© Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester MA

Cape Ann lies on an outcropping composed of 450 million-year-old granite polished by glaciers. This particularly dense stone was prized for building monuments, forts, and piers. Blocks of Cape Ann granite were used to build Gloucester’s Dale Avenue post office. In the 1800s, it was shipped as far as Cuba and Europe. The quarry business soon rivaled fishing and its work was considered just as dangerous

The glaciers also deposited miles of terminal moraine boulders. Clamber over boulders on a hike through Ravenswood, Dogtown, or the 12-ton cut slabs of the Dog Bar breakwater.