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What does $12 buy you? How about the original design used in the town seal seen on signs, badges, and official documents? 

Already a Civil War hero and famous illustrator, Charles Wellington Reed was hired by the town in 1881 to create its seal. Town Meeting members authorized the Board of Selectmen to pay Reed $12 for his labors, the equivalent of $323 in 2021 dollars.

Reed’s design depicts Capt. James Phillips standing on the aft deck (inside the rearmost part of a boat) of a fishing schooner, holding the handle to the rudder. Phillips is wearing a sou’wester, a waterproof hat, which was created in the 1800s for fishermen of the North Atlantic. Waves crest on the oceanscape on the seal and the sun is rising in the background.

Reed was no stranger to Swampscott. A Bostonian, he made summer visits to the town. But his name continues to live on in American history not only because of the seal still in use by the town.

Reed was also a documentarian of the wartime experience. He created approximately 700 sketches that illustrated the everyday lives of ordinary northern soldiers during the war and between campaigns. Now his collection is preserved in the Library of Congress. 

Reed was born in Boston on April 1, 1841 to Joseph Reed and Roxanna Richardson Reed. Some accounts say that he went to public schools and studied drawing. Others claim that he was born into a wealthy family and was educated in private schools and studied art there.

At the age of 21, Reed enlisted in the Ninth Massachusetts Light Artillery, serving much of the Civil War as a bugler. He participated in many battles including Mine Run, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, and Weldon Railroad. 

Many letters to his family and two sketchbooks included perceptive drawings of his wartime experience. He described in detail his daily activities in letters written to his mother and sister, Helen Reed Tilton, and illustrated in drawings both the rigors of military life and the amusing aspects of it. 

He documented in sketches and letters the ways in which soldiers adapted to seasonal changes in the weather, how they amused themselves, and the routines of camp life. He did a large amount of illustrations when stationed in or near Washington, D.C., in 1862, and when his unit was not actively campaigning. His illustrations are noteworthy for their intricate detail and humanity. 

In 1863, during the Battle of Gettysburg, Reed saved the life of his battery’s captain, John Bigelow. Bigelow was wounded and incapacitated between enemy lines. Reed mounted his horse and led another horse under sustained fire to retrieve Bigelow, thereby saving his life, “cheered by the soldiers on both sides.”

It wasn’t until 1895 that his heroic deed was acknowledged. Bigelow wrote to the adjutant general of the U.S. recommending him for the Medal of Honor for his actions at Gettysburg. After an eyewitness testimony corroborated Bigelow’s account of events, the secretary of war approved the nomination. 

In November of 1863, Reed broke his left hand, temporarily impacting his ability as someone who was left-handed to write and draw. As bad luck would have it, In August of 1864, his right hand was severely wounded by a saber slash during the Petersburg siege. Injuries aside, he worked to develop his artistic abilities, even gaining transfer to a map-making unit. 

After an honorable discharge in June of 1865, Reed returned to Boston and took up art seriously.  According to the Boston Globe, he became a popular illustrator, making many drawings for the paper. He illustrated a number of Civil War publications including “Hardtack & Coffee: The Unwritten Story of Army Life”  (1887) by John Billings. He also did portraits, painted landscapes and marines. Reed had a studio at 12 West St. and later in the Studio Building at Tremont and Bromfield streets in downtown Boston.

Reed approached the task of designing the town seal thoughtfully, incorporating both a seascape and the history of the town into the seal.

The schooner that Phillips is standing on was called the Dove. Phillips, Jonathan Blaney and “others” purchased it in 1795 for offshore fishing. It weighed about 20 tons and was “the first little schooner owned in Swampscott,” according to the Swampscott Centennial Issue from March of 1952. 

Phillips was famous for introducing to the market “Phillips Beach dunfish” which was “widely known and sought after by lovers of salted fish,” as said the booklet printed in 2002 by the Historical Commission to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the town.

Two phrases frame the round seal: “Settled in 1629” and “Incorporated as Swampscott, MA 1852.” The seal can be seen adorning several locations around town. One is incorporated onto the gable of the Fish House facing Humphrey Street. The Town Hall has two more: a carved seal on a mantle over the fireplace in the Select Board meeting room and a painted seal hanging on the wall above the staircase.

According to the Library of Congress, Reed married in 1869 to Rebecca Farwell and began operating a liquor and wine store with his father-in-law in 1871. However, according to the Boston Globe obituary, he never married and was much sought after in fraternal societies.

