Lynn English High - Class of 1953 Reunion Site

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Lynn History


Jump to Eating Places for the newest group on this page

Start at Miscellaneous for the newest individual pictures on this page


Jump to Memories of Lynn by Peter Bollen

Jump to Letters to the Editor by Dr. Terry Downey


Other Jumps:

The Breakers      Theaters         From Manning Bowl to Manning Field

Down Lynn's Memory Lane Stories         Eating Places

Dungeon Rock and Stone Tower





The Elks Building circa 1959


T. W. Rogers Store


Salem Willows Miniature Railroad



According to my relatives, there were a total of three lighthouses build on Egg Rock.


Fisherman's Beach and Lynn Beach Bathhouse in 1950

A new bathhouse was completed by the state in 2011.  It's halfway between this site and the Tides restaurant.  It's Lynn Beach to us but it's the Long Beach Reservation to the state.  Still a very popular area, the summer parking is (or was in 2011) only $3 a day.  A number of the stone tables have survived but may not be the easiest things to sit at.

Will try again to get some updated pictures of the area this summer.  The Tides is currently run by a chain and I have not been back since my wife kneecapped a waitress for refusing to melt some butter patties for her expensive lobsters.



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Central Square and Market Street at Christmas time in 1953



Flax Pond ice harvest


Grade 6 at we could do with our ancient and venerable software





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Dungeon Rock and Stone Tower


From the CSI: Lynn site..."At the end of a circuitous path leading from the town of Lynn to Dungeon Rock (in background).  Hiram Marble and his son Edwin built a 'prim little cottage...cozily situated on a sort of shelf'.  They soon made a garden and transformed the cart path into a carriage road."





Current picture of the restored Stone Tower courtesy of Art Caldwell

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The Breakers


An earlier version of the left side of the Breakers.  Before we were born, it collapsed after a major storm and about two hours after several relatives of the site manager and probably some of yours had been at the site.  By way of a side story, the site manager and several classmates were sitting out a rainstorm on the bench next to the one in the picture when lightning struck this bench.  None of us stopped running until we got to our neighborhood around Eastern and Essex Avenues.


The current version of the left side.







Not the breakers, just a chance to break your neck.  St. John's Church of Swampscott in rear.

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From Manning Bowl to Manning Field


The best of both worlds at Thanksgiving...sitting in the sun and watching English win.  Art Caldwell provided this picture of the way it was.  Unfortunately, old age caught up with the concrete structure and it had to be removed.  The grass field has been replaced by a surface similar to the one at the Patriots' Gillette Stadium. 

You can click on this link,, for an extensive history of the Bowl.  I knew that English had beaten Classical in its first official football game but just learned that they won the last game in the Bowl by beating Classical as well.


Original site of Manning and a 1937 post card of the new field


Goodbye to the old...bring in the new



This picture of Manning Field is from the City of Lynn web site.  The Bowl was a WPA project from 1936-38 and provided jobs for over 1,000 workers.  In 1948 Lynn was the first site in the nation to televise high school football games with WNAC-TV.

Not to be ignored, Fraser Field has had quite a facelift as well.


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The Central Square Theater which may have become the Capitol in our day.







Eating Places             









Not in Lynn but dated 1955


A shining example of a small successful restaurant that made the big move but kept the good food and the reasonable prices...Varley's anyone?  Still a very popular site for group meetings including LEHS 1954's Friday night warm-up party for their 2014 Saturday night reunion at the Holiday Peabody.

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Memories of Lynn, by Peter Bollen, Lynn Item

In a lot of ways, it all came back to me as I noted the wall displays and artifacts of the 1950s at the Lynn Museum.  This display, Lynn - From Jets to the Jetsons, gives an observer the highlights of what this city was like and endured during this nostalgic decade.  As my wife and I departed the museum, I repeated my familiar chime, "Lynn was the greatest city to grow up in." 

In the the 1950s Lynn had everything, bustling retail stores, the best and busiest hub of the North Shore.  The many theaters, bowling alleys, clubs, delis, cafeterias, a host of "Five and Dimes" as we called them; public restrooms, the summer sidewalk sales, which were crowded festivals, diners on all four corners of this city, the yellow Eastern Mass. buses which covered every neighborhood, and for a young impressionable kid, the trees and orchards which abounded all around my Highland section of the city.

Growing up next to a schoolyard was a Godsend.  Stick ball - we called it corkball - where we played 10 months of the year (Is this game played any more?).  And touch football the winter months.  Many a local athlete played on these hallowed grounds.

Lynn was never a dull city during those years before the outer city shopping malls changed the face of urban America.  As  the years passed, treasured landmarks have gone.  I can think of Roland's Ice Cream Parlor when the Porthole Pub now sits and the Redwood Lounge farther down the beach side.  Christie's by the beach remains the lone landmark from our younger days where the younger members of the family still run this local institution.  The Lynn Open Air Theater closed down a couple of decades ago.  The great corner variety stores with its penny candy, tonics, old ice-cream freezers, and baseball packs on display were the daily rewards of us kids and Lynn was rife with these little Meccas,  This was before corner varieties turned into minimarts with the current lottery lines.

What I remember best were the people.  Those I encountered growing up from the neighborhood, schools, boys clubs, scouts and day camps.  The trusted counselors, teachers and leaders who were mostly from the World War II generation, yes, the greatest generation.  Names that stay with me like Greenhalge, Marks, Lampes, Nihan, Aucone, Pelley, the Keaneys, McManus - a little league coach here, a playground counselor there.  They made a meaningful impression on those of us under their tutelage.

