Talk:Lynn, Massachusetts

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City of firsts[edit]

I feel that as a native, I ought to try and explain that conspicuously small collection of "Firsts" that the city is supposedly known for.

In the very early 90s, the city of Lynn created an advertising campaign to offset the city's stagnating image as a depressed, crime-ridden satellite urban area. This was the "City Of Firsts" campaign.

Among the numerous Lynn Firsts that were touted were:

  • Lydia E. Pinkham - First woman in advertising (and first woman in mass-marketing)
  • First baseball game played under artificial light
  • First dance academy in the U.S.
  • First tannery in the U.S.
  • First air mail delivery in the U.S.

Unfortunately, after a few short years, the majority of these claims were found to be inaccurate. For example, the first air mail delivery in the U.S. apparently occured on Long Island (link), a year before Lynn's claimed event. The first baseball game under artificial light apparently occured in Indiana (link). And on top of it, Lydia Pinkham (for whom there is a building named in town) turned out to be a snake oil peddler (thanks in part to a History Channel documentary a few years later on snake oil which featured Pinkham prominently. See also Patent medicine).

The "City of Firsts!" perhaps was the start of a series of rather bad attempts by city officials and employees to improve the city. Circa 1992, the city installed false plexiglass storefronts on Union Street, in an attempt to literally cover up the nagging loss of commerce in the city's main transportation square. As of 2002 most of the 6 original false fronts were still there, quite ironically covered in pigeon poop and in disrepair. (Not surprisingly, the storefront idea was conceived by a city worker who lived in the semi-affluent neighboring town of Swampscott, Massachusetts.)

A large, new-fab, multi-level parking structure built by the MBTA at the commuter rail station near downtown in the late 1980s likewise never materialized into a draw for local commerce. The available commercial space in the structure was instead rented by the nearby community college; and despite being free, the lot is never remotely near capacity.

Progress made in turning Lynn in to a technological center for the North Shore in the late 1990s and early 2000s was stunted by the burst of the dot-com bubble. See Lynn Cyber District.

Despite being a developed urban center in close proximity to Boston, Massachusetts, Lynn has no lodging hotels. A short-lived Days Inn at the very entrance to the city closed circa 1992; nearly ten years later the prime-location lot remained untouched save for rampant overgrowth.

On the bright side, Lynn's main highway, the Lynnway (MA. Rt. 1A), rivals the Automile in car dealerships and car services, and leads to one of the better looking parts of town down by the waterfront on the way to Nahant, Massachusetts and Swampscott. Unfortunately, due to a perennial problem of heavy algae accumulation on the beach baking under the summer sun, this is seasonally one of the worst-smelling parts of town.

Lynn's dubiously proud history as the shoe-making capital of the early American colonies is not disputed (except that this legacy was partially shared by Saugus, Massachusetts and Danvers, Massachusetts). Lynn also boasts the largest city-owned park (the 2,200 acre Lynn Woods) in the state and the second largest in the U.S.

While we're talking about Lynn's firsts: For many years in the late 70s and 80s, Lynn residents lamented that Lynn was the first (then only) city where a McDonalds had ever closed (at corner of Union and Baldwin streets; the building still stands today, looking much like a 70s McDonalds). This was repeatedly proven to be untrue, but the mass depression from a faltering commercial economy kept the myth alive for some time.

Another First not included in the city's pride campaign was the establishment of the first Church of Christian Science by city resident and Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy. The Mary Baker Eddy House is a minor city attraction.


Are you sure about the Lynnway there? It doesn't run along the beach; that's Lynn Shore Drive, which isn't part of Rte. 1A but does smell bad in the summer. AJD 18:24, 19 May 2004 (UTC)
That's true... Edited... I wonder if any of this Lynn rambling is appropriate for the main page. KeithTyler 19:29, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

Lynn Woods[edit]

[addition] Lynn Woods or Lynn Reservation is the largest reservation in the United States. If they continue to build up of Lynnfield Street, there won't be very much Woods or Reservation left for Lynn's Wilf Life. It seems that Lynn's Reservation is being Protected anymore.

I too am from Lynn and have always heard that Lynn Woods is the second largest city owned park in the United States but recently found this article on the net. I am now thinking the "the second largest city owned park" moniker can also be chalked up with the ficticious "city of firsts" brandings as well.