Reed was an honored member of Grand Army of the Republic Edward W. Kinsley Post 113, where he used to draw the menus for the annual banquet. He was also a member of the Apollo Club, the second-oldest men’s singing group in the U.S., which was a source of entertainment for well-to-do Bostonians before the radio came along. 

When bicycles became popular in the 1880s, Reed became an enthusiast and a member of the old Boston Bicycle Club. He rode with the “around the hub” group annually.

When Reed died on April 29, 1926, in Norwell, where he lived in the Accord area for a few years, his obituary in the Boston Globe said that the he was “one of most famous ‘characters’ of Boston — famous as a Civil war veteran; as a Congressional Medal of Honor man; as an artist and illustrator; as a singer; as a bicyclist, and as an all-round good fellow, dearly loved by host of friends … He was bubbling over with life and energy and as ready for a frolic at 80 as he was at 30.” 

He was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge. 

In 1928, his niece Grace M. Schirmer, born Grace May Tilton, donated to the Library of Congress his sketches, correspondence, articles, citations, military papers, clippings, a diary, maps, Medals of Honor and photographs known as The Charles Wellington Reed Papers.

The design of the Medal of Honor awarded to Civil War soldiers was first approved in 1862. The army’s Medal of Honor was redesigned in 1904 to preserve its distinctiveness as the highest honor awarded to soldiers. Charles W. Reed retained his original 1895 Medal of Honor as well as the redesigned version, both of which are part of the Charles Wellington Reed Papers at the Library of Congress.

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The Nahant Heritage Trail is a coastal walk where you can take a break from the loud traffic and bright lights and enjoy panoramic seascape views.

The 1.4-mile trail brings walkers deep into Nahant and allows them to see local historic spots. 

Jenna DeLisi walks it almost every day.

“I have walked the trail countless times,” she said. “My favorite time of the day is when the sun is setting and when you get to the top you can see the ocean and beautiful views.”

The trail begins at the north end of Short Beach, which is one beach inland from the Nahant Public Beach. 

Starting at the Little Nahant Playground on the north end of South Beach, walkers trek the entirety of South Beach before approaching the Life Saving Station. 

Built in 1898, the station was used to transfer the United States Coast Guard in 1915. In 2001, the station was deeded back to Nahant where it was brought back to life and restored by the Nahant Preservation Trust and is used as a venue. 

Trail walkers cross Nahant Road and end up in the Lowlands, the town park doing multiple duties as a spot for baseball and basketball games, town events, and a host of other activities.

From 1905 to 1930, the Nahant and Lynn Street Railway ran on a wooden bridge through what is now the parking lot for Lowlands. 

Lowlands is also a great spot to sight birds and other wildlife, with its unique wooded wetlands. 

From the Lowlands, the trail crosses Flash Road Playground. Follow the trail markers behind the fire station to the sporting fields and directly to the Johnson School. 

This area was part of Fort Ruckman, a U.S. Coast Artillery fort back in 1904 to 1907. It saw duty in both world wars. After World War II, the fort was decommissioned and sold back to the town. 

The playground was the wartime site of the fort dining area, an infirmary, and movie theater. The Nahant Fire Station also used to also be a military fire house. 

The trail’s Johnson School portion includes the community gardens, brimming in summer with flowers, fruits, and vegetables. 

A brief walk through a small birch grove leads up wooden steps, climbing a slope where World War II wooden plankways led to Goddard Drive and the base of the Fort Ruckman bunkers. 

Climbing the slope is worth the effort: The view that awaits walkers is enhanced by following trail markers and proceeding down the switchback trail to Bailey’s Hill Park. The switchback trail still has the remains of Gun No. 2 of the underground fort, Fort Ruckman bunkers. The flat green area used to house soldiers and was also a rifle range. 

Bailey’s Hill was used for surveillance and weaponry sites in both World War I and World War II. It was also used in 1955 as a Nike missile site. 

Now, in peacetime, it is a park and the site of the Sears Pavilion Gazebo. 

At the top of Bailey’s Hill, the trail ends with plenty of sights packed into a 1.4-mile-long hike, including some of the most beautiful sites in Nahant. What goes up must come down: On your 1.4-mile stroll down back to Short Beach look for wildlife such as flowers and birds.

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Located in seaside Swampscott is a small gift shop that prides itself on offering customers items they won’t find anywhere else. 

