Did You Know? (Cape Ann Tool Company)

Cape Ann Tool Company at Pigeon Cove in Rockport

Photos by E.J. Lefavour

That Edith (Johnson) Dean of Rockport was president of Cape Ann Tool Company for its final quarter century of operation?  She died at the age of 80 on March 7, 1989 at Oakwood Nursing Home in Manchester. In 1956, Edith J. Dean established the LINDLEY I. DEAN SCHOLARSHIP at Norwich University in memory of her husband, Lindley I. Dean, Class of 1911. The scholarship is awarded annually to freshmen or sophomore students from Massachusetts, with preference to students in the Corps of Cadets from Essex County, who demonstrate financial need, promise of success, scholarship, and character.  Also, in the 1960’s and 70’s the Rockport Art Association presented a Lindley Dean Memorial Award, which presumably was funded by Edith Dean in memory of her husband.  Painter Carl Peters won the award in 1967 and 1971.  In 1942 Lindley Dean was the Vice President of Rockport National Bank and President of Cape Ann Tool Company (Polk’s Rockport City Directory 1942), that is the only mention I could find of him, other than the memorials established by Edith.

The Cape Ann Tool Company, whose 100-ton drop forges had produced made-to-order parts for everything from autos to spaceships, was liquidated in 1987 after years of being undercut by foreign competitors, chiefly Japanese and German. It was established in the 1880s in Rockport’s Pigeon Cove section.  I have loved this building since I first saw it, and although many people probably think it is an eyesore, I love the colors and textures of the rusted section, and the old West ghost town look of the main part.

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Did You Know? (Cape Ann Tool Company)

  1. Brooke says:

    what are the plans for the building’s future use? I remember it when it was still actively being used. I’m hoping maybe something good will happen for the community’s use of that building in the future development. Maybe a multi-use building for Senior / Youth /Family /Day Care Center? Artist’s / Dance / Studio’s?

  2. Cynthia Kennedy Sam says:

    Whenever we drove past this building in the 40′s and 50′s I remember the excitement when we approached what called the “bangdidy bangs” (that was the name we gave the building itself “the bangdidy bang building!) and saw through all the open doors the fiery hot fires inside with goggled workers forging tools inside. I always wondered how they could possibly stand such a job in extreme heat. It saddens me to see it laying in disuse, but I personally wouldn’t like to see some major development take over the historic space. Thank you Ellen for highlighting this historic building.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have similar memories. My mother, ( Carol ), called it “the pounding place”. I remember seeing all the sweating men working inside, and all the sparks flying.

      Thanks for this one E.J.. This will have to go into the second edition of Did You Know!!

  3. Judy says:

    Oh, maybe the Iron Guild could do a pour here!! http://www.ironguild.net/

  4. E.J. says:

    What a great visual and name Cynthia. I wish I could have seen it in its day in operation. What a great thought Judy, an iron guild would be perfect and what a great addition to the creative offerings of Cape Ann. You just sent it out to the Universe, and anything is possible.

  5. Johanna Henning says:

    I LOVED the company and if it was open when we went by, I put up a fuss until my mother pulled over so I could watch the men and forges working. In my mind, I always see it in black and red-the men silhouetted against the red of the iron and the forges, smoothly moving in the darkness and the huge bang! of the forges. It is one of the icons of my childhood summers; one that I treasure.

Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s