Signs of Lowell – Spaghettiville

Two views of “Spaghettiville” by Tony Sampas

12 Responses to Signs of Lowell – Spaghettiville

  1. PaulM says:

    About eight or ten years ago, Francine Corbin, a student in the UMass Lowell Regional Development master’s degree program, wrote a lengthy research paper (maybe a thesis paper) about the closing of Lowell’s Prince pasta manufacturing plant and the efforts of the workers to reopen the factory. I wonder if that paper is available in digital form anywhere?

  2. Tony Sampas says:

    Francine Corbin’s thesis paper sounds like the perfect document to be preserved in UMass Lowell Libraries’ planned Institutional Repository. UMass Lowell Library’s director Pat Noreau has been championing this idea and Librarian Joseph Fisher heads the Center for Digital Scholarship. If the thesis was “born digital” it would go straight into the Digital Repository for long term preservation and access. If the thesis is in paper form UMass Lowell has the means to scan it and make it part of the Collection. While Spaghettiville lives on, the closing of the Prince Pasta manufacturing plant was a sad moment in History of Lowell.

  3. John Quealey says:

    At that bridge the Boston to Lowell train stopped to let off and take on passengers at the Bleachery station.The Bleachery was a section of Sacred Heart

  4. Marie says:

    My father-in-law – Dr. Joe Sweeney – took the train from the Bleachery stop to both Boston College and Tufts Medical School. That was a very different time!

  5. Bob Forrant says:

    As Francine’s thesis advisor, I can say that this work brilliantly captured the impact of the factory closing and contains a lot of very, very rich history of that part of the city and the folks who worked in the factory. Making it more accessible would be terrific. I’ve actually supervised a number of thesis students who did interesting historical work on Lowell including the Julian Steel relocation (Craig Thomas), and the evolution of Mohair Plush into Western Avenue Studios (Connor Baldwin). These are both in the UMass Lowell library but I do not believe copies reside in the Center for Lowell History downtown or the Pollard Library. I also supervised a terrific piece of research by MaryLee Dunn, which followed the Irish from several parishes in Ireland to Lowell and then to Rutland, Vermont. This was turned into a book: Ballykilcline Rising.


  6. Jack Neary says:

    Many of us who lived in what was dubbed “Spaghettiville” never acknowledged that we lived in “Spaghettiville” and, had we been asked if we wanted to be referred to as residents of “Spaghettivelle” would have balked mightily at the thought. I have nothing but respect for the folks who worked in the Prince Factory all those years. God bless ’em. I, however, lived in the Sacred Haht.

  7. PaulM says:

    I’ve never heard any Lowell person say he or she lives in “Spaghettiville,” but I could be wrong on this one. I’ve always thought of that sign as advertising, and now it’s anachronistic. After the Prince pasta plant episode I thought the community should take down the sign. It’s not like Gorham Street is the North End. I thought it would have been pretty good pay back to the pasta company that put people out of work. I haven’t bought a package of Prince macaroni since, and I used to make a point of buying it when Lowell people made the product.

  8. DickH says:

    Paul – I’ve joined you in boycotting Prince products since the company abandoned Lowell. I do think the sign should stay there; it’s a part of history although what it says is literally untrue.

    Bob – and anyone else – if you have research papers, letters, old photos, anything of or about Lowell, I’d be happy to upload them in digital form to this website.

  9. Prince Charming says:

    I’ve never heard of the neighborhood referred to as “Spaghettiville”, however, the bridge itself is the “Spaghettiville Bridge”.

  10. Beverly Burlington says:

    My husband, who passed away in 2008, was a tractor trailer long distance driver for Prince for 37 years. He was known by the other employees as “Slim”. We were saddened when the business was sold to Bordens, and saddened still when they went out of business and the old plant was left abandoned. My children and I will always hold those “old Prince days” as special memories.