Celebrating Dogtown Common

A Special Place

Dogtown is a wild area in the middle of Cape Ann. Its history, ecology, legends, and influence on writers and painters will be the subject of walks, talks, readings, and more. 

Saturday-Sunday, September 10-11, 2022

The Weekend's Events

SATURDAY based at the Dogtown-like landscape of Windhover Center for the Performing Arts, 257R Granite St., Rockport


  • "Dogtown Preservation": Cindy Dunn, chair of the City of Gloucester's Dogtown Preservation Commission
  • "Dogtown and the Fiction of Jonathan Bayliss": John Day
  • "The Nature of Dogtown": conservationist and naturalist  Chris Leahy, author of Birdpedia: A Brief Compendium of Avian Lore, The Nature of Massachusetts, and Birds of Mongolia 


Attendees are invited to join a guided walk in Dogtown to Whale's Jaw or make a visit to "Dogtown Artifacts," a special exhibit at Sandy Bay Historical Society with Leslie D. Bartlett, Cape Ann historian and photographer



  • "The Archaeology and Indigenous History of Dogtown": anthropologist Mary Ellen Lepionka
  • "Place and Times: A Spatial History of Dogtown": Mark Carlotto, author of The Dogtown Guide, The Island Woods, and The Cellars Speak


Visit to "Dogtown Artifacts," a special exhibit at Sandy Bay Historical Society with Leslie D. Bartlett, Cape Ann historian and photographer



"Dogtown Common by Percy McKaye": a staged reading presented by Windhover Center for the Performing Arts, adapted & directed by Peter Littlefield with readings by Peter Berkrot, Judy Brain, Duncan Hollomon, Cass Tunick, Brian Weed, and Deirdre Weed, and music by Kathleen Adams. Grace Schrafft will give an introductory talk about the history of witches in Gloucester. 



Guided walks in Dogtown, led by local experts. Weather permitting, several walks of different lengths will explore different aspects of Dogtown's present and past.

AFTERNOON AT CAPE ANN MUSEUM 27 Pleasant St., Gloucester

"The Art & Literature of Dogtown":  In this CAMTalk, Trenton Carls, CAM’s Head Librarian & Archivist, and Leon Doucette, CAM’s Assistant Curator will discuss the impact that Dogtown has had on Cape Ann’s artistic and literary landscape. During the event, two contemporary local poets will read original work inspired by Dogtown: Suellen Wedmore, a CAM Docent, and Heidi Wakeman, a Board Member of the Gloucester Writer's Center.

THERE'S MORE! - FRIDAY EVENING The Gloucester Writers Center kicks off its fall season with an evening celebrating Dogtown in the writer’s imagination today. Featuring storyteller Heather Atwood and writer and poet Diana Lynch, who will debut new work, and a reading by James R. Scrimgeour from his celebrated poetry collection Voices of Dogtown. Opening remarks and a poem from GWC Board President Jay Featherstone. Followed by a roundtable discussion and a reception at the GWC in East Gloucester. All conference attendees, and the public, are welcome to attend! Space is limited; RSVP by emailing Adam Tessier by Friday, September 2: adam@gloucesterwriters.org,

ABOUT THE WEEKEND "Celebrating Dogtown Common" is the theme of the Jonathan Bayliss Society's 4th annual conference and is the result of partnerships with the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester Writers Center, Sawyer Free Library, Sandy Bay Historical Society, and Windhover Center for the Performing Arts. Support provided in part by the Gloucester Cultural Council and the Mass. Cultural Council.

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