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Lynn, Massachusetts
—  City  —

Location in Essex County in Massachusetts
Coordinates: 42°28′00″N 70°57′00″W / 42.4666667°N 70.95°W / 42.4666667; -70.95Coordinates: 42°28′00″N 70°57′00″W / 42.4666667°N 70.95°W / 42.4666667; -70.95
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Essex
Settled 1629
Incorporated 1850
 - Type Mayor-council city
 - Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy
 - Total 13.5 sq mi (34.9 km2)
 - Land 10.8 sq mi (28.0 km2)
 - Water 2.7 sq mi (6.9 km2)
Elevation 30 ft (9 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 87,122
 Density 8,066.9/sq mi (3,111.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01901–01905
Area code(s) 339 / 781
FIPS code 25-37490
GNIS feature ID 0613376

Lynn is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 89,050 at the 2000 census. An old industrial center, Lynn is home to Lynn Beach and Lynn Heritage State Park.



The area known as Lynn was first settled in 1629 by Edmund Ingalls (d. 1647) and incorporated in 1631 as Saugus, the Nipmuck name for the area.[1] The name Lynn was given to the area after King's Lynn, Norfolk, England, in honor of Samuel Whiting.[2]

After Lynn's re-settlement many parts of the town were set off as independent towns. Reading was created in 1644, Lynnfield in 1782, Saugus in 1815, Swampscott in 1852, and Nahant in 1853. Lynn incorporated as a city in 1850.

Colonial Lynn was a major part of the regional tannery and shoe-making industries that began in 1635. The boots worn by Continental Army soldiers during the Revolutionary War were made in Lynn. The shoe-making industry drove urban growth in Lynn into the early nineteenth century.[2] This historic theme is reflected in the city seal, which features a colonial boot.[3]

In 1816 a mail stage coach was operating through Lynn. By 1836, 23 stage coaches left the Lynn Hotel for Boston each day. The Eastern Railroad Line between Salem and East Boston opened on August 28, 1838. This was later merged with the Boston and Maine Railroad and called the Eastern Division. In 1847 telegraph wires passed through Lynn, but no telegraph service station was built till 1858.[4]

Lynn Shoe manufacturers, lead by Charles A. Coffin and Silas Abbott Barton, invested in the early electric industry, specifically in 1883 with Elihu Thomson and his Thomson-Houston Electric Company. That company merged with Edison Electric Company forming General Electric in 1892. Charles A. Coffin served as the first president of General Electric. Elihu Thomson later served as acting president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1920 to 1923.[5]

Initially the General Electric plant specialized in arc lights, electric motors, and meters. Later they specialized in aircraft electrical systems and components, and aircraft engines were built in Lynn during WWII. That engine plant evolved into the current jet engine plant during WWII because of research contacts at MIT in Cambridge.[6] Gerhard Neumann was a key player in jet engine group at GE in Lynn. The continuous interaction of material science research at MIT and the resulting improvements in jet engine efficiency and power have kept the jet engine plant in Lynn ever since.

Lynn's population peaked around 1930 at just over 102,000 and the population today is roughly where it was in 1910. Yet de-industrialization has meant that median household income for Lynn is well below the statewide average.

Lynn suffered several large fires in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including a devastating inferno among former shoe factories at Broad and Washington Streets on November 28, 1981. The blaze destroyed 17 downtown buildings undergoing redevelopment, with property losses totaling in the tens of millions of dollars. The site has since been largely redeveloped into a satellite campus of North Shore Community College.

Due to a reputation for high crime that has persisted since the beginning of industrialization, a taunting rhyme about Lynn[7][8] has been known throughout Eastern Massachusetts:

Lynn, Lynn, city of sin
You never come out the way you went in
Ask for water, they give you a gin
the girls say no, but always give in

In order to end the popular chant, city solicitor Michael Barry proposed renaming the city to Ocean Park in 1997, but this failed to pass.[9]

Lynn remains home to a division of General Electric Aviation, a major employer; the West Lynn Creamery (now part of Dean Foods's Garelick Farms unit); C. L. Hauthaway & Sons, a polymer producer; Old Neighborhood Foods, a meat packer; Lynn Manufacturing, a maker of combustion chambers for the oil and gas heating industry; Sterling Machine Co.; and Durkee-Mower, makers of "Marshmallow Fluff."

