The city of Lynn is located in Essex County and is divided up into Central, East and West Lynn, each of which is broken up into smaller communities. Since Lynn’s settlement in 1629 and incorporation in 1850, the city has been home to a slew of notable residents such as abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass, religious leader Mary Baker Eddy, the original hostess of The Wheel of Fortune Susan Stafford, astronomer Maria Mitchell, a former Universalist minister who tried building a mechanical Messiah John Murray Spear, and a number of professional baseball players such as Bump Hadley, Josh Fogg, Bernie Friberg, Stan Andrews, Les Burke, Jim Hegan, and Ken Hill. Bordering Lynn are the communities of Nahant, Swampscott, Salem, Peabody, Lynnfield, Saugus, and Revere.During the colonial period, Lynn was a major producer of shoes and had a profitable tannery, both of which became key in the city’s expansion during the seventeenth century. Shifting into the nineteenth century, other lucrative businesses sprang up such as a mail stagecoach operation, which by 1836 had around twenty-three coaches leaving Lynn for Boston each day. There was also General Electric, which set up one of its original locations in the city with the financial help of Lynn shoe manufacturers Charles A. Coffin and Silar Abbot Barton. In the twentieth century, Lynn residents suffered through a couple of fires, one in the late 1970s and another on November 28th 1981 that destroyed 17 buildings. Up to that point, Lynn had faced other setbacks as well. Since the Industrial era, Lynn had been known for having a high level of crime, which tarnished the city’s reputation and remained in the public conscious through a rhyme.
In effort to improve its reputation, Lynn fought back with an advertising campaign in the early 1990s that aimed to show Lynn as a “City of Firsts”. The campaign named a number of Lynn firsts such as having the first fire engine, first tannery in the U.S., first dance academy, and first iron works. Around the same time, the areas that had been burnt down were reconstructed and what was once a reminder of the city’s losses was then turned into an image of renewal. Some of the new development projects included a branch of the North Shore Community College and the conversion of abandoned industrial buildings into loft spaces.Lynn has a wealth of natural and historical sites, which makes it easy to highlight the city’s positive aspects. Located alongside Massachusetts Bay, Nahant Bay, and Lynn Harbor, Lynn has quite a bit to offer water enthusiasts with two beaches: Lynn Beach and King’s Beach and a few ponds: Walden Pond, Spring Pond, and Fraser Field Breed’s Pond. There is also Manning Field and the Lynn Woods Reservation, which is the second largest municipal park in the country and the first in the Northeast. Lynn has several other historical markers such as Stone Tower, Wolf Pits, Dungeon Rock, Central Square Historic District, Diamond Historic District, Fabens Buildings, Lynn Common Historic District, Munroe Street Historic District, the Mary Baker Eddy House, Charles Lovejoy House, and Lucian Newhall House, and the Lynn Heritage State Park, which is home to the Lynn Museum.
In terms of education, Lynn residents are served by three public high schools, four junior high schools, two alternative schools, and sixteen elementary schools. There are several religious schools: St. Mary’s High School, one interdenominational Christian school, and three religious K-8 elementary schools. Lynn is also home to a KIPP: the Knowledge Is Power Program Academy, which serves students in grades 5-8. In reaching Lynn, one can take Routes 1, 107, 128, 129, and 129A, I-95, the MBTA commuter rail, MBTA bus, Lynn is also serviced by Logan International Airport.