Did You Know (Bearskin Neck)

photo collage of bearskin neck

Photos by E.J. Lefavour

That Bearskin Neck was named by fishermen who saw the bearskin Ebenezer Babson had left to dry on the rocks?

Roger W. Babson in his Story of Bear Skin Neck puts it as follows: “…Ebenezer Babson, who then resided at the Farms, saw the bear attack the boy [his nephew, Henry Witham]. He immediately attacked the bear to get his attention away from the child, but having no gun he permitted the bear to follow him into the water. There, after a terrific struggle, Ebenezer killed the bear with a fish knife.”  (As depicted in the sign over the front door of The Pewter Shop.) 

The story is continued by George Jay Babson: “He then brought the bear onto the shore, skinned him, and spread the skin on the rocks to dry. Ebenezer died shortly afterwards, presumably at sea, but his nephew Henry Witham, whose life he saved, lived to a ripe old age. Naturally, he often told the story of his rescue, and when people asked how Ebenezer killed the bear, he would reply: ‘With his knife, I do declare.’” 

And hence the little ditty: “Babson, Babson, killed a bear, With his knife, I do declare.”

From John J. Babson, History of the Town of Gloucester Cape Ann Including the Town of Rockport (Massachusetts: Proctor Brothers, 1860) and The Witham Family History

E.J. Lefavour


About E.J.

Artist, researcher, writer, spiritual traveler of this fascinating orb we inhabit, lover of life and all it has to offer. Hi everyone out there in GMG land. My name is Ellen “E.J.” Lefavour (a/k/a “Ejay Khan” – the pseudonym I used during my years as a political activist artist). I moved to Cape Ann in September of 2010, and was thrilled to be invited by Joey to become a daily contributor to Good Morning Gloucester in December of that year. I am a painter, photographer and writer who has lived and worked as an artist for 20 years, since leaving the corporate world in 1990 to pursue my passion. My contributions to GMG will consist of images (either my paintings, photographs, montages or the occasional video) and a little history about the image, called “Did you Know?” I hope to come up with tidbits of information that people don’t already know, or had forgotten they knew. As I am new here, everything is new and fascinating to me, especially the amazing history, so bear with me if I post something that is common knowledge – I’ll eventually come up with something that’s new to you. As an artist, I will also write about the incredible art scene on Cape Ann. Please take a minute to comment on my posts, like them or not, especially if you have corrections or something to add, as that is how I, and all of us, learn. Have a Good Morning Gloucester, and a blessed day.
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5 Responses to Did You Know (Bearskin Neck)

  1. Mary says:

    Love the middle photograph. Great shot E.J.!

  2. E.J. says:

    Thanks Mary. I think that shot kind of encapsulates the colorful and eclectic, artsy vibrancy of Bearskin Neck.

  3. Rich B. Medford, MA says:

    I didn’t know that. Cool, thanks for posting!

  4. Bob Ross says:

    bearskin neck is a cool place.I love going to Roy Moore’s

  5. Pingback: Road Fotos 26 « tugster: a waterblog

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