A Giant Made Prisoner
“Anastasia stared about her, taking mental notes of the relations of light and shade, and trying to fix in her mind the action of the workmen. Bessie was not so cool. Something oppressed her here, and she quite lost the happy tranquility which she had felt five minutes before, in the straggling country road among the peaceful winter gardens. She felt as if in those few minutes she had come out of the happy New England which she knew and loved – a little country which with all its faults is civilized and human enough – into the midst of some great workshop of nature outside human ways and human knowledge. Here with the dark rocks which they told her had lasted since the beginning of the world, and which had seen more frightful changes than Betsy could imagine. And here, at work among them, was a magical instrument, a giant made prisoner, who was fighting the rocks with another natural force even stronger than theirs. ”
Ellen Day Hale, The Cape Ann Quarries,
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, No. 418, March 1885
Erected in 1912, the National State Bank of Newark NJ, featured a base of grey granite and monolith Sea Green Granite Columns.
These perspectives images of building and monument examples resulting from Rockport Granite Company contracts, were acquired by the SBHS in summer 2013. The cataloging, description and identification (where necessary) of each photo has been undertaken by Leslie D. Bartlett as part of his on-going research into the era of quarrying granite on Cape Ann. Often the photos do indicate the type of granite and historical location. It is of interest to note as well that duplicate copies have been found for many of the buildings. I believe that this allowed the Rockport Granite Company to assemble a marketing kit of examples to present to potential clients.
“One time last summer I go over Rockport Granite Company quarry. walk down on dock, see stone-cutter’s sheds,
all go to pieces, walk under bridge, along where tracks was, all gone down, pull up…” -Gor Svenson 1935
The two images below illustrate the relative quick return of vegetation below the Keystone Bridge, once the Rockport Granite Company ceased operation. The first image is circa 1930: It looks out toward Granite Pier, with the full complement of RR tracks.
The second image here below is taken but five years after the Rockport Granite Company dissolves.
The steel tracks are gone, railroad ties still embedded. Now 82 years later, there are only tiny traces of what once was
part of the daily quarry life in Rockport…