Back in 1626, five planters came from England in search of the new world. The five planters were Conant, Balch, Trask, Woodberry, and Palfrey. They first settled in Gloucester. Not having any luck with the land or sea, they packed their things and set out once again to find fertile land and a good fishing spot. This time they landed at the top of the shoe Pond. In 1930 the Massachusetts Bay Colony Tercentenary placed a sign by the pond that refers to the Planters Path to their landing place behind McKay School. In 1634 land grants were issued in the general court that set up the boundaries of Salem, Beverly, Peabody, Wenham and Manchester. The planters were granted 1000 acres of land in 1636, which settled North Beverly.
Today North Beverly begins at Kittredge Crossing. For those who don’t know, it’s where the train tracks meet Cabot Street next to Dairy Queen. North Beverly continues up Cabot to Fosters Corner. This is the intersection in front of the North Beverly Fire Station. You could go down McKay Street or Conant Street and still be in North Beverly. Dodge Street and Enon Street were the most populated because of the train station and Wenham Lake. North Beverly also consists of Dodge’s Row, Brimbal Avenue, and Tozer Road.
In the early 1900’s trolley or streetcars linked virtually every city. It came from Boston through cities like Lynn and Salem. The trolley ran right through North Beverly. It went up Cabot and turned onto Dodge, and then it turned onto Enon Street where it went right into Wenham, a good old five-cent trolley ride. These rails ran until 1937. Two years later it was substituted with a bus service that went from Beverly up to Hamilton. Horse and carriages were still big in these days. Its uses varied from transporting people, hay, ice from Wenham Lake and even as a portable washing machine. The Star Family Laundry delivery wagon only charged you 50 cents per box and it was on Enon and Dodge Street five days a week. North Beverly also had a train station on Enon Street right at Dodge Row Crossing. It had a freight house that was used for unloading and storing less than a carload freight shipment. There used to be tracks that crossed Enon Street and went to Wenham Lake so they could get the ice from the lake on the train. The tracks went from Boston to Maine. North Beverly has the only airport in Beverly. In 1931 the Beverly Aero Club leased land from Swift and Hood. The airport had grass runways and one hanger. It occasionally had commercial airliners, warplanes and blimps but consisted mostly of private planes.
Agriculture was the region’s chief economic activity, so North Beverly had a lot of farms. Cherry Hill Farm owned by H.P. Hood & Sons was probably the best known. It was a model dairy operation that provided an educational experience for both children and adults. At the center of the farm were cow barns where there was a milk processing plant and an ice cream shop. It also had a picnic area with swings, see saws, slides, a horseshoe pit, and a musical shell for concerts. Thousands of families visited this farm each year. Hood closed the farm because it was not financially self-sustaining. The buildings were soon badly vandalized and eventually burned down. Hood never rebuilt the farm. It’s now an attractive feature for the growing industrial community. There was also Raymond Farm near the golf course on McKay Street. It’s now all residential houses. North Beverly had its share of greenhouses. Mr. Potter had greenhouses and Caldwell had greenhouses and a great dairy farm. In 1930 there was a farm produce stand right where Memorial Middle School is today.
Wenham Lake was world-renowned for its crystal clear purity. There were several icehouses around Wenham Lake in the early 1900’s where they stored the cut ice. The ice was first cut, and then it was brought to shore with long poles, which is known as prodding the ice, to a conveyor that lifted it to the icehouse. They used layers of straw to prevent the ice from melting, and then it was put on the train and sent by vessel to every corner of the earth. On July fifth 1937 at 6 in the morning a spectacular fire completely demolished seven icehouses, boiler plants and other buildings in North Beverly resulting in a loss of 50,000 dollars. The mechanical refrigerator put an end to natural ice. Wenham Lake is used to supply its neighboring towns with drinking water. Beverly and Salem each have a pumping station in North Beverly. Salem used to have a reservoir in North Beverly but it is now filled. The Beverly Commons Luxury Apartments and other businesses along Tozer Road is where it used to be.
