Island in the Annisquam: Merchants

Three investors bought Merchants (or Pearce)  island about 1890: Edward Samuel Page, Mr. Kitchen, and another investor. They had trouble selling lots because of fresh water issues. This photo shows Merchants Island from Riverview, with the pier and float in the foreground, enabling the only access to the island. A handful of cottages still stand on Merchants, used in the summer only.

Three investors bought Merchants (or Pearce) island about 1890: Edward Samuel Page, Mr. Kitchen, and another investor. They had trouble selling lots because of fresh water issues. This photo shows Merchants Island from Riverview in 1910, with the pier and float in the foreground, enabling the only access to the island, and Wingaersheek dunes in the background (right) A handful of cottages still stand on Merchants, used in the summer only.

Here's a cottage on Merchant’s Island about 1900, with a moored dory with fish traps. A few hardy summer residents of Merchants have visited the gallery. I noticed they frequently looked outside at the weather. That's understandable - it's a long row home.

Here’s a cottage on Merchant’s Island about 1900, with a moored dory holding fish traps. A few hardy summer residents of Merchants have visited the gallery. I noticed they frequently looked outside at the weather. That’s understandable – it’s a long row home.

8 comments

  • As a Gloucester Merchant I grew up wondering about the island. I never knew its history or which Merchant it was named for. I always wanted to motor out to it, but never did. Thanks for sharing the photos.

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  • Ahem. Not a dory, of course, but a skiff of some kind. Gotta maintain purity about things Glosta.

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  • I was blessed to be raised on Wheelers Point. Still enjoy it summers! We played on the sand bar with the Merchants Island children. We played sink the row boat, cards on the rocks, rowing races through Jones Creek. Life was simple and care free. We dug clams and picked blueberries and sold them to the neighbors. Mr & Mrs Durney of Durneys Island fed us cookies and lemonade. And there were new IPads or Cellphones………………..

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  • Correction to merchants island. No I pads or cell phones. Thanks

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  • What a great view in the simple times! thanks Fred! :-) Dave

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  • Christine Hamilton

    I am the great niece of Phillip Durney. I was wondering if people still knew the cabin was on Durney’s Island, as we called it. I have many pictures of my Aunts and Uncles sunbathing on the rocks. Such fond memories of a time past when a little girl from the Midwest spent summers on Durneys island.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Karen Pischke BSN, RN

      Christine, wonderful memories! I know people that vacation on the island. If you are in the area let me know. If you kayak, I’ll take you around the island.

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  • Karen Pischke BSN, RN

    Fred, thanks for these great photos! I kayaked around this island yesterday. I couldn’t remember its name (Merchants/Pearce,) and when I did a search to find it, came across your post! Thanks for sharing. Looks a lot different now, with all the trees. But the cottages appear the same. You’ll see the island in a lot of my Annisquam sunset posts on GMG.

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