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The Legends of Dogtown, Ghost Town of Massachusetts

The Old West tends to steal all the ghost town claims to fame, but we're not without our derelict towns left to ruin out here on the East Coast. It's just that most of ours are more far-gone, usually just stone cellar holes and hand-lain stone walls. Our recorded history spans over centuries and the Colonial occupation of these states gave rise to several rural towns that didn't survive through our various evolutions in progress. For one reason or another, be it economic, environmental, catastrophic or otherwise, whole villages have sprung up and over time, subsequently disappeared back into the lush, often labyrinthine forests of the Northeast. Often, there is superstition and mystery concerning these long-gone locales.

One such place of intrigue along coastal Massachusetts is known as Dogtown. The nearest larger city being Gloucester, Dogtown was a rural farming community located on a hilly peninsula along the coast, south of the New Hampshire border. First settled in the late 1600's, the Parrish began as a farming community away from the larger coastal cities that were subject to pirate attacks, Native American attacks and coastal raids. At its peak, Dogtown was host to around 100 families. The farm work was difficult in the rocky, boulder-strewn landscape of this area, and it never experienced any boom in industry to drive people to the area..

At the time known as the Commons Settlement, Dogtown remained intact for nearly a century until after the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 ended. As threats to the area decreased, most people moved away and back to the more populated harbor towns. The economy and necessity for Dogtown dwindled, as did the families that lived there. More and more unsavory people began to move to these recently vacated residences, further driving the town to ruin in the early 1800's. The stigmas surrounding these vagrants may have also likely led to the use of the name "Dogtown", further cementing the legends into history.