Winter in Rockport Massachusetts is beautiful but not for the feint of heart. It’s a town for salty fishermen, small town New Englanders and a thriving local artist community. In fact, Rockport’s Art Colony is one of the oldest in America and it is home to more than thirty galleries.
Artistic renderings of this iconic fishing shack on Bearskin Neck are well known and recognized all over the world. Artists and throngs of summer visitors absolutely love this picturesque harbor.
Its very quiet in the winter months but I love the raw New England beauty of this little village on the most northern tip of Cape Ann.
You can see all of the lobster traps waiting for warmer days up on top of the pier.
The homes in town on Main Street along the harbor are now shops, studios and restaurants that all reflect the sea in some manner or fashion. It is a special part of the country for sure.
Rockport was first settled in 1690. The building pictured above memorializes an interesting battle with British warships during the battle of 1812 where nine soldiers were taken prisoner in a sneak attack and the townspeople who were out of ammunition hurled rocks and employed handmade slingshots made from their stockings.
Folks in this part of the world definitely have their own unique form of crusty toughness and this is a superb example of Yankee ingenuity!
Gloucester is home to this iconic statue, “Man at the Wheel” Fisherman’s Memorial.
You might recognize the fisherman’s image from Gorton’s of Gloucester which has been located in this town in some form since 1849. They were the first to successfully pack and ship frozen fish products. Today they are famous for their fish sticks. They became somewhat notorious in the 1980s when they became associated with Rev. Sun Myung Moon and the members of the Unification Church… i.e. the “Moonies”. Today they are owned by Nippon Suisan USA.
Gloucester Harbor today…
It was first settled via expedition of the Dorchester Company from Dorset England and was chartered by James I in 1623. Gloucester was one of the first English settlements of the New World predating both Boston and Salem. It would later become part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In time, Gloucester became important to the ship building, fishing and granite industries.
This beautiful home is overlooking my favorite beach in Gloucester. There are many beautiful old sea captain homes and sweet motels just a short walk from Good Harbor Beach.
The Vista Motel, a little piece of heaven… especially in the off season! (note that the motel is generally shuttered from November to March. Even the photos make me smile. http://www.vistamotel.com
In my humble opinion this is quite simply the best beach on the North Shore. I have been returning anytime I can for over 40 years. Many youthful shenanigans may or may not have occurred on this beach and so many sweet memories of youthful craziness.
These photos were taken on a very cold November afternoon. I love the beauty and ruggedness of this beach. The island in the distance is Salt Island and you can easily walk over to it and explore during low tide. From personal experience I have learned that you can also swim back if you stay too long and the tide turns.
We will be back next summer and it will amazing!
For more info about Rockport go to http://www.rockportusa.com
and for info about Gloucester and Good Harbor Beach go to http://www.capeannvacations.com
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