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Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - Washington Square showing Oxford and Women's Clubs, Lynn, Mass.
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Washington Square showing Oxford and Women's Clubs, Lynn, Mass.
Source: Postcard 

Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - Lynn Beach, State Bath House, Lynn, Mass.
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Lynn Beach, State Bath House, Lynn, Mass.
Source: Postcard 

Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - Central Square. Lynn, Mass.
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Central Square. Lynn, Mass.
Source: Postcard 

Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - City Hall. Lynn, Mass.
Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
City Hall. Lynn, Mass.
Source: Postcard 

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Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
People, Pictures and News From the Past

Where is Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA?  Lynn was settled by colonists from the New England Company in Salem in 1629. Early settlers relied primarily on family farming and shell fishing although an iron works was established in the city in 1643.

Leather tanning became a major industry very early on and by 1775 there were a string of tanneries along Black Marsh Brook, called Tanney Brook, to the harbor. When the Eastern Railroad was extended from Boston to Salem in 1837, it went through Lynn, encouraging growth in the shoe industry and a factory district was created as well as shoe workers' neighborhoods of boardinghouses. The Civil War brought great prosperity to the city and further growth of the shoe factories. Even the fires of 1869 and 1889, which destroyed much of the central business district from Central Square to Broad Street, didn't stop expansion. The gutted buildings were simply replaced by five and six story shoe factories.

While Lynn developed its major industrial capacity, handsome summer estates were being built along its shore by the middle of the 19th century. These established the city as a fashionable Boston resort area. At least a dozen large shore estates were built and other land was subdivided for increasingly suburban residential development. When Lynn Shore Drive was opened in 1910, it encouraged the development of high rises to take advantage of the shore view.

Lynn, now the largest city in Essex County, is an urban manufacturing and commercial center, densely populated and culturally diverse. Residents are proud of the city's long history, which parallels the history of New England as a whole.

It is located in eastern Massachusetts on the northern shore of Massachusetts Bay and is bordered by Saugus and Lynnfield on the west, Peabody and Salem on the north, Swampscott and the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and Nahant and Revere on the south. Lynn is 9 miles north of Boston; 51 miles east of Worcester; 95 miles south of Portland, Maine; and 229 miles from New York City.

Narrative compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. aboutlynn_history.shtml

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History / News

2. LYNN. [Pop. 9,369. Inc. 1637.]
Lynn, called Saugus by the Indians, was named after a town of the same name in England. The eastern part of Lynn still retains its original name of Swampscott.

Lynn is the oldest town in Essex County, except Salem; and it is still the second in size, although Saugus and Lynnfield, of Essex County, and Reading and South Reading, of Middlesex County, have been separated from it.

Nahant, a small rocky peninsula, connected to Lynn at the south by a beautiful beach, has, for twenty or thirty years, been the most fashionable watering-place in the vicinity of Boston. The first settlers kept their sheep and swine on it, because a slight fence across the beach or isthmus easily protected them from the wolves.

No town in the United States is so celebrated for the manufacture of boots and shoes.

Distance from Salem, 5 miles; from Boston, 9.

An Elementary Geography for Massachusetts Children by William Bentley Fowle and Asa Fitz, 1845

News 1860 - February 22 – Shoe-making workers of Lynn, Massachusetts, strike successfully for higher wages. The strike spreads throughout New England and eventually involves 20,000 workers.

Click here to go to
February 22, 1860

1885 - May 19 - 1st mass production of shoes (Jan Matzeliger in Lynn, Massachusetts)

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News 1889 - Accidentally Shot Dead
LYNN, Mass., Nov. 27. - William F. Sartelle, of Worcester, Massachusetts, a performer in a dime museum here, was shot dead last night. He was performing a trick with a rifle, which he apparently loads with leaden bullets, and then requests some one to shoot at him, appearing to catch the bullet in his mouth. This time he failed to substitute a past... Read MORE...