Even my high school principal, Mike O'Donnell, pulled out of his car one summer evening, interrupting a ball game to admonish me for overlooking a job opportunity in my trade here in Lynn.  "You should have the best job available," he shouted to this 17-year old kid.  There's simply no way I can properly thank these dedicated individuals who surrounded me in this great city.

Not only was Lynn the center of the shopping in the North Shore, but it boasted some of the best employment opportunities.  General Electric employed over 10,000 people and its workers mostly resided in the city and added to its vitality and its small businesses.  Other local employers such as American Telephone, Champion Lamp, Hogue Sprague, Cushman's and Jackson Phillips made Lynn and important city to find a good job.  As I walked through the Lynn Museum and noted the memorabilia, the images came back to me.  Playgrounds, card-flipping, white pimpled balls, Keds sneakers, YMCA day trips, pickup games, snow shoveling, transistor radios, double features, McClellan's popcorn, diners, Johnny Joyce's sandwiches, yo-yo contests, local sports, allowances, kick the can, Classics comics, pitching tents, etc. 

It was the era, the childhood memories, the people and the grand city with its neighborhoods that offered so much.  As I reach middle age I now appreciate the tremendous history of this city's heritage.  Young people will learn about the great slave and citizen, Frederick Douglas, who once lived here and wrote his autobiography while becoming an international role model and presidential adviser to Abraham Lincoln.  Lynn was also a bellwether city in the labor movement and had the first great strike and social protest of women's shoe  workers.  The historic Hutchinson family and the abolitionist movement against slavery along with the Underground Railroad were part of this city's activist history.

It's easy to take a certain pride in growing up in this city of diversity with its melting pot neighborhoods and cultures.  Though Lynn shares some of the same problems in other older cities which the bedroom communities escape, it's essentially the citizens actions and commitment, especially those who've chosen to stay here, that make the real difference in Lynn's quality of life.  The Lynn Museum along with the downtown Visitor's Center display evoke a glimpse of Lynn's greatness.


Letters to the Editor, Lynn Item, 6-27-2003

(Excerpts from Dr. Theresa Downey's letter to the LEHS Class of 2003)

To The Item Editor:  What can the Class of 2003 learn from the Class of 1953?...Ninety-three of the Class of 1953 graduates attended the 50th Reunion at Kings Grant Inn in Danvers in May...Sixty-six of those who attended and three who were not able to attend shared their stores in writing, while the remaining 27 shared their oral stories at the reunion.

What do their stories tell us?  Some described spouses, children and grandchildren as a source of "pride and joy;" others spoke of enduring friendships and widening their horizons - 36 percent live out of state.  Some spoke of unanticipated success in the wake of discouragement by some teachers - some were told to drop out and get a job.  Others shared stories of expected success as a result of motivation by other teachers asking "Have you considered college?"

Many described their diverse career pathways - medicine, nursing, teaching, chemistry, engineering, law, broadcasting, industry, managing an office, working as a legal assistant.  Others spoke of military service - West Point, Air Force, National Guard, Coast Guard - or of defense work, building nuclear ships and patriot missiles.

As I reflected on the stories of my classmates from the Class of 1953, I thought of the words of Crista McAuliffe to the children of America as she prepared for her journey into space:  "Reach for the Stars."

She explained that if a person did not actually grasp the stars, that person would still go further than if he or she reached for the ground.  She went on to say that if a person reached for the ground, one had nowhere to fall if he or she did not meet his or her goal.

What can the Class of 2003 learn from the Class of 1953?  As I look back on the last 50 years, I am awed at the progress that has been made.  The Class of 1953 has played an important role in this progress because its members reached for the stars.

What do I have to say to the Class of 2003?  Dare to dream.  Believe in your ability to fulfill your dream.  Create wonderful stories that you can share with one another at your 50th reunion in 2053.  Find a way to share you wonderful stories with the Class of 2053, and give them hope to move on and to encourage the next generation. 


Down Lynn's Memory Lane Stories




From Rick Donovan:  As I processed Art Caldwell's Lynn history pictures, the first one to stop me in my tracks was the Rose Motor Company postcard.  Pictured above is my sister Julie and Janis Rose, her very best friend growing up and also  Mr. J. W. Rose's niece.  Janis was one of those special people.  Bright and beautiful, warm and engaging, she radiated a happiness zone that had every guy in the neighborhood in love with her.  Unfortunately for all of us, her parents moved to better jobs at Pratt and Whitney in Connecticut.

The two visited each other often over the years until marriage and family intervened.  Any new car one of us got in the neighborhood was usually christened with a trip to Janis' home in Hazardville.  Sadly, with all the Irish, English, French and Italian guys in our neighborhood, she broke our collective hearts when she married into a local German family.

(Editor's Note:  My thanks to Mike and Marolyn Ciarletta who sent these pictures not long after I saw the Rose Motor postcard.  As you can see, my sister has all the looks and the brains in family.  She went steady with Bill Croteau for a while and much later on, I learned she had also dated three other classmates including two future lawyers:  Ron Natalie and Eddie Mears.  She was also Louis Mangifesti's date for the prom.  Who knows, with a little luck I could have had free legal advice for last 50 years.)


Two roses between three thorns:  Rick and Julie Donovan, Mike Ciarletta, Janis and Bob Ashton on the high diving board at Canobie Lake Park.


Bob Ashton (LEHS '54) and me with Janis and her girlfriend Agnes.  In 1954 or '55, Bill Croteau and I had a memorable drive-in movie date in Connecticut with the girls.  We didn't see any of the main movie but we both remember its name..."Caine Mutiny'.


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