An exhibit of
Lydia Pinkham and her
medicinals at the Vistors Center
590 Washington St., Lynn
The oceanfront community of Lynn is famous for
its shoe manufacturing, for pioneering developments in electronics
and for the 19th century reformers who lived there. Exhibits and
tours highlight the innovation and industry of Lynn, the turn-of-the-century
shoemaking capital of the U.S. Compare the craft and tools of a
hand made shoe with a factory made shoe. Experience the struggle
of shoe workers during the Strike of 1860. Find out why Lydia Pinkham’s
medicinals were known the world over. A boardwalk stroll at the
nearby Waterfront Park features an extraordinary
mosaic mural on Lynn's history.
Settled in 1629, Lynn flourished as a plantation and site to early
leather and iron industries. Shoemaking began in 1635 as a traditional
hand craft, often done at home during the winter. In 1750, Welsh
immigrant John Adam Dagyr introduced local shoemakers to improved
techniques of making high quality women’s shoes. By the early
1800s, shoemaking had become a prosperous industry, supplying the
nation through nearby maritime ports. Machinery introduced in the
1850’s ushered in the modern shoe factory, creating work opportunities
that attracted labor from all over New England and later from Europe.
In 1882, Elihu Thomson brought a thriving electrical business
to Lynn. These included manufacturing industrial motors and arc
lighting. His ground-breaking experiments with electricity led to
the formation of General Electric with Thomas Edison in 1892. Shoemaking
declined in the 1920s and 30s while General Electric expanded. During
World War II the nation’s first jet engine was built under
great secrecy at the Lynn plant. These fascinating stories and more
are included in the Visitors Center exhibits.
Things to know before you go…
• Visitors Center hours: Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, Noon
to 4:00 PM
• Admission is free.
• Group tours may be arranged by scheduling in advance.
• Parking at both locations is limited. Additional parking
for $2 at the MBTA station on Market Street.
• Lynn Heritage is wheelchair accessible. Assisted
listening equipment is available for better hearing access for park
programs and guided tours. Reasonable accommodations available upon
Lynn Heritage is located just north of Boston. To reach
the Visitors Center at the corner of Washington and Union Streets
From the North: Rtes. 128/I-95 South to exit 44, Rte. 1
South. Take first exit to Rte 129 East. Follow Rte. 129 East to
Downtown Lynn. After MBTA commuter rail trestle, Visitors Center
will be on the opposite left corner.
From South and West: Rtes. 128/I-95 North to exit
44B. Follow Rte. 129 East to Downtown Lynn. After MBTA commuter
rail trestle, Visitors Center will be on the opposite left corner.
From Salem: Route 1A South to Lynn. At North Shore
Community College, take a sharp right onto Union Street, then right
onto Washington Street. Parking and Visitors Center on left.
From Boston: Route 1A North to Lynnway. Turn left
following Rt. 1A onto Market St., then right onto Broad St. At North
Shore Community College bear left onto Union Street, next right
on Washington Street. Parking and Visitors Center on left.
MBTA Public Transportation to Central Square-Lynn:
Bus routes 426, 429, 433, 435/6/7, 439, 441/2, 455; the Newburyport/Rockport
Commuter Rail line.
Other Heritage Parks
You can learn more about Massachusetts' industrial heritage at these
state parks: Blackstone River and Canal HSP,
Western Gateway HSP, Lawrence
HSP, and Holyoke HSP.