from Lowell High School’s ‘Review’ (April 1930)
from “Society Notes” in the April 1930 issue of Lowell High School’s magazine called “Review”:
“March 25th was a big day for Virginia Lord. She celebrated her eighteenth birthday with a dinner and dance party at the Nashua Country Club. The party was attended by ten couples who left Lowell in time to arrive at the club at around 7 o’clock when dinner was served. After this, dancing was enjoyed until a late hour, the music being furnished by a local orchestra. The chaperones were Mr and Mrs Harry C. Lord and Mr and Mrs Harry A. Porter. Everyone had a wonderful time, and hated to think that the long-looked-forward to party was over. — A crowd of girls gathered at “Sug” Porter’s house on March 24th to spend the afternoon and evening. It was “Sug’s” birthday … The evening passed altogether too quickly and everyone hated to look at the clock which told them it was time to leave. — The only afternoon dance of the Lenten season was held on Monday afternoon, March 17, by the Sophomore Class. A large crowd attended. … The prize waltz was won by Pauline Bonneville and Eddie Bruce, while the fox trot was won by Alice Farrell and George McGuane. — During the past few weeks we have noticed several graduates home from college on vacations. It seemed good to see the old familiar faces back again. Elizabeth Knowles was home from Wheaton, Dan Sullivan from Roxbury Prep., Dan Cullinan from Bowdoin Prep., Donald Kimball from Hebron, Natalie Jordon from LaSalle, and Tillie Laurin from Smith. — The Tri-Hi girls entertained the blind people at the Whistler House on Tuesday, April 8. … Those participating were Carolyn Blanchard, Charlotte Keene, Bessie Johnson, Barbara Lord, and Virginia Byam. — Arthur Cantara is the president of this year’s Sophomore Class. Arthur is the son of Mr and Mrs Cantara of 118 Appleton St. He was president of last year’s freshman class, which was one of the most progressive in the history of the school. Arthur is an accomplished musician. He plays solo clarinet in our band and also plays in the St Peter’s Cadet Band. … Mildred Scanlon, the daughter of David Scanlon, 844 Central St., is first vice-president of the Sophomore organzation. Mildred is very well known as a pupil of the Ethlynd-Naomi Russian Ballet School. From the time she graduated from St Peter’s School in 1928, she has figured prominently in many programs in High School. In the minstrel shows of both years and at various entertainments, she had done solo acrobatic dancing. She also was in Gym night this year. … [Note: In 1930, eight of the ten class officers in the Freshman and Sophomore classes were graduates of St Peter’s School; the other two were graduates of St Michael’s and Morey Junior High School.] … ”
Business advertisers in “Review” are Lowell Institution for Savings (full back page), The Bon Marche and D. L. Page Co. “at the clock in the square” (half page each inside front cover), A. G. Pollard Company [“Tell your parents about the wonderful value we are offering on Washing Machines–$2 down, $2 weekly”] and Wm. J. Burbeck Co., for milk and cream (half page each inside back cover). A sampling of inside page ads: Gordon Hand Styled Clothes, Macartney’s with New Spring Mac-Art Suits for $25, Barry’s Market, Chin Lee Company: High-Class American and Chinese Restaurant, Lowell Buick Company, Depot Taxi, YMCA, Faber the Jeweler, The Kimball School (for business), Webster’s Five Drug Stores on High, Bridge, Westford, and Middlesex streets and in the Sun Building, Old Lowell National Bank, Prince-Cotter Co. for L.H.S. rings, United Cloak and Suit Store, Hamel’s Portrait Studio, Sullivan Bros. Printers, F. and E. Bailey & Co. (“The only ethical Drug Store in Lowell”), Talbot Clothing Co., Lowell Ice Company, and Marion in the Fairburn Buidling, for Graduation Portraits (full page ad).
5 Responses to from Lowell High School’s ‘Review’ (April 1930)
Great walk down memory lane… note George McGuane – Lowell Sun Sports writer, Arthur Cantara, well-known Lowell businessman, Mildred Scanlon, Lowell State Teachers College active alum… the Whislter House ever and still a gathering place… the popularity of minstrel shows now forgotten… Ethlynd-Naomi rising stars in the dance school world… I wonder what caused the “most progressive in the history of the school” description for that feshman class… the Marion Studio “class” portraits now such important family treasures….Hope you have more of these “Reviews” to share.
Marie: This random issue of “Review” showed up in my files yesterday. It may have been given to me by Mildred Scanlon years ago. I’ll pick out a few more sections to highlight this week.This slice-of-life stuff interests me always but in particular because of the book I’m writing about the national park in Lowell. There is a simplistic narrative about Lowell that suggests that the lights went out in Lowell in the 1920s when the textile industry declined and that the lights went back on around 1980 with the urban revival associated with the establishment of the park and boom at Wang Laboratories. The reality is that Lowell life was vital and complex through the 20th century even as the population decreased and the city bumped along the economic bottom. It was, after all, a college town all those years with two schools along the river, and Lowell High was sending graduates to Ivy League schools and Mass College of Art and Smith College as seen here with Tillie Laurin. There is a counter-narrative that can’t be overlooked—without sugar-coating the real economic suffering that motivated community activists to do whatever they could to revive the city after WWII.
In doing the genealogy/history of the ancestors I am fascinated by many aspects of long-ago Lowell. My grandmother kept boxes of newspapers (some complete, some not), programs, photographs, and miscellaneous items on family, friends and activities from old-school Lowell. Some are from the 19th century, others from the early 20th but most are from the 1920-1930’s era. Suffice to say, in most respects old Lowell bears faint resemblance to the Lowell I know. For example, reading about the Seton Guild’s Little Shows, its productions, and parades is akin to reading about a lost civilization.
After I am done harvesting my data, I have a good amount of these Lowell ‘antiquities’ that I haven been trying to figure out what to do with and you two would seem to be great sources of information. Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.
PS. I’ll have to check but I think I have a few LHS Reviews from the 1920’s.
“The prize waltz was won by Pauline Bonneville and Eddie Bruce, while the fox trot was won by Alice Farrell and George McGuane.”
And to think people actually knew how to dance.
Brian: You can donate to UMass Lowell Center for Lowell History at the Mogan Cultural Center, Lowell Historical Society (whose papers are at the Mogan Ctr), or Lowell National Historical Park, whose library and curatorial department are at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum.