By Matt Bray
The Cove, or Cove Village as it was known at
the beginning of the century, has an interesting background. Dubbed
by some to be the oldest neighborhood in Beverly, the Cove is
a very self-conscious and close-knit community. There is
evidence of this in the creation of the Cove Improvement Association.
A significant part of the Cove's history involves
transportation. No building permits for garages or stables
could be found at City Hall, so there was no way to tell how many
people had horses. Horses were, at the beginning of the
century, a source of transportation. This is shown in a
of a man riding a horse on the Woodbury Estate in the Cove.
Another source of transportation was the trolley. It ran through
town and out to the border of the Cove and Beverly Farms,
at Chapman's Corner. The trolley ended there, because for
a long time Beverly Farms residents wanted to be a separate city
from Beverly, and that is where the borders were set.
The automobile was another mode of transportation
used by residents in the Cove. Because it was not widely
produced until 1914, not many of them littered the streets. However,
they were more common in the Cove than in working class Montserrat.
One of the most used forms of transportation was the legs.
If they could not afford a horse or a trolley ride, then residents
walked to work every day.
The Church in the Cove is the definition of religion
in the neighborhood. The church was built by the Woodberry
family on the back of their estate, because there were no houses
of worship in the Cove. It was the first church in the Cove
and it stayed on the Woodbury Estate for a long time. When the
main house burned down in 1956 the church was moved to a new site
at 167 Hale Street, where it still stands today.
A job source that dates back to around the time
the city was founded was the Woodberry Tavern. It was a
popular stop for travelers. The turkey dinner with mashed
potatoes and vegetables for just $1.45 drew people from miles
around. Another business in the Cove was the Cove
Green House (which is now Leonhard's Flower Shop), located on
Corning Street . The United Shoe factory was also a source of
employment for the Cove. The Cove was more of a farm land and
small neighborhood business area than a factory neighborhood.
One would assume that this was because the Cove was a good
distance from the Shoe factory and it would be a long trip to
work everyday if you had to walk.
The Cove School was originally at Hale and Cross
Streets and is now located at 20 Eisenhower Avenue. When
it first opened it was a five room school: one for each
grade. 5 Another source of education in the Cove
is Endicott College. It was founded in 1939 by Dr. George Bierkoe
and his wife Dr. Eleanor Tupper. It was an all-girls college
with a curriculum of teaching women to be independent and to improve
their status in the work place.
Public safety was of little concern to the community.
There is only one mention of a small fire station, what is now
J&J's Engine Stop. There was no further information
about this fire station. One would assume that since the
beginning of the century, the Cove was so sparsely populated
that a surrounding fire or police station would come to answer
the problem that was reported in the area.
A large source of entertainment in 1909 and 1910
was to visit the Stetson
Cottage that was owned by Robert D. Evans. The Cottage was
located where Lynch Park is today and it was rented out to President
Taft and was dubbed The
Summer White House.8 The Cove Improvement Association (CIA)
was and still is part of the community. This association
was started as a meeting place where a member could go to mingle
and dance with other members. The CIA was founded in 1921 and
they have been meeting ever since. In the beginning it was more
of a social club but when the Cove Community Center opened, the
CIA had more set meetings and helped develop projects like Lynch
Park which opened in 1943. Another attraction to the Cove was
Hospital Point. It was famous for the smallpox hospital on the
point in the 1804. Since then the hospital has been shut down.
Later it was turned into a lighthouse. You could also go to Rice
Beach and Burgess Point. Burgess Point turned into Lynch
Park in 1943, where you could do all sorts of seasonal activities,
ranging from picnics to boating to just plain old swimming.
The Cove is the oldest neighborhood in Beverly
and it's origins predate any other in Beverly . The first house
was built in the Cove in 1630. It was built by William Woodberry.
He was one of the original settlers of the area. Beverly
wasn’t officially settled until 1636, so technically the beginning
of the Cove is older than Beverly itself. The settlers of
the Cove started Hale street which connects Beverly to the Farms
and it is the largest road in Beverly. The Cove was very instrumental
in creating Beverly.
The Cove Improvement Association outlined the
boundaries of the Cove. The Cove borders the Farms at Chapman
Point so that is the boundary to the east. The boundary
to the south is the ocean and to the north is Lothrop Street.
The other boundary set to the west is where modern day JJ's Market,
across from the Central Cemetery, at the corner of Lothrop
and Hale streets.
The Cove has a small range of ethnicity in its
time range of 1900-1940. For the most part, the residents
were from Massachusetts with nineteen members , eight members
were Canadian English, nine Scottish members, and 1 member from
Maine. 12 What this information tells me is that one of two things
or both happened in the Cove. Either people that settled
in the Cove with their families never moved away and have had
a steady community growth, or the immigrants that were coming
into the city of Beverly were not going all the way out to the
Cove. They were staying in the factory zone where they could
procure a job to support their family. I happen to believe that
the reason for the strong Massachusetts based community is due
to both explanations.
Picture and Caption 1 & 2 , Courtesy of
Beverly Historical Society ( Beverly, MA) 1912
Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village.
13 October 2001, http://www.hrmgv.org/exhibits/showroom/1908/model.t.html
Pictures Caption, courtesy of Beverly Historical
Society (Beverly, MA) 1914
Menu, Woodberry Tavern, courtesy of Beverly
Historical Society (Beverly, MA) early 1900's
Beverly City Directory, (Beverly, MA) 1918.
Endicott College 13 October 2001, http://www.endicott.edu
Jay Lindsay, The Cove: From Hale Street To
The Beaches (Beverly, MA) 12 December 1996
Picture, Courtesy of The Beverly Historical
Society (Beverly, MA) 1909
Cove Improvement Association, Meeting Minutes
(Beverly, MA) 1968
City of Beverly, MA, City Census, 1910, Family