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.