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Then And Now: The Old Bandstand

Each week, Lynnfield Patch runs a photo from the files of the Lynnfield Historical Society and compares it to what's at that location today.

On Wednesday, the town will kick off its summer concert series on the Lynnfield Common. Looking back into the town's past however, it seems that summer concerts have been going on for much longer than the ones on the common have been around.

Specifically, this week's image from the files of the Lynnfield Historical Society shows a bandstand that apparently stood at Suntaug Lake Park in the spring of 1933. Where exactly it stood however, is difficult to tell. It almost looks like an area of the current park facing toward Route 1 with the future Little League outfield off toward the right. But I could just as easily be wrong.

Today, the park on the shore of Suntaug Lake is known as Newhall Park. An article from back in April previewing the sunrise Easter service at the park .

Elsewhere on the shores of Suntaug Lake once stood the Suntaug Lake Inn. looked at some very vintage images of the former place up for sale on eBay. Elsewhere, Google finds, of all things, a 1913 newspaper ad the inn ran in the Nashua Telegraph announcing its new addition and boasting of its famed chicken, lobster and steak dinners, with continuous dancing in their new ballroom de luxe. A 1903 ad in the Boston Evening Transcript emphasized the convenience of the Suntaug Lake Inn, noting that "steam and electric cars" were within a five minutes' walk.

Finally, just to put some "now" into "Then And Now," showing some of the present scenery of the lake. The photo gallery also that most likely dates back to the era of the previously mentioned hotel.

Lanny Millett July 09, 2012 at 11:46 AM
I am pretty sure the photo was taken from what became the old baseball diamond at the end of the field. (I haven't been there for years, so I don't know what's there now.). The path on the left went along the lake. Behind the backscreen at the ball field was a hill, and you could walk up a path to the streets that came off of old Route 1. I forget their names; they were dead ends, and I am sure still are. I can remember wrestling on a ring set up behind the old Suntaug restaurant. I forget the event; I was just a kid, maybe 12 or so. The interesting thing to me was that the "match" was refereed by Jersey Joe Walcott. Wes Millett
William Laforme (Editor) July 09, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Thanks for the info Wes, I wonder what brought Jersey Joe Walcott to town that day? I have also seen old local photos taken around Grove Street and OLA that have signs pointing the way to Suntaug Lake.
Lanny Millett July 09, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I am not sure why. He was still fighting, of course, and was a celebrity. I don't think it had anything to do with the July 4th celebrations down there (three-legged races, diving into sawdust for coins, hot dogs and Haywood tonics, etc.). I think this was a separate event. The ring was located in the parking lot behind the restaurant. There were a lot of people there, so it must have been of some significance. I wish I could remember the date.
OLD TOWNIE July 09, 2012 at 08:26 PM
The bandstand was situated at the back of the park, near the concrete stairs that now lead up to the Suntaug & Lake Streets area. Jersey Joe Walcott ,and the boxing ring that was set up behing the Suntaug Inn were part of the celebration / dedication for the "new" route 128 through the Lynnfield area.
William Laforme (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 03:18 AM
At some point in the near future I hope to get some material together for a story about the construction of 128. How about that, a famous boxer coming to Lynnfield for the opening of a highway we all pretty much routinely use each day. I'm not sure if this event would have ever been remembered in town if you guys hadn't talked about it here, so thanks again, very much, for this info.
Don July 10, 2012 at 06:00 PM
I think you might find Gov Volpe involved. They used to call the 93 extension his folly. Imagine what we would do without it now. Hey Bill, if they offer you the Wakefield job, you would be better off here in Lynnfield. Then again, if Saugus popped up you would be soooo busy. Seems like Saugus/Lynn are missing from the Patch lineup.
William Laforme (Editor) July 10, 2012 at 06:07 PM
I was actually surprised at how recently 93 was built considering the few other options for traveling to New Hampshire in the past. And don't worry, I'm pretty sure I'm staying in Lynnfield for the foreseeable future and I'm not even in the editors' group that includes Wakefield. A few big interesting towns are definitely missing as potential Patch websites though, we'll see if they decide to add any new ones in the coming months. I do like running the Lynnfield Patch site and think it's become a pretty interesting and decent local news source in its own right.

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