US GenWebLynnfield, MAMA GenWeb

line decor
line decor
Essex County GenWeb

Lynnfield "Common Route"

The Common Route
2.2 Mile Walk Lynnfield Center

Begin at Meeting House
This Tour is designed for sidewalk viewing only. Please respect the Privacy of Homeowners

A.  The Common.   A Triangle of Land, this area was included in an original grant from King Charles I of England in 1638.  The Concerts on the Common, hosted by the Friends of the Lynnfield Library, are a favorite feature of the summer.

B.  The Old Meeting House.  This building was built in 1714.  It is the third oldest puritan Meeting House in Massachusetts still standing on its original green.  It has served as a church, school house, town hall and fire station.  The bell from the fire station now sits on a block of granite on the Common.  The granite was quarried from Bow Ridge area in South Lynnfield.  The Lynnfield Historical Society has taken great care of this building over time.  Every September, the Rotary hosts its chicken barbeque here, a feast for the whole town; in November Townscape holds its annual bean supper and in May hosts the Geraniumfest here to raise money for special care of trees all over Lynnfield.  In December, the Country Store, held by the Lynnfield Historical Society, and the Treelighting on the Common are annual traditions.

C.  The Chapel.  This original Chapel was built in 1832 by 18 people who left the Meeting House Church to establish their own.  It was called the Orthodox Evangelical Church until 1908 when it was incorporated under its present name:  The Centre Congregational Church.

D.  The Centre Schoolhouse.  This small schoolhouse was built in 1856.  It was the first school paid for by local taxes. (Schooling took place in private homes before then.)    It is now part of the Lynnfield Library and houses the children’s section of books.

E.  The Lynnfield Library.   Home to the largest genealogical collection in the Northeast, The Lynnfield Library has a unique collection of information for all generations. 

F.  The Old Burying Ground.  This cemetery dates back to 1714.  It contains graves of more than 25 Revolutionary heroes as well as some of Lynnfield’s first settlers.  Traditionally, Neil Restani of the VFW and Mrs. Naylor’s Middle School class decorate this area with flags and geraniums every Memorial Day.  Behind this area and the Centre Ice Area is a path from Town Hall to the Middle School Football Field.  Foxhunts were known to be held here over two hundred years ago.

G.  The Reverend Joseph Mottey House (Centre Farm)- This large mustard colored home at 567 Main Street (across from Centre Shops) was originally built in the 1700’s providing a gateway for where “the ways meet”.  It was rebuilt in the Federalist architecture in 1810.  Church services were held here in the winter, as this home was one of the first to have a heated room that the Reverend Mottey had frugally saved for with this purpose in mind.    Captain Henry Bancroft was the next resident.  He was one of the more wealthy men in the state. When the railroad was being built from Wakefield to Danvers, he purchased enough stock in the railroad to request that the line pass toward the back of his property (near the now St. Paul’s Church) instead of near Gerry’s Cider Mill across Reedy Meadow near Walnut Street.  It is said that Captain Bancroft’s late daughter Eliza can be seen brushing her hair in the window upstairs on occasion.  (For more info see Gallery of Tributes).   Several Heritage Maples are among many trees on this property.   A Heritage tree trunk is at least 32” in diameter.

H.  West Cemetery.  This Cemetery dates back to 1813 and contains Revolutionary war heroes.  The stone wall in front is made of the highest quality granite quarried from the Bow Ridge area of South Lynnfield.  At one time there were false graves set up in order to hide the slaves that were traveling north to find freedom.
New Lynnfield Middle School
.  Cross the street here at the crosswalk.

I.   Whittredge House.  This brown home was George Whittredge’s first home.  The address of 498 Main Street is a wonderful example of a popular variation of the traditional Cape style home.  There are beautiful red pine floors throughout.  The second floor is higher and deeper and it still maintains the style of the past. 

J.   Chestnut Street.  This street has many old historical homes. Another day, make a point to check out the Joseph Tapley Tomb at the top of Chestnut Street.  The Tomb holds 12 bodies of the Tapley Family.   The Tapley Tavern is the first house on the right at the crossroads of Lowell Street.  This tavern housed and fed many of the travelers on this main road between Salem and Lowell.  The grandson of Joseph Tapley, David Hewes, was a native son of Lynnfield who became well known in the outside world.  He is best known because he gave the golden spike used in the ceremony at Promontory Point, Utah in 1869.  He drove in the spike, connecting the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific in front of more than one thousand notable guests.  The news of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad spread across the country. (1)

K.  The Blood Estate.  Seen from Main Street, this beautiful estate belonged to the Blood Family who ran the J.B.Blood Grocery Store in Lynn and Salem.

