shore

by the way we came, which wish to prolong

nearly to the Pavilion, cross the sand, follow the path or

roadway over Starknaught Heights, and come out

farther

down on Witham

would be

to

walk across

and cross over

to the

Street.

Little

Still

another

Good Harbor

way

Beach,

Bass Rocks road.

Whichever way we

take, our vision

commands

a long stretch of coast-line with the broad Atlantic in full

view.

Dr.

Bartlett,

Those for

of

many

us

who remember

years Rector of St.

the

late

Mary's


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN Church, Rockport, lines

will

be pleased

to see his beautiful

quoted below. "Where

And

the rock- pinioned beach holds back the strong ocean.

the oft-changing scene entrances our eyes,

Where

the waves toss their foam, and are always in motion.

And

deep

The

soul must be

When

calls to

deep with thundrous

dead

that

can

feel

replies,

no emotion

the marvellous sea continues to speak.

Thoughts deeper than words, and not a vain notion Inspires us

towards

loftiest

19

aims to upreach."


;

IV TO FRESH WATER COVE AND RAPE'S CHASM 'Winter

Nature

past; the heart of

is

Warms

Beneath the wrecks of unresisted storms Doubtful

The

On

at

first,

more than seen

suspected

southern slopes are fringed with tender green

sheltered banks, beneath the dropping eaves

Spring's earliest nurslings spread their glowing leaves."

HIS walk

we

that

are

and so

varied, so beautiful, interest,

we

would be pleasurable

may

have taken or

combination of

take, not

one has such a

the open, and

we

feel

what a joy

Mouldered

to dust, a

will start

new

last

well to

to

be head."

from Blynman Bridge known

was sufficiently remember the

The

old

name

enterprising

parson

may seem

not

if

it

who

had been

some years before the Colonial goverrmient. it

until

suggestive, but perhaps

carried into execution the project that

as

call of

year blossoms dead

life lifts its

recently as the **Cut Bridge'*.

elegant

as has this.

most powerfully the

it is

" Beside the stream, where

We

headlands,

beaches, brooks, granite

however,

any

at

the walks

all

meadows, swamps and evergreen woods In Spring

of historic

full

season of the year; for of that

so

anticipating,

is

first

for

Strange

to us, the clergymen of that day

were


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

22

much occupied with things outside of their profession. Of his successor Mr. Emerson, Mr. Babson quaintly remarks "he was not indifferent to the secular of

affairs

he became the sole or chief owner of the

for

life,

town and died possessed

three mills of the

of a con-

siderable estate*'.

Perhaps Mr. Blynman had he stayed here longer, might also have

seems

to

laid

up "treasures on earth", but he

have had a comet-like personality.

appearing from another followers,

of

crosses

it

Suddenly

labor with a

company

he organizes a church, cuts a canal,

with a bridge, and after sweeping across the

below the horizon taking

sky, sinks

many

field of

followers that the church

support a successor

till

many

is

his train so

in

too impoverished to

Well,

years after.

at all

events he did us good service, and standing on the

spot

where

of Ipswich

Bay with

pay our respects But

and energy united the waters

his foresight

we

those of the broad Atlantic,

to his

are not quite ready to take our real

for before starting let us stop a bit longer

walk

and take

in

the delightful views that are spread out before us.

all

much

that

varied and beautiful from a single view point,

and

It is

is

we

memory.

we

not often that the eye can compass so

must not miss any of

To

the

left lies

the beach

town which once used

Summer

morning.

it.

to

Notice

— "The Beach"

of the

be gay with bathers every

how

gently

it

curves to the


;

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN headland, or

in

we

as

fort,

no longer; but

say,

though

is

it

23

a fortification

Revolutionary times earthworks were

thrown up there

and

pounders, with which

boasted

it

it

twelve

eight

of

was supposed

to protect the

where all of the business of the town was done. Further to the east, picturesque Rocky Neck is seen, making little Harbor Cove where Champlain came something more than three hundred inner harbor

We

years ago.

Then

linen.

in

would

and

of

their

Eastern Point

the outer harbor

the entrance of

single roses.

This

finishes

a picture you

travel far to equal.

To

the right a rocky beach terminating in

headland covered with oaks presents a bold coast

and swinging round to the place lines salt

their

soiled

embrace Ten Pound Island, where men found wild strawberries, goose-

its

Hutchinson's berries,

wash

to

the long shore line

stretching out to

folding

can almost see them caulking up

and going ashore

shallop

little

we

to the north

where

it

loses

and becomes a gentle

follow the canal

straight

its

a

line,

and

artificial

meandering over

tidal river

marshes against a background of pine covered

hills to

Ipswich Bay.

"How The

Bend

And

To

how

still

winds along, while tangled grasses

the swaying tide as on

seems to wander

Reflecting on

The

the morning, and

silent in

river

its

at

its

it

passes

own

bosom, rock and

sweet will hill.

lingering masses over sand hills

open sea."

haze


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

24

We

will

two

now and

go on

we

prosaic highway

instead of taking the

Park beneath the

will cross the

This

lines of beautiful elms.

Samuel Whittemore the

Grammar School

Harbor and a prominent

Subsequently

Benjamin K.

erty of Mr.

whose

bought

heirs the city

became the prop-

it

Hough who

about the middle of the

trees

farm,

teacher of a permanent

first

the

at

citizen of his time.

was owned by

tract of land

once a part of the Whittemore

it

set out the

1898

in

elm

century and from

last

for a public

park.

Meandering along headland on the of the Civil

left

War

period can

Moon Beach that Lane throwing over

this pretty road,

where remains still

pass the

be seen; and Half

the artist used to love to paint,

that lovely roseate

it

we

of the earthworks

hue

that

was

so

peculiar to him.

Now we which

we

come

to

the

further

headland from

get the most spacious view of the harbor

and the open sea beyond; and then crossing over Fishermen's Field where the bronze tablet story of those fourteen 1

623-4, thus laying the

structure

men who wintered first

tells

the

here in

foundation stones of that

which afterward became the Commonwealth

of Massachusetts,

we come

Here our road

out on the highway.

leads along the shore, and

we

come

to a place called steep bank, rightly so called

for

side leads

its

down

to the

water almost perpendic-


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN August

In

ularly.

whose

gerardia,

it

covered with the

is

stalks

sometimes

tall

25

yellow

or seven feet

six

high, thrust their loveliness into mid-air for the pleasure of the passer-by.

now Hammond

Passing the Hovey,

come

Sawyer's Hill though the road

to

and the

declivity

At

years ago.

much added altered,

to,

much

steep than

less

the foot of

but the original homestead not

Summer Mr. Samuel for his native city

Place,

by

Here

who

E. Sawyer

we

much wider it was some

Sawyer house

the

lies

it

Mr. Sawyer's death.

since

is

much

lived

in

attested his love

Sawyer Free Library

giving us the

and bestowing on us many other wise benefactions. Just

beyond where the road

where a

stone wharf,

An

old grass

the

first

grown road

dwellers of the

up

see an old

into the marsh.

down

leads

to

hamlet

little

we

turns

tidal inlet runs

it,

and here

built their tiny

houses and put out to sea in their primitive fishing

This perhaps was two or more centuries ago,

craft.

and as

we

straggle along the

road

we

see an

old

chimney or a gambrel roof that harks back also to an early period.

Soon

to

Avenue*', and

the

left

we

turn

we down

cannot say Master Moore's as

we

called.

used to be, for

till

Master Moore

roof house

on the

see

a

"Hesperus

this road, sorry that

lane,

we

and be understood,

recent years

lived in the

right as

sign,

it

little

was always

so

white gambrel

had a generation

of

Moores


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

26

His

before him.

and

built the

He

century.

town

in

1

William Moore,

settled here

taught one of the public schools in the

At

757.

paid us a

father,

house about the middle of the eighteenth

the time however,

he was out

visit

in

when Lindsay

a boat with his son

Joseph, and both were taken on board the man-of-war

had a pleasant habit

as they

was a boy home, but

On

of doing in

1775.

Joseph

and was put ashore near was never more heard from.

of twelve

his father

his

manhood Joseph followed his father's profession of teaching and became a very famous instructor of navigation. From all over the town came the flower of old Gloucester families, arriving

at

between voyages,

them

to

do business on the

He

great waters.

published a text book on navigation; one

which

From now on

we

knows

at least the writer

pathway. see

Just

be

a cottage always

of

after this,

bushes

we

it

copy

of

in existence.

known

dog tooth

shelter

as

violets.

but searching

now, which were once

side of the street

the

May we may

shall find places,

and which give

also

in their season, flowers line our

house, and in April and

meadow back

to

below on the other

houses

enabled

to learn the science that

Dilloway

find in the

There

among more than

nothing

cellars of old settlers*

to

are

the gay

no

the barberry holes

houses

columbine and

yellow celandine.

In late autumn, the pink petals of

Herb Robert and

the straw colored flowers of the


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN witch-hazel, give us sleep of cellars

Winter

down

a

last

in

of

bit

color before the

way

Across the

begins.

27

from these

a boggy spot grow huge stalks of

thoroughwort, and vines of the ground nut sprawling over everything with delicious freedom.

Our road ful of time,

interesting

is

and

we walk on unmind-

sometimes catching a glimpse of the ocean

through the branches of the oaks and pine and always

with the ceaseless noise of

its

After a quarter of a mile or

movement

so,

we

in our ears.

see a red granite

island, so near the shore that in a

low course

may be reached by wading. Woe and no one knows why it

This

it

received

unless like Thacher*s, because of

We

occurring there. sailed

know

that a

this

name,

an awful tragedy

Richard Norman

on a voyage from which he never returned.

Nothing but sea golden rod and a weird sedge grow upon

it,

discouragement of

With

and

living

we

with such

occurring here,

we walk

to a red brook,

we

find a

and many

gray

slight

chance of

the splash of the waters beating against

sides keeping us constantly in

violets blue

little

fancy they must feel the

by human hands.

ever being picked

here

of tides

Norman's

is

and

mind

of

on quite a piece

after

its

shipwrecks till

we come And

that a white one.

wealth of flowers, cowslips,

clintonia,

and yellow, bunchberry, wild geranium, others;

perhaps too, on the

hills

on the


— ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

28

right

we

grows

have found the ever charming arbutus,

in the "

I

woods about

for

it

here:

wandered lonely where the pine

trees

made

Against the bitter East their barricade. And guided by its sweet Perfume, I found within a narrow dell The trailing Spring flower tinted Hke a shell Amid dry leaves and mosses at my feet."

After passing the white brook the rough road turns abruptly to the

the

Chasm

left

and a

sign

lies in this direction.

board

tells

us that

A gently rising foot

path of perhaps a quarter of a mile over low shrubs

and mountain cranberry, leads us sharp precipice, and here

come

we

Rafe*s Crack or

to see,

to the

brow

have what

Chasm

as

we it

of a

have

is

now

called.

This

fissure

greatest width,

but looking feet,

one

the sea.

is

is

and

down

not a score of feet across

at its

into

its

narrowest can be jumped,

depths from a height of sixty

overpowered by the sublime majesty

On

of

a pleasant day, the rumbling and the

gurgling of the

waves

as they find their

way

to the

narrow angle of the upper end, and dash against sides in their retreat,

storm, the sight must control**

its

is

indeed impressive, but

its

in

a

be well nigh unbearable. "Man's

indeed "stops with the

sea'*.

Standing on the higher or eastern edge of the

Chasm we have

a view of the open ocean close at

hand, and of the spires of Gloucester "Touched by

A

in the distance

a light that hath no r>ame glory never sung."


