LYNN — Community organizer Michelle Guzman, of Lynn, is leading walking tours to highlight the city’s heritage and history.
She had the idea of Lynn Walking Shoe Tours, which references the city’s history in the shoe industry, because of her desire to share Lynn’s history.
“I’m trying to promote tourism, but also showcase Lynn’s heritage and rich history, so I’m doing this through walking tours,” Guzman said. “I promote culture. I promote art. (In the) downtown, there are a lot of expressions of art.”
Guzman holds walking tours on weekends in downtown Lynn, which also extends into Broad Street. She also plans on extending her tours to historical sites, such as Lynn Heritage State Park and High Rock Tower.
Guzman, who has lived in Lynn for 22 years, holds separate tours, which are about 90 minutes, in English and Spanish. She designed the routes and serves as the tour guide and organizer.
There are three main tours — Past and Present, which goes back to the 1980s, visiting three or four sites from that time period and fast forwarding to present time, which takes the tour around locations such as Central Square; Lynn at Night, which also begins in the 1980s and includes stops at the murals and incorporates the recent Beyond Walls underpass lighting; and The Beginning of Mary Baker Eddy, which includes a stop at her historic house on Broad Street. The Past and Present and Lynn at Night tours are held each weekend, with the Mary Baker Eddy tour held on the last weekend of the month.
Guzman hopes people get a deeper understanding of the city and social movement through the tours.
“If you know and love the city you live in, it will give you extra pride to take care of it,” Guzman said.
The tours are a way for her to empower women and inspire her son. Guzman said they are also a way to represent the city’s Latino community by offering tours in Spanish.
This weekend, tours will start on Saturday — the Past and Present Tour, which starts at 590 Washington St., will be held in Spanish at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. in English on Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday in English; and the Lynn at Night Tour, which starts at 590 Washington St., will be held at 7 in English and 7:30 in Spanish on Saturday, with the same times on Sunday. The Mary Baker Eddy tour starts at the corner of Oxford and Market streets.
Tickets are $12 for Lynn residents and seniors 65 or older and $15 for visitors. Children under 12 are free.
To set up a tour, contact Guzman through Facebook or by calling her at 781-299-4018.