The real estate that forms the Cawley Stadium complex is a patchwork of parcels that have been compiled by the city over more than one hundred years. These are the major parcels that make up the complex:
- Cawley Stadium
- Soccer Field
- Alumni Baseball Field
- Practice Fields
- Martin Softball Field
These parcels came under city ownership in four separate chains of title:
Cawley Stadium – On March 13, 1929, Paul C. Howley of Lynn, Massachusetts granted to the Lowell High School Alumni Association, a 10.96 acre parcel shown as Lot 2 on a 1901 plan of land belonging to the Heirs of Thomas Fields. (Howley had purchased this parcel in 1919 from Lowell Trust Company which had foreclosed on a mortgage from Herbert and Margaret Merrill). Then, on December 15, 1934, the Lowell High School Alumni Association granted this parcel to the city of Lowell which continues to own it today. This parcel includes what is now Cawley Stadium and the adjacent parking lot that runs along Douglas Road.
Soccer Field – On June 20, 1987, ten heirs of various members of the Cawley Family sold this parcel for $19,999 to Evan Themeles and Thomas Themeles as Trustees of the E&T Realty Trust. While the area of this parcel is not stated, its dimensions are roughly 285 feet x 389 feet x 245 feet x 380 feet (a rectangle that corresponds with the size of the soccer field). On February 24, 1988, Evan and Thomas conveyed it from their E&T Trust to themselves as trustees of Stadium Realty Trust. On December 2, 1994, Evans and Thomas as trustees of Stadium Realty Trust, sold this parcel to the city of Lowell for $240,000. Then, on May 4, 1995, the Themeles brothers recorded a “confirmatory deed” for this property, “to correct the earlier deed” still granting the property to the city but also dedicating the land for park purposes in accordance with MGL c.45, s.1.
Alumni Baseball Field – On November 14, 1922, James Kennedy and Peter Roach conveyed a parcel on “the northerly side of Rogers Street and the westerly side of Village Street and known as Spalding Park” to the Lowell High School Alumni Association (it seems that this parcel was already used as a baseball field at the time of this conveyance). This parcel was roughly five acres and abutted the parcel that later was used as the soccer field. On October 7, 1953, the Lowell High School Alumni Association granted this parcel to the city of Lowell.
Practice Fields and Martin Softball Field – On May 10, 1929, Charles Dancause granted to the Lowell High Alumni Association a large parcel of land that was north of the east-west line of Village Street, and west of Clark Road. This parcel abutted the easterly boundary of the Cawley Stadium lot described above, and straddled the boundary line between Lowell and Tewksbury (with most of the land in Lowell). Then, on July 28, 1964, the Lowell High Alumni Association conveyed a portion of this parcel to the city of Lowell on the condition that the city “shall use said land as a suitable practice field and play space for football and other athletic sports for Lowell High School students.” Failing that, the parcel would revert back to the Alumni Association. While no square footage of this parcel is given, its dimensions are 455 feet by 420 feet with the base of the rectangle running along Village Street and the long side running along the Cawley Stadium parcel. So, this is the parcel that includes the Practice Fields and almost certainly the Martin Softball Field. The remainder of the Dancause parcel seems to have been forgotten until the town of Tewksbury took its portion of the land for nonpayment of property taxes in 2011. Before the town could foreclose on its tax taking, the Lowell High Alumni Association on September 29, 2014, conveyed the remainder of the Dancause parcel to the city of Lowell on the condition that the city pay the back taxes to the town of Tewksbury (which it did).
That’s the ownership history of the various parcels that make up the Cawley Stadium complex.