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN It is

time to be thinking of the return home.

have seen enough; take the bus on our

by the

let

way

us walk into

back.

light of the setting

seen and

felt

seems

now

God's

We shall be travelling

sun and

is

We

Magnolia and

all

that

we have

only a beautiful dream,

"But beauty seen

29

never

lost

colors are all fast."


V OVER FOX HILL FOR RHODORA " Rhodora

!

if

This charm

the Sages ask thee

is

Tell them, dear, that

Then Beauty

HESE

is its

eyes were

if

own

excuse

May, and in

And

glory.

its

we

shall

made

for seeing.

being."

it

the

is

about the middle of purplish-pink

brilliant,

immortaHzed by him, must now

flower,

flower

for

much-quoted words from Emerson

remind us that

be

why

wasted on the earth and sky,

it

not only the beauty of the

is

and

see

feel this afternoon,

but the

melancholy beauty that clings to old neglected roads,

once replete with

life,

but

now

mostly traversed by

lovers of Nature. It is

true

we

start

out on a thoroughfare teeming

with modern industries, but ourselves

ourselves

when

the home, with

unwilling

after a while,

its little

the mill, and the church, completed the

soil,

Wass

summer of

Square,

visitor

we

which

will say

is

for

the

entire length to

its

We

will start

benefit

of

the

situated at the junction

Maplewood Ave. and Prospect

of Swift's store-house. its

shall find

garden wrested from an

circle of the early settlers' existence.

from

we

away from the noisy highway picturing to the ways and customs of primitive days,

Street, to the right

We follow this avenue through junction

with Poplar Street.


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

32

Not many land,

our

years ago, this whole district

and Gloucester Ave., which

right,

was

we

was pasture

have passed on

the old road to Rockport, over

for nearly fifty years, the settlers of that locality their

way

to the

I

which

wended

Parish church on the Green.

st

Respectable tradition asserts that the

first

dry-

goods shop of the town was located on the spot opposite the beginning of this old road, where in the writer's it

remembrance

(all

beyond being pasture land)

turned a corner in joining the street or road just

This seems

mentioned. than at for a

first

when one remembers

thought,

number

improbable on

less

reflection, that,

while

of years after our settlement, all the finer

material for wearing apparel and house furnishing

brought over

in ships to the well-to-do, as

whose wants were mostly supplied by home to

add a

shawl or a yard or two of

some

sailor's

a shop of

this

a private

were many not so well placed,

importation, there

These were glad

was

of India cotton

adventure kind

—

products.

kerchief, ribbon,

to their

may have

—

cheap

the outcome

home

spun; and

existed there to catch

the trade of connecting roads.

We

turn the corner into Poplar Street, and from

this point on,

we

shall travel

over some of the oldest

Walking toward the west, we come Street, once prettily called Fox Hill, and

roads in town. to

Cherry

turn in this road; but while standing

we

will take

a look about us.

on

this corner,

In the earliest years of


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN our settlement,

this

33

At

was a much-traveled road.

the

extreme west on the Green, lay the meeting-house of the

on the the

Organized church;

first

right of the

—a

town

and

was

it

Fox

around the corner,

just

Hill road,

grist-mill

first,

was

the

and then a

mill of

first

fulling-mill

Some-

Annisquam.

also the only road to

where on the road between here and Washington Parson

lived

Street,

Emerson

Blynman— and

succeeded Mr.

the

was

pied by Mr. Albert Procter, which

Post

named, was

is

Thomas Allen

occu-

on the

the birthplace the

Alewives

into the

Fox

Hill road,

apparent, but

growth

for

and

there,

are

we

in

stop

former

came up here

in large quantities

spawn, and look still

G. A. R.

original site of the

Alewife Brook, so called because

at the

are

built

who

now

house.

Having turned

years,

whom

lamented Col. Allen, for

of the

minister

the house

to

evidences of the old mill; they a

few years

now

ago were quite

concealed beneath a thick

of bush.

We

climb the

roadway two old poplar and a winding path

we walk up

noting as

hill,

trees, that

at the

stand as sentinels,

that led to

left

the

Tammy

Younger*s house, which

was

still

memory

The

writer remembers a

of

some

living.

standing in the

well-defined chimney standing stark against the sky;

but now, not even the cellar

Tammy

died, the house,

is

discernible.

and what

little

there

After

was

in


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

34

it,

was

for not

left to

decay by the slow process

of Nature,

even the children dared to invade the precincts.

Tammy's

reputation as a witch having projected

itself

had

into a considerable space of time after she

left

these earthly scenes.

We

take up our walk again, and not far from

Tammy's house on

the

left,

we

see an old cellar; but

evidences of early inhabitants are

and the

The new

road of a few years

delightful grass-grown

ago has given place

to a

disappearing,

fast

more frequented thoroughfare.

direction of the road has not been changed, but

houses have been

built,

and much

the old

of

charm has gone.

We

go on, passing Reynard Street on the

which leads out grist-mill,

Washington

to

which was

in operation

since

1652

and the old

within a compara-

till

There has been a

tively short time ago.

spot

Street

first

left,

a saw-mill,

and

mill in

on

this

1678 a

may be interesting to those of the Catholic faith to know that in a house, owned and lived in by John Dooly, now torn down, but grist-mill

was

erected.

It

just

around the corner on Reynard Street

celebrated for the

We right,

lies

of

time in our

— mass was

city.

soon come to the Gravel Hill road on the

which we

which view

first

pass,

and walk along

to the east;

the

hills,

and here

dotted

over

skirting

we

with

Dogtown,

have a better boulders

and


:

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN The

patches of Bayberry.

we know

before

"

we

it,

Our

On

on

attention.

its

lives are like the

It is

to the height of

a

and

shadows

Rhodora on our

right so

stems as to attract immediate

member

of the

one or two

the Arbutus that

casting shadows,

hills that lie."

to the

leafless

is

are repeating Bickerstith*s lines

sunny

Soon we come brilliant

sun

35

trails

feet;

Heath

family, rising

quite different from

along the ground.

Having

we may walk straight ahead to Gee Avenue, and follow Gee Avenue to Washington Street or we can cross the pasture, and come out on the Pilgrim Hill road, or Holly Street, as it is now procured our flowers,

;

called,

Street

and proceed

The

Pilgrim

to

Goose Cove, or Dennison

Hill

delightful stretch of country, finish to

an afternoon's walk.

road leads over a very

and makes a

satisfactory


VI TO THE WHALE'S JAW BY GEE AVENUE '

There loved and blessed

my

spirit

broods

O'er barren commons dear to me."

|EPHAPS

no spot on Cape

Ann

dearer

is

to those of us familiar with the old roads

and by-paths than "those wild wastes

of

uplands" lying to the east of Mill River,

and back

We

have

of the traveled all

felt

discover wherein

its it

highway, known as Dogtown.

charm, and

lies.

The

it

is

not

difficult

to

grey boulders, seamed

and worn by time, relieved only by scanty herbage, tell

the story of the Glacial

Period,

when

world was being made ready for habitation old dismantled cellars, with the pathetic of reclaimed land beside them,

joys

and sorrows

of

and the

;

little

speak of the humble

all

sides afford a

come here and make

we

their early

stop to think, there

place, land could is

now

a

be had

barren

were many reasons In the

for little or nothing,

waste,

did

homes?

contributive to the settlement of this locality.

what

How

why

did this tract look to the early settlers and

first

patches

subject for the exercise of imagination.

If

old

an extinct population.

Barrenness and desolateness on fruitful

they

this

was

at

that

and time


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

38

undoubtedly covered

with

a

The

growth.

forest

frequency of the boulder prevented a thick growth,

was enough timber probably

to build such

rude dwellings as they had, and furnish

sufficient fuel,

but there

which they could have

for the cutting;

game

small

abounded, and they were allowed by law to pasture

few domestic animals on the cleared

their

not unlikely too, that these simple-minded

is

It

places.

folk experienced, instinctively, a sense of protectiveness, that

from

given

primitive

to

typified strength

earliest

eyes unto the

Cometh

my

man;

hills",

So

it

call

always,

whence

in giving

speak of the "everlasting

upon the

fall

too,

up mine

lift

says the Psalmist, **from

Jesus, foretelling the

people shall

have "I will

Both Jacob and Moses,

their parting blessing,

and

they

and endurance,

help".

always

times, the hills Iiave

hills",

of Jerusalem, says "the

hills to

cover them".

seems, then, within the bounds of a reason-

able imagination, to say that both for economic and

class of people,

home chosen by a whose occupation was intermittent,

and whose

was

protective reasons, this

living

here previous to

1

74

was

precarious. 1 ,

as

is

and Mr. Babson says

date;

after the

the

People were

shown by a map in his

living

of that

history, that just

Revolutionary War, there were about forty

houses scattered along the sides of the old roads.

After

men

this period, the

population declined,

many

of the

having perished, either in the land or naval forces,


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN engaged

and the younger generation

war;

the

in

39

new

having built homes for themselves nearer the

highway, which had gradually come into existence, the old houses

who

came

to

be inhabited by widows only, the products of

got an insufficient support from

a few domestic animals, eked out by the selling of

and herbs

berries

Harbor, and the willing dole

at the

of the charitable.

number

Doubtless, a disproportionate

were kept pitiably

company, and

to afford

their

known

remember hearing

never had white

flour

the Parish, and had them still

to the present time.

childhood that they

is

down

to a

merchant

in

filled.

living

wretched condition, as writer's possession.

it

but once a year, at Thanksgiving,

they brought their pans

Some were

to

my

in

this

under the sobriquet of

Dogtown, which name has clung

when

dogs

meagre possessions from marauders, and

led to the locality being

I

to

of

protect

there

attested

Mention

is

1832,

in

by a

made

in

letter in

a

the

in this letter of

up and taking them clothes from the "Reading Society'*, followed by reflections on their

two

ladies going

unfortunate moral and physical condition.

Mr. Babson brings poetically

known

and charitably

verse " But

No No But

his

account of

to a close,

this

setdement

by quoting the

well-

from Goldsmith's "Deserted Village". now

the sounds of population

cheerful

murmurs

fail

fluctuate in the gale;

busy steps the grass -grown footway tread, all the blooming flush of life is fled."


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

40

shall

This

is

find

only the

hardly a flower-walk

common

;

we

in the Spring,

such as

hillside flowers,

the Violet, Saxifrage, Bluet, Cassandra, and Sweet-

Rose; but nothing

briar

the Bayberry with

its

Autumn,

In the

distinctive.

sweet fragrance

will

be our chief

reward."^

We ready

this introduction to the locality,

One

to set out.

the Spring or

should go to

Autumn, and

as

it is

Cape, the approaches

of the

we

walk

however, going to view the Whale*s

are,

Jaw, and with

have planned

May, when we

time in

and see

of Nature,

We take the Street, or

Cherry

road

Lemuel

We

old Castle.

it

beauty of

left

we

which has been remodeled on

straight

Morgan Stanwood

Proceeding on our way,

which

we

referred to as the this road, left,

cross

of

passing

and soon on

shall see a large boulder, beside

the cellar of

is

Stanwood

either of these streets

the road to the Rifle-Range on the the

The

unfolding.

its

off either at

which was once

keep

are many.

and continuing on the same

Friend's,

in recent years, but

either in

situated in the heart

today takes place some-

and get

Street,

are

shall witness the resurrection

in all the

bus,

to

Gee Avenue, walk up

crossing to

it

for

Dogtown

we

which

is

Mr. Rich's poem.

we come

to a slough,

on stepping-stones, and beyond

a pair of bars which brings us out to the

this,

Common,

so called because the boundaries to the lots have long *

Later

in

June and July some of the orchids are found

in the

swamps near

Vivian's.


