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02 | 01907

A publication of Essex Media Group


Edward M. Grant

Chief Executive Officer

Michael H. Shanahan


Edward L. Cahill

John M. Gilberg

Edward M. Grant

Gordon R. Hall

Monica Connell Healey

J. Patrick Norton

Michael H. Shanahan

Chief Financial Officer

William J. Kraft

Chief Operating Officer

James N. Wilson

Community Relations Director

Carolina Trujillo


Susan Conti


Thor Jourgensen

Contributing Editors

Cheryl Charles

Steve Krause

Contributing Writers

Mike Alongi

Elyse Carmosino

Gayla Cawley

Daniel Kane

Steve Krause

Thor Jourgensen

Nancy Lusignan Schultz

Guthrie Scrimgeour

Ann Marie Tobin


Olivia Falcigno

Spenser Hasak

Advertising Sales

Ernie Carpenter

Ralph Mitchell

Eric Rondeau

Patricia Whalen

Advertising Design

Trevor Andreozzi

Mark Sutherland


Tori Faieta


110 Munroe St.,

Lynn, MA 01901

781-593-7700 ext.1234


781-593-7700 ext. 1253



04 What's Up

06 The doctor is in

10 Faith's-eye view

12 House Money

14 Welcome home

18 COVID cohorts


20 Life saver

22 Labor of love

24 Standing tall

26 A fresh start

28 Quite a lady

30 Municipal marvels


'At the crossroads of history,

literature and religion'

In the face of the ever-worsening COVID-19 pandemic, the town was able to celebrate something

positive in October — the return of students to school. Even if it was only part of the time.

Superintendent Pam Angelakis in August outlined her plan to start the year with remote learning, and transition

to hybrid on Oct. 26. Even though the news kept getting worse with regards to another coronavirus spike, Angelakis

stuck to her schedule. And she was ecstatic once the day came and students were back at their desks.

“I saw happy students, happy parents, and happy teachers,” she said as she cheerfully greeted students

outside Swampscott Middle School with principal Jason Calichman. Elyse Carmosino has the story.

Bishop Robert P. Reed is a jack-of-all trades. The Swampscott native is an author; is CEO of

ICatholic Media, which includes the massive CatholicTV network; is a television talk-show host; serves

approximately 68 parishes and schools as Vicar General Regional Bishop (West region); and is pastor at

St. Patrick and Sacred Heart parishes in Watertown.

It all began at the St. John's School, originally part of St. John the Evangelist parish on Humphrey Street.

"I think I knew I wanted to go into the priesthood when I was about eight years old," Bishop Reed

said. "I was impressed by the parish priests and that's where I first dreamed of being a priest." Anne

Marie Tobin has the story.

In 2019, "The Green Book," a movie written by Lynn native Brian Hayes Currie, won an Oscar for best

picture. One of Currie's friends is Nancy Schultz of Swampscott, Schultz who has written extensively on

historical matters, and about everything from the Salem Witch Trials to the "Green Book" to Harriet

Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin," and how she found connections between that book and the

Holocaust when she went to Poland to lecture.

Says Schultz, "I work at the crossroads of history, literature and religion."

Schultz is up this month with an essay about the Boynton Street home that was mentioned in the "Green

Book" for 15 years from 1939 through 1954. And Steve Krause takes a turn profiling Schultz in a second story.

This issue of 01907 hits the issue of diversity head on, with two other stories that touch on the subject.

First, Guthrie Scrimgeour has a story on Keli Khalib, co-founder of Swampscott Unites Respects

and Embraces (SURE), an organization founded in 2016 to celebrate all aspects of human diversity.

"Diversity doesn't just mean color," said Khalib. “People look at Swampscott and see mostly white faces.

And they often say there’s no diversity. And that isn’t true. Diversity means age, abilities, where you’re

from, socio-economic status.”

We also have Natasha Soolkin, regional director of the New American Center in Lynn, who emigrated

from the old Soviet Union 30 years ago. So she knows how difficult it can be for the immigrants and

refugees she works with to adjust to their new home in the United States. Gayla Cawley profiles her.

Deb Bogardus wanted to use Andrews Memorial Chapel 20 years ago for a service honoring her

late sister. What she saw when she opened the doors sparked a labor of love by more than a dozen

townspeople that endures today. Thor Jourgensen has the story.

Our 01907 also covers 01908. And for many, the thought of Nahant brings to mind hot days on the

beach, but for Calantha Sears the town means much more — everything in fact. Sears has spent nearly

a century in Nahant, calling it her home and leaving her imprint on the state's smallest municipality.

Daniel Kane has the story.

Finally, the Nahant Life Saving Station on Nahant Road has seen a lot in its 120 years of existence.

Now, the station is finding new life as an event venue. Mike Alongi has the story.

Read on.


Swampscott historian

Nancy Lusignan

Schultz stands in

front of a local home

that welcomed Black

Americans 70 years ago.



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04 | 01907


Build something tasty

What: Swampscott Recreation

sponsors a gingerbread house contest -

kids welcome!

Where: Go to swampscottma.myrec.com

for details.

When: Send in a photo of your

gingerbread house with the person

entering the contest's name and age

printed on paper in the photo to

Dstrauss@swampscottrec.com by Dec. 15.

Share your life

What: Contribute your stories,

photographs, videos, music and art to

"Swampscott: Life in quarantine," the

public library's digital diary chronicling

life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Where: Email submissions to


When: This is an ongoing project and

more than one submission is welcome.

Keep the music playing

What: Donations are being accepted

to support the Swampscott by the Sea

summer concert series.

Where: Go to swampscottma.myrec.com

for donation information.

When: Donations are currently being

accepted through Dec. 1.

Wicked Awesome Windows

make the view even better



Go-go granny

What: The Senior Center is closed but

offering a limited transportation program.

Where: Call 781-596-8866 for information.

When: Center staff is on-site Monday-

Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

A musical morning

What: Musical morning with Ms.

MaryBeth is a chance for kids to

sing and dance along with a virtual

performance by acclaimed musician

MaryBeth Maes.

Where: Swampscott Library YouTube


When: Fridays, 10:30 a.m.

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06 | 01907

Standing at History's



Nancy Lusignan Schultz defines her work thusly: "I work at the intersection of

history, literature and religion."

The history and literature part of that equation is easy enough to understand. She

loves history and is considered Swampscott's pre-eminent female historian.

