Joseph Thomas Hopkins, Jr. was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1891. He grew up in and around the fishing towns of Cape Ann, Salem, Gloucester, Essex, Rockport and Marblehead. In his late teens, he spent time as a hired hand on a fishing boat, then served in the infantry in the U.S. Army during World War I.

Tom, his wife Katherine and 3 children lived in Beverly Massachusetts on Cape Ann their entire lives. He always traveled with at least one camera in his car, so even on an ordinary Sunday afternoon drive with his wife, was ready for any worthy view they happened upon.

In the 1950’s they took two trips across the country, driving from Massachusetts to California and Seattle. Many of the photographs available here are of vintage New England and of those trips capturing a time and place in America that is long-gone.

J. Thomas Hopkins was a true artist and, perhaps in a different time, would have been able to pursue his passion for photography as a profession. When he retired, he continued to work part-time in a camera store in Salem, where he was able to indulge in his lifelong love of photography. He died in 1982 at the age 90, leaving behind his yet to be discovered photography.

We are grateful to our grandmother, and to our mother and her sisters, for holding on to the dozens of boxes, folders, and envelopes filled with negatives, spools of film, photographs, and slides. But we are most grateful to our grandfather for giving us this gift to share.