Former local resident Ray Hayward is working on a book about the long-ago Lynnfield beverage company that bore his family's name. Hayward, who graduated from Lynnfield High School in 1978 and now lives in Minnesota, talked about his family's long connection to the local area earlier this year in a conversation with Lynnfield Patch.
From time to time, bottles from the former Hayward's Beverages will turn up for sale on eBay. A photo of the inside of the former facility can be found on page 108 of the "Images of America" book of vintage Lynnfield photos. Otherwise, information out there is sparse about what for decades was a well-known Lynnfield company.
That's where Hayward's book project comes in. The story begins with Hayward's great-grandfather Alfred Justin Hayward (1842-1916), who saved his earnings from a shoe cutting job in Lynn to buy 49 acres of land near Route 1, including a house so old it had wooden pins instead of nails and a hidden "Indian room" that early settlers would apparently have hidden in if attacked. The house was later torn down to make room for Route 1 and reportedly stood at the site of Western Barbershop. The nearby Donovan's Liquors would have also been on the Hayward parcel of land, which was sold off in various pieces over the years.
Over the years, said Hayward, one member of his family created the legendary Hoodsie Cup for the Hood Dairy company in Lynn, while another family member was the last milkman in the area to use a horse-drawn cart - and the horse reportedly had the entire route memorized. The family's original ancestor, Thomas, was reportedly a Puritan tailor who emigrated with his wife and five children in the late 1600s. Another ancestor was reportedly the wife of fallen Lynnfield patriot Daniel Townsend. They can also trace their ancestry back to Philip McIntyre, who was an indentured servant at the Saugus Iron Works in the 1600s.
After Hayward's great-grandfather got out of the shoe business, he distributed milk to hotels and later learned how to carbonate water - which gave him the opportunity to sell seltzer water to area bars. From there, Alfred learned how to flavor it, setting the stage for what would become his beverage company. "And that just took off," said Hayward.
Hayward said that the four original flavors produced by the company were cola, root beer, orange, and cream soda. The brand was sold throughout Eastern Massachusetts and in some of New Hampshire, and promotional items such as thermometers and bottle openers were distributed to market the brand. One thing he said he was trying to track down as part of his research was the company's original handwritten recipe book. In another interesting anecdote, Hayward noted that during World War II, the company used black market sugar because substitute sweeteners like molasses and honey did not work.
The beverage company's demise came in the 1950s when soda giants like Coke and Pepsi began switching to cans. At the time, some other circumstances had left the remaining family members unable to cover the cost of retooling the factory to cans from bottles, which also needed to be washed. In fact, the company always printed the flavors on the bottle cap so the bottles could be re-used more efficiently.
Hayward said that he was in the Lynnfield area a couple of years ago and did some research, although family members have been especially instrumental in providing information. He noted that there are no longer any family members living in Lynnfield, although an aunt in her late 80s was still living in Danvers.