Dawn Comes Over Marblehead

I often times will use some odd euphemisms that I have picked up over the years while living in New England.

I recently rattled off the expression “Dawn Came Over Marblehead” in front of some clients the other day, before I realized that they were from another part of the country, and had no idea what I was talking about.

Being that I am originally from Boston, Massachusetts, some times we Bostonians will use our own language and vernacular such that people from other parts of the country have no idea what we are saying. Think Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and the Wahlberg family!

So what does “Dawn Came Over Marblehead” mean?

First off, the term applies to the beautiful, picturesque town of Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Marblehead, MA is distinctive for many reasons, not the least of which is an item that distinguishes the town from any other town on the east coast of the United States.

Marblehead actually experiences two sunrises. How is this possible you may ask?

So there is a peninsula that stretches the length of the town located on the other side of Marblehead harbor. And if you stand on the peninsula before dawn, you will witness a beautiful sunrise coming up over the ocean.

And if you move quickly enough, and jump back into your car (drop the “r” and you’ll have the correct pronunciation for a Bostonian), and then drive back to the mainland, you can actually witness the sunrise for a second time as the sun crests over the peninsula and shines onto the town of Marblehead.

And this is where the phrases “Dawn Came Over Marblehead,”  “Dawn Breaks Over Marblehead,” and “Light Dawns on Marblehead” came from.

I should say that I couldn’t find any concrete evidence to support this information for the blog on the internet. This information was shared with me on a day trip that I took to Marblehead back in the mid 90s. I had a conversation with a local gentleman that had lived his entire life in Marblehead and had witnessed the phenomenon numerous times.

So after speaking to home, I had to go down and make sure I witnessed the phenomenon myself.

So how the phrase work as a euphemism?

The phrase typically is applied to something that should have been obvious; for something a person didn’t immediately realize or understand. So when the realization hits the person, the phrase can be applied.

And of course the name Marblehead can be construed as having a double meaning, i.e. a thick person or someone with a rock in place of their head, or a person whom does not pick up on stuff quickly.

So how is any of this conversation relevant to a home inspection?

Well, during the course of most home inspections that we conduct, we may see something on one side of a home that doesn’t make any sense until we get to the other side of the home.

This is why we always ask our clients to let us finish a section of a home in it’s entirety, and then we will report back to them with our findings. That way, we are able to put all the clues together in order to  form a more conclusive hypothesis.

At First Choice Home Inspection, our established process of inspecting a home helps to protect your investment!

Michael McCarty
NH Licensed Home Inspector # 316
Vermont Property Inspector License # 143.0134099
HUD 203k Consultant # P-1939

2 replies
  1. Rebecca Tildesley
    Rebecca Tildesley says:

    I’m curious to understand. I know Marblehead well. Just one problem? From the “peninsula,” aka the neck the sun sets over the open ocean side of the neck. I’m wondering what vantage point you are saying because if you were to go further to the top of the peninsula, you could see dawn over the ocean on the harbor side, but… to see a second sunset? You’d have to be out on the idea side in a boat. I think the directions are a bit off…

    • firstchoice
      firstchoice says:

      Hi Rebecca! It’s been 30 years since I was last down there. I used to spend a lot of time there in my youth. But I was out on the outer peninsula, where I witnessed the dawn, and then jumped into my car and rushed off the peninsula and back to the mainland just in time to see the sun come up over the peninsula.


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