News 1889 - $10,000,000 FIRE! A CITY GOES UP IN FLAMES. Lynn, Mass. Desolated. - Boston Subscribes Nearly a Million Dollars For the Sufferers.
Lynn, Mass, the city of shoes, was visited Tuesday afternoon by the greatest fire in its history and with two exceptions the conflagration is the most disastrous which ever visited New England. The exceptions are the great Boston fire of 1872, which destroyed between three and four hundred millions of dollars worth of property, and the Portland fir... Read MORE...

Lynn Massachusetts, 1890
LYNN is a manufacturing town on the seaboard in the extreme southern part of Essex County, 11 miles northeast of Boston, with which it is connected by a street railway, and by the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad and by the Eastern line of the Boston and Maine Railroad; the latter connecting it directly with the railroad systems north, east and south.

Lynn harbor opens on Broad Sound, in Massachusetts Bay. It is nearly half filled with flats, but through it run numerous channels, some of which are 15 feet in depth, and wide enough for easy towage.

Lynn is bounded on the north by Peabody and Salem, east by Swampscott and its harbor, on the south by its own harbor, and on the west by Saugus. The long peninsula of Nahant lies in the sea eastward; forming the eastern side of Lynn harbor. There is a considerable extent of beach on each side of the peninsula.

The assessed area of the city is 4,378 acres. The more densely occupied portion is about four miles in length along the shore, and some two miles in breadth from the shore to the hills. The western half of this tract, resting on the Saugus River (which forms the southwestern line of the township) is a rather low plain, of which nearly one half toward the sea is salt marsh covered at high water. The eastern half is of greater elevation. The rear section of the township northward is a tract of rough hills covered with wood. A large portion of this wild and romantic tract has been acquired by the city for the purpose primarily of a series of basins for an increase of the water-supply of the city. The area of two small ponds has already been increased to beautiful sheets of water, one of which is about two miles in length, and very irregular in its outline. It has been named "Walden Pond," in honor of the leader in the formation of this noble park. The height recently named "Mount Gilead," in this region, affords a magnificent view of forests, rocks, villages, bays and beaches. The soil, except on the hills, is a gravelly loam, approaching clay, with ample deposits of clear clay. The rock, in the half nearest the sea is a dark, bluish felsite, passing into a purple porphyry, and thought to be of Huronian origin. North of the porphyry, the rock is a gray sienite, strongly metamorphic in the east, but northerly becoming distinctly hornblendic. On the west the porphyry becomes conglomerate. Profitable quarrying has been done in some places.

Just east of the territorial centre lies Wennuchus Lake, covering 117 acres; Wyoma Lake, of 84 acres, lies near on the northwest; and on the same line is Cedar Lake. Southwest of the centre lies a group of ponds, partly artificial, which furnishes the city with water. The drainage is by Strawberry, Mowers and Birch brooks, affluents of the Saugus, and by Stacy's Brook, which enters the ocean at Swampscott. An elevation called "Dungeon Rock" lies northwest of the centre. Near it is Sunadon Rock, 770 feet in height, on the western line.

High Rock is a picturesque cliff in the city proper. This elevation affords an excellent view of the city, of the neighboring towns, and of the harbor and beaches. At the foot of this rock dwelt, a generation ago, the famous fortune-teller, Moll Pitcher. The city has many well-shaded streets, and beautiful private and public buildings. Ocean Street and others in its vicinity have many fine residences and command fine sea views.

