Memories of Growing up in Nahant

By Linda Zeitz Lehman

I remember skating on Bear Pond. No lessons, we just learned how to skate. The ‘big boys’ played hockey at the far end of the frozen pond.

I remember being at the J.T. Wilson School in the 1950s and the two-platoon system. The Johnson School was under construction and the Wilson was over crowded. So, some of us went to school from 8:30 to 12:30 and some of us went from 12:30 to 4:30. Miss Goodwin was my all-time favorite teacher. And the ‘apparatus’ filled the school yard and was enjoyed by all. We went to the Valley Road School for grades 7, 8 and 9. Marie Wall was the best English teacher that we had, and Mrs. Wilson certainly let you know when the stitching was not to her liking.

St. Thomas Church had masses in the basement during the summer months. We sat on long wooden benches, and during the school year we went to Sunday School. The nuns who came over from St. Joseph’s in Lynn were a bit intimidating! In the summer, we would see some of the nuns sitting on the rocks on the northside as they summered at three different convents in Nahant.

I remember Brownies and Girl Scouts and our leaders: Mrs. Clapp, Mrs. Wanstall, Mrs. Downs, Mrs. Battles, Mrs. Green and Mrs. Berlew. We planned Y.M.C.A. dances that were held at the Town Hall. We met at Mrs. Decker’s house.


I remember Rosie’s for great spaghetti sauce and the 400 Club for great gatherings and meals. Frank and Sam’s had the best fried clams.

I remember Ryan’s Store where many St. Mary’s kids worked – me included.

Other Memories: The boats tossed ashore during the hurricanes of the early fifties. Not being allowed to go to the Bass Point area of town. Dorothy Beach and the ‘weenie roasts’ we had there, and always a picnic on April 19 th, Fry Day.

If you have a reminiscence you would like to share, please stop by the Society or send us an email at