Hositing the Engines of History

It is August 1, 1933 

Here we are peek down from atop the far North Wall of Lanes Cove, Lanesville, MA. on Cape Ann, we can see the narrow space in which a wooden boom derrick is positioned for hoisting and loading granite .

The image offers a rare full view of the complex of hoisting engines and cabling required to  turn the derrick and hoist the granite blocks. Note the platform which holds the gearing for control of the derrick. With everything out in the open,and exposed to the elements, greasing of the gears received especial attention. No loose clothing on the men working in the vicinity – for fear of being caught in cables or tooth gears.

(At the top back of the image the Harvey Coal Shed is in view.)


Here is another view of the working derrick loading granite onto the barge Fredereck Starr, bound for NY.


In the great hurricane of 1935, the derrick and engines will be destroyed.

  • Leslie Bartlett – January 14, 2017





How the Finn Quarry Workers Slept and Worked


How the Finn Quarry Workers Slept & Worked


Head to toe, head to toe.
Eight in a row.
Eight rows to the floor;
With windows left open
there’s room for eight more.


A sheet on the window
To allow the cold air in,
Keeps the body blood flow
And ready for the 6 am din.


The pay day window faces
The ocean grim,
Trudge across the road
To the company store
And turn most of your cash back in.


Split a few stones
In your back yard lot.
Turn in a thousand
Of choice Belgian cut.
Another twenty dollars
To spend on the family you’ve got.

by Leslie D. Bartlett, March 13, 2014


Putting the motion back in Motions

The spur for this post follows a flurry of comments on yesterday’s post “Plucking our memories…”

Below is a photograph added which identifies the small “water” to the North (map right side) of Lanes Cove.

The image is found on  pp.17 of Barbara Erkilla’s Hammers on Stone.

Her caption reads:  One Swedish motion operator, near Lane’s Cove on the north side, had a windmill to pump out excess water.

(The image is from the Alexander R. Cheves Collection, slide provided by William Hoyt.)


Lanesville, the proud, the individual – – -and owned by the Rockport Granite Company

This is an amazing document which reveals the Rockport Granite Company as landowner; it is the written agreement between William L. Langsford (and Eli Morgan ,Elizabeth?) and the Rockport Granite Company.

The house purchase is for $225.00 outright, without title or ownership of land. The Rockport Granite Company reserves the right to give six months notice for the house to be moved off quarry property.

The contract is dated September 13th, 1865; notice given January(?) 29, 1869