L.  Beaver Pond.  This pond is located next to Main Street.  It is fed by the Beaver Brook which is located in back of the Center Market Stores. 

M.  Partridge Island Trail.  A conservation plaque marks the site of an original Indian Camp.  This area is part of the conservation area known as Reedy Meadow.  There have been original arrowheads found in this location.  They are now being displayed at the Natural Museum of History in Cambridge, MA.  Don’t forget to explore the trail another day.

N.  Rumbolt’s Farm.  This one time Dairy Farm is marked by a memorial plaque located at the head of Village Row.  This was an area of a prosperous farm and summer picnic spot.  A wooden pavilion used to stand out as a place of warmth and hospitality.  In the 1940’s and 50’s the Rumbolt’s Grove drew many talented baseball players and fans as well as corporate gatherings, drawing many in the area to share good times.

O.  Joseph Henfield House.  This brown house that stands at 300 Main Street is considered to be the oldest in town that is still standing.  The House sits at an angle facing east so the heat and light of the sun would shine on the home.    It was built in 1667 and was home to young Ben Adams.  This 16 year old boy was responsible for beating the drum that brought together the Lynn Minutemen who congregated at the Common before heading out to the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

P.   Captain Thomas Flint House.  This grey home located at 272 Main Street was originally built in 1696 but burned and was rebuilt in 1720.  This home was considered the grandest house in town.  It has been beautifully restored.  There are original Indian Shutters, (when closed there is just enough room to fit a riffle through), paneled rifle closets and a beautiful oak staircase.

Q. Richardson House.   This red house located at 258 Main Street was built in 1923.  This is a wonderful example of a typical New England farmhouse.

R.  Moses Richardson House.  This somewhat white house located at 244 Main Street was originally located in Wakefield.  In 1745 the home itself was moved from Wakefield to where it sits presently.

 Halfway Point- Turn around and pick up at George Whittredge House

(Corner of Main St. and Beaver Ave)  

S.  George Whittredge House.    A white home with blue shutters was George’s second home.  The address of 556 and 558 Main Street now accommodates three residence apartments.   This home was built by George and his brother William in 1835.  The house was originally a store and a shoe factory.

T.  William Whittredge House.  This gray home is located at 562 Main Street.  It was built in the early 1800’s and is located next to his brighter George’s home.  Capt. Henry Bancroft lived here in the 1700’s.

U.  The Joseph Bancroft House.  Owned by the son of Captain Henry Bancroft.   This home became Lizzie’s Tea House in the 1800’s.

V.  The Old Parsonage.   This house located at 574 Main Street was built in 1839.  It was built for the Minister of the Orthodox Evangelical Church which is now called Centre Congregational Church.       

W.   The Roundy House.  This beige house next to Centre Shops was known as Round’s Store.  It was a popular and thriving general store in the 1800’s.   It was originally located where the Centre Market shops are now.  The first pay phone in town could be found there in 1895.

X.  Beaver Brook.  This area located behind Centre Market is one of the designated conservation areas in town.  Self guided map tours of this trail are available in the Library.

Y.  Jonathan Bryant House.  A white house built in 1839 by the son of John Bryant who lived next door was the site of a blacksmith shop.  In 1850, Jonathan joined the Gold Rush to California but returned 3 years later to resume the farming and blacksmith business.

Z.   John Bryant House.  This beautiful white home with black shutters was built in 1807 on land granted to Everett Holyoke as part of the “Six Mile Grant” of March 13, 1638.  The six miles of land granted to Holyoke and others extended six miles from the Meeting House in Lynn.

 Common Route map 

Special Thanks To:

Kathy Riese for research and guidance, NE Graphics Department for map print and design, the Girl Scouts of Lynnfield and RecConnect founders Brenda Gallo, Jill Purisky, Karen Culbert and Kendall Inglese for pioneering the first Common Route Walk-a-bout on October 18, 2003 and to Lynnfield Recreation for making the Walk-a-bout a new tradition in town.  Special thanks also to all residents who in the past and present have worked diligently to preserve the heritage homes, sites and trees in Lynnfield.

 Research based on Marcia Wiswall’s Lynnfield A Heritage Preserved and Warren Fall’s History of Lynnfield. And (1) Lynnfield A Brief History 1634-1975



Comments or question? Email Michelle Wilkins Cook please put Lynnfield Genweb in the subject line.

Copyright 2011 MWC