I love chestnuts like this one about baked bean Saturday nights. It’s the perfect marriage of history and a glimpse into how people used to live their lives. A couple of Lynn natives told me about how their family rituals included a Saturday night trip to John’s Home Bakery on Fayette Street or just off it for take-home baked beans ladled out of a big bean pot and into take-home containers.
The West Lynn counterpart was apparently Barton’s at the corner of Myrtle and Boston streets. Saturday nights were always fun growing up. Childhood in Casper, Wyo., meant Saturday nights were reserved for a stop at a drive-in burger place or maybe a movie. We might get dropped off at our grandparents where we promptly turned their basement den furniture into boats or spaceships. On the Saturday nights my parents made it an evening out, we got our choice of chipped beef or TV dinners and an evening diet of “Room 222,” “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” and other great 1960s television fare.
Anyone ever heard of the Lynn Alps? Let’s see … there’s Mt. Paran, Mt. Lebanon, Mt. Spicket and the tallest of them all at 278 feet, Mt. Hermon. These modest promontories and a host of other interesting landmarks like Seldomgood Road (somewhere up around Range Avenue) and Fox Island (where the Saugus River fishing pier is now located) are in plain view on the 1891 map of Lynn displayed in the city collector’s office.
The office is a mini Lynn Museum with great photographs of local streets and intersections and a fun selection of old trolleys, including a horse-drawn one.
Penny candy still has its fans with the ever-knowledgeable Jo Sullivan recalling a store at Cottage and Waterhill streets in the 1950s. “A bell rang when the door opened and you stepped down into the store,” she said. She said her son bought treats at Oakie’s on Summer Street in the 1970s and another informed source recalled buying candy at two Summer Street stores — Chio’s and Parker’s.
Bruce Wiley corrected me and said Conney’s sold candy at the corner of Chatham Street and Williams Avenue. He said Dave’s Market used to sell candy on Chatham Street opposite Timson Street and Fosse’s on Essex Street sold penny candy.
Wiley also fondly recalled an ice cream place called Barnyard at the corner of Essex and Empire streets. Alden Raine, a Revere guy, recalled walking across the bridge to get hot dogs and ice cream at the former West Lynn Creamery.
File under the heading, Gone to the Birds. Anyone remember a Buffum Street resident who owned homing pigeons? Anyone recall the name of the woman who fed the geese near Wyoma Square and went to court to assert her rights to nurture Nature?
I get calls occasionally from people who square off with foul-tempered fowl at Gannon or in Magnolia Avenue playground. I can’t blame the turkeys who cause traffic jams at Goodwin Circle — after all, the woods they enjoyed have been reduced to a few stalwart trees.