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Lynn, MA (1873)

Lynn History, 1873 — "Lynn is a busy industrial seaboard city of 5,136 dwelling-houses and 28,233 inhabitants, situated in the southeasterly section of Essex County, 11 miles north-east of Boston by the Eastern Railroad, and bounded on the north-east by Peabody, Salem, and Swampscott, on the south-east by Massachusetts Bay and Nahant, on the south-west by Saugus, and on the north-west by Lynnfield. It has a harbor opening towards the south, formed by Nahant on the east, and Pine's Point on the west, with water sufficient for sloop navigation.

The principal rock is sienite, which, in some localities, has been profitably quarried; and excellent clay for the manufacture of bricks is also found. The beach, more than a mile in length and 60 rods in width, consists of fine white sand, which presents a surface so hard, that horses pass over it, leaving but a slight impression. The surface of the city is level in the south-eastern section, but rises into picturesque and rocky eminences, covered in part with wood, towards the north-west quarter. 'From the elevations in the vicinity of the Town,' says Mr. James R. Newhall, 'a most enchanting prospect is presented, comprehending the harbor of Boston, with its hundred islands; the spires and domes of the city, with the heights of Norfolk, in the background; and nearly the whole compass of Massachusetts Bay, with the outline of Cape Cod stretching along the southern horizon. Jutting out a few furlongs into the sea, on the south of the town, appear the rugged cliffs of Nahant; and the hard, polished beach leading to this far-famed watering-place appears like a narrow footpath of sand upon the waters.'

High Rock is a picturesque cliff near the city proper, which has a well of never-failing water near its summit. At the foot of this rock was the humble dwelling of the famous Moll Pitcher, who for half a century 'told the fortunes' of the high and low in this vicinity. A chain of beautiful sheets of water, called 'The Lynn Lakes,' extends along the north-eastern section of the city, imparting life and variety to the landscape. Of these Wennuchus Lake contains 117, and Wyoma Lake 84 acres. A small stream carries the surplus waters of these natural reservoirs centrally through the city into Saugus River, which, for a little distance, washes its south-western border. Near the largest lake there is a mineral spring of some celebrity.

Considering its charming water-views, its wooded hills, and wild ravines, few cities can boast of greater variety or more beauty in local scenery than Lynn. Although this place has 30 farms and many well-cultivated gardens and fine orchards which indicate careful management, the chief business of the people consists in manufacturing ladies' boots and shoes. For this branch of industry the place has long been celebrated; and to it is due its growth, wealth, and prosperity.

More than a century ago it had acquired celebrity in this business. Speaking of the kind of goods originally made here, The Newburyport Herald says, —

'In olden times, ladies' shoes were made in Lynn of common woolen-cloth or coarse curried leather; afterwards of stuffs, such as cassimere, everlasting, shalloon, and russet, — some of satin and damask, others of satin-lasting and florentine. They were generally cut with straps fur large buckles, which were worn in those days by women as well as men. Ladies' shoes, seventy years ago, were made mostly with white and russet rands, and stitched very fine on the rand with white-waxed thread. Some were made turn-pumps and channel-pumps, all having wooden heels, called cross-cut, common, and court heels. Then the cork, plug, and wedge or spring heels came into use. The sole-leather was all worked with the flesh-side out. Previous to the war of the Revolution, the market for Lynn shoes was principally confined to New England: some few, however, were exported to Philadelphia. Many individuals with small capital carried on the business in their own families. Fathers, sons, apprentices, and one or two journeymen, all in one small shop, with a chimney in one corner, formed the whole establishment.

After the Revolution, the business assumed a different aspect. Enterprising individuals embarked in the business in good earnest, hired a great number of journeymen, built large shops, took apprentices, and drove the business. Master-workmen shipped their shoes to the South; so that Lynn shoes took the place of English and other imported shoes. Morocco and kid leather, suitable for shoes, began to be imported from England, which soon took the place of stuffs. Roan shoes were now little called for; and the improvement of working the sole-leather grain-side out was now generally adopted, making what is called 'duff-bottoms' About the year 1794 wooden heels began to go out of use by the introduction of leather spring-heels. This improvement progressed gradually, until the heel-making, which was once a good business, was totally ruined.'

This business in 1845 had so increased, that 130 [factories], employing about 6,000 persons, produced about 3,000,000 pairs of woman's and misses' shoes, valued at about $2,000,000. By the introduction of machinery of the most approved order, driven by steam, there were made in 1865, in 146 establishments employing 6,984 males and 4,984 females, 5,359,821 pairs of boots and shoes, valued at $8,817,711; and since that period this branch of industry has been constantly increasing, and the style of goods improving. In addition to this leading industrial interest, the city has establishments for the manufacture of machinery of various kinds, clothing, tin-ware, morocco, lasts, shoe-pegs, sashes, doors, boxes, machine-needles, and boot and shoe stock.

The city has many well-shaded streets, and beautiful private and public buildings. Ocean Street, commanding fine sea-views and ornamented with the residences of several literary men, is one of the finest in the county. Most of the dwelling-houses are owned by their occupants, and are, in general, kept in good repair. The churches are commodious and well attended. The schools, of which there are 54, including one high school, are admirably managed; and, for their support, in 1871 the sum of $69,724 was appropriated. The city-hall is a splendid structure; and the public library contains about 15,000 volumes. The city is, in part, supplied with water from Breed's Fond; and measures are now being taken to increase the quantity. The sewerage is very good; as many as 29,000 feet of sewers having been constructed. A horse-railroad accommodates the people in the different sections of the city; and the Eastern Railroad, which has a fine station house at this point, gives facilities for visiting the metropolis almost every hour of the day and evening.

