Rockport - Encyclopedia

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ROCKPORT, a township of Essex (disambiguation)|Essex county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on the N.E. end of Cape Ann, on the Atlantic Ocean, north-east of Gloucester, and about 35 m. north-east of Boston. Pop. (1890) 4087; (1900) 4592; (1910, U.S. census) 4211. Rockport is the southern terminus of the Gloucester branch of the Boston & Maine railway, and is served by an electric railway extending from Gloucester through Rockport and around the cape. Off Sandy Bay, a rendezvous of the Atlantic squadron of the U.S. navy, the Federal government began in 1884 a harbour of refuge, with an area of 1664 acres, to be protected from north and north-east winds by a breakwater, 117 ft. wide at a depth of 12 ft. below mean low water, rising 22 ft. above mean low water, and 9000 ft. long. In the township are the North Village or Pigeon Cove and the South Village or Rockport. Rockport is a summer resort, and there are many summer residences at Andrews Point and at the South End and Headlands. There are large granite quarries along the coast, especially in Pigeon Cove, and there are two varieties of granite, called commercially "grey" and "green," both very hard, the former the more abundant. It has been used .in building the great breakwater off Sandy Bay and various large bridges. Granite for paving-stones is quarried. Like many of the Maine quarries those of Rockport owe much of their development to their nearness to deep water-transportation. Isinglass, glue, tools, parts for automobile engines, and copper paint are among the manufactures. Fishing was formerly of importance, but quarrying has displaced it. Sandy Bay, the fifth parish of Gloucester, first settled about 1697, and Pigeon Cove, part of the third parish, were set off from Gloucester and were incorporated as the township of Rockport in 1840. The Bennett & Mackay transatlantic commercial cable was landed in Rockport in May 1884.

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