Carved in 1930 – Still Relevant Today

Dogtown, circa 1930 Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin
When Gloucester property owner Roger Babson hired unemployed Cape Ann stonecutters during the Great Depression in the early 1930s, he left us with carvings on 24 boulders in Dogtown. Scattered across 3,600 now densely forested acres, they inspire to this day, and I post this one for this year’s high school and college graduates, as well as for the rest of us.
Printed archivally from the original 5×7 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Image #8857-337
Fredrik D. Bodin
Bodin Historic Photo
82 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930


  • Allison Sigrist

    I was walking with my spouse in Dogtown this past weekend and was telling her about this stone, but was paraphrasing from the guide book – I quoted it as “Never Try, Never Fail” which is also true, but not quite as uplifting a perspective. I guess I wasn’t feeling particularly ambitious that day!


  • Trying is the first step to failure.



  • I love this one Fred. I’ve had a picture of this rock hanging above my desk for two years now…


  • Always amazes me how much the flora and fauna have grown when viewing old photos. I’m out in Dog Town all the time and it is definitely “densely forested” now. Thanks for all your photos, Fred.


    • One of these days I’m going to post a 1914 Dogtown photo with even less flora and fauna than this one. In it, you can clearly see the Gloucester skyline in the distance.


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