Reading's original settlers came from England in the 1630's to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Many arrived through the ports of Lynn and Salem. In 1639 some citizens of Lynn petitioned the government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for "place for an inland plantation." The General Court granted them six square miles, then an additional four. The first settlement called Lynn Village was on the south shore of the Great Pond, what is now known as Lake Quannapowitt. On June 10th, 1644 the settlement was incorporated by the House of Deputies as the Town of Reading, taking its name from Reading, England. The first church was organized soon after the settlement, and the first parish, later known as South Reading, became Wakefield in 1868. A special grant in 1651 added land north of the Ipswich River to the Town of Reading. This area in 1853 became the separate Town of North Reading. During its early years, the area which is currently the Town of Reading, was known as Wood End, or Third Parish. In 1693, Town Meeting voted to fund public education in Reading. The funding consisted of "four pounds for three months school in the Town, two pounds for the west end of the Town, and one pound for those north of the Ipswich River." Within the present Town of Reading, the Parker Tavern is the Town's oldest remaining seventeenth century structure, built in 1694. This property is currently owned and operated by the Reading Antiquarian Society, which is a non-profit corporation. In 1769, the meetinghouse, in what is now Reading was built. It was constructed in the area which is currently the Common in Reading. A stone marker commemorates the site.