Marblehead harbor viewed from the lighthouse
"Where History Comes Alive"
|• Type||Open town meeting|
|• Total||19.6 sq mi (50.7 km2)|
|• Land||4.4 sq mi (11.4 km2)|
|• Water||15.2 sq mi (39.4 km2)|
|Elevation||65 ft (20 m)|
|• Density||4,501.8/sq mi (1,738.2/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (Eastern)|
|GNIS feature ID||0618300|
A town with roots in commercial fishing and yachting, Marblehead was a major shipyard and is often referred to as the birthplace of the American Navy, a title sometimes disputed with nearby Beverly. Marblehead was once the fishing capital of Massachusetts. It is also the origin of Marine Corps Aviation. Three US Navy ships have been named USS Marblehead. A center of recreational boating, it is a popular sailing, kayaking and fishing destination. Several yacht clubs were established here in the late 19th century, which continue to be centers of sailing.
It is home to the Marblehead Light, Fort Sewall, Little Harbor, Marblehead Neck Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary, Crocker Park, and Devereux Beach. Archibald Willard's famous painting The Spirit of '76 currently resides in Abbot Hall.
Marblehead was originally called Massebequash after the river which ran between it and Salem, the land was inhabited by the Naumkeag tribe of the Pawtucket confederation under the overall sachem Nanepashemet. But epidemics in 1615–1619 and 1633, believed to be smallpox, devastated the tribe. Numerous shell mounds and burial sites have been found throughout the town's history, along with foundations of multiple villages and forts. On September 16, 1684, heirs of Nanepashemet sold their 3,700 acres (15 km2); the deed is preserved today at Abbot Hall in the town.
European settlers and fishing
Marblehead's first European settler was Joseph Doliber in 1629, who set up on the shore near what is now the end of Bradlee Road. Three years earlier, Isaac Allerton, a Pilgrim from the Mayflower, had arrived in the area and established a fishing village at Marblehead Little Harbor. In May 1635, the General Court of Massachusetts Bay established the town of Marblehead on land that belonged to Salem. Marblehead residents, who never saw eye-to-eye with their more devout and conservative neighbors, were delighted, but less than a year later, the lawmakers reversed themselves. Marblehead finally became independent of Salem in 1649.
At times called "Marvell Head", "Marble Harbour" (by Captain John Smith) and "Foy" (by immigrants from Fowey, Cornwall), the town would be named "Marblehead" by settlers who mistook its granite ledges for marble. It began as a fishing village with narrow crooked streets, and developed inland from the harbor. The shoreline smelled of drying fish, typically cod. These were exported abroad and to Salem.
The town peaked economically just before the American Revolution, as locally financed privateering vessels sought bounty from large European ships. Much early architecture survives from the era, including the Jeremiah Lee Mansion.
A large percentage of residents became involved early in the Revolutionary War, and the sailors of Marblehead are generally recognized by scholars as forerunners of the United States Navy. The first vessel commissioned for the navy, Hannah, was equipped with cannons, rope, provisions (including the indigenous molasses/sea water cookie known as "Joe Frogger" ), and a crew from Marblehead. With their nautical backgrounds, soldiers from Marblehead under General John Glover were instrumental in the escape of the Continental Army after the Battle of Long Island. Marblehead men ferried George Washington across the Delaware River for his attack on Trenton. Many who set out for war, however, did not return, leaving the town with 459 widows and 865 orphaned children in a population of less than 5,000.
The community lost a substantial portion of its population and economy, although it was still the tenth-largest inhabited location in the United States at the first census, in 1790.
When George Washington visited the town during his presidential tour of 1789, he knew the sailors of Marblehead well; they had served him honorably in the war. He observed that the town "had the appearance of antiquity."
In the 75 years from the American Revolution to the middle of the nineteenth century, Marblehead experienced a golden age of fishing. The War of 1812 brought disruption similar to during the American Revolution, with fishing grounds being blockaded, and fisherman heading off to war, with over 500 Marbleheaders being imprisoned by the British. After the war, and later into the 19th century, wealthier citizens wanted a new bank to finance vessels, and to serve the town's fishermen and merchants. On March 17, 1831, with a capital of $100,000, they founded the Grand Bank. The name was changed to National Grand Bank on October 3, 1864.