That’s because the store, The Hiccup, Inc., located at 158 Humphrey St., features the work of local artisans and craftspeople on the North Shore, according to its website. 

“Explore the world and shop local, and support area artisans, makers and creators on the North Shore of Boston in the beautiful seaside community of Swampscott,” the website says. “We also feature those items you won’t find at most big-box retailers or on Amazon.” 

Even the store’s name is unique. 

Store owner and town resident Lisa Boemer said the idea for the shop’s name came from her daughter, who used to use the term “hiccup,” to describe a tough situation in life. 

And Boemer is no stranger to overcoming a tough situation. In fact, her battle with breast cancer 20 years ago is what sparked her interest in starting her own business.

Two decades ago, Boemer was working in the corporate world. But when she defeated cancer, she said she came to the realization that there was more to life than corporate America. So, she began to delve into a past passion from high school: drawing. 

Boemer decided to take a year off from work to become more adept in art. During this time, she learned a lot about the human brain; her father had given her a book called “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” written by Betty Edwards. 

“That book changed my life so much, so I went to New York City and took a class with the author’s son,” said Boemer. 

After that experience, Boemer realized that she wanted to enter the local art world on a full-time basis. Opening a store that featured art from the area began to look like more than a pipe dream, she said. 

“I realized I can’t go back to corporate America; there’s something else I need to be doing,” said Boemer, who began to brainstorm what that “something” could be. 

In keeping with the unique aspect of her business, Boemer opened The Hiccup on Leap Day last year, Feb. 29, 2020. She said the store offers customers a chance to “travel the world and shop locally.” 

While other businesses struggled during this time with the COVID-19 pandemic, Boemer said she used her inability to open her new store in-person to her advantage. She offered online shopping with curbside pickup and free delivery. She also worked around the clock, which helped many local artists, as her store was one of the only places that was selling their work at the time. 

Her business strategy also provided customers with another option at a time when it was taking larger stores weeks to deliver similar products. 

“I had puzzles in stock; at this point, it was taking people eight weeks to get something through Amazon and it maybe wouldn’t even show up,” said Boemer. 

The Hiccup website ties the store into “Seaside Swampscott,” described on Facebook as a business center that Boemer and other business owners along Humphrey Street are working to establish. 

Seaside Swampscott is aimed at allowing small business owners to connect and help each other with their businesses. Whether it be a gift shop, a liquor store, restaurants, or wineries, these businesses are working together to help transform the seaside into a local, must-see attraction in town. 

While this initiative has not officially started, Boemer is working with other business owners to make maps of the area and plan big shopping events like Black Friday. 

“Seaside is where you create experiences and memories; the other part is where you run errands,” said Boemer. 

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The reason 93-year-old Mary McGinn has stayed in Swampscott for so many years can be summed up in one word: pride.

Although McGinn was born in New York, she has spent the majority of her life in Massachusetts. She has lived in her current home in Swampscott for nearly 70 years. 

“The town has been very good to my family,” said McGinn. “I married my high-school sweetheart, (Lawrence McGinn), and we moved into this one house and we are still here now.”

“Larry,” as Mary calls him, was the class president and co-captain of the football team at Swampscott High School in 1946. Mary was a class officer at the town’s high school in 1945 and was on the cheerleading team from 1943-46. 

With such a lengthy tenure in Swampscott, McGinn and her family have become fixtures in the community. Her six children attended schools in Swampscott and her husband helped with the town’s athletic programs. Mary served on the town’s Finance Committee for 18 years. 

The McGinns can often be found at St. John the Evangelist Church on Sundays. Mary also helps to coordinate weddings at the church; she estimates that she has worked nearly 500 of them.  

“I started this program and I worked weddings for 14 years and I loved it,” she said. “I met all sorts of people from all areas of Swampscott or anybody that attended St. John’s church. I really had a ball doing that.”

McGinn says that much of her life has revolved around the church. She was a eucharistic prayer service minister and eucharistic ministers program administrator at the church for many years. She has also served as a pastoral council member. In 2014, she was a recipient of the Boston Archdiocesan Cheverus Medal for Service. 

One of McGinn’s daughters, Erin, said that her mother has been able to make long-lasting friendships in the town because she is a forgiving person; she generously extends second chances, silently and without leverage.

“(She is) the best person most folks will ever know,” Erin said. 

