High Rock Tower Reservation

The original area of the High Rock Reservation consisted of approximately four-and-one-half acres located at the summit and along the south slope of High Rock. The area is a steeply sloping hillside that is studded with large outcroppings of porphyry and views of Boston, Nahant, and Salem. High Rock Tower and the Stone Cottage possess integrity of location, design, setting, and for the most part materials.

Rising to a height of 170 feet, High Rock is less than three-quarters of a mile from the ocean and commands unobstructed views of Boston, Nahant, and Swampscott. Although local historians suggest that the hill’s summit was used as a lookout point by Native Americans and early settlers, the site’s major fame dates from the mid-nineteenth century when High Rock and its porphyry outcroppings became appreciated for their “Romantic” qualities.

During the 1840s, a parcel of five and one-half acres, including the summit of High Rock, was purchased by Jesse Hutchinson, who, together with other members of his family, built two Gothic cottages, an auditorium, and an observation tower on the property. Both the fame of the Hutchinson Family, who lived there until the early twentieth century, and the “picturesque” qualities of the property made up of High Rock Stone Cottage, Daisy Cottage, and the first High Rock Tower, frequent illustrations in wood-cut, lithographic and stereopticon views of nineteenth-century Lynn. These structures are significant for their associations with the Hutchinson family, a group immersed in many radical nineteenth-century causes such as temperance, abolitionist, and women’s movements, and are unusual physical representatives of this important phase of nineteenth-century culture.