Lynn Woods Reservation: Stone Tower – Lynn MA


Lynn Woods Reservation was founded in 1881 by local residents and remains under jurisdiction of the city of Lynn. Lynn Woods contains over 30 miles of trails for hiking, biking, running, and horseback riding. Three active reservoirs exist in the forest and create pond-like scenery and a nice feel for those looking to enjoy the outdoors. It is the second largest municipal park in the United States, with over 2,200 acres of forest. In the center of the park, Burrill Hill is elevated at 285 feet above sea level and Stone Tower sits on top of the hill at 48 feet tall and approximately 30 feet in diameter.

The tower was built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Made of stone and mortar, the tower also had a wooden roof structure on top to provide shelter for the lookout crews manning the tower. However, the roof was blown off during a hurricane in 1953 and not replaced for many years. The first floor of the tower is 15 feet high with concrete stairs wrapping around the entrance and one side of the base. The second, third, and fourth floors are connected inside by a cast iron spiral staircase. The shape of the structure is octagonal and every level has arched windows for viewing. In addition to the construction work, once the tower was completed it provided work for the unemployed people of Lynn (mostly unskilled men) as a fire watch tower for Lynn Woods and the city below.

The tower fell into disrepair in the 1970s-1980s and access to the public was denied. However, recent improvements have been made to the tower. Donations from the local Richardson family and the Massachusetts Historical Commission have made it possible to restore the tower’s interior and exterior. Restoration work included repairing the masonry on walls, fixing the concrete, putting on a new roof, and installing the new spiral staircase, which now allows access to the upper levels of the tower. The Mayor of Lynn, Judith Flanagan Kennedy, and the Friends of Lynn Woods hosted a dedication ceremony to honor the Richardson family and the Massachusetts Historical Commission whose generous donations combined equaled $215,000, on August 13, 2010. A commemorative rock that reads, “A walk through the woods enables appreciation of nature’s music”, was also added to the outside of the tower during the restoration process. Stone Tower remains one of Lynn/Lynn Woods’s beloved landmarks and the inside of the tower can be toured by appointment with the Park Ranger.

Source notes

“Lynn Woods & Dungeon Rock Location, History, and Legends.” Egg Rock: Location, History, and Legends. (Accessed May 10, 2016).
“Lynn Woods Reservation.” Lynn Woods Reservation. Last modified August 2011. (Accessed May 10, 2016).
“Lynn Woods Stone Tower.” North of Boston, MA. (Accessed May 10, 2016).
Tamao, Shuko K. “Stone Tower, Lynn.” Creepy-chusetts, Strange-chusetts. Last modified July 26, 2011. (Accessed May 10, 2016).

Works Progress Bulletin, Massachusetts: Dec. 2, 1936 (pg. 2).

Project originally submitted by Kristy Newton on December 20, 2016.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Great Woods Road
Lynn, MA 01904

Coordinates: 42.477692, -70.986773

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