Who founded the initial European settlement? Were they part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony? -- Beland 01:26, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

What does the article mean about "re-settlement"? I'm also curious why the location was chosen and why manufacturing was big. Is there a nearby source of water power? -- Beland (talk) 17:02, 26 September 2008 (UTC)


"Lynn Lynn the City Of Sin, You Never Come Out The Way You Came In" lol, there was always an exit out of Lynn but the Sin part was when you passed THRU Lynn a person was supposedily not the same when they left Lynn. Either from drunkiness or whatever that person came thru Lynn to pick up, lol. True Story, Massachusetts was an Indian Name and Indian Land, if you're interested it's a good read.

Does *anyone* have any references or sites for "Lynn Lynn City of Sin"? I know it's real, and I know nearly everyone within a 100 mile radius of Lynn knows it, but damned if I can prove it with an external reference. It's days like this when I really hate the WP:OR policy. - Keith D. Tyler (AMA) 19:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I can't remember the name of the book, but that whole paragraph is all wrong. From a book in the gift shop at the Lynn Historical Society, "Lynn, Lynn, city of sin. You never come out the way you went in. Ask for water, they give you gin. It's the darndest city I've ever been in." The saying refers to a once bustling harbor, and the sailors that would wander onto Summer St., which at the time, boasted around 100 bars in a row that the sailors would frequent. Debauchery was common-place along that strip.

Trot Trot to Boston[edit]

I've never heard the "sin" one. Though, born and raised in Dorchester, lived in Braintree, Cambridge and Plymouth. I never visited Lynn. But, when just a small child, my mother used to sit me on her knees, facing her, and bounce her legs up and down (as to "Trot" lol), while holding my wrists, and would sing this song (Paddycake tune) Trot Trot to Boston, Trot trot to Lynn -- although, her words, and pronunciation were; "Trut trut to Boston, trut trut to Lynn, watch out little (Jeeny) before ya fall in." Then she would split her legs apart so I'd "fall in". Just a bit of nostalgia. :) I continued the "tradition" with my son, and he loved it. I also played the "game" with other children and they loved it. It was a hit. I thought my mother was a genius, as I thought she made it up herself (I guess she did, in a way, as she used different words and made a game of it, like a very short and crude amusment ride). Kids would beg me to play the Trut Trut game, as I did with mum. - Jeeny Talk 23:31, 21 May 2007 (UTC)

It seems a native will never escape the "Sin" one. At least twice since moving to Seattle I've had it recited at me after admitting where I'm from. As for "Trot, Trot," it seems to have a bit of history. - Keith D. Tyler (AMA) 18:32, 22 May 2007 (UTC)

I've added the "City of Sin" part. Was shocked it wasn't there before. Although as far as I know, it's tongue in cheek at this point, haven't heard much about about Lynn lately. Just Boston. - MSTCrow 01:28, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

That's because nobody cares about it Crow. Get a life.

Lynn - Southampton connection[edit]

Removing this section because it's wording isn't backed by its cites or by a couple other sources I've found.

By 1640, the population of Lynn consisted of about 40 families. In that year, after being reprimanded or "straitened" by Gov. Winthrop[1], the entire population of Lynn abandoned the site of Lynn and moved to Long Island where they established the towns of South Hampton and Southold, bringing all of the records from the town of Lynn with them. The town of Lynn was subsequently repopulated by new settlers.

The pastor of the community that moved from Lynn to Long Island was the Rev. Abraham Pierson. Around 1646, Rev. Pierson and about 20 families relocated again, moving from Long Island to Branford, New Haven Colony. In 1666, after the New Haven Colony was merged with the Connecticut Colony, Rev. Pierson and his colleague Robert Treat of Milford moved to New Jersey where they established the community of New Ark, the site of the present-day city of Newark. Rev. Pierson's son, Rev. Abraham Pierson, Jr. moved back to Connecticut in 1691 where, in 1701, he became the first rector of the Collegiate School, known today as Yale College.

