Lowell Social Media Triggers Memories and More…


Cover Photo

For quite a while now there has been a Facebook page – along with some similar versions – devoted to remembering Lowell. It’s now called “You know Your from Lowell When…” It has linked “Lowellians” from far and wide to friends, classmates, old neighbors, school alums, former fellow workers, even distant family members in a common memory of all things Lowell. Stories are told, escapades are recounted, photos, post cards, maps and trade cards (like the one above) are posted and they trigger both individual and collective memories of what is was like to grow-up in Lowell. While there are some cranks and spoilers, for the most part it is a social history worth your time to read and perhaps join-in.

The trade card for the Opera House Pharmacy posted recently brought back a memory of my great uncle John B. Kirwin – my grandfather Patrick J. Kirwin’s older brother. They were a Grove family with eight children. Their father Patrick Kirwin and his wife Ellen Courtney were founding members of the Sacred Heart Parish. Their children were educated, professional, business people including a nun and a priest – who became Pastor of the Scared Heart Church. I’ve enjoyed today’s trip down the family memory lane. I posted this comments about Uncle John…

Thanks for the cover photo. John B. Kirwin the Opera House Pharmacy pharmacist was my paternal great uncle. A bachelor John Kirwin (1879-1953) and his sisters Jennie and Agnes lived at 221 Moore Street in Lowell – the house now owned by John Quealey. He was a very bright,  quiet, saintly man who went to Mass every day and to the Sacred Heart Church every evening – neighbors said you could set your watch by his visit. He walked everywhere. Thanks for this memory.
This is a Kirwin Family portrait( circa 1910s) – typical family photo of that day. Parents Patrick and Ellen are seated along with Fr. William, OMI with Nellie seated in front (later Sr. Teresa, SSMN). Standing from left to right: my grandfather Patrick J. (Meehan & Kirwin Funeral director and Lowell Post Office), Agnes (stenographer/clerk/ sacristan /then ran the household) , John B (pharmacist), Jane/Jennie (NET&T – Lowell, Chief Operator),  and George (Manager – C. B.Coburn Co.) Sister Sarah died  infancy, 1882.

2 Responses to Lowell Social Media Triggers Memories and More…

  1. John Quealey says:

    John made his on “Bug-a-Boo” to rid us of insects and “Our Brown Bottle” a cough syrup as it was called.Walking from our beloved downtown I remember the root beer barrel on the soda counter. A mug of foamy root beer for a nickle and a dime would add a scoop of ice cream. Pat.was the sponser for every boy and Mae Kelleher sponsered the girls as long as I can remember.remember all. Anges is buried sixty years John died before Her and Pat and his wife Agnes nee Meehan less than a dozen days apart in 1962.if my memory is correct.a lways my friends.

  2. Marie says:

    I remember the “Johnson’s” Brown Bottle – I actually have one of those empty bottles. Regarding the Confirmations at the Sacred Heart – Papa Kirwin sponsored every young man except his own sons – someone else stepped-in… as usual you have a good memory.