Bakers Tavern at the corner of Cabot and Dodge was a colonial stage coach tavern that stood until 1906 when the North Beverly Fire Station was built on it’s site. The first cotton mill in America was stood behind it. Built in 1787, the mill was a three-story building of brick construction that measured about 60 feet long and 25 feet wide. It had a deep cellar at one end where a pair of horses furnished power for the mill by turning a shaft that was in turn connected to the machines upstairs through gears and belts. In one corner of the lot was a dye house and nearby was a well at which George Washington on October 30,1789 was said to have paused for a drink. He said, “The whole seemed perfect, and the cotton stuffs which they turn out, excellent of their kind.” The mill was burned down in 1828 and was not rebuilt.
North Beverly was home to a lot of French Canadians, Germans, and English. It was also home to the Second Congregational Church at the corner of Cabot Street and Conant Street, whicht was erected in 1714. A bell tower was added in 1753 and in 1837 the building was turned and moved a bit to the north. In 1897 the Victorian era colored twin panel windows were put in, but in 1929 clear glass windows were installed and a colonial style chancel was added. Edwin L. Millet was in charge of the Sunday school there in the early 1900’s. The church was also used as a Men & Women’s Club. The church still stands today. The North Beverly Cemetery is right behind the church and has been for about 200 years. In the early 1900’s, various scouts and military personnel who gathered for the traditional services of honoring the dead held Memorial Day exercises.
The Dodge’s Row School was a single room schoolhouse at 250 Dodge Street until it burned down on October fifth, 1905. The old Bass River School was built in 1906 at 30 Conant Street after the Dodges Row School had burned down and its students transferred here. Its principal was Charles S. Brown. The Winslow School, now known as McKay School, was built at the head of the Shoe Pond in 1910. It lost its unique appearance with the removal of its Flemish gables.
North Beverly’s fire station was built in 1906 at two Dodge Street on the site of Baker’s Tavern to replace the earlier hose house up on Conant Street. Teams of horses were kept in the building before the apparatus became mechanized. Engine number five and ladder number three were held there. On Conant Street hose number three was held with Willard E. Caldwell as captain. Beverly police patrols North Beverly but it does not have a station there.
The United Shoe Machinery Club House was built in 1910 as a recreational facility for its employees. Its Scottish Tudor-Style architecture with both small and large gables really makes it stick out. Its tennis courts and landscaped grounds added to the clubs appeal and charm. The United Shoe Machinery Athletic Association was organized that same year and held it’s annual meeting the first Tuesday in September at the clubhouse. The North Beverly Community Club announces the Independence Day celebration. In the early 1900’s North Beverly hosted a Forth of July bonfire every year. This took place at what is now the North Beverly Plaza. Each year they added another layer of barrels. The last bonfire that the had was in 1955, and the barrels were stacked 110 feet high with 35 layers of barrels, hay, and tires. North Beverly also had its own baseball team. The North Beverly Baseball Team played on Lovett Field at VittoriPark across from the Second Congregational Church.
North Beverly is full of prosperity in the early 1900’s. The suburban life we know so well today was made possible in large part by the mobility of the trolley and the train. Businesses like the United Shoe Machinery Company, the ice company at Wenham Lake, the Cherry Hill Farm and the Cotton Mill became nationally and world renowned because of this. Other businesses grew and thrived off of this. North Beverly became a great place to live because of all these things, and will continue to be a great place to live for years to come.
 Richard Symmes, North Beverly Remembered
 Richard Symmes, North Beverly Remembered
 John Hardy Wright, Images of America, Beverly (Arcadia 2000), 92
 City of Beverly, City Directory 1911
 John Hardy Wright, Images of America, Beverly (Arcadia 2000), 86
 City of Beverly, City Directory 1905
 John Hardy Wright, Images of America, Beverly (Arcadia 2000), 71