Lowell’s Bon Marché Store Remembered by “Forgotten New England”

So many of us have fond  and quite personal memories of the Bon Marché store –  longtime anchor for retail business on Merrimack Street in downtown Lowell. The store’s founder Frederic Mitchell opened his first store on Merrimack Street in 1878. The Bon Marché – as we knew it – was brought by Allied Stores in 1976 and made into a Jordan Marsh. After extensive renovations, it became home to the Lowell School Department’s main office. Today, the building and annex houses the central operations  of the state’s second largest community action agency – Community Teamwork, Inc.

Today in “Forgotten New England” – using some examples of the store’s newspaper advertising – readers get a real sense of the Bon Marché – once touted as ” The Bon Marché Dry Goods Company – the largest department store in New England.” The store is truly entwined with the history of  the Lowell community. Here’s an exerpt from the article:

A few years later, as the Bon Marché and the rest of the downtown community lived through WWII, the store instituted wartime hours and again offered war bonds and stamps to its customers to support the war effort.  Lowell experienced a brief economic boom in the war years, mostly from the increased need for clothing produced by its remaining textile mills and its involvement in munitions manufacturing.

Read the full article here at forgottennewengland.com.

Do you have memories to share about the Bon Marché?


The Bon Marché building in downtown Lowell during a “festive” time.


5 Responses to Lowell’s Bon Marché Store Remembered by “Forgotten New England”

  1. John Quealey says:

    I remember Mrs Conlin in the boys department at the Rock bottom basement at Bon Marche over sixty years ago.

  2. Mickey McKniff Crocker says:

    Remember it well, especially the Little White House dept on the second floor..got lots of showering and wedding gifts from there. Still have my china! always got good quality there! thanks for the memory.

  3. Gary Francis says:

    When I had the store on Merrimack Street downtown I asked Steve the property manager for the Bon Marche building about the rock. He took me downstairs and part of it was still sticking out of the wall (it was not as exposed as it used to be when they had “the rock bottom basement”) but yes it is still there.