Annis Squam, 1817

Edmund M. Blunt/©Fredrik D. Bodin
Edmund March Blunt (1770–1862) published and printed the first book of sailing directions in the United States, the American Coast Pilot, in 1796. This Annis Squam chart is from the 9th edition of Coast Pilot and measures 9×5 inches – a tidy size for both large commercial and smaller sailing vessels. At the top in red are what I believe to be fish drying racks. Below Annis Squam, the chart shows the “White Sand Hills” of Coffin’s Beach. I’m excited to have this restored and superbly colored treasure in my gallery.
“The American Coast Pilot, containing the courses and distances between the principal harbours, capes and headlands, from Passamaquoddy through the gulph of Florida, with directions for sailing into the same, describing the soundings, bearings of the light-houses and beacons from the rocks, shoals, ledges, through the south and east channels, and the settings of the currents, with the latitudes of the principal harbours on the coast, together with a tide table, by Edmund M. Blunt; corrected and improved by the most experienced pilots in the United States.” – Edmund Blunt
Printed archivally from a scan of the original map. Negative # AM11-001 (not for navigation)
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930

2 comments

  • That’s beautiful fred and it brought a question to my mind. I have an old sketch of a coasting schooner in Gloucester that I am unable to ID the exact location. I tend to think it’s Lanes Cover but peerhaps it’s Lobster Cove in Annisquam. Does anyone know when the wooden bridge was originally built and if it had a span that opened?

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  • Hi Bill, I enjoy your comments. The Annisquam Bridge (now called Annisquam Footbridge) carried all traffic, including pedestrians, horses, wagons, carriages, and later automobiles. Long time ‘Squamers have told me that they knew when dad was coming home from work by the sound of his car tires passing over the the bridge’s wooden planks. The Annisquam Draw Bridge was closed on October 10th, 1899. The last vessel to pass thru was the Schooner Lucy May, and it was a big one.

    If you show me the sketch I may be able to identify the location.

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