Tag Archives: Paul St Germain

Discover the History of Cape Ann Granite

Local author releases exciting new title featuring stunning, vintage images

The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present an illustrated book reading/signing with local author Paul St. Germain on Saturday, July 25 at 3:00 p.m. Cape Ann Granite is the newest title in Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. The book, which is set to release on July 20, 2015, boasts over 200 vintage images, many of which have never been published. This program is free and open to the public.unnamedThe granite industry began on Cape Ann with the first sale of a piece of Rockport granite, for use as a millstone, to a farmer in Newburyport in 1800. The industry would grow to include more than 60 quarries and operations around the cape, becoming the second-largest economic force in the area behind fishing. Hundreds were employed as quarrymen, stonecutters, paving cutters, and finishers. Cape Ann was particularly well fitted for the pursuit of granite as its rocky hills and shores afforded a comparatively inexhaustible source of supply, and its splendid shipping facilities gave the advantage of quick and economical transportation to market by sea and land. The industry eventually declined, and by 1930, most quarries had gone out of business because of labor strikes and low demand. Today, most of these quarries are filled with water, and many are used as reservoirs for the surrounding communities.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.

Paul St. Germain has been a Rockport resident for 20 years and has written two other books in the Images of America series about the lighthouses and lifesaving stations on Cape Ann and Thacher Island. With assistance from the Cape Ann Museum, the Sandy Bay Historical Society archives, and other private collections, he has developed a revealing record of the men, the quarries, the tools, and the final uses of Cape Ann granite around the nation.

 

VOLUNTEERS SURVEY BLIZZARD DAMAGE ON THACHER ISLAND

A delegation of Thacher Island volunteers, finally able to visit the island after the February 10 blizzard, discovered substantial damage to the boathouse at the top of the landing ramp. The damage included eastern and northern walls dislodged from their foundations, siding torn loose, the rear door torn off its track, and interior shelving knocked loose. Wind and high water also deposited boulders and debris across a broad swath of ground. Snowdrifts prevented the volunteers, Syd Wedmore, Paul St. Germain, Peter Bergholz, and Bill Lee, from inspecting other structures on the island.  Oddly enough, the water that surged through the boathouse did not disturb the American flag that still lay neatly folded on a dislodged table in the middle of the jumbled debris.

(Photos supplied by Paul St Germain)