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN become

since

many

an immense rock, called Peter's Pulpit, where

to

Now

seen.

the Whale's

hill,

from

this point, this

keep, turns to the

distance,

we

leave

it,

around which there

We

stones.

we

rented, as so

go through the bars and follow a grassy

from a near-by

still

is

cow-rights.

We road

and the land

indefinable,

41

and

left,

Jaw can be

same road, which we

after following

and cross the pasture a

is

clearly

it

to a

a short

swamp,

good path with stepping-

go around the

swamp and

from there,

take a path directly to the Whale's Jaw. Just before arriving at our destination,

marked with a

see on our right a stone

we

cross,

shall

once

believed to mark the place of concealment of Capt.

Kidd's treasure. but

now

To east,

to

lies

This rock once stood above ground,

a couple of feet below the surface.

return,

and you

walk a short distance

will find a

good path

you come

till

brook,

climb a

to the

right.

goes to the

hill,

to

left

to

down

the

pair of bars, cross the

and follow a path

This leads

left,

a

North-

that leads directly

Rockport; or take a path to the

pasture,

to the

a

that

leads

broader path which

and comes out on Dennison Street


VII

THE WOODS FROM ANNISQUAM TO LANESVILLE— A TREE WALK

IN

"

How

sweet

it

is

The wayward

when Mother Fancy

rocks

brain to saunter through a

wood."

|HIS walk may be taken with pleasure and almost any season of the year;

profit at

but

would

it

be taken

better

when Nature on

Spring,

awakening, and the trees are coming into but scant historical

we

meet with, unless as are

common

interest,

to

much

find

It

we

is

has

shall

except the Pyrola, are only such

most woods; but

lovely trees, both deciduous shall

leaf.

and the flowers

the

in

sides

all

pleasure in

we

shall see

many

and evergreen; and

making them a

we

special

object of interest.

We

will start at

Revere

Street, nearly opposite

Annisquam church, which

the

Porridge

sand

Hill, so called

We

in this locality.

us that this road

of the deposit of

see a couple of old houses,

dating from the early part of the tells

over Sand

takes us

on account

1

8th Century, which

was probably made

of the setting off of the

3rd Parish, as

at the time

farther

connects with the road leading to the Sandy

on

it

Bay

settlement. It

the

was more convenient

town

to attend

this

for

people in that part of

church than the one on the


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

44

Green; so

we may

suppose they embraced the oppor-

We

tunity of doing so at an early date.

road past the Dennison house, which

two

old landmarks, going through

take the road to the

This ago; but

we

find

it

one

of the

pairs of bars,

and

was burnt over a few years

now

Birches, a

covered with young Oaks,

Maple here and

there,

and

Trees have always formed an

interesting

we

might note

subject for study, and, as

some

also

is

leading into the woods.

tract of land

Beeches and Pines.

left

follow this

of the

The Oak,

more

for

we

go along,

example, of which

this afternoon, is

the legend that

them.

distinctive facts concerning

we

many

shall see

a tree of great antiquity; and while it

was

the

first

tree created

we do

can hardly be supported,

find

it

by God,

mentioned

very often in the Bible. It

tree

seems both then, and

much

venerated, for

we

later, to

have been a

read that Joshua set the

Stone of the Covenant under an oak; and Isaiah speaks of taking an oak to

make

a

God

of.

It

was

dedicated to Jupiter by the Romans, and spoken of

by

Virgil as "Jove's

awful sovereignty". size,

and a round

own

slice of

There are

woods

in

In England, this tree attains great table,

claiming to have been

a single

tree that holds the

still

shown

in

Winchester,

King Arthur's, was made from

oak cut from an enormous bole. several varieties of

Cape, the White

Oak

oak found on the

being the most easily dis-


;

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN by the rounded lobes

tinguished

sweetness of

its

acorns.

circulation

renewed

is

where

desirable

and the

dried leaves persist

Of

till

the oaks,

all

for building purposes, especially

wet and dry

has an alternate

it

Red and

exposure.

its

in the Spring.

most durable

this is the

leaves,

its

has a white bark with

It

dark spots, and a few of

of

45

Black Oaks have sharp pointed

lobes, bitter acorns, and, while easily distinguished from

the white, are not so easily distinguished from each other.

Growing with

Modern

Beeches.

the Oaks,

we

see a great

them

forestry plants

young Beeches drip a great deal protect the stems of sions.

height. is

most

Oak,

till

many

together, as

of moisture,

and

they attain timber dimen-

The Beech is a noble tree, and reaches to great The opening of the Beech bud in the Spring interesting

—

then scales of filmy

begin to unfold

;

at

first,

tissue, first,

grey and

"Then each bond broken and All

fluted

Then They

And

We

brown

the tough

sheath,

and then the embryo leaves

and pointed and

silver

burst at

and

last.

daintily curled

world and gyve.

green, just the loveliest green in the fling to

the breezes each fetter

laugh for the pleasure of being alive."

get our word,

book from "buck'*

or Beech,

thin plates of the bark having furnished the earliest

bindings for volumes; and tradition the letters of the

first

book printed

tells us, also,

in

that

English were

fashioned from the bark of this tree.

With

Oaks and Beeches, are many young always come up on newly burnt over

the

Birches, that


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

46

ground, and an occasional Maple.

walk it is

its

in April,

we

we

If

Maple

shall see the

take our

in flower, for

the earliest tree to announce the return of Spring,

blossoms unfolding more than a fortnight before

leaves.

It is

Coleridge

think

I

Lowell

exquisite verse that

who

has given us

its

this

the most beautiful

calls

landscape in words. "Beneath yon birch with silver bark, And boughs so pendulous and fair, The brook falls, scattered by the rock And all is mossy there."

we come

Just before

we

road,

enough into

to the

end

of this

wood

encounter an immense boulder, but low

for us to

walk over, and then

we come

out

an open country, where there are one or two

houses.

If

we

wish,

we

down

can turn

here and find

a road leading back to Revere Street; but those of us not faint-hearted, keep right on the beaten track

which leads

into the old

follow this road

from the it

some

we

if

station in

distance,

wish, and

Rockport; but

we

soon becomes a road,

come if,

will lead us

may

out not far

after following

take a path to the it

We

Rockport road.

left

which

over an exceed-

ingly pretty stretch of country.

Here we where a while

see

more

trees,

and come

cultivation of fruit trees

we do

not

come across any White and

see small ones, both

be distinguished by the number in

a sheath.

A

White Pine

is

to a place

in progress,

full-grown Pines, Pitch,

which

and

we

are to

of leaves or needles is

feathery,

has

five


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

47

leaves in a sheath; the Pitch only three; while the

The

sometimes called Norway, has only two. I

think,

the

is

Then, while

not indigenous to the Cape.

White Pine has

a straight

tall

Red, latter,

trunk with lateral

branches, the Pitch Pine has a more gnarled appear-

grow

ance, and does not to a

very pretty Pitch Pine

on

later

In following this road, sight of houses,

we come

to a ledge in

into

Pigeon

left,

which

to the

Here we

terminates at a quarry railroad track.

Pme, before mentioned,

see the pretty Pitch

hands have spared

it.

We

come

our walk.

in

which would bring us out

Cove; but again we take a road finally

We

such height.

to

ruthless

if

follow the track along,

work our way round amongst some work-sheds, pass an enclosure with sheep pasturing

come

in

it;

and

out near the Lanesville church.

We

the Dennison house a

left

little

more than

two hours ago, and we see the bus waiting the foot of the

We

finally

hill,

so

we

quicken our steps to take

have had a beautiful walk, and

feel better for

" Nature never did betray

The

heart that loved her

Through

all

;

'tis

her privilege

the years of this our

life,

to lead

From joy to joy: for she can so inform The mind that is w^ithin us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, Rash judgments, nor

the sneers of selfish men.

Nor The

no kindness

greetings, w^here

dreary intercourse of daily

is,

nor

all

life.

Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb

Our

cheerful faith that

Is full

of blessings."

for us at

all

which we behold

it.

it.


VIII

TO THE SOUTHERN WOODS FOR LAUREL "And

what

Then,

if

is

so rare as a

come

ever,

Then Heaven

And

over

jERE so

it

the earth

tries

softly

day

in

her

warm

if

it

let

us

go

find

America, and It is

is

tune

in

Laurel.

for

it

in flower.

found

in

While

the

an evergreen, and

is

always beautiful for

we

be

ear lays."

a day such as the poet describes,

is

Mountain Laurel June that

June?

perfect days;

its

It is

foliage,

abundance on our

is

it

native to

in

North

hillsides.

not the Laurel of the Ancients, symbol of victory,

though there

is

some resemblance

shrub, supposed to

classic

brought to

this

in the leaves.

be Laurus

Nobilis,

(The was

country by the colonists, but did not

thrive in our soil.)

The correct name of our shrub is Kalmia, so named in honor of the Swedish Botanist, Kalm, who was sent to this country in 748 by his government to make investigations in Natural History. It has been transplanted in England, where it is very much thought I

of,

of

and

flowering in one of the celebrated gardens

its

London,

We Pond

is

advertised in the daily papers every year.

take the Rockport bus, and get out at

Cape

road, and follow this road round to the back side


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

50

Walking toward the

of the ice-houses.

a

and follow a path a

little hill

we

and

we

after passing these trees,

We

laurel.

east,

to the

we

left.

go up

Now

where there are some spruce

turn to the right,

trees,

little

get over the wall,

and here

begin to find

we

see a road

that leads to the laurel fields.

Not long ago

there appeared in one of our daily

papers an appeal to the public to spare substituting it

some other green

would become

extinct

picked so carelessly as

if

has been in recent years.

It

out.

if

broken All

off

this,

leaving always

Now,

it

insects for fertilization,

too close to the ground, the plant dies

guardians

remember

by

propagated by seed,

is

which depend on bees or other and

this plant,

for large decorations, as

our

of

and pick

some

off

native

flowers

should

only the top branches,

of the flowers to form

new

plants.

having gathered our flowers,

"We in the warm shade and feel right well. How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell." sit

and being rejuvenated, following the

highway

in

The still

we

take up our walk again,

same road, which brings us out

to the

Rockport. softened rays of a late afternoon sun are

we

shining on our path, as

homeward,

gilding every fern

of a bright

tomorrow.

and

turn our footsteps

leaf

with the promise

Some of us perhaps were not singing "praises with when we made the oblation of the morning's

gladness"


;

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN homely

task,

but

now we have

51

received a touch of

nature.

The

stronger

and the cob-webs have have been cleared

step

is

quicker,

the

heart-beats

from the brain.

"Who

knows whither

In the unscarred

the clouds have fled?

heaven they leave no wake;

And

the eyes forget the tears they have shed

The

heart forgets

its

sorrow and ache."

are


—

IX

ALONG THE ROAD FROM MEETING-HOUSE GREEN TO WHEELER'S POINT "The happy

When

season comes apace,

generous nature doth

Those who would view her

invite

smiling face,

Where best her charms unveil to Hght, The care worn, pent up city wight. The student weary of his books. The scribes who endless themes indite,

And such as grope through legal crooks To seek her cool refreshing nooks."

HESE

lines are

taken from the

"Summer whose

Hegira'* of the late Judge Davis

benignant presence It

where

we

many

years

families

shall

knows

know

this afternoon,

entirely inhabited

their descendants,

sheltered a large

many of

us remember.

particularly suggestive of the place

walk

was

it

and

is

summer

because, while for

by a few

original

has in recent years

it

colony.

