Lynn, Massachusetts, is steeped in history, with these lands inhabited thousands of years ago by various indigenous Native American tribes. The predominant tribe controlling the area during the pre-Colonial period was the Naumkeag. The tribe's name means "the fishing place," and their territory was primarily in Essex County, Massachusetts. Considered the founder of Lynn, Massachusetts, Edmund Ingalls led the first wave of European settlements in 1629. Originally, the area now known as Lynn was incorporated as Saugus, which was the name given by the Nipmuck who were descendants of the Algonquian peoples of Nippenet. Lynn's primary economy came from tanning leather and the production of shoes. As a matter of fact, the boots worn by the Continental Army were made in Lynn during the Revolutionary War.
In the mid-1800s, resorts began to be developed along the city's Atlantic coastline with large estates and beach cottages being constructed up and down Lynn's shoreline, making it a very fashionable summer resort destination. Today, this area is now called the Diamond Historic District. Shoe manufacturers were the primary industries promoting industrial growth further inland. With Silas Abbott Barton and Charles A. Coffin investing in the Thomson-Houston Electric Company in 1883. In 1892, that company would join with Edison Electric Company forming General Electric, which initially specialized in the production of meters, arc lights, and electric motors. Coffin became the first president of GE with the first General Electric manufacturing plants built in Lynn. Furthermore, one of America's first and most significant labor strikes took place in Lynn. On February 22, 1860, the New England Shoemakers Strike of 1860 started with shoemakers marching through the streets and handing in their tools in protest of low wages.
Through the late 1800s through the early 1900s, Lynn witnessed an influx of immigrants, and the city went from a population of 9,800 to 29,500, with around 6,000 of those being Russian Jews escaping persecution. In 1888, the Congregation Anshei Sfard synagogue was formed by twenty conservative Hasidic European families, mostly of Russian descent. A number of Catholic churches were built in Lynn by various other ethnic groups, representing the vast wave of immigrants moving into the area. As the 20th century came around, Lynn, Massachusetts, had managed to position itself as the global leader in show production, with over a million pairs of shows being produced every day from its 234 factories. Nevertheless, the city would suffer a decline in the shoemaking business throughout the 20th century, with the last shoe factory closing its doors in 1981. Beginning in the early 2000s, Lynn started to experience serious revitalization thanks to new construction and adaptive reuse of historic structures. This revitalization continues today with the conversion of vacant industrial buildings into modernized offices, apartments, lofts, and shared workspaces. Additionally, big-name developers are targeting areas such as the Diamond Historic District for development of luxury housing and new construction.