  1. ^ History of Long Island, by B. F. Thompson, New York, 1839

The cited source (History of Long Island), available on Google Books here, doesn't reflect the assertion made above. There is no indication that the entire population of Lynn abandoned it to go and found settlements in CT and LI. The term "straitened" means simply restricted in potential for growth. While this can be a deliberate restriction imposed as a penalty, there isn't indication that this was the case. What it does say is:

In Winthrop's Journal, he states that about forty families, finding themselves straitened, left the town of Lynn with the design of settling a new plantation. They invited Mr. Abraham Pierson, of Boston, to become their minister....

Firstly, it only says that Winthrop recorded (as he did many things about the MBC) that forty families "found themselves straitened", but not that he had anything to do with it, and that they decided to go found a new settlement elsewhere. Also, it indicates that Pierson was not from Lynn.

At [1], we see a different wording:

The common statement derived from Cotton Mather is, that between thirty and forty families in Lynn, Massachusetts, finding themselves straited for land, came over to Long Island and effected a settlement.

The wording here suggests not that Lynners had been reprimanded and left in exile, but that some families decided there wasn't enough available land in Lynn for them; so the venturing into new settlements in CT and LI weren't about exile but about expansionism and homesteading.

Likewise, History of Essex County Massachusetts available at Google Books, describes that a number of deed issues with the natives had led to some unsavory conflicts, so perhaps (OR) there was limited undeeded land available for the English. As to the Lynners who left to found settlements in CT and LI, it refers to them as "restless" or "enterprising", not exiled or ostracised.

No source indicates that the entire population of Lynn abandoned the town, whether by force or not, or that it was ever repopulated or resettled.

- Keith D. Tyler 16:50, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

The links, the links[edit]

No, I'm not referring to the golf courses. Read this for WP's concept of an acceptable link: WP:ELNO. The COC link has to go because it is all advertising. The Lynn Item was a tough one. However, the item is not primarily about Lynn, it is about the news, granted much of it happening in Lynn. The fact that someone might have failed to turn his vehicle at the end of Eastern Avenue, run it into King's Beach, and was immediately poisoned to death by the sewage there, is not encyclopedic information about Lynn, even though those places are in Lynn. Similarly, if an elderly woman dies of asphyxiation from the smell trying to get to Nahant, that is not encyclopedic, either. If you say much about the item in the article and you want to list an issue as a reference to it, that seems to me to be OK. Or, if the Item has its own article, the newspaper might be an official site there; certainly it would belong there. I think it might. Meanwhile, these disallowed links have to go, and the others should be properly formatted, say with template:cite web.Dave (talk) 21:43, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Notable residents[edit]

I'm pretty sure this list has to go. It isn't encyclopedic. We can't list every person of note living in every city in the world. This would not be an encyclopedia, it would be a global telephone book without the telephone numbers. What's the point of it? Someone wants to know something about Lynn, Massachusetts, and all he can find is a list of persons who consider themselves notable and live in Lynn. For the persons actually from Lynn, we have a category to cover that. And suppose a person moves. What, are going to take in hand checking the lists and making sure they all have not moved? I am sure you will agree, this is absurd. It falls into the category of lists of trivia. I'm going to do a little more study of the WP policy and then I think this list will have to go.Dave (talk) 23:02, 9 August 2010 (UTC)


I am questioning the Great Stew Race’s relevancy here. This race only occurs once a year and does not have any legitimate coverage in any online media. Removed. Charger2 (talk) 04:26, 23 March 2013 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

I removed the numerous links to old atlases of Lynn as they do not apply to what an External Links are. Charger2 (talk) 02:25, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Notable natives deletion[edit]

I agree with Dave's previous comment on the Notable Residents section. Since their comment, the section was renamed to "Notable natives", but the list was unwieldy (40+) and seemed to go against the principal of having article be a summary on a topic. I have removed this section. Charger2 (talk) 03:23, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

Lynn (Essex Co.) Acadian Connection[edit]

During the early-late 1900s, ferry service ran from Nova Scotia to Boston. A large number of Nova Scotias, particularly those of Acadian descent, relocated to Massachusetts. Many settled in Essex County and more so, the community of Lynn. Even today, there are many "French Acadian" family names in the area. I am just wondering if there has been any research on this subject. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:06, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Timeline of Lynn, Massachusetts[edit]

What is missing from the recently created city timeline article? Please add relevant content. Contributions welcome. Thank you. -- M2545 (talk) 06:51, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

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