The town's fishermen had 98 vessels (95 of which exceeded 50 tons) putting to sea in 1837, where they often harvested fish off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. However, a gale or hurricane in that area on September 19, 1846, sank 11 vessels and damaged others. With 65 men and boys lost in the storm, the town's fishing industry began a decline. The storm is depicted in Fireboard: The Great Gale of 1846, c. 1850 by William Thompson Bartoll. A copy of the book is held by the Peabody Essex Museum.
Civil War—first in '61
Starting in 1861, and until the end, 1,048 Marblehead men went to war, joining both the Army and Navy. 110 were lost, Another 87 were wounded, many of who died later of their injuries. During the war, Marblehead's would raise almost $100,000 to supplement the war effort, an incredible effort for a town of 8,000 that relied mainly on the fishing for income. Marblehead would be the first regiment in the state to answer the call for troops. A Grand Army of the Republic veterans organization was formed after the war, and established headquarters in the old town house, where it still displays artifacts from the Marblehead regiments that served.
Shoemaking, aeroplanes and yachting
During the late 19th century, Marblehead had a short-term industrial boom from shoe-making factories. At the same time, the exceptional harbor attracted yachting by wealthy boat owners, and some yacht clubs established centers there. It would become home to the Boston Yacht Club, Corinthian Yacht Club, Eastern Yacht Club, Marblehead Yacht Club, Dolphin Yacht Club, and the oldest junior yacht club in America, the Pleon Yacht Club.This also caused numerous "summer homes" of wealthy Boston residents to be built on Marblehead Neck. The building boom would cause Marblehead Light to be replaced in 1896 with a new iron structure, since the light of shorter tower was becoming blocked by the large new homes.
Marblehead was also the site of the Burgess & Curtis Aircraft Factory, where it was the first licensed aircraft manufacturer in the United States. William Starling Burgess designed and flight tested most of the aircraft that were manufactured at the two plant sites in town. On August 20, 1912, Alfred Austell Cunningham became the first Marine aviator, taking off from Marblehead Harbor in a Burgess Model H seaplane given to him by the Burgess Company. His flight was the start of United States Marine Corps Aviation.
Post-war suburban community
After World War II, the town enjoyed a population boom, developing as a bedroom community for nearby Boston, Lynn, and Salem. This boom ended around 1970, when the town became built out. Marblehead today continues to be a sailing and small town tourism destination in the summer months.
Marblehead Harbor, 1908
Geography and transportation
Marblehead is located at  According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 19.6 square miles (50.7 km2), of which 4.4 square miles (11.4 km2) is land and 15.2 square miles (39.4 km2), or 77.61%, is water.(42.497146, −70.863236).
Marblehead is situated on the North Shore of Massachusetts along Massachusetts Bay and Salem Harbor. The town consists of a rocky peninsula that extends into the bay, with an additional neck to the east connected by a long sandbar, now a causeway. This ring of land defines Marblehead's deep, sheltered harbor. Marblehead Neck is home to a bird sanctuary, as well as Castle Rock and Chandler Hovey Park at its northern tip, where Marblehead Light is located. The town was once home to three forts, Fort Miller at Naugus Head along Salem Harbor, Fort Washington (Fort Bailey) at present day Fountain Park, and Fort Sewall, at the west edge of the mouth of Marblehead Harbor. The town land also includes several small islands in Massachusetts Bay and Dolliber Cove, the area between Peaches Point and Fort Sewall. The town is partially divided from Salem by the Forest River, and is also home to several small ponds. Keeping with the town's location, there are four beaches (one in Dolliber Cove, one in Marblehead Harbor, and two along the southern shore of town), as well as six yacht clubs, one public kayaking center and several boat ramps.
Besides Marblehead Neck, there are three other villages within town, Old Town to the southeast and Clifton to the southwest. Given its small area, most of the residential land in town is thickly settled. Marblehead's town center is located approximately 4 miles (6 km) from the center of Salem, 16 miles (26 km) northeast of Boston and 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Cape Ann. It is bordered by Swampscott to the south and Salem to the northwest. (As Salem's water rights extend into Massachusetts Bay, there is no connection between Marblehead and the city of Beverly across Beverly Harbor.)
Marblehead is home to the eastern termini of Massachusetts Route 114 and Route 129, which both terminate at the intersection of Atlantic and Ocean avenues. Route 114 heads west into Salem, while Route 129 heads south along Atlantic Avenue into Swampscott towards Lynn. There are no freeways within town, with the nearest access being to Massachusetts Route 128 in Peabody and Beverly.
