My husband, toddler son, and I started our drive down scenic Route 127 towards Singing Beach and Coolidge Reservation, two of our favorite North Shore hangouts. But in the end, we decided to explore a new place, and we veered off onto Ober Street towards Beverly’s David S. Lynch Park.
I knew of the park’s existence because it marked the starting and finishing line for a 5K I ran last Earth Day called “Energize the Earth.” The course, however, took off in the opposite direction, away from the park and through the tree-lined streets and stately homes of the neighborhood, and I hadn’t really taken the time to walk around the actual park and take a look.
It is incredible to me that even after living six years on the North Shore, I can still so easily discover a new gorgeous stretch of coastline with public access, as well as pockets of unusual history.
Beyond the parking lot, Lynch Park has a small beach, large grassy area, and a band shell. This is where the race begins – which I’ve signed up for again despite being seven months pregnant. I will be walking, no doubt, walking very slowly. Past the band shell and to the right, there is an excellent playground for kids and wide, old oaks for hide-n-seek.
We were wandering along the elevated path the hugs the coastline towards a second beach when we spied a very curious garden area. We entered into the brick enclosure by the two stone lions and approached what appeared to be a roman pavilion. To our right loomed the statue of a falconer with no inscription or dedication. All of these details seemed out of place for a city park, so I knew there had to be a bit of a story behind it.
When I got home, I looked it up on the Beverly Recreation website. Here is the history part of the adventure… apparently, President Taft leased a summer home on this spot but at some point, the owner decided to cut short the lease, load up the house on a barge, and move the entire structure to Marblehead. She then built this garden in its place. The falconer statue, it would seem, is a replica of a famous sculpture in New York’s Central Park – where her husband once lay in a hospital bed gazing upon it. The property then changed hands a few times before being purchased by David Lynch and donated to the city.
On this early April morning there was nothing in bloom, save a few precocious crocuses, but the beds were neatly maintained, and I image they are lovely in the summer. We’ll have to come back and check it out!