Edmund Ingalls was the first European settler of Lynn, having arrived with his family in 1630. They built a house very near the site of the current Goldfish Pond. This map reveals that Ingalls arrived at the Deer Cove section of Lynn beach. Could he have walked right up the present day Prescott Road to Goldfish Pond? Due to the pond's "First" status, parades throughout Lynn's history passed by the pond. In 1824 the General Marquis de Lafayette, while on his tour of all US colonies, visited the Ingalls' site, hence the street which surrounds the pond named Lafayette Park, and "Fayette" Street, the first named street in Lynn. The Ingalls family placed a historical marker on the pond in 1915, it is located near the Bloomfield Street staircase.
Ingall's pond was a swampy low land area that dried out during summer months. Farmers in the area would use the dried mud for fertilizer. It was about 1840 that some young neighborhood boys placed goldfish into the "swamp". They flourished! In 1870, the city undertook a project to transform this swamp and build a pond and park in this area now known as Goldfish Pond. A bandstand was originally placed on the center island. About 1890, the bandstand was moved to the park side. Concerts were held during summer months. Goldfish Pond was enjoyed by all.
After neighborhood neglect and decline in the 1960's, neighbors and city officials worried about the pond which was in disrepair and used by many as a dumping ground. Broken benches and urban decay were unsightly. In 1980, Gerard Dwan organized his neighbors to form the Goldfish Pond Association. Gerard and Priscialla Gately took on the planting of flowers on the island, restoring the pond to its grand state. Today this association of neighbors maintains the park with a spring time annual planting of flowers and a fundraiser flea market in the fall.
The Rolling Parade was Sat October 2, 2021 at 10:00am with the Marquis De Lafayette riding in a horse and carriage followed by vehicles of members of the Goldfish Pond Association. Funding for this event was made possible by the Lynn Cultural Council.
This parade was organized to celebrate the Goldfish Pond Association's 40th Anniversary in 2020. However, due to Massachusetts Covid restrictions on outdoor gatherings, this event was canceled. The event was October 2, 2021.
In 1824, the Marquis De Lafayette was invited back to the President of United States for a grand tour for his instrumental role during the American Revolutionary War. He visited Boston, Lynn, Marblehead, and Salem on August 31, 1824 and he was greeted with adoring folks along the way. It was a grand party! In Lynn, he gave a speech at the Lynn Hotel (this was located at the intersection of Western Ave and Market Sq). His carriage and entourage then rode down Market Street, to Broad Street, Chestnut Street to Lafayette Park, to Fayette Street. At this time, the Ingalls family lived in this area and it was considered a prime spot for a distinguished visitor to pass. After this event, the area was named "Lafayette Park".
Read more about Lafayette's journey through Lynn in the "Downloads Button" below.