Almost everyone few

the Wheeler's Point road, but perhaps that

originally

it

is

was a

part extending

The

one of our oldest thoroughfares, and continuation of

reason for

were made here very John Coit had

Washington

beyond today being this

Street, the

much later date.

was because

grants of land

early in our settlement.

his residence

Pearce had a grant

of a

In

on the extreme end.

of land here in

1

65

1

1

647

John

and gave a


54

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

house

lot to his

The Stanwoods,

son in ]680.

or more of them, were also here about

At

later.

first

was

it

The was

Pearce's Point, then

called

Gee

Point.

property changed hands

many

Stanwood*s Point, and

I

think

times

purchased by Finson Wheeler

finally

and has been known by

present

its

four

time and

this

name

till

it

1833

in

ever since.

In the early records the entire tract appears under the

name

of

"Neck

which

also

It

was

settled

seems strange

localities

Lots**,

and the point

about the same time.

at

first

thought that these remote

earliest

visitors

our shores; but

to

must be remembered that a greater part

was covered by a were

built later, our first thoroughfares

settlements

could

communication with those

On start at

this

town

I

put

As

is

we

think

were the water-

church, the

so once a site

town

in

1643, the

themselves

into

might appropriately it

is

here that the

well known, in those days the

existed for the Church,

Town,

Cape

of our

at the harbor.

Meeting-house Green, for

town began. the

walk

easily

it

and while roads

thick forest growth,

ways, and the "Cut** having been made river

of land

Point, Planters Neck,

should have been chosen as places of habi-

by the

tation

House

of

now Annisquam

right across,

naturally

and not the Church

was

established

grew around

for

it.

for

the

Four

successive churches were built on this locality, the last

one not being taken

down

till

1840, so

it

is

easily


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

who

seen that by recalling the people this

55

once lived on

road, especially the old retired sea captains, our

walk

be uninteresting.

will not

Taking a look behind before we

what

is

was

now known

for

see

which

as the Ellery house, but

about 1704

built

we

start,

Parson White, and

right

opposite the gambrel roof house built for Joseph Allen

son about 1740.

came

to live in

it

died thirty years

continued of

them

till

One in

806 making

1

s

of the Russia Sea Captains

later.

his

it

home

till

he

His sea voyages were not

the time of his death; he retired as most

and brought up

did,

his family

on the farm,

but old sea chests and an immense hide covered trunk are

still

remembrance

in the attic to call to

his sea-

faring days.

Now we

walk along, and

a large white house which

see

removal from a lower its

just

level,

by

of

we

us

additions

and

have somewhat obscured

age, but the large square

tells

ahead

chimney

in the

middle

the story; another one of the Russia ship masters

lived here.

I

am

not sure

after his marriage in

house

in

1

lived in a

if

he made any voyages

786, at any rate he

I

792 on land

built this

given him by his father

house of the Ellery type

just

(who

above,) and

reared a large family of sons and daughters.

The

writer has often heard

with $21,000, which

it

said that

he

retired

at that time seemed so large a

fortune he did not see

how he

could ever spend

it,


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

56

but an ever increasing family

fancy must soon have

I

some dying

divested him of that idea, for besides infancy, eleven children

Four

hood.

to

ship masters

and were well known

The

in the principal ports of the world.

would not be so

this family

were all

it

not that

over town

Whole them

in

manhood and woman-

of the sons follow^ed in the footsteps of

became

their father,

grew

pictures a type that

it

details of

particularly entered into

was met with

about three-quarters of a century.

for

families followed the

sea, fathers,

and

each boy as he stowed away

their sons;

after

his sea-

chest in the forecastle looking forward to the time

when he

should be master of a ship and walk the

This called

quarterdeck.

ship, but a capacity to deal

known today, and

it

for not only

good seaman-

with situations such as

was found

Going on we pass three modern houses ful

countenance

come

to

if

not of

not

serious attitude,

of cheer-

and then

one which seems to look rebukingly

product of the present generation.

and solemn demeanor shows

is

right here in Gloucester.

it

Its straight

to

at the

uprights

have outlived

its

contemporaries, and to be amongst the moderns but not of them.

chimney,

its

dows which its

dignified

for

which

In spite of the loss of

wide the

front

hand

of

its

big middle

door and small paned win-

improvement has not spared,

frame and high-bred manner are

let

us

be thankful, and

also that

it

left,

rests

comfortably on the ground just as Parson Rogers


— ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN placed

when he came

it

57

minister to the people

to

of this Parish.

The

pastorate of

good man covered the

this

period of the Revolutionary w^ere

many, not

but he

who

children

left

War; and

his anxieties

enjoy the blessings of peace;

living to

lived to identify themselves

One

with the Gloucester of a happier period.

of his

daughters by her marriage to William Babson became

John was a noted

the grandmother of our historian.

school teacher for forty years and five,

and William taught school

under the Poles the in

I

think

Custom House.

in

town

a

little

— and was

clerk for thirty-

schoolhouse

employed

also

His schoolmaster's desk

is

at

still

existence and the writer has seen a water color

portrait of

him

as a

young man,

his hair cut short

and

powdered, wearing a bright blue coat; but his best portrait

is

preserved in the side-splitting stories told

of him, for he had a jovial disposition and did not

regard things

Two

in the serious

of his sons

manner

daughter was the mother of our

Now we and then

to

be seen by

come

its

modern houses

present location as

Yes, the big chimney

at the fine front

It

anniversary orator.

may

perched up appearance and underpinning

of recent date.

they used to

last

to three or four

one moved to

its

of the older brother.

were famous ship-masters and his

door with the

make

originally stood

pretty

is

gone but look

pilasters at the sides,

doorways

on the Pearce farm

in

those days.

just

above and


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

58

one can but wonder

do not

large families

these old houses that sheltered

if

feel forlorn, transplanted to other

surroundings amongst people

who knew them

not, in

days.

earlier

But

we

must not forget our flowers

;

us cross

let

over to the other side and getting through the bars

climb the rocky find

most

slopes.

there,

If

our walk be in

common

of the

as

also

we

at

any time the flowering bushes, the lichens

which

look

barren

down

highway with

The

I

may have been

ants in town,

it

we

have come

which

lies

am

one

not sure he

a military

title.

who

to the

was a

below

still

after his seafaring

many

shipmaster;

Leaving no descend-

end

and

of our elevation,

us.

we

we

At

first

the walk

is

not

soon reach a pretty country

road and come to a large barn which

also for

title

the side and get on to our road

especially attractive, but

a farm where

bore the

along on the ridge of Poles* Rocks,

down

just

of

has passed into other hands.

By walking must clamber

to the

farm bordering on the

old apple orchard, was, in the writer's

its

of Captain, but

very beautiful

and over across

in the valley

Dogtown.

hills of

The

of nature.

this elevation affords is

remembrance, the property

it

shall

wild floweis growing on the

and mosses give us a pleasing sense view

May we

have also found the gay wild columbine

I

and

hill.

is

in the rear of

another old shipmaster settled

days were over

to

till

the

years, to run the mill that

down

soil,

we

and

see in


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

He

retirement on the bridge.

had

59

and

several sons

daughters, one of the latter marrying a Calcutta captain

who made

his

of the captain

on a three

home with them. first

years*

have heard

1

spoken of that

it

said

once he was away

voyage and during

all

that time never

once heard from home.

Now we

pass on the right the

little

Wesleyan

War

cemetery where several victims of the Civil buried; for this

generously of her young men, and further on to

Riverview and Thurston's Point with

colonies.

House

we come

their

summer

Harebells used to grow around a bowlder

at the latter place but they are

We

are

Lots**

now

extinct.

now really on the end of the "Neck of and we wend our way along the pleasant

road bordered by wild rose bushes and cherry

On

the right

lies

perched upon the flats,

farm.

hill

and on the

unprofitable wastes of sand tract of land, the

the sand dunes of Coffins

but unsuccessful

and contrary

was once a

he lived the

one of the principal men

down

the near-by clam

thickly

farm of Peter Coffin.

his slaves

various capacities.

cut

left

hardly believable but in place of these

is

rounded by

trees.

Mill river with the village church

Annisquam River, and It

lie

section of the town gave to the army

His

life

wooded

Here

sur-

of a gentleman,

of the town, serving

it

in

eldest son inherited the farm,

in business

he came back here to

live

to the express admonitions of his father,

the trees, living on the sale of the timber as


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

60

long as in

it

it is

Coming It

living

the trees gone the sand swept

remembers

it

as being other than

now.

house similar burnt

who

With

lasted.

and no one

to the foot of

down

lived in

the

we

hill

miss an old

Wheeler house.

in architecture to the old

about a dozen years ago, but the people it

and who played

their part in

life

honestly and well, are worth remembering, and so too are the old fashioned roses that

by the

And now we way

with

herbs,

grew

in the

yard and

front door.

and

see cottages sprinkled along the

their doorstep just to

gardens of tansy and useful

the right over the wall

planked platform and wonder what

it

we

covers.

see a

This

platform covers a deep stoned up well, which with an

oaken

iron

bound bucket from time immemorial, had

served the people of the neighborhood v^th Nature's

own

refreshing drink.

Point was

For some years

this part of

owned by two men and when

land was sold, the owner of

the

the last lot of

this particular tract, unwill-

ing to deprive anyone of the privilege so long enjoyed,

reserved this well with a few feet of land around so that whosoever would, could drink of freely as in the past.

It

held

its

own

its

it,

waters as

for several years,

buckets and ropes being supplied as needed; then a

modern pump was put down and introduction of city water the well

perhaps at some future time

in

fell

finally

with the

into disuse; but

the interest of the


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN picturesque,

it

may be

beyond

Just

house

In the old

large family of sons

married and settled

The tinctly;

in the

in

writer

it

its

by a stone wall with a standing

still

in cottage

of

she

doorway with

I

to

keen fear

whom

houses near by.

is

dis-

always pictured as standing

the lines of

humor and kindness off

look in her

She was a woman with a good sense

eyes.

of

remembers Mrs. Wheeler very

memory

pair

was reared a

and daughters, most

playing around her mouth, and a far

and

former dignity.

Wheeler property began

the

this

and was separated from of bars.

restored to

61

humor,

of

wit. I

am

picturing Wheeler's Point as

be more than as

it is

today.

The Summer

it

used

resident

has come with ephemeral looking cottages, and the automobile has worn road, but

I

hope the

off

the grass from the country

originality,

honesty and industry

which characterized the native population

still

remains.

They had opinions of their own and expressed them. Some were Methodists and took a long walk up hill and down dale, and then again up hill to the church on the opposite side where

their voices

were heard.

Others were Universalists and walked either to the harbor church or got "set across" to the church at

Annisquam.

The

writer remembers one dainty

lady

who

pass

by on pleasant Sunday mornings.

in

little

black taffeta and Paisley shawl, used to


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

62

we

But here looking

off

are at the very top of the point

toward Squam Bar with the waves

ing in the sun,

and breaking over the bar.

glisten-

Associated

Squam Bar is a story that was told me when I was many years younger than I am now, so many that I think it may be unknown to the present generation, and may be told again as an example of homely wit and quiet humor. It was of an old man who used to with

attend the meeting of the early Methodists and

sometimes got impatient the brethren over the

when he

felt

and needed

at the frequent rhapsodies of life

At

beyond.

that the soarers

to

be called down

such times

were soaring too high to earth,

he raised

quavering voice and sang the following verse:

being able to is

as he sang

sound

who

his v*s they

his

— not

became w*s and

this

it:

people they call Christians how many things they tell the land of Canaan where saints and angels dwell, But wessels built by human skill have never got so far But what they've got aground on Squam River Sandy Bar.