Infamously known as, "Lynn, Lynn: the city of sin. You never come out, the way you went in," or "Lynn, Lynn the city of sin, if you ain't bad you can't come in!", the city of Lynn created an advertising campaign in the early 1990s, to improve the city's image, and help rid the town of that negative slogan. This was the "City Of Firsts" campaign, which boasted that Lynn had the:

Later, some of these claims were found to be inaccurate or unprovable. For example, the first baseball game under artificial light seems to have actually occurred in Indiana. While the jet engine claim is legitimate, the engine was heavily based on a prior British design.[citation needed]

we want glazers out

Geography and Transportation

Goldfish Pond in 1905

Lynn is located at 42°28′26″N 70°57′20″W / 42.47389°N 70.95556°W / 42.47389; -70.95556 (42.473996, −70.955583).[10] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.5 square miles (34.9 km²), of which, 10.8 square miles (28.0 km²) of it is land and 2.7 square miles (6.9 km²) of it (19.87%) is water. Lynn is located beside Massachusetts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Lynn's shoreline is divided in half by the town of Nahant, which divides Lynn Harbor to the south from Nahant Bay to the north. The town lies north of the Saugus River, and is also home to several brooks, as well as several ponds, the largest being Breed's Pond and Walden Pond (which has no relation to a similarly named pond in Concord. More than a quarter of the town's land is covered by the Lynn Woods Reservation, which takes up much of the land in the northwestern part of town. The town is also home to two beaches, Lynn Beach and King's Beach, both of which lie along Nahant Bay, as well as a boat ramp in Lynn Harbor.

Lynn is located in the southern part of Essex County, and is five miles southwest of Salem, ten miles northeast of Boston, and twenty-two miles west-southwest of Cape Ann. The city is bordered by Nahant to the south, Swampscott to the east, Salem to the northeast, Peabody to the north, Lynnfield to the northwest, Saugus to the west, and Revere (in Suffolk County) to the southeast. Lynn's water rights extend into Nahant Bay, and share Lynn Harbor with Nahant. There is no land connection to Revere; the only connection is the General Edwards Bridge across the Saugus River. Besides its downtown district, Lynn is also divided into East Lynn and West Lynn, which are further divided into even smaller areas.

Lynn is loosely segmented into the following neighborhoods:

  ** Downtown / Business District
  ** Central Square
  ** Pine Hill
  ** McDonough Sq./ Barry Park
  ** Tower Hill / Austin Sq. - Saugus River
  ** The Brickyard
  ** The Commons
  ** Walnut St./Lynnhurst
  ** Veteran's Village
  ** Diamond  District / Lynn Shore
  ** Wyoma Sq.
  ** The Highlands
  ** The Fay Estates
  ** Ward 1 / Lynnfield St.
  ** Goldfish Pond
  ** The Meadow / Keaney Park


Lynn has no full highways, the nearest being U.S. Route 1 in Saugus and the combined Interstate 95 and Route 128 in Lynnfield. Route 1A, Route 107, Route 129 and Route 129A all pass through the town. Route 107 passes from southwest to northeast along a relatively straight right-of-way through town. It shares a half mile concurrency with Route 129A, which follows Route 129's old route through town between its parent route and Route 1A. Route 129 passes from the north of town before turning south and passing through the downtown area and becoming concurrent with Route 1A for a mile. Route 1A passes from Revere along the western portion of the Lynnway, a divided highway within town, before passing further inland into Swampscott. The Lynnway itself stays along the shoreline, leading to a rotary which links the road to Nahant Road and Lynn Shore Drive, which follows the coast into Swampscott.

Lynn has a stop on the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail, and several MBTA bus routes that connect it with Boston and the neighboring communities.. There are ongoing studies on the feasibility of extending the Blue Line subway to the city. The nearest airport is Boston's Logan International Airport.


