Dawson Hall Tea Room

Postcards, Posters, and Other Vintage Travel Images #9

Courtyard view of Dawson Hall Tea Room at David S. Lynch Memorial Park, Beverly, Mass.. (vintage postcard)

Courtyard view of Dawson Hall Tea Room at David S. Lynch Memorial Park, Beverly, Mass.. (vintage postcard)1

Today’s David S. Lynch Memorial Park, on the Beverly, Massachusetts, Burgess Point, had previously been an grand estate owned by two sisters, Belle and Abby Hunt.  The estate included a 19th century mansion house that later became known as “Dawson Hall,” built by Benjamin Burgess of Boston, and a building called “The Monastery,” built by Edith Burgess and later moved by Elizabeth P. Sohier. The Monastery was used by the wealthy Hunt sisters between the time the mansion was closed for the fall and when they were ready to move into Boston for the winter.  The sisters had inherited the estate from another sister, Marie Antoinette Evans. After the deaths of the sisters, the entire estate was willed to Beverly Hospital for a convalescent home.2

The Beverly Hospital Corporation found that maintenance of the deteriorating property was more than it could handle.  The estate was sold to the city of Beverly for $50,000. The park purchase funds came from money bequeathed to the city for park purposes by David S. Lynch. The Beverly Evening Times of July 3, 1943 said “Papers have gone on record transferring
the Dawson Hall property on Burgess Point, off Ober Street, from the Beverly Hospital
Corporation to the City of Beverly. The property, which covers approximately 15 acres of land
including a mansion house, stable, rose garden, a monastery, a stretch of fine beaches including a white sand beach, will give to Beverly the finest seaside park in all New England which will be known as the David S. Lynch Memorial Park in honor of the man who made it possible.”3

Later in 1943, the city granted a concession to Charles P. Stromberg for  “the maintenance of a tea room for the sale of food and soft drinks at the Monastery and park grounds.” The mansion house – Dawson Hall – and a barn were razed.  After Stromberg gave up his concession, the Monastery was used an art center by a local art guild, who moved to another building because of the high cost of heating the Monastery.  It was then used as a Youth Center until it burned to the ground June 28, 1966.4

  1. “Courtyard view of Dawson Hall Tea Room at David S. Lynch Memorial Park, Beverly, Mass.” Card. Pub. by Stromberg’s Dawson Hall Tea Room Tichnor Bros. Inc., Boston, Mass., [ca. 1930–1945]. Digital Commonwealth, ark.digitalcommonwealth.org/ark:/50959/g158bk91v (accessed December 16, 2017).
  2. The Parks of Beverly (pdf) – Beverly Recreation
  3. ibid.
  4. ibid.

Postcards, Posters, and Other Vintage Travel Images is a Haw Creek project that shares vintage travel related images that, for the most part, have been found on line.

Unless otherwise stated, there are no known copyright restrictions on the images. Google Street images are used under the fair use provisions of copyright law.  Reference links were accessed on the date the blog post was published, unless otherwise stated.

Massachusetts, parks, Postcards and Posters – Vintage Travel Images, vintage image
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