Some

About

Whether he Mill River

I

lived

on

this

do not know, but he must have been

a contemplative turn of mind

between a

or the other side of

vessel getting

who

aground on Squam Bar and

the spiritual obstruction one

would encounter

too particularly into the land beyond. I

of

saw an analogy

can hear him singing the

last line

in prying

In imagination

with

ill

concealed

triumph, and the pause that followed must have been impressive.


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN In point of actual walking little

we

time, but in point of history

have covered but

and reminiscence we

We

have covered two centuries or more. our hands the wild flowers that ing along our pathway,

and

of types of people either

in

63

we have

hold in

found grow-

our memories the annals

wholly disappeared or

fast

disappearing. It

is

time to retrace our footsteps unless some

boatman appears who

quam where we

will

will "set us across" to

make our way by

Annis-

the pretty

curving streets and across the bridge to the main road;

but

if

we

we wish the

right

way we came, we may if walk by going down the road on

go back the same vary the of

the cemetery

Hodgkins Street

Washington

which brings us out on

in sight of the old mill

Street.

and thence

to


X TO RAVENSWOOD PARK TO VIEW THE MAGNOLIA IN FLOWER "Long

Of

they sat and talked together

the marvellous valley hidden in the depths of Gloucester woods,

Full of plants that love the summer, blooms of

Where

And

the Arctic birch

is

warmer

latitudes,

braided by the tropics flowery vines.

the white magnolia blossoms star the twilight of the pines."

N

the

abundance

great

of her treasures,

Nature has nothing more beautiful than the Magnolia Glauca, and perhaps that is

why

she has secreted

removed from the hand

it

in

swamps

of the ruthless.

The

far

ivory

white flower hidden in a cluster of leaves, wonderful for

shape and

makes a

single

color, emitting a

most delicate perfume,

blossom a prized possession; but these

flowers glorious in their isolation, are accessible only to

him who knows the ways

of the

swamp.

They may be seen however, from the corduroy road in Ravenswood Park, and while there are three entrances to the park, the most direct approach to the

swamp

is

by

the old

Salem Road.

Manchester bus and get

and almost

directly opposite

road leading over the

coach road.

at

off

We

hill,

We

take the

Beachmont Avenue;

on the

we

right

see a

which was the old stage

take this road following

Hermit's log house and a newly

it

made road

past the

that joins


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

66

it

on the

and look

left,

This path

slope.

road, from

down

for a path leading

will bring us out

the

on the corduroy

which we can see "the blossoms

that star

the twilight of the pines". Single magnolia trees are also seen in gardens

round about our

and strange

city

habitat of the

swamp,

especially wet.

The

least,

where two

or

to

writer

knows

three

survived

coming up again from the roots

while

say

seems to thrive

it

in

soil

not

one instance

of

a

at

a conflagration,

after

having been

burnt to the ground. interesting to

is

It

reaches

know

most northern

its

on Cape

that

it

growth, and was

of

limit

Ann

discovered by the Rev. Manassah Cutler, a minister of Ipswich

Hamlet,

now

Hamilton, some time

last part of the eighteenth century.

that

having

The

become acquainted with

while living in the South, he recognized passing our

horse

swamp on

it

story goes

fragrance

one day

in

Alighting from his

horseback.

he traced the fragrance

its

in the

to

its

source,

and

acquainted the townspeople with his discovery.

Undoubtedly the story his diary,

he was interested

his profession.

He

in the saddle, going

is

in

appears to

true, for

many

things outside of

have been frequently

from place to place.

to Gloucester to assist

nomical observations,

Parson Jones

now

judging from

going to

in

Now coming making

astro-

Annisquam with


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN this

same Reverend gentleman

also records that

67

He

lo collect fossils.

he "studied Physic", and

one

at

time had twenty-four smallpox patients under his care, so

what

is

more

natural than to think that this versatile

person was interested

And

our beautiful flora.

in

here perhaps the writer

may be pardoned

a digression; for the old time minister of

Cutler

was a

type,

whom

Parson

whose counterpart does not

today, deserves a passing notice.

Settled for

never dismissed from his chosen

field of labor,

by the recommendation

of a council

exist

and

life,

except

from the neigh-

was an occasion of fasting and was by common consent, treated with a

boring churches, which prayer, he

by few

respect equalled but

boys took to

off their hats,

him on the

sitions

and

street,

were received with

in

humility.

were unquestioned

secular officials.

and the

till

girls

the

dropped

homes

The

curtsies

his counsels

In the pulpit his

expo-

well along in the eighteenth

when a newer light broke upon some, was a radical change in their theology, not

century; and

and there

infrequently

did

whole

congregations

follow

their

beloved teacher and guide into "fresh woods and pastures green".

Think not however, cross

were "wafted

ease".

The

Far from

it,

that these old soldiers of the

to the skies

on flowery beds of

for their avocations

old time minister

were many.

was almost always expected

be schoolmaster, physician, and mechanic even,

to in


68

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

addition to his pastoral duties

which

at times

were

most exacting. In separating from the

marriage

mother church, the

was changed from

a sacrament to a

Prayers were not required or customary but the presence of a minister death-bed, even of a child.

summoned

any hour

at

office of civil act.

at funerals,

was claimed at every He was likely to be and

of the night,

great mortality the strain on his vitality

was

in times of

terrific.

Par-

son Chandler records in his diary of fainting from sheer

exhaustion while

attendance on a departing

in

spirit.

Following them through the woods on their lonely midnight journeys when every sense was on the

we do

alert,

not marvel that they developed a

keenness of vision and a sensitiveness of scent

unknown

to the ordinary traveller.

This exquisite flower owes

French

botanist,

underside of

its

When

conical.

by

any length

name

to

Magnol, a

glauca referring to the gray green leaves.

Its

fruit is small,

ripe the seeds

color burst their cells

without,

its

which

green and

are of a scarlet

and remain some days suspended

their slender filaments.

To

preserve for

of time their faculty for germinating, they

must be placed as soon as gathered, before the pulp

becomes withered, in ened and kept

From road that

rotten

wood or sand, slightly moist-

in a cool place

till

the corduroy road,

will take us out to

planted in the ground.

we may

take a gravel

Western Avenue.


XI

ALONG THE SHORE AND ACROSS THE MARSH FOR CARDINAL FLOWER "The sunlit moon, The sweet warm Hght of afternoon, The spurting torch of the Cardinal flower, The wan white rose, The Winter gale and April shower, O,

that

To

fashion these with joyous

I

had the power

hand

In music worlds might understand."

^^^HIS

very beautiful flower

wet

is

found

A

on our Cape.

localities

places,

it

in

many

habitat of

grows on swampy

land,

along creeks, but oftenest, perhaps, beside

Mr. Parsons

brooks. of

it

as "flanking the

he had undoubtedly the

first

of the

mill

remembrance, It is

it

in his anniversary

little

mind the Alewife brook where

in

town stood;

grew

poem, speaks

brook beside the Mill", and

for

in

the writer's

plentifully there.

a native of North America, belongs to the

Lobelia family, and unquestionably derives

from the likeness

it

bears to the gorgeous

of the cardinals of the

may

Roman

not be able to find

picking,

it

is

fast

it

name dress

Catholic Church.

We

this afternoon, as

becoming

its

official

by

extinct in places

once flourished, but our walk along the shore

careless

where will

it

have


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

70

a varied interest for

here and there an

us, recalling

historic incident.

As

the Cardinal

is

walk

will plan to take our

when

Road.

may be

clear

seen.

Long Beach bus and

take the Rockport or Street, or

August we

and on a

then,

the objects of interest

all

Witham

in flower early in

as

we

like

to call

day

We

get off at

the Joppa

it,

After walking a very short distance on

this

directly across on our right, we may where once stood a comfortably sized cottage house, the home of our historian, the Honorable

road,

by looking

see the spot

John

Babson, to

J.

whom

our city owes an everlasting

debt of gratitude; not only

for

the time he gave to

painstaking historical research, but also for his unselfish

labor in our public schools.

Actively engaged in business part of his

his leisure

life,

enriching his

own mind and

the benefit of his townsmen. seeing his erect figure as he

fewer

alert step;

still

affairs for

was

entirely

the greater

devoted to

using his acquirements for

A few of us remember walked

town with an

into

perhaps remember the glance of

those kindly eyes as he entered a school-room, giving

confidence and encouragement to both teacher and

His History

scholar.

among

the

first

torical merit,

We road

till

of Gloucester

is

justly rated as

of local histories, not only for

but for

its

walk the whole length

we come

its

his-

beauty of diction. of this

to the beach,

charming old

and then take the


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

Good Harbor

shore road leaving Salt Island and Little

Beach behind, with Milk

As

distance beyond.

it

and Thacher's

has always been

in the

some question

there has been

raised as to the correct that

Island

71

name of this beach I will say named as above: Little, being

corrupt English used by the Indians to signify "not

very good'*, and should never be omitted, as

it

has

acquired permanence from long usage.

Looking out upon the water

interest that in private

I

know

we

see our

Milk Island has no

islands very plainly. of

;

its

two

historical

ownership has always been

hands and has never been

utilized for

any-

thing but grazing purposes; sheep having been kept

there years ago

however, with

— possibly

its

eyes, lighted in

twin

other

Thacher's

cattle.

sometimes called Ann's

lights

1771 and kept

in operation contin-

uously since, except during the period of the lutionary

War,

more than a passing familiar to us

of historical interest

is full

all,

notice.

The

but to those

details of the tragedy as given their quaint

its

is

shore.

its

by the old

is

is

annalists in

island takes

accentuated by every

Here

name

have read the

and unstudied language, the

on a pathos which beats upon

origin of

who

Revo-

and deserves

the story

:

—

wave

that

John Avery and Anthony Thacher were cousins

and both English Non-Conformists. minister

Avery was a

and Thacher had acted as curate

in

his


— ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

72

brother's parish, but in coming to this country he

was

listed a "tayler" in the ship's passengers.

Before leaving England they seem to have

Thacher himself expresses

a solemn compact, or as **a

made it,

perpetual league of friendship, never to forsake each

other to the death, but to be partakers of each others'

misery

or

as

w^elfare,

also

of

habitation

the

in

same place".

They

New

arrived in

and Mr. Avery was

England June 4th 1635

invited to

go to Marblehead,

where there was yet no church but a

"Many

remiss in their behaviour" and called

Mr. Avery who was

by Mather "a precious holy man" could not

bring himself to go there, but went to

Thacher according

the faithful

made accompanied

we do him; at

and

settlement.

there" however were "something loose and

not know, all

to the

Newbury; and

"league" he had

After a short stay there

him.

— perhaps

his

conscience troubled

events he decided to go to Marblehead

his friend

proves his constancy by breaking up

such arrangements as he had been able to

home and

make

for a

follows him.

We can

see the

company

little

in imagination as

they set out, going on the

little

order to catch the

favorable morning breeze.