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A mixture of renaissance and royalty — that might be the best way to describe Swampscott’s Edythe Comins Baker.

From being a political activist to volunteering on countless charitable and philanthropic endeavors to being a devoted mother of two and grandmother of one, “Edye” has done it all, spending her life looking out for others.

While many, no doubt, recognize Baker as the television face of the Channel 2 auction, in Swampscott circles, she is better known for her royal lineage.

She is the queen — the queen of Halloween.

Since 1975, Baker and her husband, Bob, have opened their elaborately-decorated home on Stanley Road to thousands of trick-or-treaters, inviting them in for doughnuts and Brooksby Farm cider. From the get-go, Baker put a personal spin on the open house, capturing the memories for future generations with her camera. 

But this isn’t just an assortment of photographs tucked away in some old shoe box or drawer. Instead, Baker has meticulously catalogued each and every photo by year and by family name, which serves as the centerpiece of the Halloween festivities.

After that first year, it didn’t take long for the open house to explode in popularity.

“It was incredible. People came back the next year and all the years after that to see the prior year’s pictures,” Baker said. “At first we hung the posters in the hallway, but after a few years, we outgrew the space, so now they are everywhere. 

“Every year, we see dozens of second-generation kids who are now adults. They come back to show their kids their photos of when they were kids and we have so many older kids who have outgrown trick-or-treating, but they still come to see their photos.”

Baker said families now come from everywhere, which includes a good many from Lynn.

“It’s become a Halloween destination, one of those things that at the time, we didn’t really realize what we were doing in terms of the impact it would ultimately have on so many thousands and thousands of people,” said Baker.

One story tells it all. Baker recalls a young girl whose family was planning to be out of town on Halloween. The little girl was distraught. She wasn’t doing well at school and her parents were struggling to find out why.

“Her father told me that she was upset that she was going to miss coming to our house,” Baker said. “That’s how important it was. It’s stories like that (that) tell me how people feel about our tradition. So last year with COVID, obviously we couldn’t have it, but people kept telling me, ‘Edye, you can’t stop this tradition.'”

In past years, it took Bob and Edye about a week to decorate nearly every nook and cranny of the house. The entire house was decked out in orange (Edye’s favorite color) with the front foyer creatively decorated right up to the ceiling with crepe paper — orange, of course.

This year, the Bakers strictly observed the town’s suggested safety protocols. Instead of Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins, they gave out full-size candy bars with “blinky” rings for those who could not have candy. The front porch was decorated with lights and Halloween decorations. Photo posters from the last eight years (2012-19) were on display with special Halloween lighting. Edye estimates an average of 300 people visit the home every year.

While Halloween is usually associated with spooky creatures, goblins, witches and monsters, the Bakers like to keep it kid-friendly.

“We have some things like a haunted house and train, but we prefer to be the ‘pumpkin and kitty’ house, nothing that would scare kids away,” Edye said. “It’s a happy Halloween house.”

Baker said Stanley Road has always been a family neighborhood. She estimates that the street has turned over three times since she and Bob moved here in 1972 shortly after the Syracuse University grads were married. That union is still going strong after 57 years.

“Chalk it all up to we’re extremely compatible,” said Baker. “Bob retired just before COVID, so we have spent a lot of time together and just love being here in this neighborhood. When families move out, young families take their place, so there are always lots of children, which makes for a very close neighborhood.”

Baker is quick to credit Bob’s selfless contributions to the community, saying their activism and outreach to those in need has been a lifelong passion.

“He’s very important in all of this,” said Baker, who together with Bob actively protested against the Vietnam War while they were students at Syracuse. “He served as chair of the Finance Committee during the Proposition 2 ½ years, was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and Town Meeting and worked on the YES campaign to build the new school.”

Edye also played an extremely important role in the community, serving on the board of The Tower School when her son, Roger, and daughter, Annette, were students. She spent close to 20 years on the Swampscott Democratic Town Committee (SDTC), starting a speaker series that featured prominent local, regional, and nationally-elected officials. She and Bob served as delegates at the annual state convention. She was also active in the League of Women Voters.

Baker said her sense of activism and giving back to the community began with her parents, Connie Weinstein and Adrian Comins. She and Bob are extremely proud that their granddaughter, Charley Baker, is continuing the family tradition.

“She’s a student at the New School in New York City and is out on the front lines seeking equity and social justice,” Edye said.

