Monthly Archives: March 2015

Easter’s on its way!

Though it barely feels like spring, Easter is just a few days away!  Grab your best hat and celebrate the season with one of the many marvelous regional events hop-pening in the next week (we hear that the Easter Bunny himself will be making a few special appearances!).

downloadAndover Easter Egg Hunt
Saturday, March 28 | 10-11:30am

Children ages 2-10 will enjoy games, prizes, arts & crafts, pictures, with the Easter Bunny, and egg-decorating at the Andover Easter Egg hunt!  An egg hunt will conclude the festivities.  Pre-registration required at

egg-cellent adventursEgg-cellent Easter Adventure at Appleton Farms
Saturday, April 4 | 10am-12pm

Go on the “Egg-cellent” Quest around the farm and learn about the journey from egg to chicken, collecting Easter eggs at each station to complete the Quest! Enjoy homemade refreshments in our Carriage Barn, visit with the calves, and play games in the stone paddock!

EggHuntRockport Community Egg Hunt
Saturday, April 4 | 2pm

The Rockport Division of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce sponsors an Annual Rockport Community Egg Hunt the Saturday before Easter for the children of the town each year. In addition to an appearance by the Easter Bunny, an assortment of candies and chocolates are distributed and the hunt also features a number of special eggs to be redeemed for prizes.

colorful easter eggs and branch with flowersEaster Brunch at the Salem Waterfront Hotel
Sunday, April 5 | 10am-3pm

Our entire staff invites you and your family to one of the most celebrated dining experiences on the North Shore – Easter Brunch at Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites! The Easter Bunny will be visiting all day for photos.  Complimentary dining for children 3 and under.
For reservations, call 978 619-1120.

Easter-Sunday-Grand-BuffetEaster Sunday Grand Buffet at the Hawthorne Hotel
Sunday, April 5 | 10:30am-7pm

Enjoy delicious food and meet the Easter bunny at Salem’s historic Hawthorne Hotel. For reservations, please call 978-825-4311.

anniversaries3Danversport Yacht Club’s Bountiful Easter Dinner Buffet
Sunday, April 5 | 12-5pm

Easter Dinner Buffet in the Garden Terrace-Featuring Carving Stations, Pasta Stations, Salad Stations and Delicious Desserts!

tEaster Brunch Jazz Cruise on the Beauport Princess
Sunday, April 5 | 1-4pm

Join us for live jazz, a gourmet buffet brunch, a cruise around our lovely harbor and even an appearance from the Easter Bunny himself! It’s a perfect way to enjoy Easter with your family!  Call early for reservations, this cruise always sells out – 978-865-3210

There was a paper house…

Rockport, Massachusetts is known for many things – its beautiful coastline, thriving arts scene, fishing industry, terrific seafood, and an isolated incident of hatchet-wielding. But did you know that Rockport is also home to a house made entirely of paper?



1922 was a good time for Elis F. Stenman.  The mechanical engineer from Cambridge was building a summer home in Rockport and wanted to use pressed paper as insulation.  The insulation, made of layers of newspapers stuck together with glue, was varnished on the outside and rather water-proof.  And then Stenman decided to take the paper a little further.


Does a paper piano need sheet music? (Photo:,_Pigeon_Cove,_MA_-_IMG_7042.JPG)

When completed, Elis Stenman was now the proud owner of a house made of paper. The outside of the house was sided with paper, the furniture made out of rolls of paper, the drapes were paper, and even the mantle on the fireplace was made of paper.  In fact, everything in the house was now paper, save the fireplace and piano (but those were covered with paper to match the rest of the paper-motif).

The funny thing is, no one knows why.  Stenman did design machines that manufactured paperclips, so perhaps he wanted to bring home a piece of his work.  Maybe he was curious and wanted to see how long a house of paper lasted.  Or, he was just cheap.  Whatever the reasoning, the Paper House still stands strong nearly 100 years later (and is fully-equipped with electricity!).

If you’re visiting Rockport, be sure to stop by the Paper House.  It’s a uniquely curious bit of history and creativity.  The house is open daily, 10am-5pm, from spring through fall.  Admission is a very fair $2.00 for adults ant $1.00 for children 6-14.

For more information, please visit  The website features some great pictures of the house and a fascinating interview with Stenman’s grandniece and Paper House caretaker, Edna Beaudoin that offers more insight into Elis Stenman and his house.



North of Boston Historical Figures – Hatchet Hannah and the Demon Rum

Between 1856 and 2005, Rockport was a dry town.  While its neighbor Gloucester, with its distilleries, breweries, and numerous restaurants, embraced libations, Rockport cast a fearful eye to the past and recalled memories of angry wives and hatchets,

Much as it is today, Rockport in 1856 was a quiet little town.  A fishing village, many of Rockport’s men were fisherman who were only able to work for part of the year.  So how did they spend their free time? Idling and drinking.  Rockport was pretty much isolated from the hustle and bustle of cities like Salem and Newburyport and there was not much else for the men to do with their free time.  Since this mandatory vacation occurred during the harsh New England winter, the men were stuck within the confines of their homes with their increasingly irritated wives who, we assume, didn’t particularly enjoy spending 3 months inside with a drunk fisherman retelling the same story about the fish *this big* they nearly caught 10 years ago.

The mid-1800s saw the rise of the temperance movement so instead of blaming the issue on boredom and lack of productivity, the women of Rockport pointed an angry finger at alcohol.  Meeting in secret, under the guise of dark, the women made plans to rid Rockport of the “demon rum” and marked the lawns of their targets with small, white crosses.


Beneath that snood and calm demeanor is probably a hatchet…

Most irritated and infuriated was Hannah Jumper, a 75 year old seamstress.  Jumper was skilled with a needle and had a talent for making medicines from her herb garden.  She was also enthusiastic, outspoken – a natural leader for Rockport’s prohibitionettes.

On the morning of July 8, 1856, Hannah and her Jumpettes unfurled their large banner decorated with a large black hatched painted on it and red tassels.  The “Hatchet Gang,” as they were known, marched down the streets, toward their targets (homes and businesses where, they suspected, liquor was stored, served, or sold).

The banner wasn’t all that threatening – no one was going to dump all of their liquor because a mild-mannered group of women led by an elderly seamstress said so.  The Hatchet Gang, though, was prepared for this and from beneath their delicate shawls came actual hatchets.

They destroyed every bottle, jug, keg, and cask they could find.

The women raided at least 13 different establishments to the angry threats of the owners.  Not one Jumpette, though, was arrested.  The people of Rockport stood in awe, mouth agape.  Shop owner Jim Brown did try to sue the women on three different occasions.  And three sympathetic juries ruled against him, only to have the verdict overruled twice by higher courts.  The third time, however, was the charm and the jury’s verdict stuck – the women were innocent and Jim Brown had to pay their court costs (which amounted to $346.25).

In 2005, Rockport’s prohibition ended.  The first business to receive a liquor license was, in a strange twist of fate,  the Emerson Inn by the Sea – a hotel that had started out as a tavern but was converted when alcohol was outlawed in town.

(On a side note, any North of Boston historical figure named “Hannah” should probably be avoided…she most likely wields a hatchet and an axe to grind…)