Throughout time, Beverly has undergone many transformations. Postcards are an ideal approach to portray these transformations. Although the land of Beverly was established in 1626, it was established as a town in 1668, and became known as the city of Beverly in 1894. Modern Beverly looks extremely different from its earliest establishment. Between this time, Beverly constructed many major developments. The three types of transformations Beverly underwent were industrial, landscape, and architectural changes.
One of the most famous industrial changes was the transformation of the United Shoe into the Cummings Center. The United Shoe Factory, erected in 1905, was created specifically to make shoe-making machines. This Beverly factory became a motivation world wide as other similar factories were set up in United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, South America, and Asia. (The United Shoe Factory in Beverly)
The Shoe provided jobs for hundreds of people. A neighborhood near the Shoe was developed to make the workers’ homes accessible to work. This neighborhood was referred to as Shingle Ville. Immigrants came to Beverly hoping to find work at the Shoe, causing Beverly’s population to drastically increase. For those who did not live in Shingle Ville or Beverly, the Shoe was still accessible for its workers. Both Maine and Boston had trains that ran directly to Elliot Street every day. (Train to the Shoe)
In 1996, the buildings as well as the land of the Shoe were transformed into the Cummings Center. The Cummings Center is not a factory but a place that provides office space for smaller companies. Presently, hundreds of different businesses are located in this office park. The Cummings Center was remodeled for safety and aesthetic reasons. It is now a convenient place for business owners with an attractive atmosphere. (The Cummings Center)
Two major landscape transformations were Brimbal Avenue and Cabot Street. Both have drastically changed in appearance and mode of transportation. Brimbal Avenue is presently a state highway, constantly traveled on by automobiles, paved, with houses on both sides of the road. It runs through North Beverly and is right off Route 128. However, Brimbal Avenue was not always this busy civilized street. Brimbal was once called Beimbal and consisted of a narrow dirt road surrounded by trees. (Postcard of Beimbal Avenue)
Cabot Street has also changed drastically over many years. When looking at a postcard of Cabot Street from the late nineteenth century, it is difficult to believe that this is the modern day Cabot Street. (1890 Cabot Street) This postcard shows tracks on the dirt road. This is because trolleys were one mode of transportation during this time in Beverly. Automobiles were not commonly present in Beverly in 1890 therefore there were not any parking meters. Present Cabot Street is the center of downtown Beverly and is always busy. Because of the many shops along Cabot, it is difficult to find parking. When parking is accessible, it is aggravating to pay the meters. The people from 1890 luckily did not have this problem.
President Taft’s summerhouse is a perfect example of an archeological transformation. Or in this case, it was a transfer. President Taft spent his summers with his family in Beverly. His house was located in the present Lynch Park. However, Taft’s house is no longer located in Beverly. The entire house was lifted from its foundation, placed on a barge and floated to Marblehead. The memories of his presence are remembered, although his summerhouse is no longer in Beverly. (Taft’s summerhouse)
Another example of “lost” Beverly is the Washington-Beadle school. This school no longer exists. About eight years ago, the city of Beverly made the decision to renovate its public elementary schools. Washington-Beadle elementary school was not in these plans. The city believed that it would be too much money to renovate this particular school. Instead, Washington-Beadle was torn down and the land was sold to a chain of Walgreens. Walgreens is a monopoly of drug stores that put many others out of business.
From the time Beverly had been founded until the present, many changes have occurred. Lost Beverly can be defined as what is no longer physically present as well as major transformations Beverly has undergone. Postcards serve as primary documents that depict “lost” Beverly. They are a great way to show aspects of old Beverly versus modern Beverly and also shows elements that are no longer present.
Cummings Properties Online, “Cummings Properties”, <http://www.cummings.com/history.html> (Oct. 02)
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