Two MBTA bus routes – the 441 and 442 – originate in town regularly with service to Boston, with weekend service to Wonderland in Revere. The former Eastern Railroad began service in 1839 and had lines connecting through Swampscott and Salem was discontinued in the late 1950s. The track routes were converted to bike trails and the three train depots were torn down. The Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail passes through neighboring Swampscott and Salem, with service between the North Shore and Boston's North Station. The nearest air service is located at Beverly Municipal Airport, with the nearest national and international service at Boston's Logan International Airport. Seasonal ferry service to Boston can also be found in Salem.
Source: United States Census records and Population Estimates Program data.
As of the census of 2010, there were 19,808 people, 8,838 households, and 5,467 families residing in the town. The population density was 4,373 people per square mile (help/km2). There were 8,906 housing units at an average density of 1,966.3 per square mile (759.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.6% White, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.0% Asian, >0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
There were 8,541 households, out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.5% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. Of all households 28.7% were made up of individuals, and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 23.9% under the age of 18, 3.5% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.
According to a 2009 estimate, the median income for a household in the town was $97,441, and the median income for a family was $129,968. Males had a median income of $70,470 versus $44,988 for females. The per capita income for the town was $46,738. About 3.2% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.7% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.
Marblehead Public Schools oversees six schools: Coffin, Eveleth, and Glover elementary schools; the Village School (grades 4–6); Marblehead Veterans Middle School; and Marblehead High School. The town is also home to the Marblehead Community Charter Public School, the first Commonwealth charter school to open in Massachusetts. A new elementary school is currently being constructed at the site of the former Bell Elementary School.
The Town of Marblehead has the unique distinction of having an official town anthem "Marblehead Forever". It is performed at most major town events and commemorations. It was written by Reverend Marcia Martin Selman to the music of the hymn tune "The Lily of the Valley", from a melody by J. R. Murray, "Songs of Rejoicing", 1888.
Points of interest
- Castle Rock Park
- Crocker Park, the gift of Uriel Crocker
- Crowninshield (Brown's) Island
- The Driftwood
- Herreshoff Castle
- The Landing, public town dock on Front Street
- Marblehead Historic District
- Marblehead Light, Chandler Hovey Park
- Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
- Pleon Yacht Club, the oldest junior yacht club in the United States
- Little Harbor Boathouse, the public kayaking outfitter on Little Harbor
Historical sites and museums
- Abbot Hall (1877), containing The Spirit of '76 by Archibald MacNeal Willard, & Maritime Exhibit
- Fort Sewall (1644)
- Old Burial Hill (1638)
- Marblehead Museum
- G.A.R. & Civil War Museum
- General John Glover House
- General Glover Farm
- Jeremiah Lee Mansion (1768)
- King Hooper Mansion (1728), now home to the Marblehead Arts Association.
- Old Powder House (1755)
- Ambrose Gale House (1663)
- Simon Bradstreet House (1723)
- St. Michael's Church (1714)
- William L. Hammond Park (formally recognized as the birthplace of Marine Corps Aviation, 1977)
Devereux Beach is located on Ocean Avenue just before the causeway; Marblehead's most popular beach offers more than five acres of sand, public picnic tables and a playground. It is a popular spot to observe fireworks on Fourth of July. Lifeguards are on duty once the beach opens for summer in late June. During summer months, non-residents must pay $5–$10 to park between 8 am and 4 pm. Marblehead residents must have a facility sticker or they will be charged the non-resident rate. Two pavilions with grills are available for rental during the non-winter months. Open beach fires during summer months (May - September) are not allowed. Other smaller beaches include those in Little Harbor, along with Trustees of Reservations-owned Crowninshield Island and Gerry Island(Priest Island).
There are six active yacht clubs in town:
|Boston Yacht Club||1866||1950s|
|Eastern Yacht Club||1870||1881|
|Marblehead Yacht Club||1878||
Marblehead to Boothbay
|Corinthian Yacht Club||1885||
|Pleon Yacht Club
(under 21 only)
|Dolphin Yacht Club||1950||1955|
Politicians and military
- Captain Nicholas Broughton, first Captain of the American Navy
- Elbridge Gerry, 5th Vice President of the United States
- John Glover, Revolutionary War general
- Joseph Story, Supreme Court justice
- Samuel Sewall, Congressman, great uncle to Louisa May Alcott
- David D. McKiernan, retired United States Army four-star general.
