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Marblehead Marinara: 1906

Circa 1906. "Glimpse of harbor. Marblehead, Massachusetts." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Circa 1906. "Glimpse of harbor. Marblehead, Massachusetts." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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My mom was born in Marblehead and I spent many summers there. The picture is from the "Neck." We used to love to visit the castle that was on the seaside of the peninsula.

Burlap Wraps

Also found in this photo.

Postcard Kodak

It looks like the fellow on the left may be holding one of the recently introduced "Postcard Kodak" cameras. The format allowed printing your photos in the dimensions of the extremely popular postcards.

Tree Of Knowledge

I need the learned Shorpy family to educate me about what the seemingly cloth bands around the trees are. I have never seen anything like that before. Thanks in advance.

[Traps for the larval stage of the gypsy moth, which first arrived in the United States in Massachusetts in 1869. - Dave]

Thanks so much Dave. Never too old to learn something new!

Georges Seurat

It immediately suggests "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," probably because of the trees and the shade.

Maybe not so idyllic

Lurking far away in the extreme right center, there appears to a large steamship with three funnels and fore and aft tower structures. In 1906 the most likely suspect of that configuration (especially considering the area) would be the USS Connecticut (BB-18) Pre-Dreadnought Class Battleship.

Spaghetti Sauce Slip?

Are we sailing or having tagliatelle?

[Marinara is Italian for "seafaring." In a pasta context, "sailor-style." - Dave]

Marina is already Italian (and English) for marina.

Maine Class Battleship

The US Navy warship on the far right (partly obscured) looks to be a Maine class battleship, probably the Maine herself (BB10) (the second one, not the one that exploded in Havana in 1898) or perhaps the Missouri (BB11). Either way, she is resplendent in her peace time colors of buff and white and must have looked a treat on this beautiful day. In December of 1907 this ship will set sail as a part of Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet.

Idyllic with an asterisk

Marblehead today is a lovely destination for an afternoon, with (in its own words) "quaint narrow streets and historic 17th and 18th century buildings [that] mirror Marblehead as it has existed since its founding in 1629."

Also, not surprisingly, one of the wealthiest places in our second richest state. Its historic industries of commercial fishing, shoemaking, and aircraft manufacture have been replaced by yacht clubs and tourism. After World War II it became a bedroom community, and by 1970 was "built out." Though its website emphasizes diversity, its population of 20,000 is more than 95% white, with a median household income over $150,000 and a poverty level below 3%. It's one kind of American story.

Still very scenic

This is the view today. The terrain matches and the private boat dock at right is in the same place. If you look behind you, you'll see the Eastern Yacht Club. It looks like it was there in 1906.

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