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Lynn Public Library


Lynn was settled by colonists from the New England Company in Salem in 1629 on land that originally included what is today Swampscott, Nahant, Lynnfield and Saugus. Early settlers were farmers and fishermen. During the late 1700's, Lynn developed the first leather tannery in the country by the nineteenth century had become a major shoe manufacturer, known as "the ladies's shoe center of the world." The population grew with the influx of shoe industry workers and Lynn became a city in 1850.

Lynn's development as an industrial center was paralleled by its emergence as a summer vacation destination during the 19th century. Located just nine miles north of Boston, Lynn was the perfect location for the summer estates of the well-to-do citizens of Boston.

Lynn, one of the most diverse cities in Essex County, is also the largest, with a population of more than 89,000. The Lynn Public Library has a large and varied collection of historic images divided among several collections. These images provide a fascinating look at Lynn during the early twentieth century. Browse one of these collections or search by topic.


Lynn Buildings

Historic images of homes and businesses in Lynn, Mass.

Lynn Churches

Historic images of the many churches in Lynn, Mass.

Lynn Parades and Events

Looking back at some significant celebrations in Lynn, Mass.

Lynn Memorials and Cemeteries


Images of some of Lynn's cemeteries and memorials.

Lynn Open Spaces

Historic images showing some of the recreational areas throughout Lynn, Mass.

People of Lynn

These historic images depict some of Lynn's most notable citizens of the twentieth century, including the city's mayors and other politicians.

Lynn's Streets

Historic images of the city streets.

Transportation in Lynn


Images of early public transporation in Lynn, Mass.

Lynn during World War I

Historic images of the many Lynn citizens who fought in World War I or contributed in other ways to the war effort.