Did You Know? (Eastern Point)

eastern point montage copy

Eastern Point is the southern half of the peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern side of Gloucester Harbor. Without the peninsula, there would be no harbor. Eastern Point is about a mile and a half long and stretches from just north of Niles Beach to the Eastern Point Lighthouse and Dog Bar Breakwater, which are located at its southern tip.

The history of Eastern Point is both the history of shipwrecks and efforts to reduce their number and a history of the privileged class which settled and developed Eastern Point. Both facets of Eastern Point’s history are covered in detail by Joseph E. Garland’s excellent book, Eastern Point ( Beverly, MA: Commonwealth Editions 1999).

In 1728, during the heyday of the Commons Settlement in the Dogtown section of Gloucester, fifteen families lived on Eastern Point. After the Revolution, Daniel Rogers, a forebear of Joseph Garland, owned a large farm that took up most of Eastern Point. In 1844, Thomas Niles acquired this 450 acre farm, and in 1859, the “irascible” Niles, as Garland characterized him, won a state Supreme Court ruling barring the public from access to most of Eastern Point. This helped create a mystique of exclusivity for Eastern Point, which even modern visitors can feel as they drive through two gates to reach the lighthouse.

Development of Eastern Point as a vacation spot for the wealthy began in 1887, with the sale of the Niles farm to the Eastern Point Associates. The next year, construction began on what would eventually be eleven “cottages”, many of which can easily be seen today. The magnificence of the interior of these dwellings can also be experienced today by visiting “Beauport,” a 40 room house on Eastern Point designed and built by Henry Sleeper from 1907 to 1934. “ Beauport” is open to the public and operated by Historic New England, formerly The Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. In 1892, the Eastern Point Associates went bankrupt, primarily because they could not provide an infrastructure on Eastern Point for the homes they were building. Perhaps the peak of Eastern Point’s caché as a vacation spot came in 1904 with the construction near Niles Beach of the Colonial Arms, a six story 300 room luxury hotel, which unfortunately burned down in 1908.

from http://myweb.northshore.edu/users/ccarlsen/poetry/gloucester/easternpointhistory.htm

During the summer while I am on Rocky Neck, walking Eastern Point is something I do often.  It is a small area packed with so many lovely and interesting things to see.  This montage only begins to touch them.

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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12 Responses to Did You Know? (Eastern Point)

  1. Allison says:

    Another thing that creates a “mystique of exclusivity ” is the guard car that sits at the entrance to Eastern Pt. all summer! So many times I’ve gone by thinking I’d like to go out to the breakwater and I just get intimidated by them and don’t go in.

    • E.J. says:

      Yes, he can be intimidating, but just go on through. Although parking out there is a problem unless you have an Audubon Society sticker. I always walk. Park at Niles Beach and walk out – you see so much more walking than driving anyway.

  2. Bill Hubbard says:

    Beautiful montage and nice description, EJ

  3. Sista Felicia says:

    EJ I love Photo Montage…Such a cool way to see one of Gloucesters most beautiful areas!

  4. Your photo montages are amazing! You should make them into postcards. Maybe you already do, I don’t know…

  5. Allison says:

    Thanks for the tip! And I actually am an Audubon member, so that works out (I don’t quite live in Gloucester – I’m about a half mile from the town line in MbtS, so no legal Niles parking for me).

  6. saint707 says:

    You are on a creative roll! This is beautiful! We visited Eastern Point numerous times and there is a lot to see. Another area that would make a great montage is Hammond Castle. I would love to see Beauport if it is open when we visit.

  7. starsquiggle says:

    Another beautiful grouping, E.J.
    Joe Garland’s “Eastern Point” is one of my favorite all time books.

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