In 1855, Dodd & Tarr Fisheries was started on the tip of Rocky Neck in Gloucester Harbor. As the fisheries business grew to encompass a wharf, a grocery store, warehouses and 15 schooners, the need arose for a way to repair and maintain the fishing vessels. In 1859, the company constructed the first of two marine railways on the northern-most tip of their property on Rocky Neck. From then until about 1970, the Railways used a steam engine to haul up the vessels. One note of interest is that the gears used in the steam engine were produced at the same factory that built the engine for the Civil War battleship, the Monitor.
Since 1859 the Rocky Neck Marine Railways, now known as the Gloucester Marine Railways Corp., has maintained and repaired thousands of fishing, commercial and pleasure boats from the wooden schooners of the last century to the present day steel and fiberglass vessels. A modern Travelift has recently augmented the original railways as GMRC keeps moving ahead, from one century to the next, distinguished as the oldest continuously operating marine railways in the country and a well respected member of the marine industry in the Northeast.