Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Going on Nine at Locust Lawn

Once upon a time I was a little girl who played at Locust Lawn in Danvers.
I loved this storybook my mother read to me. The book was dedicated "TO ALL THE LITTLE GIRLS WHO PLAYED AT LOCUST LAWN".

The mansion pictured below (from page 37 of this book) existed until 1944. The foundation remained for years longer, providing a play area for Nichols Street kids. In 1957 my parents built a new house on the site, using part of the old foundation for a sunken garden.

These maps on the end-papers of the book show familiar features...
such as the Barn, the Back Avenue, and the little pond, called "Willow Pond" here, -- recognizable from my childhood.
The road shown at the bottom (passing the pond and curving to the left) was a portion of Nichols Street now renamed Conifer Hill Drive. Route 95 cut that road off from the lower section of Nichols Street and destroyed much of the hill of Locust Lawn. Only some the original 35 acres we played in remain today, in narrow slices on either side to Route 95.

This month and next my Danvers Herald columns will be about Locust Lawn. See April column: The Little Girls of Locust Lawn.