I had always wondered where Mother Ann rock was located and looked for her whenever I walked along the backshore, assuming that was where it was. While photographing the waves crashing over the breakwater and on the rocks behind Eastern Point Light the other day, I took this shot. It wasn’t until I was viewing the photos on my computer that I saw her, since I was more focused on the waves than the rocks.
Mother Ann is a rock formation located near the Eastern Point Lighthouse in Gloucester, Massachusetts. When viewed at the correct angle, the formation appears to be the silhouette of a reclining Puritan woman. It is also believed locally that the formation represents the royal mother of King Charles I, Anne of Denmark, after whom Cape Ann is named.
The formation may have been named by Captain William Thompson of Salem in 1891, and has since been compared to New Hampshire’s Old Man in the Mountain. A nearby whistling buoy is known as “Mother Ann’s Cow”.
The Mother Ann formation inspired several local writers, including Providence author H.P. Lovecraft and poet Clarence Manning Falt. Lovecraft may have used the Mother Ann formation as the basis for the setting of his short story The Strange High House in the Mist.