History

Founding of Lowell Walk, part I

Yesterday morning I led a Lowell Walk from the National Park Visitor Center. The topic was The Founding of Lowell. We talked about what was here before Lowell received its town charter in 1826 and how that charter came about. I’ve typed my notes into a “script” and will share…

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Lowell Walks: The Founding of Lowell

Next Saturday, August 13, 2022, at 10 am from Lowell National Park Visitor Center at 246 Market Street, I’ll lead a Lowell Walk on the founding of Lowell. Here’s a preview: Rivers have always been central to human activity and with the Merrimack and Concord Rivers meeting here, people have…

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July 4, 1922 in Lowell

Here’s a sampling of what the Fourth of July was like in Lowell 100 years ago: Fireworks display by Antonelli Fireworks Co of Rochester NY for $1200. They will also supply “bombs” to be fired from the summit of Fort Hill at sunrise, noon and sunset. Fireworks display begins at 9…

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Local Government in Lowell: 1826 to 2022

Lowell’s political history begins with the grant of its town charter by the Massachusetts State Legislature in 1826. The charter brought a standard town-type government with selectmen and town meetings. But the city’s explosive growth as a center of textile manufacturing demanded a more activist system of government and so…

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Juneteenth Walk in Lowell

As part of yesterday’s Juneteenth Festival, the Lowell National Historical Park hosted a Lowell Walk on Black History in Lowell. It was led by Maritza Grooms and Bob Forrant and was attended by nearly 50 people. Here are some photos and a summary of what was said at each stop:…

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Reconstruction Reconsidered

Today we observe and celebrate Juneteenth National Independence Day which is the official name of the federal holiday that was formally adopted last year. The name Juneteenth is a combination of June and 19th which is the date of the proclamation issued by U.S. Army Major General Gordon Granger upon…

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Bunker Hill Day

Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill which took place 30 miles south of here on June 17, 1775. We are fast approaching the semiquincentennial (or 250th anniversary) of this event so there will be more attention paid to it in the coming years. Before considering the…

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D-Day – June 6, 1944

On June 6, 1944, American, British, and Canadian troops landed on the shore of Normandy while airborne troops arrived inland. The great battle to seize back northwest Europe from the Germans commenced. As with every other battle in World War II, men from Lowell were involved in D-Day. First Lieutenant…

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John J. Shaughnessy – 6 June 1944

John J. Shaughnessy was born in Lowell on October 16, 1917, the son of Edward and Anna O’Donnell of 1091 Gorham Street. He graduated from the Sacred Heart School and Lowell High School. On October 16, 1940 – his 23rd birthday – Shaughnessy registered for the draft at the Elks…

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Keith Academy WWII Memorial

In the middle of St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Lowell, just to the left of the chapel, sits a large rectangular piece of granite inscribed in memory of the graduates of Keith Academy who died while serving in the military during World War II. Located in the former Middlesex County jail…

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