Tag Archives: Rockport MA

Long Beach shifting sands and seawall: Rockport DPW targets nature and infrastructure

The other Singing Beach

As with Manchester Singing and other North Shore beaches, the white or “dry”  sand of Long Beach sings a musical sound as you scuff ahead. Lately though it’s whistling a shorter tune because there’s an astonishing loss of the dry grains.

Over the last 10 years,  so much sand has been washed away from Long Beach most every high tide hits the seawall. Boogie boarders need to truncate their wave rides else risk landing on the rip-rap.  It’s become a competitive sport to lay claim to some beach chair and towel real estate if you want a dry seat. On the plus side, low tide is great for beach soccer and tennis, long walks and runs. Bocce ball has replaced can jam and spikeball as the beach games of summer 2017.

Seasoned locals recall having to ‘trudge  a mile’ across dry sand before hitting wet sand and water. In my research I’ve seen historic visuals that support their claims.

Vista: Entrance from the Gloucester side of Long Beach

Historic photos and contemporary images –from 10 years ago– show a stretch of white sand like this one looking out from the Gloucester side of Long Beach to the Rockport side.

Long Beach

photocard showing the pedestrian walkway prior to the concrete boardwalk. Historic prints from ©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) show the damage after storm, 1931. See his GMG post and rodeo (ca. 1950)

fred bodin long beach after the storm

After the Storm, Long Beach, 1931   Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin (1950-2015) “Printed from the original 5×7 inch film negative in my darkroom. Image #88657-134 (Long Beach looking toward Rockport)”

Fredrik D. Bodin Long Beach

Vista: Facing the Gloucester side of Long Beach

This next vintage postcard flips the view: facing the Gloucester side of Long Beach –looking back to glacial rocks we can match out today, a tide line that shows wet and dry sands, and the monumental Edgecliffe Hotel which welcomed thousands of summer visitors thanks to a hopping casino. The white sand evident in front of  the Edgecliffe bath houses (what is now Cape Ann Motor Inn) has plummeted since a 2012 February storm and vanished it seems, perhaps temporarily, perhaps not. It’s most evident where several feet of sand was cleaved off from the approach to the boardwalk.

EdgeCliffe Hotel and surf Long Beach Gloucester Mass postcard

 

Seasons of sand

I find the annual sand migration on Long Beach a fascinating natural mystery. It’s dramatic every year. Here are photos from this last year: fall (late Sept 2016), winter (December-  sand covers rip-rap), spring (April -after winter storms with alarming loss), and summer (today)

FALL

September 2016

 

WINTER

december 2016

 

SPRING April rip-rap uncovered, exposed. Climbing to the boardwalk is an exciting challenge for two boys I know (when the sand is filled in like the December photo it’s a short drop)

April Long Beach

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SUMMER July 14 sand is coming back though all boulders are not entirely submerged

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Storms (namely February) strip the silky soft top sand away and expose the boulders strengthening the seawall. It’s easy to feel alarmed that the beach is disappearing. By summer, the sand fills back, though not always in the same spot or same quantity. Some rip-rap expanses remain exposed. Most is re-buried beneath feet of returning sand. New summer landmarks are revealed. One year it was a ribbon of nuisance pebbles the entire length of beach. The past two years we’ve loved “the August Shelf”. (Will it come again?)

This year there’s a wishbone river.

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“Apparently you do bring sand to the beach, according to the selectmen appointed committee ascribed with repairing the Long Beach seawall, which could cost up to $25 million.” 

In case you missed the Gloucester Daily Times article “Rockport Looks to Fix Long Beach Sea Wall” by Mary Markos, I’ve added the link here. They hope to finish by 2025. I look forward to learning more and reading about it. If extra sand is brought back will high tide continue to hit the seawall? (In the past it could hit the wall or blast over in storms, but dry sand remained lining the wall.) Will the new wall occupy the same general footprint? Will it be higher? Thicker?

