Bayrd's Indian Trading Post, Main Street, circa 1985

  • Bayrd's Indian Trading Post, Main Street, circa 1985
  • "Bayrd's Indian Trading Post on Main Street, opposite Lake Quannapowitt, was a Wakefield landmark from the time it was built in 1954 until it was razed on August 17, 1995. Designed, owned and occupied by E. Leonard (Lenny) Bayrd, a half Narragansett Native American also known as Chief Wamblesakee (Eagle Claw), the building was a home as well as a craftshop where Lenny and Ruth Bayrd made authentic Native American artifacts and costumes. When the Bayrds purchased the brush-filled property at the head of Lake Quannpowitt in the early 1950s, it was occupied by a teahouse. After Lenny retired from a 27-year career as a letter carrier in December 1954, the couple turned a hobby into a full-time career when they moved into the new house attached to the twin-teepee flanked shop. His 'elaborate beaded costumes and gaily-colored feather bonnets' were featured in a national magazine in 1954. For more than 35 years, the shop was frequented by other Native Americans, fellow members of the Order of Red Men, members of the Wahpatuck Tribe of Red Men's Band, and local residents. Bayrd also made the headdresses and costumes worn by the Wakefield high School Majorettes for many years as well as costumes and headdresses worn by by Saugus High School cheerleaders, Western movie stars, rodeo performers and Buffy Sainte-Marie, a well known singer and former Wakefield resident. Although as a Native American, Lenny was able to obtain eagle feathers from the Department of Fish and Game that he used in his headdresses and costumes, the eagle-feathered items could only be sold to other Native Americans or passed down to family members. In addition to the couple's handiwork that was known throughout the country and Europe, the shop contained displays of many artifacts that had been found in Wakefield. Among those artifacts were plummets found in Lake Quannpowitt once used to weigh down fishing nets, arrowheads and a grommet (a stone with two holes which was worn around the neck which identified the wearer as a messenger not to be harmed) found on Parker Road. Following Lenny Bayrd's death in 1990 and Ruth Bayrd's death in 1991 the property was sold to the Gingerbread Construction Company in 1995.' " -- Text from calendar by Jayne M. D'Onofrio.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2006
  • Photo courtesy of Richard Bayrd.
  • ca. 1895
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Bayrd's Indian Trading Post, Main Street, circa 1985,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed June 24, 2021,



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