Baker is still active with the WGBH auction, serving on the Board of Advisors. She first volunteered in 1971 as a “table loader” and gradually moved up the ranks to auction manager, a massive position coordinating more than 5,000 volunteers and more than 100 hours of live television with just three paid employees. Under her two decades of leadership, the auction raised more than $21 million, most of it designated for children’s programming, she said. 

“I guess you could say I was involved in every phase of the auction,” Baker said. “I loved it as there was always a great sense of pride in the community. I developed connections to people I never would have been exposed to in such a thoughtful and human way.”

As far as Halloween goes, the sign on the Bakers’ front lawn says it all — “Back again in 2021.”

“After not being able to celebrate last year, we couldn’t be more happy knowing that we are keeping the tradition going,” Edye said. “Last year, the kids were able to have a parade, but I know they really missed this. I know we did. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. We have grandparents who come; we have dogs, so we added dog biscuits. That all makes it so special for everyone. We can’t imagine ever not doing such a wonderful tradition.”

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, what’s next for Edye?

“Planning our 60th high-school reunion,” said the 1962 Swampscott High graduate. “I’ve been doing it for what will be 60 years and it’s a lot of work. I always say my middle name is ‘organization’ so I think between that and the fact that the fun is always in the planning, we should be OK.”

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When the town was first hiring for a position at the library, Alyce Deveau said she was asked if she would stay on for a full year. When she agreed, the town immediately hired her. 

Now, 38 years later, Deveau is celebrating her retirement.

“I’ve enjoyed every second of it here,” Deveau said. “I’m lucky to say that there was never a morning where I wasn’t happy to go to work.”

Deveau, Swampscott’s dedicated librarian and library director, has retired after almost four decades of creating book clubs, programs, and helping everyone in town feel at home in the public library. 

“It’s bittersweet,” said Ellen Winkler, secretary for the library’s Board of Trustees, at Deveau’s retirement party. “We’re going to miss her so much, but we can’t help but to celebrate her today.” 

Approximately 100 people gathered on the Town Green on Oct. 1 to eat Chinese food appetizers — Deveau’s favorite — and chocolate cake to celebrate the director. People stopped by to congratulate the librarian on her years of service and to thank her for making the library feel so welcoming. 

“They aren’t just my patrons anymore,” Deveau said. “Over the years, they’ve become my friends.”

In addition to Deveau’s friends and family, state Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn) and Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald attended the informal ceremony; both spoke about how much Deveau will be missed.

“You’re truly an inspiration,” Crighton told Deveau. 

Crighton presented the librarian with a citation from the Senate, commemorating the years of work she has done for the town. Although state Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) couldn’t make the celebration, she also had prepared a citation, which recognized Deveau’s hard work. 

“Our libraries are engines for culture and community,” Fitzgerald said. “Alyce always welcomes people to be a part of Swampscott’s.”   

Deveau started six different book clubs, the Lou Gallo History Buffs, and programming over digital sites to keep people connected during COVID-19. In 2019, she said that she noticed the anger that was felt by many, with organizations like Black Lives Matter coming to the forefront of national conversation, and she wanted to do something about it. 

“You dedicated a year to offer programming with an anti-racist theme,” said Assistant Library Director Susan Conner. 

Deveau created events for this theme, including a reading of Frederick Douglass’ speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” and worked with Swampscott Unites, Respects, Embraces (SURE) to create a book collection within the library called “One Topic One Town: A Journey Towards Dismantling Racism.”

These programs and collections won her the Essex Media Group’s “Person of the Year” award in 2020. 

Even though she is retiring, Deveau plans to remain active in the community. She has agreed to take on the role of part-time director for the Seaglass Village, where she will create community gatherings and help connect the program’s elders with volunteers. 

Deveau described Seaglass Village as a resource “to help seniors stay in their homes.” 

While Deveau has been the library director for the past 25 years, she had worked for the library for over a decade before her appointment. She started off working as a part-time assistant, then became an assistant librarian, and then the head of circulation before assuming the office of director.

Deveau retired from her position in October, but still hopes to be a part of some of the book groups, while also giving some space to let the new director feel at home.

For Deveau, her favorite part about the job has been all the people she has been able to meet.

“The staff is great, and over the years we’ve had great staff people, but I also love the patrons,” she said. “I don’t like being in (the office). I like being out there (in the library). I spend more of my time out on the floor. I love dealing with patrons.”