The leading business is the manufacture of boots and shoes, for which there were in 1885, 308 establishments, employing upwards of 9,474 persons, producing goods to the value of $23,573,319. More than 1,000 men are employed in tanning and dressing the various kinds of leather. The artisans' tools made amounted to nearly $1,000,000; and there are large manufactures of food preparations, electrical apparatus, boxes and other paper goods, textiles, bricks, carriages, polishes and dressing for leather, lasts, furniture, glass, liquors, and others common to villages. The aggregate value of goods made was $31,100,906 . The 36 farms yielded to value of $40,848, and fisheries (mackerel) $3,600. The dwellings numbered 7,951. There are five national banks in the city, having an aggregate capital of $ 1,100,000; and two savings banks, carrying deposits at the beginning of the present year of $5,189,519. The valuation of the city in 1888 was $33,224,080, and the tax-rate $18.60 on $1,000. The population in 1885 was 45,867; including 11,949 legal voters. The only post-office is "Lynn," which has carrier delivery. The villages are Glenmere, Highlands, Linwood, East Lynn, West Lynn, Lynnmere, Stetsonville and Wyoma. In or near each of these are railway stations of the Boston and Maine Railroad.

The city hall is a very handsome building, with ample lawns. The schools are in four grades, and occupy 30 buildings, valued at upwards of $530,000. There are also several private schools, — consisting of an English and classical school, two mercantile schools, an art academy, Ireson Academy, the Lincoln Hall school and a Roman Catholic school. There are 30 libraries for public use; the city library having about 35,000 volumes; and four circulating libraries having about 5,000. The periodicals are the daily "Bee" and the "Evening Item;" the weekly "Reporter," " Transcript," "City Item" and "Knights of Labor;" the monthly "Agassiz Journal," " Household Monthly" and the "Modern Priscilla." Of the 22 churches in the city, 3 are Baptist, 4 Congregationalist, 1 Free Baptist, 1 Friends, 6 Methodist, 1 Protestant Episcopal, 2 Roman Catholic, 1 Unitarian, 2 Universalist and 1 African Methodist. Several of the edifices are elegant buildings, that of St. Stephen's Memorial being especially striking.

Lynn is with one exception the oldest settlement in Essex County. It was admitted to the General Court under its original (Indian) name of Saugus, in 1630, some 50 new settlers having come in that year. The pioneers came in 1629, and consisted of 5 families — about 20 persons, all told — who had recently landed at Salem from England; and a certain plain about half a mile in extent, in the eastern section, was the site of this settlement. Saugus signifies "great" or "extended," and probably referred to the long beach. Saugus River was called Abousett by the Indians. The township in its original extent embraced the present towns of Lynnfield (set off in 1682), Saugus (set off in 1815), Swampscott (set off in 1852) and Nahant (set off in 1853). The name was changed to Lynn in the records of the General Court, November 20, 1637. It was incorporated as a city, April 10, 1850. The name in the early period was variously spelled, "Lin," "Linn" and "Lynne." The new name was given in honor of the Rev. William Whiting, the first settled minister, who had been a curate at Lynn Regis, in England.

It is believed that the first iron foundery in America was erected in 1643 in this town on the west bank of the Saugus River, making use of a deposit of bog-iron ore in its vicinity. Ten years later Mr. Joseph Jencks, of these works, made by contract for the town of Boston "an ingine to carry water in case of fire," which was the first constructed in this country. In 1652, the coinage dies for the Boston mint were made here. As early as 1635 two shoemakers came from England and established themselves at Lynn, and the business steadily increased from that time; a great impulse coming to the business about 1750, when John Adams Dagyr, a Welshman, produced shoes equal to the best then made in England.

Early in the Revolution Lynn sent 168 men into the contest, and 56 of them never returned, — four being killed at Lexington. For the war of the Rebellion the city furnished 3,270 men, — 230 more than its quota. In honor of the 289 who were lost, it has erected a beautiful monument of marble.

Abraham Pierson (1641-1707), a president of Yale College; William Gray (1750-1825), merchant and lieutenant-governor; Isaac Newhall (1782-1858), merchant and author; Chandler Robbins, D.D. (1810), an eminent clergyman; and Peter Thacher Washburne (1814-1870), an eminent jurist, — are distinguished sons of Lynn in past days.

