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Gloucester, Rockport, & Salem, Oh My!

Day 9 - Saturday - September 16

EC/NE Camping Adventure 2022

Today was a move day from Cape Cod to Cape Ann!! We love the Gloucester/Rockport/Salem area of Massachusetts. You really feel the quintessential seaport vibe in that area. It almost makes me want to jump on a lobster boat and head out to experience an episode of “Deadliest Catch”! 😜 Not really, those guys are nuts!!

When visiting Rockport it is an absolute must to get photos with and of the “little red fishing shack” known as Motif No. 1. What stands today is a replica of a former fishing shack well known to students of art and art history as "the most often-painted building in America." The original structure was built in 1840 and destroyed in the Blizzard of 1978, but an exact replica was constructed that same year.

Built in the 1840s as Rockport was becoming home to a colony of artists and settlement of fishermen, the shack became a favorite subject of painters due to the composition and lighting of its location as well as being a symbol of New England maritime life. Painter Lester Hornby (1882–1956) is believed to be the first to call the shack "Motif Number 1," a reference to its being the favorite subject of the town's painters, and the name achieved general acceptance. It appeared in the work of Aldro Hibbard and of impressionist Harry Aiken Vincentwho arrived in Rockport in 1917.

In the 1930s, painter John Buckley used the shack as his studio. In 1945, the town of Rockport purchased the Motif as a monument to Rockporters who had served in the Armed Services. The town, recognizing its iconic value, has taken pains to preserve both its structure and appearance, finding a red paint which appears weather-beaten even when new, and keeping the area clear of overhead wires, traffic signs and advertising.

After a great seafood dinner in Gloucester, we closed the night with a trip over to the Fisherman’s Memorial statue. We have seen this memorial a few times, but had never visited it at night. It made it feel so much more solemn.

Our Sunday features a visit to Hammond Castle, Salem and Marblehead!

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