Deveau has also made the effort to run book groups, language classes, and knitting groups. She said that prior to COVID-19 there were so many activities going on at the library, but she admitted that things had been tough during the pandemic.

“We were closed, totally out of the building for a few months and then the staff came back and we were working in the building,” she said. “That was almost harder than when (we’re) normally working because we were doing everything on Zoom, trying to do as much programming outreach as we could.”

Deveau said that they offered “everything we could think of to keep the library viable to the public,” including home delivery of books and offering various forms of online programming such as interviews, instructional videos, and even podcasts.

Soon after closing their physical space to the public, the library added a window in the lobby where people could go to check out books. 

With Swampscott not having a community center accessible to all its residents, Deveau said that it was her goal to make the library a place where the town can gather.

“Twenty-five years ago when I became director, I made it almost like a goal that this would become a community center as well as a library,” she said. “That’s why we’ve offered so many programs.”

Deveau mentioned how the library is specifically focused on providing unique programs and opportunities, such as group ukulele lessons and the ability to check out air conditioners.

“I try to make it something that will help anyone in the community and that’s a real big part of the library being a community center,” said Deveau.

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Swampscott Rotary Club is a small group of people with big goals who enjoy each other’s company while doing a lot of good for the local community and beyond. 

If you are looking for something to do, to find new friends or to engage in meaningful volunteer work, the club is always welcoming new members.

Rotary clubs started in Chicago in 1905. Paul Harris, an attorney, formed the first club to bring together various professionals so that they could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships. 

Over time, the organization gradually adopted humanitarian service as its mission and  “Service Above Self” as its motto.

Since its inception, Rotary has grown into an international network of more than 35,000 clubs with 1.2 million members. Clubs tackle the world’s most persistent issues like promoting peace; fighting disease; providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; saving mothers and children; supporting education; and growing local economies.

The Swampscott Rotary Club has been a member of the Rotary International for more than 95 years. It currently has about 25 members. Rotary is apolitical. The youngest current member is in his 30s, many members are retired now, and the oldest late member lived to 102 years old.

“Our members join for many reasons. Fellowship and friendships are important, but our focus during our meetings and otherwise is providing service and aid to others, especially in our local community. We just try to have some fun as we do it,” said Walter “Buck” Weaver, who serves as the club’s treasurer.

Weaver, a retired orthodontist, joined Rotary in Swampscott in the late 1970s when he was relatively new to the area. He likes that the projects the club works on are helpful to people.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Swampscott Rotarians met in person. They usually had a guest speaker at their meeting who worked at some nonprofit and would tell them about the issues they are working on.

With the onset of the pandemic, the club shifted to outdoor meetings every other week. Some elderly members decided to err on the side of caution and haven’t been coming to the meetings in person, but Weaver said that about a dozen members continue to gather together.

The club funds its projects primarily from a trust fund that was established years ago, using the proceeds from the golf tournament that they held for more than 16 years.

In the 12 months between July 2020 and July 2021, the club spent more than $34,000 on Chromebooks for Swampscott schools ($12,000), various scholarships (more than $20,000), and other donations. 

The club recently donated to Haiti relief efforts — $4,000 via the Rotary International and $1,000 via St. John the Evangelist Church in Swampscott. They also sent a $400 donation to the Salvation Army in Lynn to support their food relief efforts. 

Another $1,000 went to the Boston’s Wounded Vet Ride, which raises funds for housing modifications and other measures to improve the quality of life of seriously injured veterans.

Swampscott Rotary regularly supports food pantries in the area, including the local Anchor Food Pantry, My Brother’s Table, the Salvation Army in Lynn and others. 

Some of the club’s signature annual activities include delivering holiday gift baskets to senior citizens and people confined to home for health reasons; the annual summer picnic for North Shore residents with disabilities at Marian Court College; serving at My Brother’s Table, and the annual Thanksgiving Football luncheon with the Marblehead Rotary Club.

And don’t forget the Duct Tape Regatta: It takes place in June in the Swampscott Harbor. Teams of four make their vessels with lumber or PVC pipe, recycled bottles and duct tape and race to win the cup. 

Proceeds go to fund clean-water projects. In the past, the club donated to clean-water projects in Honduras and, currently, the donations go to the same cause in Burkina Faso in West Africa.

The club also awards more than $20,000 annually in scholarships, especially to Swampscott High School students, including the Dave Sherman Rotary Scholarship, The Swampscott Rotary Club Scholarship and the Rotary Interact Scholarship.