Avery with

his

first

wife,

six

pinnace at nightfall

children

in

and servants

they cost practically nothing but their keep in those days;

—Thacher

with his four children, servants and


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN second wife,

whom

he had married

They

leaving England.

wait

for

73

weeks before

six

one more,

Thomas

Thacher, a nephew of Anthony; but an unconquerable depression and presentiment as to the unfavorable

outcome and

voyage has taken possession

of the

at the last

the journey

moment he

by

falters

A

land.

and decides takes

stranger

him

of

make

to

place,

his

which with the four seamen make a company

We

twenty-three souls.

meagre possessions and

their

night, not without

in

whom

them out

they

They

nightfall of another day,

supplied with

ill

them

sails

their

or sooner;

pinnace

little

and the second night

finds

Cape Ann. And here we quote from the letter of Mr. Thacher to his brother Peter,

"the Mariners" he says, "would not put to

anchor

cast

pleased the like

God

off

quaint

to

the

for

to the

are expecting to reach

but they encounter contrary winds, is

down

of

morning a breeze takes

In the

trust.

new home by

their

settling

commending themselves

of the harbor.

of

can see them disposing

till

Lord

was never known

away.

let

Then

it

mighty a storm as the

New England; it was so came home whereupon the

in

out more cable which at last slipped

our sailors

knew

were driven before the

wind.*'

pathetic picture of the

little

forting

but

morning, but before daylight

to send so

furious that our anchor

mariners

sails,

not

what

Here

follows a most

group as they

and cheering each other

to do, but

in the

sat

Lord

"comagainst


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

74

which stared them

ghastly death sat

the

in

triumphing upon each one's forehead/*

was "no screech" he

and

face

There

suddenly they were

says, but

driven by the violence of the waves upon "a rock

between two high rocks and yet of them,

and

Mr. Avery and

succeeded

his oldest son,

all

one rock".

Four

Mr. Thacher

his daughter,

in getting into

a hole on

the top of one of the high rocks and thought that not

only they were safe but that the others in the pinnace

might come to them.

Another merciless wave however, swept them water and

into the

with such force

it

same time

at the

went

to pieces.

these distressed servants of the rock

struck the boat

It

was then while

God were

hanging on to

and Mr. Thacher held Mr. Avery by the

hand, both resolving to die together, that Mr. Avery lifted

up

his eyes to heaven,

what the pleasure

of

God

and said "we know not

is, I

fear

we

have been too

unmindful of his former deliverances, Lord challenge a promise of to deliver us from to

heaven through the I

all sufficient

finished speaking than a

Swan Song"

cannot

satisfaction of Jesus

challenge Thee".

and indeed wafted him form the basis

I

thou hast promised

condemnation and to bring us safe

Christ, this therefore

had he

my life, but

to

we

sooner

wave swept him

heaven, but his

of Whittier*s

with which

No last

off

words

poem "Parson Avery*s are

all familiar.

Thacher got a foothold and reached the shore;


— ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN in

75

a few moments his wife extricated herself from the

breaking timbers and joined him, the only two souls

were saved out

that

embarked.

Most

cribed in the

pitiful

are the father's feelings des-

before referred

letter

to,

"he looked

as

The remembrance

for his children

and saw them

not'*.

of their faces

"poor

lambs" seemed

bored into

his soul,

had

the twenty-three that

of

silent

to

and we cannot but wonder

if

have they

ever ceased to haunt him.

But these were heroic including a scarlet cloak

was

a long time

for

which

— and

days; if

some

now

not

tradition says

clothing

in existence,

was wrapped

around every baby of Thacher descent at christening provisions,

and best

materials for striking a

a

snapsack

all

fire

were washed ashore.

Thachers made themselves comfortable taken

two days

off

containing

of

till

they were

and on leaving the island

later,

which was afterward granted him, he gave

name

of

Thacher's

Woe.

to

but subsequently removed to rest of

and dying

and have come

life,

and they pro-

life;

Yarmouth where he many important

filling

age of eighty.

cliildren

sprang a long

various walks of

his

at the

Three more

whom

the

Marblehead where he preached a few years,

remained the offices

it

Public and private gener-

osity relieved their destitute condition

ceeded

The

line

but

were born

to

him from

of descendants eminent in

we have

to the creek

finished our story

where we must

turn

up


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

76

and

There

cross the marsh.

is

but one house on the

we pass and take a path into the woods; we walk along we will inquire into the future Thomas whose forebodings led him to take the

marsh which

and as of

journey by land, instead of casting his

The

others.

speculative are sure to ask

so depressed,

why had

with the

lot

"why was he

he such forebodings**?

Like many other questions these must

lie

unan-

we know more about these things than we do now. Of one thing we are sure he made a great swered

till

;

deal of his

life,

he was a most

for

brilliant scholar,

being proficient in Arabic and Syrian, and so well

To of

Hebrew as

make a

lexicon of the language.

his linguistic acquirements

he added a knowledge

versed in

to

Mechanics and Physics, the

publishing the

first

last

year of his

life

medical treatise that appeared in

America.

Much more

that

is

interesting might

be added

regarding the descendants of this man, but this would

not be local history, and

came

forget, that

we come

left,

and taking

to a ditch.

cover "the Cardinals fortunate,

we

We should

not far from a not very well defined path

leading to the

we

must not

out in search of the Cardinal flower.

now be till

we

I

am

will take

than taking

it

this path,

we walk on

Here perhaps we may

fiery plume'*;

and

if

we

dis-

are so

sure as lovers of our native wild flowers

more

satisfaction in seeing

away with

us.

it

growing,


;

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN Turtle-head also grows here which interesting

more

for

its

is

77

a flower

curious formation, than for

its

beauty.

Turning back it till

we come

to the

farm road again,

to Pleasant Street,

not far from the highway

we

follow

Rockport, which

where we take the bus

is

for

home.

Our walk afield or

we

this

afternoon has not taken us

consumed more than a few hours

have gone

into the past.

for

our history nearly three centuries

Truly,

"The great eventful Present hides the Past, but through the din Of its loud Hfe hints and echoes from the life behind steal in And the lore of home and fireside, and the legendary rhyme.

Make

the task of duty lighter which the

True man owes

far

time, but

his time."


;

XII

DOWN THE OLD WEST GLOUCESTER CAUSEWAY FOR FALSE FOXGLOVE "The world

is

too

much with

Getting and spending,

we

Little

We

we

us; late

and soon,

lay waste our powers:

see in Nature that

is

ours

have given our hearts away a sordid boon."

3T

is

late

summer; the flowers

in our

soon be gone — few now are

will

the composites:

woods

left,

but

the Geradias however

are not yet out of flower, so let us go in

search of the False Foxglove, a very lovely

There

of that family.

which

is

are

two kinds

a low shrub, with an entire

fern-leafed,

which has a much higher

more indented

the

leaf; stalk,

member downy, and the with a

Both have a pale yellow

leaf.

the

on the Cape, but

for

shaped flower, of a sweet elusive fragrance latter

being a It is

little

found

larger.

in several places

we

a pleasant walk,

will take the

bus to Concord Street,

walk down Concord see

on the

right,

elevation at our

We follow tance of the

bell-

to

West

Gloucester

we which we

Leaving the bus here,

Causeway

Street,

a large yellow house, on a slight

left,

this

serving as a landmark.

road

Causeway

till

within a very short dis-

leading to Russ* Island,

when


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

80

by looking

on the

carefully

leading through the

tall

we

right,

a path

shall see

reed-like grass to the upland.

We

follow this path, and under the oak trees,

shall

soon see the delicate, fern-like

foliage,

we

and the

we

yellow flowers of the False Foxglove, for which are looking.

This

oak

of the

a parasitic plant, which feeds on the roots

is

tree, so

we

must

resist

we

any temptation

might have of taking away a root for transplanting,

and content ourselves with the blossoms.

Coming

back,

Street, pondering as

we we

settlers of this section

go,

come over

on the hardship the early

must have experienced

years, in attending church to

Concord

retrace our steps to

on the Green;

many

they had

Russ* Island, and then

this road, cross

take the ferry from Biskie

for

for

Head

TrynaFs Cove on

to

the opposite shore.

As

in those

days attendance

at

church worship

was compulsory, this road must have felt of many an unwilling foot, but we cannot the recording If

family,

we

Angel thought

wish to

find

downy

the

to a ledge

on our

grassy lane, turning

down

down

cross this

and

we walk on

here, walking

at right,

and soon see a causeway

of

also a similar

of record.

species of this

Opposite

left.

believe that

worthy

on regaining Concord Street

Atlantic Avenue, and turn

come

this sin

the imprint

ledge

which we

broken

one

this

till

granite.

farther on,

to

we is

a

follow

We which


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN brings us out to a shall If

find

both

little

varieties,

wooded

island.

81

Here we

but not in great abundance.

not too late in the season, another species of the

same

family, the low, purple Geradia, will also

flower,

may

be

and along the water's edge on the marsh, Sea Lavender, or Rosemary.

find

"O

gracious mother

Wakes

How Mock

us to

life

whose benignant

and

lulls

us

breast

all to rest

thy sweet features, kind to every clime

with their smile the wrinkled front of time."

in

we


;;

;

XIII

ON THE OLD WEST PARISH ROAD PAST THE SITE OF THE 2d PARISH CHURCH AND THE OLD BURYING GROUND " Along

this

The summer

old

West Parish way

grasses

Here some

Among

grow

On It

thicket, brake,

and

Where,

Some

settler made his home, and With crimson flush aglow.

fen.

level green, or hill.

The

and winds, and turns again. country roadways will.

turns

As

Here

its

garden rose-bush that he old-time bloom will show.

yet

set

temple held its pace, bush and tree o'ergrown,

years, their

Now You

shows grey old foundation-stone in the Province day.

Some mossy

Beside it, gleaming bright today The wild pink roses blow

By brambled

old garden bush o'ergrown

the green,

scarce with labored search can trace

Each

old foundation-stone.

walk with loitering feet today Across the verdant sod. I

And

tread the blossom-bordered

Those old-time worthies

ERHAPS

there

way

trod."

nothing that furnishes

is

a more sympathetic theme to a poet than

an old road.

walk

was doubtless a Summer's West Parish poet took over

It

that our

the old meeting-house road, and in our imagination

can see him, rich

him from boyhood, wander-

that

had been

ing

over this fast disappearing roadway.

loiters

by a

we

in the historic lore of the locality,

familiar to

wild-rose, that beckons to

Now, he

him from a

brambled thicket; now, he pauses before the vestiges of

an old orchard, beside the foundation-stones of what

was once an

old

settler's

home

;

and now he drops a


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

84

an old garden rose bush, bravely

sigh, perhaps, beside

blooming on, long

have been crossed Finally,

after the

hands that

set

there

it

peace.

in the everlasting

he comes to the foundation-stones of the

old church, even in that day scarcely traceable

and

;

as he stands there, he feels the presence of those old

worthies, treading "the blossom bordered

We will for the path

bracing

We

is

we

not an easy one, and

air of early Fall to

may

way".

take this walk in mid or late September,

need the

encourage our footsteps.

not even be successful in tracing the old

foundation-stones, but

we may

at least familiarize our-

selves with the history of the old church.

As

in

we

our previous walks,

have recourse to

the friendly bus, and having taken the one

we

West

Gloucester,

follow

Concord

Lower

Parish Road,

on our

left.

We

which

often

till

we come

Thompson

road

at

direction, for a

first,

be called the

Street,

Street

which

is

a

but soon becomes only

beset with briars and brambles,

impede our

unmistakable path,

to

Thompson

for

We

Street.

to

turn in

much

Concord

which used

Street,

fairly well-defined

a path, very

get off at

bound

and

progress.

there

is

good stone wall on

It is,

however, an

no uncertainty

of

either side separates

the original road from the adjoining pastures.

The our

by

left;

way and while we trodden

obstructions, our

on

lies

quite closely to the wall

are

somewhat inconvenienced

wsJk

is

not without beauty.

The


— ALONG THE OLD ROADS Oh CAPE ANN on our

hills

Berries,

which

Sweet Fern

graceful

we may

abundance, and

Fox

wonderful variety

right are radiant with a

Golden-Rod; the

of

85

seen in

is

even refresh ourselves with along our path are quite

in places

plentiful. If

we

also find Ladies* Tresses, Polygala,

Emerging from the

Geradia.

we

take our walk in mid-September,

and the low purple

thicket,

we come

on an open place, and a low spreading rock rest after our strenuous

out

invites

Looking around

walk.

shall

a

we

us,

see the Bearberry growing nearby, the dark red berry

peeping

out

from

reminding one a

under the brownish-green

vine,

wild Cranberry.