- Seth Moulton, Retired Marine Corps officer and a Democratic Congressman
- Shalane Flanagan, New York City Marathon winner 2017, American record-holding distance runner and silver medalist (adjusted from bronze) in the 10,000M at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
- Ted Hood, yachtsman, America's Cup winner
- Kayla Harrison, mixed martial artist, won the 2010 World Championships, gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics
- Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils goaltender
- Maureen McKinnon-Tucker, Gold Medalist Sailing 2008 Summer Paralympics
- Shawn McEachern, Stanley Cup winner
- Gerald Burton "JB" Braun Jr., yachtsman, Olympic and America's Cup sail designer
- Sheldon Brown, bicycle mechanic and author of books on cycling
- Judson "Jud" Smith, yachtsman, 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, America's Cup, winner- multiple World Championships
- Tyler Hamilton, cyclist
Architects and yacht designers
- William Starling Burgess, yacht designer and aircraft manufacturer
- L. Francis Herroshoff, yacht designer
Businessmen and entrepreneurs
- Uriel Crocker, publisher, businessman
- Captain Joseph Dixon: inventor who pioneered in the industrial use of graphite, leading to the Dixon Ticonderoga Pencils
- James J.H. Gregory, horticulturalist, known as the "Seed King". Also founded charitable traveling library extension service Marblehead Libraries for southern African Americans.
- Peter Lynch, investor, author
- Lydia Pinkham Gove: granddaughter of entrepreneur Lydia Pinkham, built mansion Carcassonne on Marblehead Neck with commendation from President Roosevelt, she was the first woman to fly in plane across the United States.
Writers and journalists
- Ada Louise Huxtable, architecture critic, lived in Marblehead seasonally for over 30 years
- Ashley Bowen, first American sailor to write an autobiography
- Tasha Tudor: Caldecott honored children's author and illustrator, daughter of William Starling Burgess, great-grand daughter of Frederic Tudor.
- Martha Hooper Blackler Kalopothakes (1830–1871), missionary, journalist, translator
- Ruth Edna Kelley, author
- Harry Kemelman, novelist
- Caroline Atherton Mason, poet
- Julia Glass, novelist
- Katherine Howe, novelist
- Eugene O'Neill, playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 1936
- Amy Siskind, activist and author
- Susan Estrich, lawyer, professor, author, political operative
- Rhod Sharp, news journalist, broadcaster, BBC - "Up All Night"
- Samuel V. Chamberlain, writer and artist
Arts and entertainment
- Estelle Parsons, actress, Academy Award winner for Actress in a Supporting Role – Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
- Rob Delaney, comedian and "funniest person on Twitter"
- Keith Ablow, psychiatrist, writer, host and executive producer of The Dr. Keith Ablow Show
- Frank Black, musician and member of the alternative rock band Pixies
- Loyd Grossman, UK television host
- Pete Muller, National Geographic photographer
- Dave Mattacks, English-born rock and folk drummer and session musician; former member of Fairport Convention and guest percussionist for Jethro Tull
- Rhod Sharp, BBC Radio presenter of Up All Night
- Jamie Walters, actor, musician and star of 90210
- Reed Hays, musician and composer
- Beverly Benson Seamans, sculptor
Politicians and royalty
- President George Washington: 1789, George Washington part of his ten-day presidential visit to Massachusetts
- Marquis de Lafayette: 1784, after Revolutionary War was over, Marquis de Lafayette visited to honor General John Glover and to see his friend Elbridge Gerry. Returned in 1824.
- President Andrew Jackson: 1830s(rumored)
- President Chester Arthur: 1882, U.S. steamer anchored off Marblehead, was "kidnapped" after returning from Salem and brought to Abbott Hall where he was welcomed by Marbleheaders and gave short speech.
- President Coolidge: 1925, visits Marblehead Harbor aboard the presidential yacht "USS Mayflower"
- President Franklin Roosevelt: 1933, for sailing trip in Marblehead
- Prince Olav of Norway: 1939 went sailing in Marblehead while touring United States
- Senator John F. Kennedy: visited "Spirit of 76" painting with wife Jacqueline.
- Mikhail Gorbachev
- Lucille Ball: 1947, arrived at Seaside park via helicopter to perform in summer theater series.
- Vivian Vance: performed in Marblehead Summer theater series.
- Marjorie Merriweather Post: visited throughout 1930s and after the war, anchoring yacht Sea Cloud off Marblehead Light.
