Archives for October 2012
Dogtown was once known as the “Commons,” a heavily wooded area where settlers could cut timber and pasture sheep and cattle. When the woods were gone, 18th century families took up residence. A century later, the village was practically abandoned. It is now a natural preserve with 2nd and 3rd growth forest and an easy place to get lost (take a map and someone who knows the territory).
The Saga of Cape Ann by Copeland and Rogers contains fabulous Dogtown lore and a map pinpointing inhabitants’ houses.
Dogtown’s Commons Road is one of the best-kept tracks in Dogtown. Before the Goose Cove Reservoir swallowed part of the road, it reached Gee Avenue (giving early settlers access to the waterfront). You’ll pass Peter’s Pulpit, a giant squared off glacial erratic, and a number of buried cellar holes, before reaching a fork. The left winds up the hill towards Whale’s Jaw and the old road to Rockport. The right continues on to Brier Swamp.