During the 1870s and 1880s, at least four quite different urban views of Lynn were published. Of the two exhibited here, the first was published in 1871. Although drawn from a low-angle elevation rather than a bird's-eye perspective, it nonetheless provides a good point of comparison to the second view for several reasons.
First, the town is viewed from the northwest using a vantage point identified as High Rock, a prominent elevation adjacent to the village center and common. Such a view from an inland perspective was not typical for coastal towns. However, as the harbor fades into the horizon, the view recalls the town's colonial origins as a coastal port.
Second, the view appears to be an historical recreation of the town as it existed in 1849. However, although there is no attribution, it is almost an exact duplicate of a view published about 1850 by Edwin Whitefield, based on a daguerreotype by S.H. Whitmore. John Robinson, the publisher of the 1871 printing, added a legend and a table of population and real estate statistics from 1850 to 1870, documenting the community's dramatic growth during the middle of the 19th century.
Of the thirty-three places identified in the legend, nine are churches while only three are industrial in nature two steam mills and a soap factory. There is no hint of the shoe industry, which originated during the colonial period and continued through the first half of the 19th century as an in-home, handmade cottage industry. With the introduction of the shoe-sewing machine in 1849, the town's shoe industry quickly converted to the factory system.