Front Beach, Rockport, circa 1900

Front Beach, Rockport, circa 1900 Charles H. Cleaves/©Fredrik D. Bodin
These folks are enjoying Front Beach in the latest beach attire. Observatory Point sits in the distance on the right. The Rockport fire house is on the left, with its hose drying tower. It wasn’t until after 1819 that water buckets were replaced by a great improvement in fire-fighting equipment – the cotton hose. After use, the hoses needed to dry, and this took place in a 50 to 60 foot tower. Often, a fire bell was hung in the top of the tower.


Printed from the original 4×5 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Negative # A9445-046
Fred Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930


  • It is a great photo, but somehow it doesn’t look to me like they are enjoying themselves too much, and the man looks downright pissed. Maybe a big buff guy had passed by, made eyes at his wife, and kicked sand on him just before the photo was shot.


  • You just can’t tell a smile when you see it Ej! 🙂


  • I love this photo; it’s amazing that even though the ladder-hanging building is the new public restroom, Front Beach doesn’t feel that different today. By the way, these folks have clearly read TheRovingHome’s rant on dishabille.


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