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“July 8, 1856 Rockport Women Smash Liquor Barrels” today’s Mass Moments

july 8 1856 rockport mass momentsFrom Mass Moments (http://www.massmoments.org):

“On this day in 1856, 200 women, some of them wielding hatchets and ranging in age from 37 to 75, rampaged through the town of Rockport destroying every container of alcohol they could find. One eyewitness recorded in his journal: “There has been exciting times a-going on here today.” Weeks of planning preceded the five-hour raid. When it was over, the women had spilled hundreds of gallons of liquor. Over the next decade, alcohol sales in the town steadily declined. Rockport became one of several dozen Massachusetts towns where one could not buy liquor. Not until April 2005 would residents vote to permit inns, hotels, and restaurants to serve alcohol with meals. Twelve towns in the Commonwealth are still dry today, down from 17 in 2004.”

Listen to the Mass Moments Rockport story:

or Click here to read the rest of the story…

Here’s the church where’s the steeple?

Readying for steeple removal May 27 First Congregational Church, Rockport, MA

“Few such meeting houses still stand that can compete with the Old Sloop for its well-documented history and its colonial beauty.”

Rockport May 27 2017

June 1, 2017

Rockport June 1 2017

Mary Markos’ Gloucester Daily Times article  includes fun facts like this bit about the historic War of 1812 cannonball, along with an important update that the scope of work increased as damage was more extensive than projected. Now, there’s more of an opportunity on the ground to check out the 1775 lantern and bell.

Stow Wengenroth drawing available $450

Stow

AWESOME ROCKPORT GRANT WINNER

AWESOME ROCKPORT GRANT WINNER

Toad Hall, a local non-profit bookstore that donates all profits to local environmental projects was the winner at the inaugural Awesome Rockport pitch night Monday December 14th. Toad Hall received $1,000 from the local micro grant foundation to fund the development of a new website. The new site will, for the first time, give customers the ability to purchase books online from Toad Hall. The new website will also allow the bookstore to enhance its outreach to customers and the community through mailing lists, blog posts and a monthly newsletter.

The newly established Rockport chapter of the Awesome Foundation solicits proposals from the community quarterly and chooses the top three to attend a public pitch night. The three finalists make their case before the local trustees who each donate $100 toward the award. The top vote getter walks away with $1,000 in cash, no strings attached. Proposals to make Rockport more awesome can be made at http://www.awesomefoundation.org/chapters/rockport

The three finalists pictured here (left to right) are: Ardis Francoeur (with winning microgrant in hand!), Sarah Kelly from Rockport Exchange, and Stephanie Woolf from Rockport Music.

Finalists

Edited: I Should Have Done Some Research And Planned My Day Better To Be able To Check Out These Awesome Rockport Shops

Saturday morning and there had been a couple of shops we discovered on Instagram that we’d been dying to get to.   Got into town around 9 and the Farmer’s Market was in full swing.  Spoke with Lisa “That Nutty Redhead” and Sandy Farrell and a few other cool vendors and then made a great discovery in The Blue Lobster Grille which served up delicious homemade hash with poached eggs over English muffins and hollandaise for only $7.95.  Tremendous discovery that was (we will be back I can assure you).

We took our time and headed down Bearskin Neck after but all the joints we wanted to check out were still closed at 10:00.  They looked cool as hell though.

Sea Again Is a consignment store that often has designer handbags-

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Saltwater Designs-

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Folly Cove Art and Sea-

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It’s on me that I didn’t realize that most of the stores wouldn’t be open by 10:00AM. Next Time I’ll Do My Research Better.

We went to Gloucester and had my eyeglasses repaired at Parrelli Optical on Railroad Ave- just dropped in, had them repaired in like two minutes and then hit up Lynzariums on East Main Street  where I was able to get that awesome plant for the Big Jabroni.  We were really eager to check out those shops in Rockport so we actually drove back in and did 5 loops around from 5 Corners down to Dock Square and around and couldn’t find a parking spot so we gave up and drove to Linens and  Things to get some K Cups and then saw the new Amy Schumer movie Trainwreck  (highly recommended).  Our Rockport mission ended with some highs though in finding Blue Lobster Grill for breakfast and it’s always a nice walk down Bearskin Neck.