Lynn gets very cold, snowy winters and mild-to-warm summers.

Climate data for Lynn, Massachusetts
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Average high °F (°C) 37
Average low °F (°C) 20
Record low °F (°C) -9
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.7
Source: {{{source}}} {{{accessdate}}}

[citation needed]


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 2,291
1800 2,837 23.8%
1810 4,087 44.1%
1820 4,515 10.5%
1830 6,138 35.9%
1840 9,367 52.6%
1850 14,257 52.2%
1860 19,083 33.9%
1870 28,233 47.9%
1880 38,274 35.6%
1890 55,727 45.6%
1900 68,513 22.9%
1910 89,336 30.4%
1920 99,148 11.0%
1930 102,320 3.2%
1940 98,123 −4.1%
1950 99,738 1.6%
1960 94,191 −5.6%
1970 90,294 −4.1%
1980 78,471 −13.1%
1990 81,245 3.5%
2000 89,050 9.6%
Est. 2007 87,122 −2.2%
First School House in c. 1910

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 89,050 people, 33,511 households, and 21,044 families residing in the city. The population density was 8,233.7 people per square mile (3,177.7/km²). There were 34,637 housing units at an average density of 3,202.6/sq mi (1,236.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.89% White, 10.55% African American, 0.37% Native American, 6.43% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 9.82% from other races, and 4.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.40% of the population.Lynn also has the largest Bosnian community in Massachusetts.

There were 33,511 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.7% were married couples living together, 17.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 31.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.31.

Lynn Marshes in c. 1905

In the city the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,364, and the median income for a family was $45,295. Males had a median income of $34,284 versus $27,871 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,492. About 13.2% of families and 16.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.9% of those under age 18 and 14.6% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

Breakwater in 1908


Lynn has three public high schools (Lynn English, Lynn Classical, Lynn Vocational Technical Institute), four junior high schools, two alternative schools, and, as of Autumn 2008, 16 elementary schools (two were closed over the summer because of city budgetary constraints).[12] They are served by the Lynn Public Schools district. There is also an independent Catholic high school, St. Mary's High School, and three religious K–8 elementary schools, and one interdenominational Christian.[13]

KIPP: the Knowledge Is Power Program operates the KIPP Academy Lynn, a 5–8 charter middle school, in Lynn.

In popular culture

Lynn is mentioned in a number of books by contemporary authors, including Stephen King's Cell[14] and a number of books by Keith Ablow.

Many versions of the Mother Goose rhyme "Trot, trot to Boston" include Lynn as the second destination.[15]

Episodes of the reality series Cops focusing on Boston often include one segment in Lynn.[16][17]

Notable residents


  1. ^ Herbert, George. History of Lynn... 1629–1864, 1890.
  2. ^ a b About the City of Lynn, MA at City of Lynn website
  3. ^ City of Lynn official website
  4. ^ [1] History of Lynn Ch2-1814–1864 pub1890.
  5. ^ [2] Elihu Thomson Papers at the American Philosophical Society
  6. ^ [3] MassMoments GE Jet Engine Tests in Lynn
  7. ^ Méras, Phyllis (2007). The Historic Shops & Restaurants of Boston. p. 56. 
  8. ^ Kerry, John (2007-11-27). "Don't Leave New England Families Out in the Cold". Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  9. ^ Daley, Beth (1997-03-06). "Rhyme may be reason to change Lynn's name". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-01-13. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ Lynn Public Schools. "School Profiles". Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  13. ^ Massachusetts Department of Education. "Lynn — Directory Information". Retrieved 2007-08-02. 
  14. ^ King, Stephen. Cell. p. 365. 
  15. ^ Ra, Carol (1997). Trot, trot, to Boston: play rhymes for baby. 
  16. ^ "Boston, MA 6". Cops. 1991-12-14. No. 108.
  17. ^ "Boston/New City, MA". Cops. 1996-11-12. No. 317.
  • United Press International. "Blaze destroys urban complex in Lynn, Mass." 'The New York Times,' November 29, 1981. Page 28.

External links

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