Plumber Peter McCarriston and his family helped establish the James McCarriston Trade School scholarship that is given to several individuals each year while they learn plumbing or electrical work. 

Several years ago, Swampscott Rotary Club partnered up with Marblehead Rotary Club and tapped into the senior population of the two towns, creating a senior volunteer group, ElderAct. This free group helps seniors socialize and have fun while making a meaningful contribution to the community. 

There is also a Rotary Club offshoot at the Swampscott High School — the Rotary Interact Club. High-school students participate in a large variety of community service projects including reading to youth, serving at My Brother’s Table, participating in shoe drives, and organizing battle-of-the-bands concerts to raise funds for various world relief efforts.

Social interactions go beyond charity in the Rotary Club, Weaver said. They do surprise birthday parties, holiday parties, and social gatherings at restaurants or on someone’s deck.

“You got to enjoy it, too,” said Weaver.

Anyone interested in more info about our Swampscott Rotary Club can contact Buck Weaver at 781-910-5584 or

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Town residents Vivian and Marc Iannotti are building a family business empire one grocery store at a time.

Vivian Iannotti called the couple’s new Stop and Compare store in Lynn’s State Street plaza “a culmination of everything” they have worked hard to achieve ever since Vivian’s mother, Betty Calvo, opened the first Stop and Compare in Chelsea in 1996.

They opened a second store in 2005 on Adams Street Extension in Lynn and drew on experienced employees in the Chelsea and Lynn locations to build out their workforce in downtown Lynn. 

“Creating three teams out of two wasn’t easy,” said Marc Iannotti. 

Some people were sad to move to a different store, but they did what was in the best interest of the team and the company as a whole, Marc said.

The idea to open a third store took shape in the most unlikely of circumstances — the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Iannottis were approached by the owners of the property in the middle of the pandemic. 

“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “The supply chain was broken.” 

Maria Pace, a spokesperson for State Street shopping center owner Brixmor Property Group, said Shaw’s supermarket’s decision to leave the center prompted Brixmor to seek out another grocery tenant. 

The company recognized that Shaw’s exit would add to the “grocery gap” in the city, leaving low-income residents without varied food purchase options. 

“One of Brixmor’s foremost tenets (is) to bring in uses that are relevant to the communities we serve,” said Pace. 

The Iannottis pushed ahead with opening a second Lynn store, signing a contract in July of 2020 and officially opening in October.

The supermarket offers fresh produce and fresh meat and specializes in a wide selection of goods from tropical countries of Latin and South America and cuts of meat that are popular with individuals from those areas. It also has a full kitchen that serves both Latin and American food. 

“Our customer base is diverse,” said the grocer’s website. “We try to serve the tastes of the ethnic population of the neighborhood. In Chelsea, most of our customers are from Central and South America. Lynn’s customers hail from Santo Domingo and Guatemala.” 

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Peter R. Beatrice Jr. and Peter Sack were remembered in October by town residents as  passionate people who were generous with their time.

Beatrice sired a family that became a part of the town’s athletic royalty and Sack left his mark as an educator and ardent supporter of that town’s sports program.

Beatrice died this past June at 93, but his obituary wasn’t published until mid-October. Meanwhile, Sack, who was principal at Swampscott High for 20 years (1983-2003) and who spent much of that time as the public-address announcer at the Big Blue home football games, died on Oct. 10 at the age of 76.

“That’s the one thing I think defines Peter Sack,” said Frank DeFelice, who was the baseball coach at Swampscott High during Sack’s tenure as principal. “He had a passion for whatever he did, whether it was as an educator or as the public-address announcer at football games. He put his all into it.” 

The Beatrice family has been a part of the Swampscott athletic picture for three generations. Peter Jr. coached Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball, mentoring, among his players, former Channel 5 lead anchor Mike Lynch. His sons played football at the high school, with Greg starring as an defensive lineman for the 1972 team that won the inaugural state Super Bowl. 

“Peter, his son, was one of the best quarterbacks we ever had,” said Lynch, who took over the signal-calling duties after Beatrice graduated. “His record over three seasons was 27-0. You can’t get much better than that. 

“Tom went to Harvard and Johnny (to) Colombia,” Lynch said. Moreover, Peter III’s son Kyle set a state record for passing touchdowns while leading the Big Blue to the 2003 state Super Bowl.

