On the day that Boston’s Great Molasses Flood came in 1919, over 2 million gallons of the thick sugary syrup burst out of its storage tank and coursed through the streets in the city’s North End. The wave of molasses reached at least 15 feet high at one point and raced towards its victims at 35 mph.
You could’ve easily missed the signs that Spanish Flu was coming back for a second wave at the end of summer in 1918. In mid-August, New York City had suffered a scare when a Norwegian steamship arrived in port with many suspected cases. Even before the city’s health department confirmed any cases of Spanish Flu […]
That Harvard Brewery building stares at you, like it has a secret. Because it does. When you pull in to park at Lowell’s Target, those twelve little windows peer forward, each covered with corrugated sheet metal that’s been painted the color of pistachio ice cream. (Why?) That Harvard Brewery building has ghosts like anything that […]
Whether you call it pop, tonic, soda, or just plain Coke, the soda fountain owes its modern form to one Gustavus D. Dows who ran a drugstore with his brother at 213 Central Street in Lowell in the mid 1850s.
It’s no secret that Lowell of long ago was more rural, especially in its outskirts – which included the land where Cross Point, Showcase Cinema and Route 3 now sit today. As you drive along Lowell’s Route 110 East today (also known as Chelmsford Street), you’ll cross into Lowell just before you pass under Route […]
How you know Lowell’s Rialto Building is largely determined by when you grew up. To the oldest among us, the Victorian-era building that has dominated Towers Corner for 140 years is the Rialto Theatre – famous for first trips to the movies, to movies that have long since become classics.
In November 2014, the inspiration came to Mark. He was listening to the 99% Invisible podcast, which was running a story on how the city of Portland, Oregon wanted to redesign its municipal flag. Proponents of the change complained that the city’s flag was, basically, a city seal on a bed sheet. Mark thought about that, and wondered what Lowell’s flag looked like.
At the Lowell Historical Society, we run across some interesting items in our collection of historical artifacts. Recently, we came across this pocketwatch, dated 1900, with its old-timey reference tag still attached.