A Gazetteer of the State of Massachusetts, with Numerous Illustrations written by Rev. Elias Nason, M.A.; revised and enlarged by George J. Varney. Boston: B.B. Russell. 1890, 724 pages

News 1899 - SEIZED BY A LEOPARD. Lynn Boy Goes too Near the Cages at the Circus.
The next time the Forepaugh-Sells Brothers circus visits Lynn, Mass., Frank Ducey, a 10 year old boy, will not be so much interested in getting a near view of the leopard.

Frank was gazing at the animal when it sunk his sharp claws into the boy's face, and when the keeper sprang to the cage the leopard had both front paws through the bars and wa... Read MORE...

News 1903 - NOT KNOWN HERE. Railroad Man Killed At Lynn Said To Belong In Portsmouth.
A Lynn dispatch of the 18th stated that a man named Moorehouse, an employe of the milk train, with his home at Portsmouth, was fatally injured on Thursday evening and later died at the Lynn hospital.

It stated that his family had been notified and the body would be sent to this city.

There is not such name as Moorehouse in the Portsmouth dire... Read MORE...

Lynn, Feb. 9. - While working around her kitchen range today the clothing of Mrs. Mary S. Coombs caught fire and before her niece, who heard her cries for help, could extinguish the flames, she had received burns which resulted in her death an hour later, Mrs. Coombs was 81 years of age.
The Boston Journal
Boston, Massachusetts
February 10, 1910

United Press

Lynn, Mass., April 19. - Five persons are known to have been killed, and ten are reported missing, in a fire in the Essex Castle Apartment House here.

The dead:

Police believe the persons unaccounted for probably escaped a... Read MORE...

Ancestors Who Were Born and/or Died Here

male Joseph Farnsworth (17 NOV 1657, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - 31 OCT 1674, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
female Mary Farnsworth (11 OCT 1660, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - 16 Aug 1725, Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA)

female Elizabeth Farr (abt. 1645, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - , )
George Farr (abt. 1590, , England (Great Britain) (United Kingdom) - 24 OCT 1662, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)
female Martha Farr (abt. 1641, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - , )
female Mary Farr (6 JAN 1644, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - 7 Jan 1717, Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA)
female Sarah Farr (abt. 1647, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - , )

female Maud Eva Govang (9/26/1882, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - , )
female Maude Eva Govang (26 Sep 1880, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - Aug 1969, , New York, USA)

male William Henry Hawkins (6 May 1870, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - 14 Apr 1923, Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine, USA)

male Frederick Coffin Peach (17 Oct 1880, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - 22 Jan 1964, Pittsfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts, USA)

male Lawrence Plummer Senter (4 Apr 1906, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - 13 Mar 1984, Avon Park, Highlands, Florida, USA)

male Herbert Irving Stewart (3 Nov 1906, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA - 5 July 1974, North Reading, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA)

Elizabeth Stowers (abt. 1619, , England (Great Britain) (United Kingdom) - 11 Mar 1687, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)

female UNKNOWN (1620, , England (Great Britain) (United Kingdom) - 1652, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA)

Ancestors Who Were Married Here

George Farr (abt. 1590 - 24 OCT 1662) & Elizabeth Stowers (abt. 1619 - 11 Mar 1687)

James J McKenna (Nov 1843 - 16 Dec 1919) & Annie Skerry (abt. 1854 - 6 Jan 1914)
married 3 May 1868

Are you from Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA? Do you have ancestors from there?

The comments you read here belong only to the person who posted them. We reserve the right to remove off-topic and inappropriate comments. If you'd like to be contacted by others who have ancestors from Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, USA, leave a message here!

I am currently trying to do our Family tree. My great aunt moved to Boson in the late 1800. Her name was Elizabeth Mc Donagh. We belived she married a man called Thomas O'Malley and they went on to have 2 children Mary and Michael.
We know that Mary married a man called Carder. She had a brothers called michael and Mary. We would love to know if any of the relatives were still alive.
12/14/2011 11:52:31 AM -

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