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Lynn Woods Historic District

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1881–. Walnut St., Parkland Ave., Lynnfield St., Lynn and the Saugus and Lynnfield town boundaries.

As with many things in Lynn, Lynn Woods emerged from the aftermath of a major fire. The conflagration of 1869 led to the founding of the Lynn Water Board in 1870 and the eventual purchase and creation of pond reservoirs in Lynn Woods to fight future fires. In 1881, the Trustees of the Free Public Forest organized to acquire the land surrounding these new reservoirs and to make what would become a forest park of more than two thousand acres available to the local and regional populace. As such, the trustees anticipated larger developments, including designation of the immense Adirondack forest reservation in 1885 to safeguard the watershed for New York City. In 1889, Frederick Law Olmsted advised the recently established Lynn Park Commission (which assumed the duties of the trustees) to leave the site essentially undeveloped, celebrating the natural beauty of this forest preserve. Lynn Woods served as one of the models for the Boston Metropolitan Park system, established in 1892, but the commission declined to incorporate Lynn Woods into that regional network.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Lynn Woods Historic District", [Lynn, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 376-377.

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