Caleb Norwood House // 1771

Located on Mount Pleasant Street in Rockport, MA, the Caleb Norwood House stands as a great example of Georgian-Federal transitional architecture and a home, possibly built using pirate’s gold. Caleb Norwood (1736-1814) grew up in Gloucester, a section which in 1840 became Rockport. Local legend states that Caleb, as a boy, supposedly discovered pirates’ treasure at Gully Cove in 1752, an area just off Straitmouth Island. Thanks to the treasure, he grew up to be a wealthy man and built several houses in the area. It is thought that Caleb shared his find with neighbor, Francis Pool, on whose land the gold was said to have been found—estimated in 2001 with a conversion value of $700,000 (not a bad find for a teenager).

Pirates were a common sight around Cape Ann at the time as many, who were from Britain, traded in rum, molasses and other goods off the major port cities in Colonial New England. Some evidence to prove the pirate’s gold story is that Caleb and Francis Poole also made significant investments in Revolutionary War bonds, evidence of out-of-the ordinary wealth.

Eventually, the home was converted into to the Inn on Cove Hill, a small bed and breakfast that allows you to imagine the life of colonial Massachusetts and be just steps away from Bearskin Neck and The Headlands Park, the latter which was on land owned by Norwood, which provides sweeping views of town.

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