Frederick Douglass Bandstand
Lynn Common
Built - 1887

The well-known city of Lynn was named as such after King's Lynn, England which was the home of Samuel Whiting, the first official minister of the new territory. Mostly an agricultural community, early Lynn settlers became quite skilled in making leather shoes that were used to purchase the other necessities of life from other settlements. A Quaker named Ebineezer Breed soon persuaded other relatives, friends and acquaintances of his in Europe to settle in Lynn to make the town an important shoe cente of this New World. He was also quite successful in selling Congress to place a protective tariff on his new shoe industry in Lynn. Thus the groundwork was laid out for the city of Lynn to become the ladies' shoe capital of the world.
In the 1800s, Lynn's population grew rapidly due to the large number of shoe factories established in the city and the Lynn-based Thomson-Houston Electric Company merged with the Edison General Electric Company to form General Electric Company which brought thousands more to Lynn to live and work.
In the 19th century, Lynn also became the center of social and religious change due to its densely populated numer of residents who were quite culturally diverse and also became known as the "City of Firsts." iN 1629 the first tannery opened in Lynn; Lydia Pinkham from Lynn became the first woman to use her image to sell a product - The Lydia Pimkham Vegetable Compound; the first electric trolley in the state ran from Lynn in 1888; the first airmail delivery in New England flew from Saugus to Lynn in 1912; the first jet airplane engine was built at G. E. in 1942; and Lynn astronomer, Maria Mitchell, became the first woman inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences.
This historic North Shore city is also very proud of its century + old bandstand which was originally financed by the city back in 1887 for "open air" concerts and is situated on Lynn's spacious and long common area in close proximity to the city office and municipal buildings. The bandstand is Lynn's first and only one in the city's long history and has been the center stage for thousands of concerts over the decades. The City of Lynn Museum has supplied some information about the bandstand and has many volumes of information in its files - too numerous to mention. Needless to say, the bandstand has been used to the delight of countless number of people over the years.
The bandstand was originally just known as the Lynn Bandstand up until the Lynn Common Council recommeded the re-naming of the structure in 1944 in honor of Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave, who had lived in Lynn from 1841 to 1845 and who devoted his life to the abolition of slavery. Mr. Douglass was considered to be the most influential Black American of the 19th century and delivered some of his passionate and anti-slavery speeches from the bandstand on the common, according to city officials. A plaque in his honor and memory has been affixed to the structure.
Diane Shepard, Archivist/Librarian

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