Schultz has written several books on history and was an English professor at Salem

State until her retirement last year. Also, one of her essays — a study of the Harriet

Beecher Stowe novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and how it relates to the Holocaust in

Europe during World War II — won an EXTRA! Award presented by the Honor

Society of Phi Kappa Phi, which is the nation's oldest and most selective honor society

for all academic disciplines.

Swampscott resident

Nancy Lusignan Schultz,

Ph.D, dug into the history

of 3 Boynton St., a local

home included in the

20th-century travel guide

for Black Americans called

The Green Book.


08 | 01907

But religion?

"I don't think you can study the

history of the United States without

looking at religion," said Schultz, whose

essay on how a house in Swampscott

made it into The Green Book of literary

and cinema fame accompanies this

article. "One of the more important

components of our history, starting

about 400 years ago, was fleeing religious


She notes the irony of early settlers

coming in from the Mayflower (the

400th anniversary of the landing on

Plymouth Rock is Dec. 18) and setting

up their own restrictive, Puritanical


The Green Book was an annual

directory of homes in the U.S. that

welcomed traveling Black Americans. It

flourished during the Jim Crow era.

The movie, written by Lynn native

Brian Hayes Currie, was named best

picture in 2018 and almost immediately,

there were rumblings about how

historically accurate it really was. That

makes Schultz bristle a little.

First, of all, Currie is a friend of hers.

And second, she's fully aware that the

primary purpose of film is to entertain,

except when it is clearly presented as

something else.

"I was aware of the development of

the movie," said Schultz. "Regardless

of what people thought about the

movie, and the controversy around it,

it succeeded in bringing awareness of

the situation. We know about this era

because of the movie.

"I don't know why Hollywood

movies that are declaring themselves as

Hollywood movies have to be accurate

history," she said. "A Hollywood movie

is based on what's going to make a good

movie. I would distinguish between that

and a documentary. A movie is designed

to tell a good story."

Schultz's official capacity with the

town is as the secretary of the historical

society. And the commission was behind

the research project on the Boynton

Street house. She just wrote the essay.

She said she began hearing about

Boynton Street when a friend of hers

sent her information. Currie had spoken

at Salem State, which sponsored several

events around his appearance there.

At the same time, Jay Duffy, owner of

3 Boynton Street now, got in touch

with Justina Oliver, chairwoman of the

historical commission.

"He said he had seen the listing of the

Three Boynton Street was a mid-20th century stayover spot for Black Americans.

house in an exhibition about The Green

Book at the Smithsonian," Schultz said.

"He was in touch with Justina to discuss

it. It's really sort of synchronicity in a lot

of ways how this all came together."

Beyond the usual research the

historical commission might do on a

subject such as this, "we went further and

did a little deep digging into a couple of

the owners."

What the commission's research

found was that there was a Black couple

who lived at the address for 30 years

toward the turn of the 20th century. The

next owners were interracial, she said.

"I feel this is important to focus on,

given the history of the house," she said.

The Green Book lists the house as a

tourist home from 1939 through 1954,

and it is the only house on the North

Shore where Black tourists could be

welcome, Schultz said. During that

time, both owners were profiled in the


"That was certainly very unusual for

that particular time and place," she said.

The house was built in 1870

and "what I tried to do was draw a

connection between that era, and all the

great estates in Swampscott from 1870

through 1940.

"That was the town's heyday," she

said. "You had the Elihu Thomson house,

the train station, and so many others.

They all stem from the era of great

estates. Here, this history was being lived

at the same time, on the other side of

town. And it gets overlooked.

"Regular people lived here too,"

she said. "They weren't all founders of

General Electric or captains of industry."

Her mention of General Electric

brings her back to her childhood in

Pittsfield, Mass.

"It was a challenging place," she said.

"When I was younger, everyone worked

for GE, including my father. As GE got

smaller and smaller, it became difficult.

The GE employment supported a very

bustling town. But it has struggled."

Her route from west to east followed

a conventional path. Her first stop, after

graduating from Mrs. Hall's School, was

College of the Holy Cross and when

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she was done there, she kept going east,

finally achieving her doctorate at Boston

College and acquiring a professorship at

Salem State.

Teaching "Uncle Tom's Cabin" to a

class at Salem State, she encountered

one student to whom Harriet Beecher

Stowe's humor was lost. The student

was distressed at the book's "insensitive"

portrayal of Black people.

Then, she went to Krakow, Poland,

to lecture there, and was struck by the

similarities between the portrayal of

Blacks in the book and the way Jews

were perceived in the years leading up to

World War II and the Holocaust.

"Teaching the book in Poland

changed my perspective in ways I hadn’t

anticipated and made me rethink what it

means to know a book well," she wrote

in the award-winning essay.

In that vein, she has researched and

wrote on the Salem witch trials, another

passion of hers, which took place only 72

years after the Mayflower landing.

"That," she says, "is another story, for

another day."

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10 | 01907

The ultimate



A jack-of-all trades.

That, in a nutshell, describes Bishop

Robert P. Reed. Simply put, the

Swampscott native brings multi-tasking

to a new level.

Whether it's Bishop Reed's work as

an author, as CEO of ICatholic Media

(an umbrella organization for the

massive CatholicTV network, which

he serves as president), television talk

show host, or videotaping television

messages from Cardinal Sean

O'Malley, this man does it all.

Oh, and he also serves approximately

68 parishes and schools as Vicar General

Regional Bishop (West region) and

tends to his flock every day as priest and

pastor at St. Patrick and Sacred Heart

parishes in Watertown.

It all began at the St. John's School,

originally part of St. John the Evangelist

parish on Humphrey Street.

"I think I knew I wanted to go into

the priesthood when I was about eight

years old," Bishop Reed said. "I was

impressed by the parish priests and that's

where I first dreamed of being a priest."

Born in 1959, Bishop Reed is

the youngest of five siblings. After

elementary school he moved on

to another St. John's — St. John’s

Preparatory School. He prepared for

the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary

in Brighton and the Pontifical North

American College in Rome and was

ordained a Catholic priest in 1985.

He has an advanced degree in

television management from Boston

University's School of Communications.

He was appointed president of

CatholicTV in 2005 and was ordained

an auxiliary bishop by Pope Francis in

Bishop Robert P. Reed, CEO of ICatholic Media, relaxes on the CatholicTV set in Watertown with

CatholicTV General Manager Jay Fadden.


