Dogtown is an area in central Gloucester of about five square miles, or 3600 acres, stretching from the Riverdale section of the city, north of Route 128, into Rockport, and including the Goose Cove and the Babson Reservoirs. Development is banned in this protected municipal watershed.
Dogtown is known for its woods and for its boulders and rock formations left behind when the last glaciers melted. Because of the availability of water, in 1642, the Commons Settlement was located here and was for a century the most prosperous part of Gloucester. The half century after the Revolutionary War saw the decline and disappearance of the Dogtown settlement, and today, visitors to Dogtown try to find the numbered boulders which mark the cellar holes of the houses in this “ghost town,” as well other boulders emblazoned with inspirational messages. The poetry of Dogtown is about both its rocks and natural beauty and the lives of its former residents.
The Babson stone carvings can be viewed at:
- The Dracons site
- Poetry of Places in Essex County
- Babson boulders trail map and GPS coordinates
Click on the photo below to begin a Flickr slideshow of the Babson Boulders at Dogtown, created by Aaron Knox.