- Walter Cronkite: 1997, for USS Constitution's 200th anniversary
- Tallulah Bankhead
- Billie Burke: Actress, best known as Glinda in Wizard of Oz, performed in the 1955 Marblehead Summer Theatre Series
- Gloria Vanderbilt: Actress, performed at Marblehead High School Auditorium, summer theatre series
- Eva Gabor: Actress, performed in summer theatre series
- Charles Coburn: Actor, performed in summer theatre series
- Ethel Waters: American blues singer, "Stormy Weather", performed in Marblehead in 1955
- Sarah Churchill: Actress, Winston Churchill's daughter, performed in summer series
See: Arts, Films section for actors who came for location shooting.
Notable paintings & artists depicting Marblehead scenes and figures:
- William Thompson Bartoll
- The Great Gale of 1846, oil on wood fireboard,1850, Peabody Essex Museum
- Alfred Thompson Bricher:
- John Singleton Copley
- Clement Drew
- Yachts Off Halfway Rock Marblehead, oil on board, 1884.
- J.O.J. Frost
- James Jeffrey Grant
- From the Hilltop, Marblehead, Mass
- Marblehead, c. 1920
- Frederick Childe Hassam
- Panorama of Marblehead, Marblehead Messenger, illustration, 1880
- M.H. Howes
- First International Yacht Race off Children's Island, oil on canvas, 1905
- John Ross Key
- On the Coast near Marblehead
- Marblehead, Mass, Peabody Essex Museum
- Fitz Henry Lane
- Maurice Brazil Prendergast:
- Arthur Quartley
- Morning off Marblehead, oil on canvas, 1879
- John Singer Sargent
- James David Smillie
- William R. Stone
- Low Tide, Marblehead, Massachusetts,(Doliber's Cove) Oil on canvas, 1889
- Mary Bradish Titcomb
- Marblehead Harbor, oil on canvas
- Sunday Morning, oil on canvas, 1920
- House in Poplars, Marblehead Mass, gouche on board
- Rockaway Street, watercolor, 1906
- View of Marblehead, oil on canvas
- Sedona Hill, Marblehead, oil on canvas
- Stanley Wingate Woodward
Movies filmed in Marblehead include:
- The Pride of the Clan starring Mary Pickford (1917) - Castle Rock (park transformed into Scottish village)
- Home Before Dark (1958) - "Lafayette House" (used as primary home for filming)
- Coma (1978)
- The Witches of Eastwick (1986) - Abbott Hall (used for concert scene and reveal of Jack Nicholson's character)
- The Good Son (1993)
- Hocus Pocus (1993) - Old town streets(bike ride scene), Old Burial Hill (daytime cemetery), Crocker Park(Abbott Hall bells ringing), Witches night time flyover
- Autumn Heart (2000)
- Treading Water (2001)
- What's the Worst That Could Happen? (2001)was filmed in Manchester-by-the-Sea, but scenes are set in Marblehead.
- Moonlight Mile (2002)
- Grown Ups (2010)
- The Company Men (2010)
- Grown Ups 2 (2012)
- Hubie Halloween (2019)
- Godmothered (2020)
Cheers, set in Boston, made three references to the town. Sam mentions sailing to Marblehead in Season 1, Episode 6. Diane mentions Sam having taken her to a bed and breakfast in Marblehead in Season 4, episode 15. Sam says that he will sail to Marblehead for relaxation in Season 5, Episode 1.
Marblehead Manor (1987) was a sitcom about a wealthy Marblehead resident that ran for one season on CBS.
In Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Aunt Hilda makes reference to Marblehead in the sixth episode of the second season, titled, "Sabrina, the Teenage Boy."
The West Wing Season 4 episode 18 "Privateers" has Mrs. Marion Cotesworth-Haye of Marblehead denouncing the first lady's(Stockard Channing) membership of the Daughters of the Revolution when they learn that her distant relative was more pirate than patriot.
The Handmaid's Tale mentions Marblehead in Season one episode 7 called "The Other Side" on the streaming service Hulu.
Set in Marblehead, or based on local figures
- Marblehead by Joan Thompson: The town appears in the eponymous book debuting in 1978.
- The Hearth & Eagle, by Anya Seton, traces the history of Marblehead from early settlement in 1630 to modern times through the story of one family, originally from Cornwall, who eventually ran Marblehead's Hearth & Eagle Inn.