August, 2016.

Bishop Reed is the head of a vast

television empire serving Catholics all

across the world. He said there are 18.6

millions households that subscribe to

the network's different systems. Over the

past six to eight years, Bishop Reed has

worked diligently to help the network

expand to other platforms, including Fire

TV, Roku TV, Amazon, Apple TV and

Samsung, among several others.

The network also has a "wellnarrated"

website, www.catholictvlive.

com and an active YouTube channel,

both of which are popular overseas with

the military.

He also works in front of the camera.

He is a celebrant of the network's daily

Masses. He hosts the game show WOW:

The CatholicTV Challenge, as well as

House+Home; the interview series Inter

Nos; and several Blink segments. He

has traveled the world recording (and

praying) the mysteries of the rosary and

is a regular co-host of CatholicTV's

signature talk series This is the Day.

On the ministry side, Bishop Reed's

official title is Titular Bishop of Sufar,

Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Vicar

General Regional Bishop, West Region.

He works with 68 parishes and schools

to support the work of the archdiocese.

Bishop Reed has served in 11

parishes. Among the communities

he has served are Malden, Norwood,

Dorchester, Haverhill, Whitman and

Watertown. Bishop Reed says he is

seeing an increase in need, not just in the

parishes he serves, but everywhere.

"Our TV mail and communications is

way up, so much so that we are triaging

and answering much more mail and we

are also seeing more activity through

social media and on our website,"

he said, adding, "I hear some very

heartwarming stories, but there is a lot of

anxiety and suffering out there."

Bishop Reed said that prayer

intention submissions have skyrocketed,

especially as the month of November is

dedicated to prayers for the dead.

"The number of names sent in has

tripled to 120,000," he said. "I don't ever

recall that many."

When the pandemic hit back in

March, business at the Watertown

television station hardly skipped a beat.

"We were built for virtual Masses

as TV has always been our avenue to

providing digital church services and

Masses for the elderly and sick who

couldn't get to the physical church to go

to Mass," Bishop Reed said. "We didn't

have to try that hard to adjust as we

I think I knew I wanted

to go into the priesthood

when I was about

eight years old. I was

impressed by the

parish priests and

that's where I first

dreamed of being a



were, in many ways, operating that way


What did change for this son of

Swampscott was his calendar-packed

travel schedule.

"I always did a lot of traveling, but

now everything is virtual," he said.

On a typical day, Bishop Reed

finishes a video-recording session with

Cardinal Sean O'Malley to create short

messages for group distribution. Among

the topics discussed during the session

was the Catholic Charities organization.

"The demand on Catholic Charities

has absolutely skyrocketed as there are

so many people who are struggling in so

many ways," he said.

His favorite part of the "job?" Being

a humble parish priest for whom the

glass isn't just half full, it's overflowing

at the top.

"My heart really is in the parish work

I do," said Bishop Reed. "I love saying

daily Masses and greeting people after

church. Right now, we are working on a

life-size Disney-esque nativity. It's the

everyday things, everything else, that

supports life in the parish.

"I love my life and am fortunate to

have been able to do what I've done," he

said, "But there is so much more to do."

WINTER 2020 | 11

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12 | 01907



WINTER 2020 | 13

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Source: MLS Property Information Network.

14 | 01907


Mrs. M.



Editor's note: This story by eminent

local historian Dr. Nancy Lusignan Schultz

is about a Swampscott home that, during

various times throughout its 150-year

history, has been a place of hope, a safe

haven, and a testament to the town's

deeply-rooted and varied history.

"The Green Book," a 2018 Academy

Award-winning movie told the story

of The Negro Motorist Green Book, a

guide published from the 1930s to the

1960s to advise Black travelers where to

stay. It included a stop in Swampscott.

Three Boynton Street was owned

by William and Mary Emma Allen

a century ago and the 1939 Negro

Motorist Green Book lists the house

under “Swampscott Tourist Homes”

as“Mrs. M. Home—3 Boynton Street.”

According to The Green Book, the

Allen’s home in Swampscott was one

of the few, or only, places where Black

tourists would have been welcomed to

lodge on Boston’s North Shore.

In 1936, Victor Hugo Green, a

Harlem postman, began publishing

his guide for Black American travelers

as they journeyed by automobile

throughout the United States.

An instant success, The Green Book,

as it became known, provided Black

travelers of the era with information

on hotels, restaurants, service stations,

and other facilities where they would be


In the era of Jim Crow and "sundown

towns," this knowledge, according to The

Smithsonian, was not just helpful — it

could save someone's life.

The movie starring Mahershala Ali

and Viggo Mortensen, and co-written

and produced by North Shore native

Brian Hayes Currie, centers on the story

of a working class Italian-American,

Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, who accepts a

position as the chauffeur of acclaimed


How a local house

mirrored a nation's history

Black classical pianist, Dr. Don Shirley,

as he embarks on a concert tour of the

southern United States during the 1960s.

The film depicts Tony consulting The

Green Book at various times as he drives

Dr. Shirley to the deep South. Tony’s

eyes are opened to the racist indignities

and dangers his employer must endure,

and which he as an Italian-American

also experiences to a lesser extent.

William Allen, who had previously

lived in Lynn, purchased 3 Boynton in

June 1903 and the Allens owned the

property for more than 30 years.

For its first three decades, the

property had been used as a residence

and an apothecary. Census records and

town directories provide snippets of

information about the Allens. Their race

is listed as Black and William Allen was

born in New York in September 1869

and Mary, in Maryland, in May 1873.

They married approximately in 1887,

and had no children. In 1900, the Allens

were renting in Lynn, and the census

lists William’s occupation as “actor” but

states that he had been unemployed for

three months. Mary was a “laundress.”

By 1906, William Allen had been

living at 3 Boynton for three years, and

his occupation was then “laborer.”

In both the 1910 and 1920 census,

William is listed as a gardener and

the 1920 census adds the additional

information that he worked for a private

estate. He could read and write, the poll

tells us, and he owned his house without

a mortgage.

In 1930, William and Mary had a

lodger staying at their house, Chester

H. Allen, age 29, who worked as an

embosser in a leather shop. That year,

their home was valued at $5,000.