We will be back and can’t wait to finally get into these shops as well as some others.

Baby Turkey Mini Video and Happy Thanksgiving to All Our GMG FOBs!

What a beautiful (and entertaining) surprise I experienced this past summer when filming B-roll and the milkweed patch at Waring Field in Rockport. From a distance the elusive hen was observed and I was delighted to see, upon coming closer to film her, that she had four little babies in tow (turkey babies are called poults).

Happy Thanksgiving! 

“Turkey in the Straw” Recorded by Fiddle, Fiddle, Fiddle

See GMG post Baby Turkey Encounter here.

Bacon Doughnuts From Brothers brew In rockport Are Every Bit As Ridiculous as They Sound

DSC08242Thanks Paul Bruce for bringing these bad boys in when you came by for our interview about Benjamin Smith Playground.

Note to other folks wishing to come on to promote their stuff- We don’t charge and love to help get the word out about your organization but buttering up your host with scrumptious food, well that’s just plain intelligence at work.

I’m not saying that by bringing in these Bacon doughnuts had anything to do with Paul getting the top GMG time slot of the week (8AM Monday morning) but it totally did. Winking smile

 

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Oh yeahhhh baby!

Community Photos 7/8/14

Good Foggy Morning from Janet Rice!

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Rockport Flaming Inferno

Hi Joey,

Another year, another inferno. I repeat myself, but this event is an under publicized gem that never fails to impress. I brought more friends this year from 

faraway, over-the-bridge towns, and they returned home with with stories to tell their families.  “The top of the pile was sixty feet tall.”  “The fire singed the lens of the Hubble Telescope.” True, of course, and I believe I saw Vulcan with his hammer, but I believe the real story lies in the community that has created this supremely playful night. 

My website photos: http://finedesign.net/photo/index.php?/category/46

Michael Miller


Rockport “From the Headlands” (1995)

Submitted By Nat Johnson

The Paper House In Rockport Is An Interesting Joint

Went This Weekend With The Kids, Check It Out Some Time, Everything’s Made Of Paper

from the website-

About The Paper House

The Paper House is an actual house made from paper.
Newspaper.
It was built by Mr. Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer who designed the machines that make paper clips, began building his Rockport summer home out of paper as a hobby. That was in 1922.

The paper was meant to be good insulation. Eventually, not only was the house made of paper, but furniture as well, including some intricate and beautiful pieces.
For more about the background, read the interview with his grand niece. For an interesting look at what you’ll see, let’s step inside.

Here’s the website- http://paperhouserockport.com/index.html

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Rockport Fireworks Fund-raiser

Rockport Fireworks Fund-raiser

Please join Rockport Fireworks for their first fund-raising event of the season, Saturday, March 15 at the Elks in Gloucester for a night of Dancing to “Fun Bucket”.  This event will take place from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. and tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance for $20.  Raffles, silent auction and the unveiling of local Artist Ken Knowles original painting that will help fund the fireworks.  The Fireworks will be this summer August 9 off Granite Pier.  Anyone wishing to buy tickets or donate to the Silent Auction may call Susan Collins 978-546-9566.

Swans on Front Beach, Rockport Feb 4 From Bobbie Brooks in Lanesville ALL RIGHTS RESERVED!

I so enjoy GMG each evening, and would like to contribute as I see something of interest.  This morning I caught a glimpse of a pair of Swans at the water’s edge on Front Beach in Rockport as I was driving by. I had to stop and enjoy!  Luckily my little pocket Canon was with me.  I had not noticed swans at salt water before, but then realized, Mill Pond has a stream outlet at this area.  With the upcoming storms, I hope they find food and a safe haven.

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