1849Burnham Brothers Marine Railway was built on the Inner Harbor.Economy and Industry, Maritime & Fishing Industry

Fitz Henry Lane, Three Master on the Gloucester Railways, 1857, Oil on canvas, Cape Ann Museum, Deposited by the City of Gloucester, 1952, http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/catalog/entry.php?id=29&print=true
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Elias and Parker Burnham built two adjacent marine railways in Gloucester’s inner harbor to service the rapidly growing fishing fleet before the Civil War. It cost $10 for “hauling and laying one good working day, and $5 every additional day if under a hundred tons” (Garland, 160). Repair and maintenance of ships required a railway to haul vessels in and out of the water. Burnham Brothers Marine Railway is now a part of Maritime Gloucester, a museum dedicated to maritime heritage.

Fitz Henry Lane painted the three-masted ship California on the Burnham Brothers railway in 1857 from a vantage point across the channel on Rocky Neck. It originally was hung over Burnham’s paint shop like an advertisement and today hangs in the Cape Ann Gallery of the Cape Ann Museum. While a boat was on the railway, the hull, rudder, and propeller could be repaired, cleaned of marine growth, and repainted.

Garland, Joseph E. The Gloucester Guide: A Stroll through Place and Time. The History Press ed, The History Press, 2004. “25 Marine Railways.” Gloucester HarborWalk, http://gloucester.harborwalk.org/story-posts/sp-25/.
The old marine railway near the entrance to Halibut Wharf, which shows the condition of the gasworks wharf. Burnham Railway, c. 1963, Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Photo 15788
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