But Lynch preferred to speak of the patriarch of the family, who, though born in East Boston, settled in Swampscott after becoming a lawyer, making his mark as a baseball coach.

“(Beatrice) was very generous with his time,” said Lynch. “He always had time for youth sports. He was one of the first to volunteer.” 

Lynch said when he played for Beatrice’s legion teams, as many players as possible used to pile into his wagon “because he was the first guy we knew who had a phone in his car.

“I also remember that after every game, win or lose, he’d take us out for ice cream afterwards. The whole team. They’d be a caravan of cars all going to the ice-cream place.”

Former Lynn Superintendent of Schools Nicholas Kostan first met Sack when he asked the Swampscott principal to discuss a new scheduling matrix he had devised.

“I was interested in it, and wanted him to show it to me,” said Kostan. “He was always for the kids. I have fond memories of him.”

Kostan and Sack eventually worked together on the scholarship committee for the Harry Agganis Foundation.

“He did a terrific job on that committee,” said Kostan. “He was always aware of the qualifications of the candidates. He was a man of great character.”

The Beatrices, said Lynch, were an indelible family in the history of Swampscott sports, much the same as his own was, as well as the Jaurons. 

“Oh, definitely,” said Lynch. “They’re a huge part of the town’s legacy.”

More than that, he said, Beatrice was generous with both his time and his money.

“I’m sure he wound up buying equipment himself,” Lynch said. “I don’t know who came up with all the equipment. Maybe he collected some from the high school, but I’m sure he dipped into his own pocket for most of it. I don’t know who paid the umpires. He probably paid out of pocket for them, too.

“All I know is the year I went to Exeter Academy, I came home looking forward to Legion ball, and it was there because of him,” Lynch said. “Whether it was manager, general manager, field manager, third base coach … he did it all. And he never wanted anything in return.”

Sack, said former football coach and athletic director Bill Bush, was a “regular guy” as well as the high school’s principal. 

“He was very firm, but very fair in what he did,” said Bush. “He loved being the PA announcer, even though some in the town, at the time, wondered why he should have that job.

“But he did a very professional job,” Bush said. “And he was fair and impartial, not like some of the homers you saw back in those days. He just announced the game as it was played.”

“(Sack) was a legend in Swampscott Public Schools,” said current Superintendent of Schools Pamela Angelakis. “I met him as a young teacher and was at first intimidated by his intelligence and dry sense of humor. I later learned that he was a warm and caring individual with a great sense of humor. 

“I had the privilege of seeing him annually until a few years ago and I always learned something new in his presence. I will treasure the memories of those times,” she said. “He will be missed.”

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These days, Clem Schoenebeck is renowned for his poetry ― but that hasn’t always been the case. 

The Swampscott resident attended Pennsylvania State University and was a part of the school’s track and cross-country teams. He met his future wife, Bonnie, at Penn State and they were married in his senior year. 

After spending two years in the Army Dental Corps in California, the couple settled down in Swampscott where he opened a family practice in 1966.

Schoenebeck credits the spark for his poetry to the birth of his granddaughter. After seeing his daughter Kristin and newborn Alexa lock eyes for the first time he felt compelled to write a “letter of welcome” to his granddaughter. After Schoenebeck’s daughter read the letter, she told her dad that he should write more often. 

“Looking back at it, you could probably wring the page out like a sponge to squeeze all the sentimentality out of what I have put on the page,” he recalled.

Schoenebeck said his granddaughter’s birth also coincided with his search for a creative outlet. He thought about watercolor painting before delving into poetry.

He signed up for poetry workshops and the educational investment into his craft paid off. Schoenebeck has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize in Poetry four times and has had a collection of his poems published by Encircle Publications. The Swampscott resident also joined the Tin Box Poets, a local collection of poets that meets once a month. 

Beside getting ideas from his own life, Schoenebeck also said that he is inspired by music.

“It sort of stirs up my creative juices and sometimes I’m more productive writing when I have choir rehearsals once or twice a week,” he said. “If the music is getting into me, it often gives me some ideas for writing.”

One of Schoenebeck’s better known works was published in 2013. “Dancing with Fireflies,” a memoir, was an honest account of growing up with a schizophrenic mother. The poet said that he was able to find healing thanks to the writing process.

“I think it’s the biggest gift,” he said. “Every day I think of my mother and it’s no longer with anger or fright.”

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