I’ve seen plenty o’ changes on this stretch over the years. Like in 1690-something when the European settlers came here to mine my brownstone. Oh, I didn’t mind much; they came from all over to admire what I’d done to that rock. They banged and cracked, slammed and smacked off huge slabs and loaded them onto ships to show their friends. I hear my handiwork made it as far afield as England and San Francisco. I hear it was used in enormous buildings in Manhattan and Boston. I’d sure like to see that someday.

outboard-takes-flight

Yes, those were some mighty busy years indeed. Then there was the shipbuilding of the 1800s. Great big ships, the kind used in war were built here before heading south. Oh, there was such excitement then too.

I guess people didn’t much like brownstone after that. Because after I flooded the quarries again all those people packed up and moved on. Sure, some of them stayed on account of it’s so beautiful around these parts, but it wasn’t so busy after that. Plenty of families sailed my waters in the years to come. Then came those engines. First they were big ‘n loud and so, so messy.

Then came those smaller engines, yes, outboards, that’s right. Oh, yes, that’s what you came to hear about. Yes, those engines were something else. They’d zip up and down me like the dickens. Oh, they looked like such fun.

I remember this one time in 1930, a young man flew a boat, or rather a plane-type boat, up and down me. That caused quite the ruckus. An Elto engine bubbled through me, yes, the prop stirring me up good and this young man raised up above the water. And all those people came to see it. One man, he had a picture machine with him, and he took this picture of me and that brave young man.

Yes, that was a fine day. It reminds me of the time…

This article originally appeared in Outboard magazine.

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