The

little

of the

blossom of the Bearberry unlike the Arbutus,

unpleasant

we we

see

and the plant receives

name from

supposed to devour

where

of a delicate pink, not

is

the relish with

Standing on

its fruit.

the path leads

away

rather

its

which bears are this rock,

to the right,

and

soon come to a ledge and a large boulder.

Here we

find

a pathway leading up to a

hill

or

plateau and just to the southeast stood the old church.

But few of the "old foundation-stones" are

left

now

most of them have been gradually carried away by impious hands to serve genial to them. fit

anew

in structures far less

Why not have

left

companions to the remnants

that

how

still

them

of a

con-

in their repose

few old

poplars,

stand to attest the love of beauty that some-

crept into the souls of these old pioneers.

Looking


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

86

down from the plateau, the scene is one beauty and one cannot but

and imagine these old keepers in their hearts, as

"Who

they

made

not,

the

site

go even

was

farther,

of the faith, chanting

the ascent.

ascend into the

shall

that

feel

May we

chosen with intention.

of incomparable

hill of

the

Lord?

And who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart

Who

hath not

Nor sworn

At

lifted

up

his soul to

Vanity,

deceitfully."

best, perhaps,

we

have only approximately

fixed the boundaries of the old church, but refresh our

minds with a

bit of history.

fourth of the population of the section,

In

town were

1

we may 688, one

living in this

and as the roads were poor, and the distance

around the head of Annisquam River was quite considerable, a ferry

was

Head

Cove, where the

for

to Trynall

694 from Biskie fare was one penny

established in

1

a person, and two for a horse.

But even ient in

this

mode

was very inconven1712 the town was

of travel

Winter weather, and

in

petitioned to set off this locality as a separate precinct.

The

request

was not

granted, but the petitioners

allowed to hire a teacher

who

for the three

were

Winter months,

should also preach to them, thus combining the

offices of

teacher and preacher.

continued

till

1716,

become a separate church.

when

This arrangement

they were granted leave to

precinct,

and maintain a Parish


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN This was the second town, and

87

religious organization of the

Mr. Thompson, who had served them

acceptably the preceding four years, was chosen their

He

settled pastor.

had a house near the church, was

married, and had five children, but being of stitution,

cemetery.

died

in

1

724, and was buried

con-

frail

in

the old

We shall visit his grave later on in our walk.

The pastorate of the next minister was an unhappy one, but his successor. Parson Fuller, the last settled minister of the church,

He

came

there,

was a benediction

a young man, in

1

769,

to the Parish. just

preceding

the trying years of the Revolution; but the struggle

ended, he entered upon ministry.

a serene and untroubled

For something more than

years,

fifty

ministered to this people, only closing his labors

he

felt

the infirmities of age approaching.

he

when

After

his

removal from town, he often returned to the scene of his life-long ministry, visiting

among

his

ioners,

and Mr. Babson quaintly remarks

"The

longer his

departure

was

stay

by

members being

his

this pastorate, the pulpit

was

We

of

other

denominations, largely

read in the church records of

disciplined for holding views incom-

patible with those of the church,

that

the

regretted.*'

ministers

Universalists.

in his history:

more

was extended,

After the closing of filled

former parish-

they were growing

into

and

it is

easy to see

a more liberal

Finally, those of the Universalist faith

went

faith.

off

and


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

88

organized a society of their own; the original church

ceased to

exist,

and the ancient

was

edifice

left to

the

vandalism of boys, and the decaying elements of time.

No

response

was

given to an appeal to repair

although the oaken timbers were torn

down

We Bray

to

in

this

now

which

Street,

we

it

was

take up our walk again, strolling along

we

cross,

and come again

into

is

now

a grassy road, quite

we

have

just left.

which

from the section

road,

stalwart,

and

846.

1

Street,

Thompson different

still

it,

Following

soon come to the old cemetery,

now

This was the second

overgrown with briar and bush.

cemetery, set apart by the town about the beginning of the

Few

18th century.

of

the stones are

standing; that, however, of the Rev. is

in

the

a

fair state of preservation.

now

Samuel Thompson

We

shall find

it

in

be

south-west corner, and the inscription can

easily deciphered. Here

lies

Ye body

buried of

ye Revd.

Mr. Samuel Thompson Past our of ye 2nd.

Church

of Christ in Glosester aged 33 Years deed. December

Ye

8

1724.

1724-1824— 1923— Nearly years have passed since this young it

life

two

hundred

went

out,

and

possesses a pathetic interest for us, since nothing

known

of his descendants,

he

a wife and

left

is

though as before mentioned

five children, the little

Samuel being


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

A

a posthumous child.

contemporary speaks

89

sweet temper; inoffensive

in his

and peaceable

in his

adds that "his

ministerial gifts

cess answerable,

died in the

him

of

been "of pleasant aspect and mein;

as having

of a

whole behavior; pious

The

conversation".

were

writer then

superior, his suc-

and

as he preached, so he lived

and

faith**.

What

Can anyone doubt

a tribute!

even though

short, left

an impress on

that his

life,

his fellow-beings,

which, broadening through the years,

may be

felt

even

"For the things seen are temporal,

at this present day.

but the things unseen are eternal." It is

We

getting late,

may keep on

and the shadows are lengthening.

this

road and come out on Concord

which brings us

Street again,

Essex Avenue; but

to

we

sake of the beautiful view

for the

steps to

Bray

walk

Street,

Turtle

to

take a cross path by the side of the Street.

Going along

this path,

we

will retrace our

Pond pond

Hill,

to

and

Sumner

gaze with rapture at

the beautiful stretch of country that Nature has spread

out for us on our

left;

and turning from the scenes

of

desolation of the early afternoon, to this beautiful living

Mathew Arnold come

picture, the lines of "Still

do thy

quiet ministers

move

to our

mind;

on.

Their glorious tasks in silence perfecting; Still working, blaming our vain turmoil; Laborers that shall not fail when Man is gone."

From Sumner walk, and

we

Street to

wait again

for

Essex Avenue

is

a short

our friend, the bus.


XIV TO THE WHALE'S JAW OVER LAMB LEDGE "I like the Fall,

like the

I

way

smells of smoke,

it

and dry leaves burning."

HERE

is

a haze in the

the October

air,

sun shimmers drowsily in the heavens,

and the

We

of

spell

Dogtown

must take another

upon

is

walk

us.

the

to

Whale's Jaw, but not wholly over the same roads.

Today we walk

for

will

go up over

Lamb Ledge

Skunk Cabbage) and come out

(as in the

as before

on

the old Rockport road.

We

walk then toward the

and going

stile,

in

by

ture

by a good path.

hill,

get over

We

some

now

till

we come

this stile, cross Split

We follow the path bars,

track a short distance bars.

east

till

Rock

to

a

pas-

around the

and walk up the

we come

to

railroad

a second pair of

follow a path over a gravel bank, get

over two walls, cross a brook, and take a path across pasture to Vivian

s

Road.

We

cross this road,

and

swamp on our left; but there is a good path around it, which we take, and soon we come out on Gee Avenue near Peter's Pulpit. From this point we can see the Whale's Jaw, and we now proceed as come

in

to a

our previous walk.


;

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

92

Arrived

changed

our objective point,

at

shadow

under the

is

of this

huge

cleft

we

rock to

sit

down

rest.

How

what greeted us

the aspect of nature from

on our previous walk; but where is there a insensible to its charms, as to be unmoved

There

spectacle set out before us.

beginningness

it is

and tender

delicate

was

true as there

is

no sense of

hardened and colored by the scorching suns

and the season

work

plishment the

life

of

fills

done and a

is

the

How

air.

lesson, Nature, let

lesson,

which

lesson of

like the life of

two

in

me

duties kept at

is

blown

the loud world proclaim their enmity.

unsevered from tranquility

Far

noisier

is

one

Of Of

Too

a plant

learn of thee;

every wind

labor that in lasting

The

at its best.

Though toil,

summer

sense of accom-

restful

an individual when lived "One One One

become

of

Autumn, but what repose!

later cold of

s

the

at

in the Spring, the

has gradually

foliage

soul so

fruit

—

outgrows

schemes, accomplished

in

repose;

great for haste, too high for rivalry."

we

go back to Peter's Pulpit, walk

down Gee Avenue

a short, distance, and then take a

Returning,

path to the

We then

left

that brings us to the Vivian

Road.

follow this road to Cherry Street, which

we

Fox Hill, and coming out on Poplar Here we may go to the right to Washington Street, or to the left to Maplewood Avenue. It is late afternoon when we reach our own door.

take, going over Street.

The

lengthening shadows soon give place to darkness,


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN and as the night

closes in

upon

us,

lamp, our mind reverts to the scene

and we left

93

light the \

behind only a j

few hours

We

before.

have gathered no flowers, |

but each of us has culled a bunch of the fragrant

Bayberry; and, as

we

hold

it

in our

hand,

we wonder j

if

the bushes

left

behind hug the rocks more closely

in ]

the darkness, and

if

they miss the touch of the hands j

that

once gathered

The

their

picture, too, of the great cleft rock, silhouetted

against the sky, looms

wonder

if

grey-green berries for candles.

it

up before

us,

and again

we

ever gets tired of standing there, forever ,

a

silent

witness of Nature's powerful forces.

;


; ;

;

;

XV TO WOLF HILL "I want to stride the

For

hills!

The The

Me

Oh,

my

hills;

am

I

IN

NOVEMBER

feet cry out

death of

sick to

streets

nausea of pavements, and people always about savagery of mortar and

under, hedges

ET

me

us go to the

hills

hills- that look

quam

— the

let

us go

s

Summer,'*

"The Summer and the Winter Midway a truce are holding soft,

Their

The

low

the Annis-

if

November, such

in

describes in his "St. Martin

A

beautiful

down upon

River; and

a day

beats

steel, that

in."

we

can on

as Whittier

when

here

consenting atmosphere

tents of

silent

peace unfolding.

woods, the lonely

hills,

Rise solemn in their gladness

The

quiet, that the valley

Is scarcely

fills

joy or sadness."

This walk may be taken from town foot, starting

and walking

on

from any point on Washington Street,

Marsh Street, which is about from the Community House. This

directly to

a mile distant street

entirely

was, in the writer's remembrance, only a lane

that terminated with a pair of bars directly across from

the cemetery entrance pasture.

—

all

beyond was a

large

cow-


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

96

There were then which

is still

three old houses on

standing, in

ognizable,

and the other has been

doubt, this

town,

for

its

and enlarged as

standing, but so altered

was one

of the

on a map

of

it,

one of

original shape, another

first

torn

to

is

be unrec-

down. Without

inhabited localities in

740, the dwelling houses of

I

three of our earliest settlers are indicated, perhaps the three just spoken

Sometime just

beyond the

of.

in the

bars,

sixties

was opened

a quarry

and the road was extended

the purpose of working

was found to be impracticable

of a beautiful pink color,

and

for building purposes,

was

but the granite, which

it;

for

it

The

was abandoned.

opening, however, then made, seemed to suggest posfor building,

sibilities

and houses began

These houses gave such

there.

that time on, lot after lot has entire hill

As for our

is

City Hall that

till

from

now

the

but the

sent

was

cut from

it

was destroyed by fire, and out of town I think some

—

only specimens

that

Gloucester are two monuments in tery,

built

dotted over with summer homes.

some may have been was;

be

satisfaction, that,

been taken,

to the granite quarry, stone

first

to

one bearing the name

I

know

of

in

Oak Grove Ceme-

of Nathaniel

Babson and

the other David Allen.