The valuation of the city is $27,545,577; and the rate of taxation, $1.66 per $100. The public journals are 'The Lynn Reporter' and 'The Lynn Transcript,' both ably-conducted mediums of intelligence.

The pastors of the churches are the Revs. Stephen R. Dennen, C.T., installed 1872 (the First Church, organized 1632); Albert H. Currier, C.T., installed May 17, 1865 (Central Church, organized Dec. 11, 1850); Webster Fatterson, C.T., installed 1869 (Chestnut-street Church, organized Feb. 10, 1857); James M. Whiton, C.T., installed Feb. 13, 1872 (North Church, organized May 6, 1869); Samuel B. Stewart, Unitarian, settled 1865 (Second Congregational Society, organized in 1822); C. W. Biddle, Universalist (First Farish, organized in 1839); G. W. Ferry, Universalist (Second Farish, organized in 1862); T. E. Vassar, settled in 1865 (First Baptist Church, organized in 1816); J. S. Holmes, settled in 1867 (High-street Baptist Church, organized in 1854); C. H. Cole, settled in 1870 (Third Baptist Church, organized in 1862); S. F. Upham, Methodist (Common Street); D. C Knowles, Methodist (St. Paul's); W. H. Hatch (South-street Methodist Church); A. Gould (Maple-street Methodist Church); A. Carroll (Boston-street Methodist Church); A. Sanderson (Tower-hill Methodist Church); E. L. Drown, Episcopal (St. Stephen's Church); and F. Strain (St. Mary's, Roman-Catholic Church). Of the new Universalist church-edifice on Nahant Street, dedicated Sept. 11, 1873, a writer gives this account:

'In style it combines the Italian and Gothic architecture, with a predominance of the latter. The dimensions are, — outside length, 132 feet; width, 95 feet, with an addition of 10 feet at the large tower. The wings are 56 feet in width, and the vestibules a trifle less than 13 feet. An unfinished tower rises to the bell-deck, on the right-hand front-corner, and, when completed, will measure 175 feet to the top of the vane. The material used in the construction is red porphyry stone, with trimmings of brown freestone and red brick. The porphyry was quarried on Washington Street, just off from Central Avenue. The roofs are covered with the best of slate, laid in purple and green bands, with a lantern at the point of their intersection, rising 128 feet, and set with sixteen windows, which serve to light the center of the auditorium. There are six entrances to the audience-room, which comprises the entire inside floor except the vestibules and chancel. The inside wood-work is principally ash; and the walls, of rough plaster, are frescoed with a golden-brown color. An organ of fine tone occupies a niche on the right of the pulpit-platform, while the corresponding niche on the opposite side is conveniently finished off for a minister's room. The upholstery work is of a dark-crimson rep. The lighting-apparatus consists of a large chandelier suspended from the center of the lantern, and twenty-eight gas-lights. The seating-capacity of the house is about 1,100. Beneath the audience-room is a spacious vestry and other rooms, conveniently arranged for sabbath-school and other purposes. The entire cost is about $155,000, which is mostly paid.'

Lynn was incorporated as a city April 10, 1850; and the act was accepted by the citizens on the 14th of May ensuing.

This place was originally inhabited by a tribe of Indians belonging to a great nation extending from the Charles River to the Merrimack, and bearing the name of Alberginians. It was called Saugus; and the record of the court on its incorporation in November, 1637, is in these four words: 'Saugust is called Lin.' This name was given to it in honor of the Rev. William Whiting, the first settled minister, who had been a curate at Lynn Regis, or the King's Lynn, in the county of Norfolk, England. The first white settlers were Edmund and his brother Francis Ingalls, who came here in 1629, and were followed in 1630 by Edward, Ephraim, and Lieut. Daniel How, Edmund Farrington, Thomas Hudson, Thomas Newhall, John Wood, Edward Holyoke, Allen Breed, Capt. Richard Walker, and others. The first iron foundry was erected here on the banks of Saugus River, near Dungeon Rock, in 1643; and in 1654 the selectmen of Boston agreed with Mr. Joseph. Jenks of these works 'for an ingine to carry water in case of fire.' Shoe-making was commenced here as early as 1657. The oldest legible inscription on a tombstone here is that which commemorates the name of John Clifford, who died June 17, 1698.

Lynn furnished 3,270 men, or 230 more than its full quota, for the late war; and, in honor of the 289 men who were lost, it has erected a very beautiful marble monument, executed by James A. Jackson of Florence, Italy. 
'Voiceless in itself, this commemorative figure shall tell a tale which shall grow in interest and power as the years go by, and shall inspire all those subject to its silent but magic spell to a nobler and truer manhood.'

Eminent men: Abraham Pierson (1641-1707), president of Yale College from 1701 to 1707; William Gray (1750-1825), a distinguished merchant, and lieutenant-governor of the State in 1810; Isaac Newhall (1782-1858), a merchant, and author of a work on 'Junius;' Chandler Bobbins, D.D. (1810), an able clergyman and author; Peter Thacher Washburn (1814-1870), an eminent jurist.

An excellent History of Lynn by Alonzo Lewis, the 'Lynn bard/' extended by James R. Newhall, was published in 1865, pp. 620."


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