William Allen is listed in the 1931

Swampscott directory, but the next

available directory in 1936 indicates that

Mary had become a widow.

By the late 1930s, it appears that

Mary Allen was operating the house as a

tourist home.

With its 400-year history and decades

of notoriety as a seaside destination

for the wealthy, it's easy to overlook

Swampscott's less-famous residents like

the Allens and their important place in

town history.

Incorporated as a separate town from

Lynn in 1852 when it was a fishing

village, Swampscott saw its historical

heyday, according to Dorothy M.

Anderson’s "The Era of the Summer

Estates, Swampscott, Massachusetts,"

from 1870-1940.

More than 60 opulent mansions

were built by late nineteenth century

owned by captains of industry who used

“summer” as a verb to mean “relaxing in

their seaside ‘cottages.’”

WINTER 2020 | 15

Built in the National Folk style in 1870, 3

Boynton St. has its original wood floors.


By the turn of the 20th century,

these vacation homes had become even

more extravagant, and there were many

famous visitors to Swampscott, including

President Calvin A. Coolidge whose

White Court served as the “Summer

White House” in 1925.

Affluent families flocked to the town’s

exclusive hotels: the Preston, Lincoln

House, and The New Ocean House.

Many of Swampscott’s best-known

historical sites also date from this era:

the Elihu Thompson house (now the

Town Hall), the Olmsted District, the

Fish House, and Andrews Chapel.

With so much attention given to

a narrow swath of this period of town

history, it’s become too easy to overlook

the stories of the year-round and less

famous Swampscott residents who lived

here at the turn of the century.

The neighborhoods bordering East

Lynn have several homes that date back

to the era of the summer estates, and

one has recently been discovered to have

historical significance.

Some of the serving staff, gardeners

and handymen who worked on the

estates likely stayed or lived here. They,

too, have lives worth documenting and

lived in homes intrinsic to the town's

historical fabric.

The Allen house was built in 1870 on

what had then been known as Boynton

Court. According to Richard Smith, an

architect and member of the Swampscott

Historical Commission, the house

at 3 Boynton is National Folk-style,

common in the United States between

1850-1930. Folk style was popularized

as large commercial lumber yards began

producing standardized materials that

could be shipped long distances by rail.

Vernacular cottages such as these

were built with “...balloon framing

rather than post and beam,” Smith notes.

The house at 3 Boynton, concludes the

architect, is of the “...gable front and

wing family where a basic gable form

has a wing at right angles. The window

proportions and simple palette of

materials fit with this style.”

While The Green Book covered

locations across the country, 3 Boynton

Street was a rare Green Book listing.

“Mrs. M’s Home” was among

several sites spotlighted in a 2019

exhibition about The Green Book in the

Smithsonian Institution in Washington,


Currently, “The Negro Motorist

Green Book” is a travelling Smithsonianaffiliated

exhibition, on view at the

National Civil Rights Museum,

Memphis, Tennessee, until January 3,

2021. This exhibition is premiering at

the Lorraine Motel, a memorialized site

where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

was assassinated. The Lorraine had long

been listed in Victor Green’s guide and is

now one of a few surviving Green Book


Three Boynton was listed in the

Green Book for 11 consecutive years,

between 1939 to 1954 (the book

suspended publication from 1942-1946

because of World War II.) The charming

property has an interesting past, as

uncovered by the Swampscott Historical

Commission, and adds an important

dimension to our understanding of a

more inclusive town history.

The Essex County Registry of Deeds

records that in September 1870, James

Bryant of Swampscott sold the lot of

land to Oliver Pettigrew of Lynn for

$400. By 1873, according to the Lynn

Directory, the house was both a residence

and apothecary.

In 1879, Oliver and his wife Mary

sold the property and moved out of state.

The 1880 U.S. Census confirms that

Oliver and Mary Pettigrew were living in

Alton, New Hampshire.

The transfer of ownership leading up

to William and Mary Allen included,

beginning in 1870, when James Bryant

sold the house to Oliver Pettigrew.

In 1879, Pettigrew sold it to George

and Sarah Bachelder. In 1889, the

GREEN BOOK, page 16

16 | 01907

GREEN BOOK, continued from page 15

Batchelders sold to William C. Stone.

In 1901, Thomas Stone (son of William)

sold to Joseph Dodge and in 1903,

Dodge sold 3 Boynton to William Allen.

The home's importance to Black

travelers is illuminated by the 1938

Green Book. It lists only two hotels

in Boston that welcomed Blacks: The

Harriet Tubman and the Melbourne.

Victor Green’s introduction to the

1938 edition states, “There are thousands

of places that the public doesn’t know

about and aren’t listed. Perhaps you

might know of some? If so send in their

names and addresses and the kind of

business, so that we might pass it along

to the rest of your fellow Motorists.”

By 1939, someone had sent in the

information to include 3 Boynton, and

the address was included in The Green

Book. It would continue as a listing

every year until 1954. Mary Emma Allen

passed away in the late 1930s or early

1940s. In July 1941, the Essex County

Registry records that Mary Emma

Allen’s heirs, Ethel Trusty, Agnes Holley,

Dorothy Trusty and Jerome Trusty, all of

Baltimore, Maryland, had sold the house

to Antonio J. Cardozo of Boston.

Cardozo immediately sold the

property to Anna Battagliese, wife of

Gaetano F. Battagliese. Anna would live

at 3 Boynton until her death in 1967;

Gaetano lived there until he died in

1974. Their marriage was an unusual

union for the time: Gaetano was Italian,

Anna was Black, and theirs was what was

called a “mixed marriage.” Anna was nine

years older than Gaetano, and both were

Catholic. They had married in 1929 and

lived for some years in Boston.

While Massachusetts had legalized

interracial marriage in 1843, during the

years between 1913-1948, thirty out of

the then forty-eight states enforced antimiscegenation

laws. It was not until 1967

that the Supreme Court ruled in Loving

versus Virginia that anti-miscegenation

laws were unconstitutional, and

interracial marriage became legal in every


Still, as late as 2015, the Pew

Research Center found that only 17

percent of newlyweds married someone

of a different race.