Well,

we walk down

expect to see flowers at

we cannot we will stop

the road, and as

this

time of year,


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN and look

at

much more

some Barberry bushes on the

left,

beautiful in fruit than in flower.

97

that are

They

will

doubtless be glad to have us pick a few sprays for our table decoration, for they must miss the eager that used to

invariably

their

strip

was served

when our mothers used

two

of barberries, this

was

Many

at dinner.

ber

As

hands

branches for a sauce, that of us

remem-

to lay in their bushel or

and put them up

in molasses-sugar.

before the days of glass

jars,

the

sauce was turned into large stone crocks, which stood

row on

a

in

and refreshing drink

was considered a safe sick possessed of some

it

for the

All

medicinal qualities.

we no

Beside being used on

the closet floor.

the table, diluted with water,

this,

however,

is

now

longer go for barberries, or stem

changed;

them

of a

November evening. It may be only a fancy, but somehow the bushes do not look so thrifty and enterprising as they

a I

fat

used

to,

nor do the berries present such

and opulent an appearance

as in former days.

suppose the picking was good for them.

Having picked our

little

bouquet,

the sumacs and blue bramble-berries,

two

roads, one branching off to the

the other going over the the latter road, but, to

if

hill;

we

the tide

walk along the shore road,

we proceed past till we come to

left

by the

is till

in, it will

we

repay us

see prohibitory

signs, for besides

having a pretty view of the

much was done

to

beautify

shore,

must eventually take

this

river,

road by a lover


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

98

now

of Nature, not

and take the

We

living.

road.

hill

Before going over the see at

hill,

on the extreme

base,

its

Alder bushes,

can then come back,

we

must not

berry, rather than a flower walk,

to

a clump of black

right,

with berries; and as

scarlet

fail

we

this

is

a

and

stop here

gather enough for the decoration of our Thanksgiving

The

table.

those of us those

who

bushes are

who

tall

opposite directions,

again to two roads, going in

which we

neither of

This

to the next turn to the right.

unattractive road, but

we

have

to take

road that leads around the base of the

we come

this road,

accessible; but

are not so fortunate.

And now we come proceed

and not too

are long of limb must be generous to

it,

hill.

but

take,

a stony,

is

for

it is

the

Following

again to the beautiful shore of the

Annisquam River, with

the island over across, and

soon reach Trynall's Cove, which was the mainland

end

of the ferry.

ferry plied

and during

As one

this

little

that time the right of running

all

held by successive

First

For about a hundred years

between Biskie Head and the

was

members

of the

Hodgkins

we

are about to take

one;

it

was

family.

the connecting line between the

and Second Parishes, the road from

travelled

this

cove;

it

—

the

— must have been a much-

but with the passing

of

the

ferry,

occasioned probably by the lessened importance of this part of the

town,

it

gradually

fell

into disuse, until


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN finally

who

by people

frequented, except

was seldom

it

pastured cattle in the adjacent pastures.

from the

Partly, perhaps,

murder, that was committed

from

inherent loneliness,

its

it

the

in

came

were quickened

steps

An

there at nightfall.

and

it,

it

for evil-doers.

who

lived

lived to

had

air of

it,

partly

vicinity,

be an avoided

to

how

especially

if

mystery seemed

the

caught

to

hang

always seemed a possible hiding-place

The

on

story too, of the old

the

the age

forgotten

in passing

ghastly

a

of

recital

road, and the writer remembers as a child,

over

99

corner,

so

told.

He

said that

God

was always

108 years and

of

him,

man Hewet

finally

he

himself

starved

to death.

But none

of

houses

in proximity,

of

and

life

its

these

depress us today;

stories

now

even though

wholesome

with the returning Spring.

activities,

We take

to

closed, speak

be renewed

a parting look at

the wonderful reflections in the calm and peaceful

up the road, drinking

water, and then turn

beauty of the gorgeous coloring.

up on

Soon

the

in

hills

the

loom

either side, taking on, in the light of the setting

sun, a look of dignity,

if

not of majesty; the approach-

ing twilight sharpens their outlines against the sky, finally, all details

are

lost,

of earth

and rock, looking forward

another

morn, stand

landscape.

out

till,

and only impressive masses

in

the

to the

slowly

birth

of

dissolving


100

than

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

Good old Dr. Watts has we can say it ourselves. *'

Before the

Or

From

To

We twinkling

hills in

Elarth received

everlasting

said

it

for us better

order stood, its

name.

Thou

art

God

endless years the same."

have come out by the hospital with lights, to

Washington

the bus here, or walk, as

we

Street.

please.

its

We can take


"

XVI TO THE WOODS FOR CHRISTMAS GREENS "O

gracious beauty, ever

O sights and When

old!

low sunshine warns the

the

Of snow-blown

HE

new and

sounds of Nature, doubly dear

fields

and waves

closing year

of Arctic cold

I

sun hangs low in the heavens and

warns us

of the

approach

of the great

Feast of the Christian year.

We

must

go to the woods for our Christmas greens; for while

we may buy own

are only half our selves,

we

must go

our wreaths in the market, they

—

have them a part

to

of our-

and bring home with each

for them,

green branch and creeping fern the fragrance and

atmosphere of the woods.

The

early Christians did not celebrate the feast

of Christ's birth

till

and possibly not historic

evidence

Domitian. set for

it,

Even

well along into the

until

we

many have of

then there

2nd

century,

years after; for the it,

was

was no

first

in the reign of

month

particular

but sometime in the 5th century, the western

church ordered that then and forever

be celebrated on the 25th

of

after,

December.

it

This day

was not selected by chance, but with intention being the date of the Winter

been celebrated by the Romans.

solstice,

it

should

;

for

it

had long


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

102

Indeed, the entire heathen world, especially the

more northern viewing life

and

in the return of Sol, the

Rome

powers

activities of the

Many of

Gods.

day

nations, held this

in great veneration,

beginning of renewed of Nature,

and

of the

these old usages and beliefs of heathen

and Germany had passed over

into Christianity,

and in order to combat them, the church instituted rituals, which, while keeping the date, engrafted a Christian festival

upon

that they

Washington

Irving, in his

bridge Hall, shows persisted

—the

were used

how many

waits; but beginning

Christmas at Bracecustoms had

of these

bowl, and the

wassail

the

yule-log,

to celebrating.

an early date, the church

at

displaced them by dramatic representations of events in

the

finally

of

life

Christ,

manger-songs and

was

a universal religious festival

Thus we

see, that

carols,

till

established.

we do not celebrate the day Christ, we do much more, we

while

of the natural birth of

celebrate the birth of the spiritual transformation, that

came

to the

heathen world; what

and what His

Now,

life

with

stood

this

background,

Christmas greens; and our resources go.

For those

it

physical

of us

we

will

and accessory

who have it

the Essex woods, where

we

to bring,

go

for our

depend very much upon

will

does not well serve us)

creeping things

He came

for.

we

automobiles (the bus

would be

half fern, half

— where

find

all

moss

fine

to

go to

those graceful that are called


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN in the

by the general name

incorrectly, really,

We

Botany, Lycopodiums.

only one variety

We

is

of ground-pine;

and go

Road

in

The

winter

air

has invigorated

our contact with Nature has cheered us, and, with

our arms

with our treasures,

filled

**0, the poetry of Earth

And

is

regain our car.

never dead.**

here the writer cannot refrain

just

days when the

recalling the

we

fine

old

New

own wood lot and cut The trees had

wood.

hand and sawed choppers, but

it

lay crisp

The "doctored

old

by the wood

upon

to

be hauled home; and

this

work must be done when the

the ground.

wooden

out;

supply

into eight foot lengths

had yet

hewn

was brought

his winter*s

felled before-

usually

shod

up** in the leisure of

with rough

it

owned

been

part of the Winter*s

snow

from

from

England

farmer, bright of eye and ruddy of countenance, his

are

winter and

eagerly push aside the dry leaves in search of the

fragrant trailing greens.

of

woods,

Here we

surrounded by the beauty of the woods

us,

but

Pond

as far as

directly into the

keeping to the right for perhaps a mile.

we

them, though

rightly so called.

motor on the Essex

Street, turn in here,

know

103

sled

that

had been

early Winter and

fitted

posts at each of the four corners

and

to

it

was hitched

the old farm

now

in the sober-

horse, fiery perhaps in his youth, but

ness of old age committed to the daily routine of farm

work.

With

the shining axe twisted into the doubled


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

104

rope that passed between the two hind posts, the hired

man

in front

ready to

drive,

and the farmer standing up

behind steadying himself by the two posts a picture that lingers everything

was

still

even

formed

When

were taken up,

started off with a zest that

all

stirred

once more the Morgan blood of old Ned.

And

the

last hill

and hemlock

The

of the

old horse

evening feed.

Later

light of the sitting-room fire the

adven-

his

day are recounted

tures of the

and the landing

at the door!

soon unhitched and given

by the cheerful

anything ever

the return of a victorious warrior

in

than the taking of the fragrant pine

Was

home coming!

more triumphal

is

this

the memory.

in

in readiness, the reins

the bells jingled, and

—

to the expectant family;

the balkings and jumpings being received with becoming attention.

The

clothing

the

be

fill

enwinations from the pitch stained

room with a piney fragrance never

forgotten, the healthy drowsiness with

rewards her narrator,

Now, will

servants

faithful

and the scene for us

lot of

who

Woods

for

other nice things, that

We

early in the year. off to

Parsons house.

the

We

we

we

Christmas ferns shall find there.

Witham Street as we did walk down Witham Street,

for

left just

keeping to the right

overcomes the

can take a good long walk,

Again we take the bus and turn

last

which Nature

dissolves.

go to the Southern

and a

at

to

before

we get to

the Jeffrey

follow this path, cross the brook,

till

we come

to a ledge

on the

left.


ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

We climb up over the which soon leads

Here we

to

ledge, following a winding path,

lower ground.

Christmas

find the beautiful

perhaps everything

105

we

fern,

and

want; but as lovers of Nature,

us only so gather as not to injure a plant or tree,

let

make

or

we

it

less beautiful for

another year.

Returning,

follow this path, which brings us to the golf-links;

and by going around the

links

by the

wall,

we come

we

arrive at

out at Pleasant Street, following which

where we again take the

the Rockport highway,

We

have had a most delightful walk, and fortu-

nate indeed are

we who

have taken

arrange a shorter one, that nearly

This

is

around Bond's

or not, to

bus.

Bond

Hill,

Avenue, and walk

till

and

We

Street.

we

it;

all

but of us

we may

let

us

now

can take.

take the bus

turn in here from

Essex

get to the last house

on our

Here we find a road that leads up into the woods. It is known as the Pitman road, and the house is still standing where the old man Pitman lived. We right.

cannot perhaps find the choice things here, but sprays of

Pine and Hemlock are fragrant and woodsy; they

are from the great out-of-doors, and ourselves

come

and

for the "shut-ins",

the bit of

green

—

who

we

gather for

thankfully wel-

not the commercial

green,

but that brought by a loving friend.

The trees,

flowers are gone, the leaves falling from the

have made a carpet for our

feet

and a covering


106

ALONG THE OLD ROADS OF CAPE ANN

for the

but

young

how

The

plant-life.

evergreens only remain,

beautiful they are!

•'Close to ray heart

The

With calm For

I

fold

sweet day yields

leaf

;

each lovely thing

and not disconsolate

patience of the woods,

and blossom, when

God

FINIS.

I

wait

gives us Spring,"


Along old roads of Gloucester Mass  

Read the book "Along the Old Roads of Cape Ann".