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Here you'll find all sorts of news, information, photos and stories behind many of the photos that we've taken over the years. You'll also find announcements of upcoming promotions that we'll be offering for purchasing prints and gifts from our photos. We'd encourage you to subscribe to our blog so that you'll be the first to know and see what's going on along our Carolina and New England shores.
As always, please feel free to contact us via our Contact Page with any questions, concerns or suggestions!
Happy Browsing - Gerry & Pat
The Mills of Pawtucket, RI
The Mills of Pawtucket and the Power of the Blackstone River
Living in New England for most of my life, I was witness to or had good knowledge of how our area contributed to the great American Industrial Movement. The region was blessed with mighty rivers that contributed more than just the power to the mills and factories that were the backbone of New England.
I grew up along the Connecticut River valley where paper and textile mills dotted the 200 mile stretch of the river. One of the areas prominent brewers, Hampden/Piels Beer was located right on the river in Holyoke, MA, just a short drive from my home. The Merrimack River in Eastern Mass which flowed through Lawrence and Lowell was home to some of the finest shoe factories. The Blackstone River split Mass in half, flowed through Rhode Island and down to the Long Island Sound. It was home to the first cotton mill which was only a few miles from where we lived, but never bothered to explore its history until we moved South and made a visit back North. I was amazed and delighted to see what I saw and was able to capture. The architecture is simply stunning and the restoration of many of the buildings helps keep the history alive!
Here's a little background on the mills and a slide show of many of my photos. I hope you enjoy. You can view all the photos in their gallery here.
Westport, MA ~~ Fishing & Farming for Centuries
Tucked away on the Southern Mass coastline and adjacent to the Rhode Island shore sits an idyllic little town called Westport, MA. Westford Point sits, sheltered on the East Branch of the Westport River creating a safe harbor for what began as a whaling port and still continues as a viable fishing village.
On a recent trip up North to visit family, I decided on a half day trip down to Horseneck Beach which I hadn't visited in decades! As I got closer to the beach, I noticed a small harbor filled with boats and made myself a mental note to try to find a way down along the river to get a closer look. When I finished my walks and photographs down at the beach, I started to make my way back home and lucky for me, I had no trouble finding my way down the dead end road and arrived at the Westport Shellfish Department. I was astonished at the beauty that I saw all along the quiet road down to the water. With camera in hand, I strolled up and down Main Rd in awe of the beautiful 18th century ship captain's homes and their back yards along the river.
Here's a slide show of the homes along Main Rd. I'll follow up with photos of the fishing fleets that called Westport home.
The Gingerbread Houses of Oak Bluffs
In all the years that I've been going to the Vineyard and driving right through Oak Bluffs, the only time I've taken the time to notice any of the gingerbreads is when I've been driving along Beach Rd or photographing Christmas lights at Ocean Park. I knew there was an entire community nestled back in town but just never took the time. This trip I vowed I would wander around with the intent of not just seeing the houses but photographing them at Christmastime.
A little background on the 'Hansel & Gretel' houses and the community: it was a group of Methodists who held religious retreats and meetings on the Islands back in the 1800's and at the time, they camped out mainly just in tents. As the attendance grew, so did the need for better and more permanent accommodations as well.
The original cluster of 500 cottages was initially known as “Cottage City,” until the name was changed to Oak Bluffs in 1880. The storybook design is actually an architectural style called Carpenter’s Gothic which was very popular at the time. As time went on, these individually decorated cottages, painted with bright and vivid colors with candy-like pillars and ornaments, became known as the “gingerbread houses.”
There are currently about 300 of these houses in the "campground," the cottage museum at the entrance, and the Tabernacle at the center of the complex where meetings and religious activities take place and where it is rumored that Larry David will occasionally surface. The big event of the year is Grand Illumination Night which began in 1869. The campground and the cottages are decorated with paper lanterns transforming the area into a magical fantasyland!
Just below you'll see a sampling of the utter cuteness of the gingerbread homes taken a few days after Christmas. Click on each one to view full size in the gallery. If you are interested, any of the photos can be purchased in many formats and you can purchase a digital download for just $2 which affords you unlimited, non-commercial use.
Huntington Beach State Park Bike Route
Kindred Spirit Gift Giving Guide
Gift Giving Guide
We're coming up on that time! It's time to start thinking and planning for Holiday gift giving! If you're a lover of Sunset Beach, Bird Island & the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, we've got some wonderful gift choices for you, from wall art, puzzles, tote bags, beach towels, apparel & so much more!
Click on the image below to visit our shop and start planning your gift giving.
Shop Now!...at Fine Art America
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© Gerry Monaco
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