Given these circumstances, Gaetano

and Anna, who married in 1929, were


Gaetano had been born January

2, 1896 in Soudaspide, Italy, the son

of Francis Battagliese and Angelina

Consolomargo. At age seventeen, he

boarded the ship Canopic and sailed for

Boston, arriving June 5, 1913. He seems

to have left Italy accompanied by only a


Four years later, in June 1917, the

twenty-one-year old registered for the

World War I draft. He recorded his

status as “alien.” Gaetano had been living

in Marlboro, Massachusetts, and worked

at a shoe factory there. During the

early 1930s, after his marriage to Anna,

he worked as a shoemaker in Boston.

Neighbors recall him as a slight man

with dark eyes and thick accent.

By the 1940s, he was unemployed

and again registered for the draft for the

second World War at age 47. Gaetano

and Anna (Mabel) Battagliese had been

already living at 3 Boynton since at

least 1940, according to the Swampscott

Directory. Gaetano’s wife, Anna Eliza

Thompson Battagliese, also known as

Mabel, had been born in Plainfield, N.J.,

July 14, 1887, the daughter of David

GREEN BOOK, page 31

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18 | 01907

Swampscott High School junior Cole

Hammernick takes notes on his laptop

during his English class.



the glass




Call it the grand scheme: Sticking to

a plan configured in August, the town's

public schools returned to in-person

learning Oct. 26.

For Superintendent Pamela

Angelakis, the delayed start from the

traditional late-summer opening only

added to the joy of having students and

teachers back in school buildings.

“I saw happy students, happy parents,

and happy teachers,” she said as she

cheerfully greeted students outside

Swampscott Middle School with

Principal Jason Calichman.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever had so

many middle schoolers say that their day

was awesome when they were leaving,”

Calichman added. “They were so happy

to be there.”

The joyful moments were built on

months of hard work by Swampscott

educators designing and implementing

safety protocols throughout the district.

Students appear, for the most part,

to have adjusted to their new normal,

easing quietly into routines that include

sanitizing their hands before entering

the building, following directional arrows

on their way to class, and wearing masks.

Phrases like "social distancing" and

"cohort" have become the new normal —

at least for this academic year.

Under the town’s hybrid learning

model approved by the Department of

Elementary and Secondary Education

(DESE) earlier this year, students

are divided into Cohort A (in school

Monday and Tuesday); Cohort B

(in school Thursday and Friday), and

Cohort C, which consists of higher-need

students who are in school every day.

Swampscott High School Principal

Dennis Kohut said his students walk

single-file in the hallways and use

different doors when entering and

exiting the building to avoid clustering.

“I felt like we were in a really good

position when we started off remote, and

then hybrid I think has also gone well,”

he said. “It was really good to see the

kids in person.”

Some students were still learning at

home as of Nov. 5: 152 of Kohut’s students

chose to remain entirely remote through

the end of the semester. The remaining 539

are divided into cohorts A and B.

Senior Ryan Henry is in cohort A

and said perhaps one of the biggest

Tech Ninja Neirit Mahabub, a junior, runs

through repair tickets for computers.

adjustments to the hybrid model has

been the dramatic reduction in day-today

interactions with peers.

Henry explained that with at least

half the student population learning

remotely on any given day, the building

often feels unnaturally quiet — not at all

like a bustling high school.

“You miss out on seeing probably half

of the people you’d normally see in school,

which is really strange, and even then you

don’t really get to talk with them because

class time now is so much more valuable

for teachers than it was before,” he said.

“It definitely feels half-full.”

For educators on the other side of

things, the learning curve has been

especially steep.

WINTER 2020 | 19

I feel like students are

benefiting in the way

that I’ve had to step

up my game a lot.


Veteran history teacher Lisa Green

said she’s been forced to re-examine the

ways she engages her students now that

a more hands-on approach is no longer

an option, adding that figuring out a

way to give all of her students equal

opportunities while juggling a number

of different platforms has been an

exhausting experience for all involved.

“I try to give everybody equal access to

education, but some of my kids are totally

remote and I want to make sure I pay

attention to them,” she said, explaining

that it can be much harder to make a

connection with students who are entirely

online. “As a history teacher, personal

connections are everything, and for

some of the kids who are more outgoing

personalities, it is such a difference for

them to even see me once a week.”

She added: “The pedagogy is probably

almost better remote at this point, but

the human connection is still nice for

hybrid … As bad as it all is, I forgot

how much I love the kids. That’s why

I’m here. Even seeing them a little bit

definitely warms my heart.”

There have been some silver linings.

Recognizing a chance to improve

her teaching style, Green enrolled in a

digital media class through Salem State

University earlier this year.

“I'm doing all these interactive things

online that I never knew how to do,”

she said with a laugh. “I made a video

using iMovie, I learned about blogging, I

learned how to do a podcast.

“I feel like students are benefiting in the

way that I’ve had to step up my game a lot.”

Swampscott High School adjustment

counselor Sarah Kelley, who helped

devise the school’s hybrid learning plan,

has also seen a number of silver linings

to an otherwise less-than-ideal situation.

With remote learning, students and

educators are able to see one another

in their own “habitat,” which allows

them to get to know one another

more personally, she said. In addition,

the more regimented class schedule

— different from the school’s former

“waterfall” rotation — has done wonders

for students and teachers who thrive on


Kelley did add that she still worries

about being able to reach students in a

meaningful way, especially during such a

difficult time.

To help combat the issue, the district

implemented a 20-minute advisory

period where students meet with a

teacher or school official in small groups

every Monday and Friday, which allows

educators to simply check in on their

kids and talk with them.

“Our biggest concern and our biggest

priority will always be figuring out how

to stay connected to students when they

don’t feel connected to adults in the

building and don’t feel connected to the

school community,” she said. “(Students)

who don’t feel connected to the school

community tend to not engage as well.

That’s really our biggest challenge in

many respects.”

Kohut has made a habit of

emphasizing to students what he calls

the “Big Blue 'Be's,” which have now

expanded to include “be masked” and “be


“We’re all kind of in a rush for this to

end, but we have to be patient because

we don’t know when or what an ending is

going to look like for this thing,” he said.

“Kids and our staff, they’re really resilient

people and I think they just really wanted

to be back. It’s a little bit annoying to

have to do these things, but they all

understand how important it is.”

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20 | 01907

A Life Saving Station

finds new life


The Nahant Life Saving Station, which

sits prominently on Nahant Road, has

seen a lot in its 120 years of existence.

