We spent the day exploring Dogtown.
Dogtown was settled in the colonial days of New England. Early settlers in 1693 tried to farm the land of Gloucester, but gradually realized growing food on a landscape of rocks was more trouble than it was worth. Eventually they decided it was more advantageous to fish, and hence the residents migrated to the coastline.
Over time the population was mostly the wives and widows of seamen and the dogs that protected them. By the early 19th century, after the general abandonment during the War of 1812, all that remained were older women believed by the locals to be witches and a few other stragglers. By 1839 they had all died leaving only the wild descendants of the dogs who had formerly protected the inhabitants.
Long after the last resident of Dogtown died, Roger Babson (the namesake of Babson college) created a trail of over 30 immense boulders etched with sayings to promote his inspirational ideals, now called the Babson Word Rocks. (The original #letterboardfridays). The rocks bear inscriptions including “Help mother,” “Stay out of Debt,” “Loyalty,” and “Be On Time.” Babson was a millionaire who supported the project, carried out by local masons, as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression.
Originally, the boulders stood in a groomed field, but now, the rocks are an eerie presence strewn in an overgrown forest. Strong san serif, vanishing every summer, into the trees.