Winthrop. December 22, 2022

Day/Date:  THURSDAY -12/22/22
Town visited: WINTHROP
Had we ever been to this town before?  No
Drive to town:   14 1/2 miles    Time spent in town:   3 hours

What did we do in the town/area?  

Happy Birthday to Jo! What better way to celebrate than to do one of her favorite things: go on a town visit! Winthrop is an interesting small town located at the north entrance of the Boston Harbor. It is an ocean-side suburb of Boston. You don’t typically think of towns being East of Boston, but Winthrop actually is! We had to go to Winthrop to pick up a desk we had purchased on Facebook Marketplace, so we thought, why not make this our next town?

After picking up our desk and getting a coffee recommendation from the lovely people selling the desk, we came across a tiny beach called Simon Donovan Beach in their neighborhood. We found a dollar on the beach (yeah, we pocketed it), so we figured it would be a good day!  

Next, we visited the Town Hall and Library in an area known as Metcalf Square. The library had a small museum on the 2nd floor full of old artifacts, many of them from the Winthrop area. There were a lot of old postcards from Winthrop Beach, which made us think it would be a great place to check out. A cool-looking Penny Farther high-seat bike, along with an old ship model, was also on display.

But first, well second, coffee!!! The desk people told us to grab coffee at the Shoreside Cafe. So we did, and we also grabbed some yummy sandwiches for lunch. They served Atomic Coffee, which is roasted nearby in Danvers, MA. The coffee was great, and the atmosphere was charming, with a kitschy nautical theme.  

After lunch, we realized we were very close to a beach, so we walked a block toward the ocean and took a stroll along Winthrop Shore Drive. The actual beach where we were was very rocky, but further down this extensive beach was a more sandy area. The rocks were beautiful, and we could see a plane taking off from nearby Logan International Airport (in East Boston) every minute or so. It was a gray, mild December day, not too cold.  

Next, we went to Deer Island, at the end of the large peninsula that makes up Winthrop. It is not an actual island anymore. A channel was filled in by beach erosion due to a hurricane in 1938. The island has a lot of history (some not so favorable-), but it now serves as the 2nd largest sewage treatment facility in the US! Two-thirds of the island houses the Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Plant. The remainder of the island is a park with wonderful walking/biking trails near the water, offering superb city views. And fortunately, it doesn’t stink (we thought it might!).  

For our last stop, we visited the Winthrop Marketplace, a small grocery store in town (pretty much the only one there). It seemed like everyone knew each other there. A woman at customer service got on the store mic and wished a customer a happy birthday, and another customer said it was her daughter’s birthday, too. So, she started singing fo her, and all the staff joined in. When we checked out, Jo said, “It seems to be quite the day of birthdays here!” Then, Jenny told the checker that it was Jo’s birthday too. Wouldn’t you know they pulled out that mic once again, and we ended our town visit with the store singing “Happy Birthday” once again, this time to Jo.   

Thanks Winthrop!

(click this link to read more about the history of Deer Island)

Indigenous/ Native land info for this region: Massachusett, Naumkeag, Pawtucket

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