Since its establishment in 1900, the Life

Saving Station has housed the Life Saving

Service, the United States Coast Guard,

an American Legion Post and a host of

other organizations. And now, the station

is finding new life as an event venue.

In response to the tragic wreck

(including loss of the crew) of the

coal schooner Charles Briggs off the

coast of Nahant in the winter of 1898,

Massachusetts Senator Henry Cabot

Lodge was moved to request that the

town vote “to give to the United States a

suitable site for a Life Saving Station.”

The station was established in 1900,

and was one of 33 such stations built

in the state. It is the only one that was

not built to a standard plan, and is one

of only 12 stations to survive in any

significant form today.

Designed by architect Victor

Mindeleff — the station is unique among

the life-saving stations, as it is designed

to launch rescue boats on both ocean

and harbor sides of the station. The

Life Saving Station is also listed in the

Massachusetts Register of Historic Places,

having been placed on the list in 2012.

The Life Saving Service later

combined with the U.S. Revenue Cutter

Service in 1915 to become what we

know now as the U.S. Coast Guard. The

Coast Guard Station remained active at

the station until 1964.

The federal government maintained

the buildings as a seasonal recreational

site for members of the Armed Forces

until 1996. The building was returned

The Nahant Life Saving

Station is a Nahant fixture.


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to the town of Nahant in 1999, and the

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has housed the Mortimer G. Robbins

American Legion Post 215 since 2011.

In addition to housing Post 215, the

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to the



The shock Deb Bogardus received

when she opened Andrews Memorial

Chapel’s doors almost 20 years ago

sparked a labor of love by more than a

dozen townspeople that endures today.

Bogardus planned to use the chapel,

located in Swampscott Cemetery, for a

memorial service honoring her late sister.

Inside it, she found leaves, dirt and birds.

“We cleaned it up and it was a

beautiful day, but I got right to the

(Board of ) Selectmen and said, ‘You can’t

let this go into disrepair,’” Bogardus said.

She ended up on a town committee

that had its hands full with finding

money to repair the chapel.

In the last 20 years, Andrews has

undergone a revival that restored the

building to its former status as a local

architectural gem and a location for

wedding ceremonies and memorial


The Isaac H. Andrews Chapel was

built in 1923-1924 at the bequest

of Ellen Andrews, in memory of

her husband, a former Swampscott

Selectman, Assessor and resident. Total

price tag — $32,000.

The non-denominational chapel was

designed by architect Charles V. Burgess

in the Norman Gothic style with a heavy

slate roof and buttresses to support the

structure. The building and cemetery

were added to the National Register of

Historic Places in 2013.

After Andrews fell into disrepair,

town leaders had to decide whether

to raze or repair the structure. In fact,

Bogardus had the last event in the chapel

— the memorial service for her late

sister in 2001.

Around that time, the town set aside

$150,000 for the chapel’s restoration.

Andrews Chapel is located inside Swampscott Cemetery on Essex Street.

But this was not used until 10 years later

when the town replaced old stones in the

exterior, realigned the walls and tower,

and repaired the old slate roof.

The work effectively shored up the

exterior of the building so that rain,

mold, animals and teenagers could not

get inside. But a lot of work remained,

and money had to be raised for each task.

Swampscott residents William and

Jane Mosakowski agreed to match all

donations and grants up to $75,000 to

help finish restoration of the chapel.

Part of this gift included matching

a $30,000 grant the town restoration

committee had received.

Electrician John Barnes rewired the

chapel’s rotted electrical system. Stephen

Hayes undertook construction work and

Robert Dandreo replastered the damaged

walls. Window restorer Tom Barber

volunteered to recreate the chapel’s

stained glass windows.

Lynn furniture maker and restorer


Ron Trapasso spent nine months

working on the chapel’s dilapidated

double doors.

Trapasso also guided town resident

and Boy Scout Michael Norcott in

restoring 16 of the chapel’s 20 pews.

Norcott chose the restoration work as a

project requirement for earning Eagle

Scout honors.

Local floorer William Bergeron is

involved in interior restorations along

with Howard Vatcher who Bogardus

said restored the chapel’s original light


Other projects include installing a

wheelchair ramp, re-stenciling lettering

and trim designs.

Town Historical Commission

member Richard Smith said Andrews

Memorial Chapel is included in the

National Historic Register status

conferred on the town cemetery.

“Andrews Chapel is the centerpiece of

the cemetery,” Smith said.

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24 | 01907

S.U.R.E members, from left, Pastor Ian Holland,

Carolina Velasquez, co-chair Keli Khatib, Sue Burgess, and

Ralph Edwards stand for Swampscott Unites Respects Embraces.


A SURE thing for Swampscott


“Diversity doesn’t just mean color,”

says Keli Khatib, co-chair and co-founder

of Swampscott Unites Respects and

Embraces, an organization founded in

2016 to celebrate all aspects of human


“People look at Swampscott and see

mostly white faces. And they often say

there’s no diversity. And that isn’t true.

Diversity means age, abilities, where

you’re from, socio-economic status.”

Keli embodies this complicated view

of diversity. She is from West Virginia,

her husband is from Syria, and her family

is Muslim.

Her impetus to help organize the

group was largely a response to President

Donald J. Trump’s threats to impose a

“Muslim Ban.”

Trump followed through with this

threat in 2017 when he signed an

Executive Order that banned foreign

nationals from seven predominantly-

Muslim countries from visiting the

country for 90 days, suspended entry

to the country of all Syrian refugees

indefinitely, and prohibited any other

refugees from coming into the country

for 120 days.

“It’s important to me to be involved in

this because my children are Muslim,” said

Khatib. She explained that her children

had experienced prejudice due to people’s

lack of understanding about Islam.

Swampscott Unites Respects and

Embraces, or SURE, works to address

these prejudices through education and

cultural exchange.

The group, which includes members

from a variety of religions, cultures and

ethnicities, has put together 15 to 20

events in the past four years including

four town-wide diversity festivals.

This year, the SURE Diversity

Committee has partnered with the

Swampscott Library to conduct a yearlong

project on racism.

Community members and SURE

members will be reading five books:

“How To Be An Antiracist,” by

Ibram X. Kendi, “Just Mercy,” by Bryan

Stevenson, “Homegoing,” by Yaa Gyasi,

“Underground Railroad,” by Colson

Whitehead, and “Roll of Thunder, Hear

Me Cry,” by Mildred D. Taylor.