- Agnes Surriage, by Edwin Lassetter Bynner
- The Fountain Inn, by Nathan P. Sanborn
- 'The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by novelist Ben Sherwood set in Marblehead and features the Waterside Cemetery. A film adaptation was made in 2010.
- General John Glover and His Marblehead Mariners by George Athan Billias (1960)
- The Wizard of Orne Hill and Other Tales of Old Marblehead, by Dorothy Miles
- At the Point of Cutlass by Gregory Flemming, tells the story of Marblehead's "Robinson Curusoe" Philip Ashton based on his memoirs.
- Hidden Silver, by Georgene Faulkner, Relates the story of a Marblehead family during the American Revolution
- Azor of Marblehead Series (1948–1960), by Maude Cowley
- Azor and the Haddock
- Azor and the Blue-eyed Cow
- Tor and Azor
- Pringle and the Lavender Goat
- Swansday at Redd's, A Marblehead Story, by Ray Cole
- Remembering James J. H. Gregory: The Seed King, Philanthropist, Man, by Shari Kelley Worrell
- Marblehead from HollyHocks to Hot Top, articles by John D Hill, Morrill S. Reynolds, Phyllis Masters, Percy L. Martin
- Ashton's Memorial: An History of the Strange Adventures of Philip Ashton, Jr. (1725)
- Marblehead's First Harbor: The Rich History of a Small Fishing Port, by Hugh Peabody Bishop & Brenda Bishop Booma
- 'The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
- A Guide to Marblehead, by Samuel Roads Jr. (1881)
- History and Traditions of Marblehead, by Samuel Roads Jr. (1880)
- In the Time of Worms: An Ancient Tale of Marblehead, Kenelm Winslow Harris
- Under the Golden Cod, by 350th Anniversary book Committee, book detailing the history of the congregation of Marblehead Old North Church from 1635–1985.
- 'Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling mentions Marblehead in the story .
- The Autobiography of Ashley Bowen (1728-1813), by Ashley Bowen
- Red On Black, A Marblehead Story, by Eben Weed
- Where Away: The Story of USS Marblehead, by George Sessions Perry & Mabel Leighton
- Ten Hours Until Dawn, by Michael J. Tougias
- Marblehead: The Spirit of '76 Lives Here, by Priscilla Sawyer Lord (1972)
Literature influenced by Marblehead
- Rabbi Small by Harry Kemelman, wrote about a mysteries place in the fictional town of Barnard's Crossing, a place based on Marblehead. Kemelman lived in Marblehead for 50 years.
- The Jesse Stone novels; Robert B. Parker supposedly based the fictional town of Paradise, in which the novels take place, on Marblehead. Both Paradise and Marblehead are on the coast in Essex County, Cape Ann is visible from them, and each has an annual Race Week yachting event.
Influence on H. P. Lovecraft
Horror and fantasy writer H. P. Lovecraft derived great inspiration from Marblehead. Following his first visit in December 1922, he retroactively reconfigured his fictional Kingsport in its own image. As of 1920, Kingsport was an unspecified location on Rhode Island, only mentioned in passing. The name most probably a slight alteration of Kingstown, R.I. Seven years later, Lovecraft described the 1922 impressions of his first experience of Marblehead:
- "...the most powerful single emotional climax experienced during my nearly forty years of existence. In a flash all the past of New England—all the past of Old England—all the past of Anglo-Saxondom and the Western World—swept over me and identified me with the stupendous totality of all things in such a way as it never did before and never did again. That was the high tide of my life.".
Lovecraft had it that his recurring character of Randolph Carter, popularly considered an idealized version of Lovecraft himself, grew up in Kingsport. He used Kingsport as a setting for his short stories "The Terrible Old Man" (1920, published 1921), "The Festival" (written 1923, published 1925), and "The Strange High House in the Mist" (1926, published 1931). The poignant conclusion to one of his Randolph Carter stories, the fantasy novella The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (written c.1926, published posthumously in 1943) takes place here.
Contemporary photographs of Marblehead
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marblehead, Massachusetts.|
- Town of Marblehead Official website
- Historic Marblehead – Audio walking tour
- 1881 Atlas of Marblehead published by Hopkins.
- 1897 Atlas of Salem, Danvers, Peabody, and Marblehead.
- 1912 Marblehead Atlas.
- History and Traditions of Marblehead by Samuel Roads, Published 1880, 390 pages.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1879 American Cyclopædia article Marblehead.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Marblehead (Massachusetts).|
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