Opinion

Jourgensen: I was just wondering …

Anyone know if the trolley house is still standing in Lynn? Don’t ask me but the story I heard was that the owners bought an old streetcar and turned it into an addition onto their home. Speaking of trolleys, there are still a few trolley tracks holding their ground on downtown streets. Road repair projects typically involve ripping up the rusty relics of Lynn’s transit history but the few remaining tracks are a fun and, sometimes, jarring reminder of a pre-automobile time that wasn’t too long ago.

Speaking of notable local residences, Lynn supposedly has its own Ritz-Carlton. Granted, the fancy name is emblazoned on the front of a local apartment building, not a hotel. Don’t ask me what street the Ritz is located on. While we’re at it, is Robert’s Fur Box on Summer Street the region’s last fur storage place? There must be only a handful of businesses of its kind still around.

Anyone remember the Lynn YMCA “Barbell Club?” Word has it the combination of local guys and heavy iron generated plenty of laughs and stories in the 1980s. Don’t ask …

Speaking of stories — ones about Lynn’s connection to the Underground Railroad endure from decade to decade and century to century. One story pinpoints an old house on the corner of Browns Avenue and Boston Street near the Saugus line as a stop on the famous network that brought people out of bondage and into freedom in the 19th century.

Another reputed location is the Franklin Street law office opposite the public library complete with an attic that supposedly served as a hideaway. The story of the Underground Railroad’s passage through Lynn, or even its connection to the North Shore and Boston, would be a great Lynn library or Lynn Museum lecture.

David Solimine Sr., a continuous and great source of library and all other local history, reminded me by way of city Public Works Deputy Commissioner Butchie Barnes how the four giant stone pillars gracing the North Common Street library’s front were each brought in one piece from a Vermont quarry.

The library is an architectural treasure. I love how city Community Development Director James Marsh and other city officials took the initiative to pull those two great old light fixtures out from behind a boiler in the library basement and get them restored to their rightful place in front of the library front steps.

Don’t ask me but I wonder how many America Park former residents are still around. For that matter, anyone know how many of Veterans Village’s original residents still live there? It would be great to organize an evening with America Park and Veterans Village alumni recounting memories and talking about life in those neighborhoods. While we’re talking about West Lynn, it goes without saying that another book on the Brickyard is way overdue for publication.

One of my favorite sights in the city is big old trees. There is a monster on Greystone Park next to the big house that was supposedly once owned by an actress. I always like the giant pines that towered over Goodwin Circle. Most of them are gone but a half dozen or so still rise high above Lynnfield Street. Where is the tallest tree in Lynn? Don’t ask …

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