Possibly the largest plaque in the City of Gloucester is found 20 feet high set into the side of a 60′ high by 200′ wide glacial outcropping mass of granite at Stage Fort Park. This park is where the first settlement on the Eastern Shore of what would become the Massachusetts Bay Colony was first settled in 1623. The inhabitants came from Dorchester, England (which is in the Dorset region), and were first engaged in fishing. The wide open fields were used for drying the fish. This large rock outcropping was used first by the native inhabitants as an ancient ritual area, and is the most prominent geological feature in the area.
The bronze plaque and the extraordinary granite carving that surrounds it was placed there in 1907 by the Citizens of Gloucester to commemorate an important piece of arbitration and peace-making by the soon-to-become important governing citizen, Roger Conant. The peace-making efforts by Roger Conant enabled the settlement to continue peacefully between two groups of citizens who both wished to fish for cod in those coastal waters. I have provided close up photographs of the wonderful chiseling that produced links of chain and anchor elements out of the granite face into which the plaque was fastened.
There is a historical marker sign that was erected in 1930 which re-commerates Roger Conant’s action of peace-making for the 300th anniversary of the settlement.