The Day North Billerica’s Hospital Nearly Burnt Down, 1938

In the wake of the New England Hurricane of 1938, Oscar Grenier found work with the W.P.A. cleaning up storm damage near the Farnan Private Hospital for the Aged on North Billerica’s Mt. Pleasant Street.  Grenier first noticed the smoke rising from the hospital just after 10 AM on September 30, 1938.  He, George Lindsay,…Read more The Day North Billerica’s Hospital Nearly Burnt Down, 1938

The Billerica Car Shop Murder of 1918

As news of World War I and Spanish flu filled the local papers, the first headlines related to Billerica’s car shop murder almost could have gone unnoticed.  In fact, the murder itself went unnoticed for several days.  The last anyone had seen of Fred Soulia, an employee at Billerica’s Boston & Maine car shops (today’s…Read more The Billerica Car Shop Murder of 1918

A (true) story about Victorian Billerica Center, a church and its scandal

Familiar sites greet you as you step from the twenty-minute electric car ride on the Lowell & Suburban into the Billerica Center of 1896.  Like today, Town Common dominates the view, its Soldiers’ Monument and flagpole just now disappearing behind the late spring foliage.  The Unitarian church and Town Hall (now the Library) bookend today’s…Read more A (true) story about Victorian Billerica Center, a church and its scandal

Billerica, 1904: The Peddler’s Sons and Their Buried Treasure

In May 1904, ten yards beyond a barbed wire fence in the East Billerica woods, James Marnell stumbled over a small mound of dirt, uncovering an ornate silver serving tray.  “Sanborn’s treasure!” Marnell, a railroad worker, excitedly deduced.  Townspeople knew Sanborn’s treasure to contain silverware, jewelry, and furs stolen the year before from Billerica’s plush…Read more Billerica, 1904: The Peddler’s Sons and Their Buried Treasure

Downtown Lowell’s “Uncle” Dudley Page: The Man behind Page’s Clock

If you've spent any time in Downtown Lowell, you've surely passed Page's Clock in Kearney Square on Merrimack Street.  The clock, refurbished in the 1990's, has been a Downtown Lowell landmark since the D.L. Page Company moved its operations into the nearby building at 16-18 Merrimack Street in May 1913. As its advertisements claimed, the…Read more Downtown Lowell’s “Uncle” Dudley Page: The Man behind Page’s Clock

Yesterday’s Telephone Numbers: GLenview, MOntrose, and ULysses

In those long ago days before cellphones, speed dialing, and stored numbers, folks like Tommy Tutone telephoned girls like 'Jenny' by actually dialing 867-5309.  If he was a modern type, he may have even punched the number into the telephone's touchtone keypad, an innovation that was several years old by the time the song was…Read more Yesterday’s Telephone Numbers: GLenview, MOntrose, and ULysses