Then And Now: M.S. Savage

Each week, Lynnfield Patch runs a photo from the files of the Lynnfield Historical Society and talks about what's there today.

This week - Long ago, there was apparently a little store called M.S. Savage over by the North Reading line, at the corner of Lowell and Chestnut streets. And honestly, I'm not completely sure that that corner of town has seen much formal commercial activity since then.

This photo captures an interesting and presumably very short window in history - there's a classic old-fashioned well sitting next to the building, inches away from what appears to be an archaic gas pump selling fuel for 27 cents a gallon. The well and the gas pumps are very different symbols of two very different eras, one of which was just ending and the other just beginning.

The photo appears to easily pre-date the 1930s, which is when I believe Mr. Perley Burrill started up his own gas station on the other side of town, near Lynn, which hangs on to this day. 

Whenever this photo was taken, we know it was before people realized that gasoline is something best kept far away from drinking water. Speaking of un-answerable questions like that - around what year did people start calling it "soda" instead of "tonic?"  I think in some North Shore areas the answer to that question might be "1991."

Anyhow, modern technology doesn't do much more for a photo this old and grainy. A close up look at the signs on the building reveals only one legible word, "Jersey" on the sign that is closest to the door. The handwritten sign on the right and the advertisement over near that side also unfortunately come out as un-readable.

Are you interested in joining the Lynnfield Historical Society? Just send a $15 check to Bob Gillon, Lynnfield Historical Society Treasurer, 300 Main Street, Lynnfield, MA 01940. Include your mailing address, email address and phone number.


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