John HoughtonJOHN C. HOUGHTON  (1823-1905)  was one of the four founding members of the Exploring Circle and was very active in the civic life of Lynn. He worked as a teacher from 1849 to 1855, and from then until 1877 as a shoemaker. He served as a trustee of the Lynn Public Library from when it was first established in 1862 until 1877, and he was its head librarian from 1877 to 1904. In addition, Houghton served two terms in the state legislature, was a member of the Pine Grove Cemetery Commission, and was active in the Houghton Horticultural Society. As a member of the Exploring Circle, he contributed to its annals, and the excerpt below about Dungeon Rock is from a lengthy poem read at the annual meeting held on December 18, 1862. In the poem, Houghton fuses the lore of Dungeon Rock with a mid-nineteenth century view of popular activities at Dungeon Rock and of Hiram Marble’s quest to locate its treasure.




                       . . .

                      XXXIIOn, on, still on, now up, now down,
    With many a friendly talk,
Counting their steps in links and chains
    Clear up to “Dungeon Rock!”

                XXXIIIThe caverned haunts that Bucaneers
    Once visited by stealth
And in whose secret depths were stored
    The Pirate’s ill got wealth.

                        XXXIVHave now become the secret shrine
    Where lovers plight their vows,
Where “spirits” from the world at large
    Hold “Spiritual rows”!

                          XXXVWhere Sylvan dieties held sway,
    Now, Bacchus reigns supreme;
Lay gentlemen make boisterous mirth,
    And ladies eat “Ice-cream”.

                       XXXVI Up to the summit of the hill
    They climbed as oft-before,
To list the music of the woods,
    To trace the winding shore.

                         XXXVII What noble monument could mark
    A noble Pirate’s grave?
What greater folly in this world,
    Than Capt. Marble’s cave?


                     . . .



from:   Addresses and Poems of the Exploring Circle 1857 – 1862.
courtesy:  The Lynn Museum