A book discussion launched Nov. 25,

where readers will share their takeaways

on “Just Mercy,” which explores the racial

dimension to the death penalty.

Margaret Somer, a SURE member

who co-founded the organization with

WINTER 2020 | 25

Khatib, is participating in the book

group. She was especially moved by

Kendi’s “How To Be An Antiracist,” a

2019 book that discusses concepts of

racism and proposes solutions for antiracist

actions and systemic changes.

“We want to educate ourselves and

the community,” she said. “Slavery was a

founding piece of the American economy,

and, unfortunately, the theme of racism

has continued throughout history.”

Somer got involved in the creation of

the group when she became disturbed

by rising levels of prejudice and racial

hostility nationwide in 2016. She was

particularly bothered by instances

of anti-Semitic slogans scrawled in

Swampscott and Marblehead.

Somer, who has been involved in the

Civil Rights struggle since the 1970s,

said that she “felt like we needed to form

a group to come together to embrace


In the wake of the social unrest

sparked by George Floyd's May 25

death, SURE has found that their

work understanding racial and cultural

differences has become even more

important. A number of their members

go to Black Lives Matter protests

in response to the Trump rally in

Monument Square in the fall.

SURE is also working with the

Swampscott Police Department to

present a discussion on these issues.

They hope to broadcast the conversation

between community members and police

on local TV or on the web in January.

“We wanted to ask them what they

thought about everything going on in

the country, and what Swampscott is

doing about it,” said Khatib.

They specifically want to avoid

antagonizing the police, opting instead

to foster a greater level of understanding

between police departments and the


“You have groups and individuals who

do horrible things, and people feel like it

reflects on everyone,” said Somer. “But it


The group recommended that the

police department purchase a "peace

pole," which displays the word peace in

eight different languages. The police have

bought the pole and plan to display it in

front of their office.

Going forward, SURE plans to partner

with other local organizations to continue

to show the value of a diverse and united

community, and to show the town that, as

Somer said, “it’s good to be different.”


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26 | 01907


Natasha Soolkin, of Swampscott, is the executive

director of the New American Center, which provides

services to refugees and immigrants in Lynn.






Swampscott resident Natasha Soolkin

knows how difficult it can be for the

immigrants and refugees she works

with to adjust to their new home in the

United States.

Soolkin, regional director of the New

American Center in Lynn, immigrated

to the United States from the former

Soviet Union 30 years ago.

"I know I can relate very closely to

what people are experiencing," said

Soolkin. "I was young so I can only

imagine what happens when people

come who are older or come with kids

they need to take care of and they

don't have any means to do that, or

connections or support system. It takes a

while before you start feeling OK, feeling

like you are part of the community."

A young adult at the time of her

immigration, Soolkin said that while

her path may have been easier than the

refugees she works with — who may be

leaving their countries to escape war,

persecution or natural disasters — there

is no such thing as an easy immigration.

For example, she said children have

to learn a new language so they can

understand and communicate with their

classmates and teachers at school. Adults

with children have to find a way to earn

money in order to support their families.

And seniors, who are already an isolated

population, need to adjust to seeing the

world outside of the walls they were used

to in their former countries, Soolkin said.

"You hear people tell you that they had

a very easy path," said Soolkin. "There's

no easy immigration because everyone is

experiencing hardships along the way."

Established in 2002, the New

American Center, formerly known as

the Russian Community Association

of Massachusetts, is a multi-ethnic,

multi-service site providing culturally

appropriate and linguistically accessible

social service assistance to refugees and

immigrants in the Lynn area.

The New American Center was created

by the grassroots organization, Mutual

Assistance Association Coalition, in order

to meet the large numbers of increasingly

diverse newcomers coming to Lynn.

Soolkin said the center provides case

management, programming and classes,

which helps immigrants and refugees

learn English, gain employment, adjust

to their new environment, and work

toward becoming American citizens.

"The important part of our work is

our citizenship service," said Soolkin,

explaining that the center is certified by

the U.S. Department of Justice to do the

immigration work, which involves helping

people put together their citizenship

applications and providing them with

English as a Second Language classes.

"We have different levels where

people learn about history and civics

to prepare for the interviews," said

Soolkin. "Last year, we helped about

200-plus people to (become) ready for

the interviews. We have people becoming

citizens even in these COVID times."

The New American Center provides

services to 500 or 600 people a year, but

Soolkin said the majority of refugees are

coming to Lynn from six countries —

Congo, Cameron, Afghanistan, Eritrea,

Haiti and Cuba.

The organization also serves many

immigrants, said Soolkin, noting that

some of that effort involves working with

the Lynn Public Schools.

Often, those clients are coming from

unrest and strife in their former countries

or have come from situations where they

have been outsiders for many years, if not

their whole lives, Soolkin said.

"That's where we're trying to get in

and show people that it's not survival,"

said Soolkin. "It's life and they can enjoy

it and turn their heads from what was the

most difficult part of their lives."

Like many other organizations, the

New American Center has had to adjust

to providing services differently during

the COVID-19 pandemic. Soolkin said

the center was able to quickly switch to

offering its programming and classes

online, and has started to offer a food

distribution service and financial support

for clients.

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28 | 01907

She has

left a big

mark on

a small



For many, the thought of Nahant

brings to mind hot days on the beach.

But for Calantha Sears, the town means

much more, everything in fact.

Sears has spent nearly a century in

Nahant, calling it her home and leaving

her imprint on the state's smallest


Granddaughter of Albert Wilson,

who built many of the summer retreats

and smaller houses in town, Sears was

born in the Hyland Road home of her

parents on Oct. 17, 1921.

She later married her husband, a

U.S. Navy veteran whom she met at

Fisherman’s Beach and together they

raised four daughters, Melinda Hatfield

Kershaw, Lucy Jane Pomeroy, Elizabeth

Comeau, and Cynthia Oxton.

Sears has held many titles during her

time in Nahant, and each one involved

giving back to the community she has

called home her entire life.

She worked as a children's librarian

at the Nahant Public Library for 17

years, during which she found a love

for working with Nahant's smallest

residents. Sears became president of

the Nahant Historical Society when it

was founded in 1975 at the Whitney

Homestead. These days she serves

as curator, proudly giving tours and

recalling some of the town's great

traditions, many of which she's been a

part of.

