Photo and Commentary by Nick Schwertschlag
In the eastern part of Beverly lies a wealthy and little known area called Beverly Farms. “The Farms” as it is referred to, was consisted of many large estates located in the deep woods and its commercial center, which begins at the corner of hale and West St. and Hale St. was named for the reverend Hale of Beverly who is known for his role during the Salem Which trials and Arthur Miller’s the Crucible. West Street was named for John West. Also known for the private beach near by called West Beach, a popular beach spot today, which was transferred to him by Thomas Black Leach. The downtown of Beverly Farms, locate on West St. has survived over the years as the town’s main commercial center and has thrived and done poorly at times throughout the centuries. Coming into West St. on the left is the Beverly Farms fire station, which has lasted for over a century. For the last 100 years the Beverly Farms fire station had remained as a functioning fire station responding to any calls of duty needed. On October 15, 1944, Beverly officials gathered to honor and dedicate a war memorial of soldiers and sailors of World War II. Later on, this war memorial was moved across the street next to the general store where it could be easily viewed and honored publicly. Just recently a public fountain was erected to enhance the war memorial.
Next door to the Beverly Farms Fire Station is Neighbor’s Hall. Neighbor’s Hall was attached to the fire station in the earlier days but it now is separated by a small ally way leading to the Beverly Farms Public Library, which is as old as West St. Neighbor’s Hall was known for its stone arches, which today have been replaced with stores and businesses. The new ventures are OEM, a computer business, a health food store called Wild Oats, and a hair salon called Sharon Champagne’s. Today, only one of the five original arches survived as a clue to what the building was before transformation. Adjacent to Neighbors Hall was a three-story housing project. In 1986, the first floor was converted to a family dining pub and bar called K.C.’s. K.C.’s continued as a family diner until 2001, when it was shut down and replaced by a more sophisticated restaurant named Cygnet, which is now a semi-popular restaurant.