Celebrating Dogtown

  • 10 Sep 2022
  • 11 Sep 2022


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • This is a non-refundable registration fee to offset fixed costs. The registration menu will allow you to choose which conference events you wish to attend.

Registration is closed
Saturday-Sunday, September 10-11, 2022

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 conference walks, talks, readings, and more.

Registration: The conference is open to all. You may register for the entire conference or for individual components, and you may register for your guest(s). 

For those who prefer to prefer to fill out and mail a registration form, please download the registration form.

Pricing: The base charge of $14 per person is a nonrefundable registration fee, needed to help offset fixed costs. Per person fees are as follows: Saturday daytime events including lunch, $45; Saturday evening, including dinner and Windhover's staged reading of MacKaye's Dogtown Common, $69; Sunday morning walk, $7.

Payment:  Payment may be paid by credit card online or a check mailed to Jonathan Bayliss Society, 11 Rocky Pasture Road, Gloucester MA 01930.

Cancellation: With the exception of the nonrefundable registration fee of $14, other charges are refundable upon written cancellation received by September 1. The Sunday morning walk charge will be refunded if the walk is cancelled because of bad weather.

Provisional Program

SATURDAY DAYTIME Windhover Center for the Performing Arts, 257R Granite St., Rockport MA
9:15 parking & check-in, 9:30 program begins with opening remarks by Lisa Hahn of Windhover and Catherine Bayliss of the Jonathan Bayliss Society, followed by three brief talks:

  • Cindy Dunn, "Dogtown Preservation"
  • John Day, "Dogtown and the Fiction of Jonathan Bayliss"
  • Chris Leahy, "The Nature of Dogtown"
Late morning options:  

    - Whale's Jaw walk, weather permitting; shuttle service to start location provided (capacity limited)
    - Leslie D. Bartlett, "Dogtown Artifacts," Sandy Bay Historical Society

    - Free time

    1:00 Box lunch catered by Willow Rest
    2:00 Afternoon talks

    • Mary Ellen Lepionka, "The Archaeology and Indigenous History of Dogtown"
    • Mark Carlotto, "Place and Times: A Spatial History of Dogtown"
    4:15 Leslie D. Bartlett, "Dogtown Artifacts," Sandy Bay Historical Society OR free time

      SATURDAY EVENING Windhover Center for the Performing Arts

      5:45 Buffet dinner under the tent catered by Willow Rest; no alcohol will be served, but you are welcome to bring a beverage of your choosing. Sparkling water and cider will be on hand. During dinner attendees may place bids on Dogtown-related items at a silent auction.

      7:30 "Dogtown Common by Percy MacKaye": 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. 

        SUNDAY MORNING Dogtown

        Conference attendees may wish to join one of three planned guided walks in Dogtown (weather permitting). Walk leaders are Chris Leahy (nature and preservation), John Day and Monica Lawton (Babson boulders), and Mark Carlotto (cellar holes).  Sign-up sheets and more details will be available during Saturday's lunch. Each walk has capacity limits. 

          SUNDAY AFTERNOON Cape Ann Museum, 27 Pleasant St., Gloucester

          2:00-3:00 "The Art & Literature of Dogtown":  In this CAMTalk, Trenton Carls, CAM’s Head Librarian & Archivist, along with Peter Littlefield, Paul Lundberg, and Greg Gibson, will discuss the impact that Dogtown has had on Cape Ann's literary landscape. Leon Doucette, CAM’s Assistant Curator will highlight the area's impact on local artists. 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.

          AND MORE! 


          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 Rocky Neck Cultural Center 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,


          "Celebrating Dogtown Common" is the theme of the 4th annual conference of the Jonathan Bayliss Society, a 501c3 literary nonprofit based in Gloucester. Dogtown plays a significant role in Bayliss's four GLOUCESTERMAN  novels, in which he sometimes calls Dogtown "Purdeyville" or "Tir-na-Dog." 

          The weekend's events are the result of collaboration among the Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester Writers Center, Jonathan Bayliss Society, Sandy Bay Historical Society, and Sawyer Free Library. Funding provided in part by the Gloucester Cultural Council and the Mass. Cultural Commission.

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