Calantha Sears speaking after accepting her Essex Media Group Person of the Year award at the Lynn Museum.


When I got older, I served as one of the

waitresses at an afternoon tea that was also held

during the show — that was a real honor.


"My mother was a member when the

Garden Club started in 1927," she wrote.

"When I was about 9 or 10 years old, in

the 1930s, I remember participating in

an annual flower show which was held

every summer at the Town Hall.

"When I got older, I served as one of

the waitresses at an afternoon tea that

was also held during the show — that

was a real honor. When my children were

of age in the 1950s, they too participated,

just as I had."

Sears was named Essex Media

Group's Person of the Year for Nahant in

2018. She was named Nahant woman of

the year in 1967 and was named a local

hero by the Bay State Historical League

in 1954.

She has been on three town report

covers. The gazebo at Bailey’s Hill was

named Sears Pavillion in her honor

when it was re-dedicated by The Nahant

Women’s Club, of which Sears was

the president, at the town’s 150th year


As of today Sears' four children have

given her seven grandchildren and 12

great-grandchildren and that, she has

said, is her greatest accomplishment.

Dementia Care

Personal Care

RN Care Management

Medication Management

Supportive Living Services




30 | 01907

Recreation Director Danielle Strauss

created an after-school club to provide

children with a safe space to socialize.

Swampscott Town Hall workers remain on the

job amidst the COVID-19 virus.

They do it all

in the Hall




to the town


wipes down

his desk with

a disinfectant

to prevent

germs from



Town government functions even during a

pandemic thanks to hard-working employees.

Above, Allie Fiske, assistant to

the town administrator, sits in

between barriers installed during the

COVID-19 outbreak.

Town Clerk Susan Duplin counts ballots at her desk.

Public Health Director Jeff Vaughan

stands behind a plastic barrier.

WINTER 2020 | 31

GREEN BOOK, continued from page 16

Thompson and Eliza Dunston.

Anna’s father was from New York

and her mother from Maryland. At age

five, Anna was baptized at St. Mary’s

Catholic Church in Plainfield, so she and

Gaetano shared the same religion, and

attended St. John the Evangelist Roman

Catholic Church in Swampscott.

According to Anna’s obituary, she had

moved to Swampscott in 1935. During

the 1940s, Gaetano was not consistently

employed, and The Green Book lists their

house at 3 Boynton for consecutive years

as a tourist home. The 1940 census gives

one clue that the couple continued to rent

out rooms: in the column for “income

from other sources,” Gaetano is listed as a

“no,” but Anna is listed as a “yes.”

By the 1940s, the era of the summer

estates was coming to an end, and young

men from Swampscott enlisted in the

armed services and sought different

lines of work at the General Electric

and other manufacturing plants on the

North Shore. The leather industry where

Gaetano had worked was in decline.

Stories in the Lynn Telegram-News

detail devastating unemployment in the

industry following labor unrest during

the 1930s.

The 1940 census and Gaetano’s

1942 draft enlistment tell us he was

not employed and on welfare. Were

Gaetano’s employment problems related

to his mixed marriage? It’s not clear.

Long-time residents recall there were

few Black people living in Swampscott at

the time, and that the couple largely kept

to themselves. Anna could be seen sitting

on the shabby porch, they recollect, and

Gaetano would occasionally come out to

shush their dog when it would bark too

loudly at passersby.

Neighbors recall seeing limousines

in the 1940s and 1950s parked around

Boynton Street, and speculate that the

chauffeurs who drove well-heeled guests

from the nearby train station to the

elegant New Ocean House Hotel were

staying at Mrs. M’s house — with “M”

now standing for Mabel.

Anna “Mabel” lived in Swampscott

until her death at age 80 in 1967, a year

after the Green Book ceased publication,

though they had not listed the house in

The Green Book after 1954. According

to Anna’s obituary, her funeral was

held at St. John the Evangelist Church

in Swampscott, and she is buried in

St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Gaetano lived

at 3 Boynton for another seven years

The dining room with original built-in cabinets

at 3 Boynton St.

following Anna’s death.

One local resident who, as a teenager,

worked at Bickford’s Pharmacy on the

corner of Burrill and Paradise thinks he

remembers Gaetano walking to the store

from his run-down house on the corner

of Boynton and Pine to buy cigarettes.

Bickford’s kept a tab open for him, which

he would periodically pay off. Gaetano

died November 11, 1974 at the age of

78 at Lynn Hospital, and his funeral was

also held at St. John’s.

In their marriage, Anna and Gaetano

had attempted to bridge a racial divide.

In death, sadly, Anna and Gaetano were

not to be reunited. While Gaetano’s

obituary states his burial was planned

for St. Joseph’s, he is buried in the

Swampscott Cemetery in the World War

I veterans’ section.

A strike of Roman Catholic

gravediggers that began in early

November 1974 over a $1 per week

raise for the laborers brought Catholic

burials that November to a standstill,

threatening to devolve into a sanitation

issue for local funeral homes. It’s not

clear if this why Gaetano is interred

at Swampscott Cemetery, and not by

the side of his wife of 38 years. The

racially-segregated society that the

couple had so bravely defied in life was,

metaphorically at least, reflected in their

separate final resting places. Following

Gaetano’s death, the house, which was

part of Anna’s estate, was sold in 1975

to A. James Lynch, and then occupied

by numerous families for the next two


Three Boynton is now the home of

Jay and Kelly Duffy, who have owned the

house since 2016.

When asked to reflect upon the long

history of their home, Jay and Kelly

said, “We are thrilled that the story of

the Allen House has been unearthed. It

is important to resurrect the incredible

and seldom-told stories of Black lives in

Swampscott, which add so much to the

richness of the town’s history.”

The Duffys note that the history of

their home as a site of societal progress

endears the property to them.

“We strive,” they said, “to continue 3

Boynton’s tradition of welcoming friends into

our home based on their character alone.”

The Duffys expressed gratitude to the

Swampscott Historical Commission for

its on-going efforts to recover, preserve,

and write new chapters of Swampscott’s

complex history.

The author wishes to acknowledge the

kind assistance of Alyce Deveau, Marilena

Dipietro, Jay Duffy, Thor Jourgensen, Lisa

Mausolf, Alice McGuire, Justina Oliver,

Jackson Schultz, the Swampscott Historical

Commission, and the Swampscott

Historical Society.

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