Ocean View, Extreme Point Cape Ann, Pigeon Cove, Mass.

Ocean View, Extreme Point Cape Ann, Pigeon Cove, Mass.

Boston: J. H. Bufford & Co. lithos., [ca. 1870]. Tinted lithograph, 25” x 37” plus margins. Recently backed with Japanese tissue.

A scarce and elaborate plat map for a seaside resort development at Pigeon Cove in Rockport, Mass.

Located on the eastern extremity of Cape Ann, Pigeon Cove began attracting vacationers from the Boston area during the 1840s. Once the train reached the area in 1862, summer boarding homes soon gave way to seasonal hotels. Spearheading the development of Ocean View were the two men listed at the center-left of this map—George Babson of Pigeon Cove and Eben Phillips of Boston (1808–1875), the latter owning much property there.

The map depicts numbered lots and cottages for rent or purchase, as well as a relative handful of lots already sold or occupied. The latter include lots designated for Ocean View House, Pigeon Cove House, Glen Acre House, the Universalist Church, and the town school house. Also identified on the plan are commercial entities surrounding Pigeon Cove Harbor, and Mount Holly Park, lying at the center of the development. A series of six lovely vignettes appear along the top and bottom of the map. At the top, one illustration depicts a grand hotel to be erected opposite the junction of Phillips and De Chene Avenues, while at the bottom are views of Ocean View House and Pigeon Cove House. The vignettes capture local scenery with vacationers ambling and coaching about.

Appearing along the left side are fourteen glowing testimonials from summer residents and visitors from Boston and New York, the editor of the New Orleans Picayune, and publications such as Springfield Republican, Boston Transcript, etc. Commended here are Ocean View’s “forest attractions”; “wild and romantic” scenery; the “grateful odor of the forest mingled with the briny exhalations from the ocean”; “beautiful bays as smooth as the surface of a mountain lake,” and so on. One rapturous visitor even cites a few lines of poetry: "Blended there / In wild reality, when life is old, / And many a scene forgot, the heart will hold / Its memory of this.” Similarly, two columns of text below the title extoll the resort’s walks, views, “three fine hotels,” gunning, fishing, roads, and lastly, the lots for sale, most of which are said to be “beautifully shaded with a native growth of Walnut, Oak, and Pine trees” with “a full view of the sun rising over the ocean, and its settling away o’er Ipswich Bay and the hills of New Hampshire.”

Ocean View is here advertised as accessible from Boston by little over an hour’s ride on the Eastern Railroad; at the time of this map’s production six trains traveled from Boston to Ocean View each way daily.

A rare and quite handsome promotional map for this North Shore resort development.

WorldCat records just two copies, at the Boston Athenaeum and the Peabody Essex Museum. An earlier version of this map with just one illustration is held by Rockport Town Hall archives and can be viewed via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts.

REFERENCES: Ray, Martin. Ocean View at halibutpointnotes.blogspot.com.

CONDITION: Good, some fissures in the paper with occasional small losses, but paper thoroughly stable.

Item #5256

Price: $4,500.00

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