Christmas in Lowell: 1921

What was Christmas like in Lowell one hundred years ago? Here are some stories that appeared in the local newspapers in the days leading up to Christmas as well as some ads for local merchants:

First Day of Winter: Warmer tomorrow! The weather man promises to repent and make full amends for last night’s frigid blasts that sent the mercury sliding downward in local glasses below the zero mark, frosting hoses and cars, keeping housewives and menfolk on the jump trying to maintain a little heat in home kitchens and bedrooms and driving nearly everybody off the sidewalks and street.

Municipal Christmas Tree Programs – The program for the municipal carol singing at the municipal Christmas tree observance on Saturday afternoon and evening has been prepared by the park department, working in conjunction with the school department, chamber of commerce and community service, who are all cooperating to make the observance a success. Programs with the words of the carols on the inner pages will be given the singers on Saturday (Christmas Eve) and are now on hand at the park department office. Aiken’s band of Lowell will give a concert from 3:30 to 5:30 and the Lowell Military band will furnish music for the evening. Frederick O. Bhiat, musical director of the public schools will lead the school children in singing in the afternoon, and in the evening the community singing will be led by Albert Edmund Brown.

Christmas will bring happiness and good cheer to the orphans of this city, for elaborate programs are being prepared for the observance in the various homes and orphanages. The inmates of the Chelmsford street hospital will also be made to rejoice on Sunday, for in addition to serving them with a real Christmas dinner, the superintendent has made arrangements for an elaborate musical program during the day.

In Washington, Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty ordered the bureau of investigation to collect information on current retail prices of food, fuel, shoes and clothing from around the country and report back to the justice department. “Daugherty said that in many localities prices are too high and retailers profits were ‘unconscionable” and that every effort would be made to put retail prices on the proper level.

In the District Court of Lowell today, Judge Fisher fined Park Sausage and Provision Company of Boston $150 for unlawfully selling sausages that contained an excessive amount of starch. Also prosecuted were three local storekeepers for failing to stamp “cold storage eggs” on eggs they were selling.

Two Alarm Midnight Fire Wrecked Lowell Market and Threatened Destruction of Howe Block. High praise for firemen. Blaze of unknown origin started in cellar. Wires were possibly to blame.


  • The Rialto – Little Lord Fauntleroy starring Mary Pickford
  • B.F. Keith’s – The 5 Berlo Sisters – an amazing aquatic act
  • Opera House – The Storm featuring Marguerite Fields
  • The Strand – The Sage Hen starring Gladys Brockwell
  • Merrimack Square Theater – the Man of Stone starring Conway Tearle
  • Royal Theatre – No Woman Knows
  • New Jewel Theatre – The Rowdy starring Gladys Walton

One Response to Christmas in Lowell: 1921

  1. Hector R Rodriguez says:

    Thank you for posting these… many of us read your blogs periodically and enjoy them. Don’t let the lack of feedback tell you we don’t appreciated! :-)