Late on a Thursday afternoon on June 3, 1926, every available firefighting resource raced to Pollard's Department Store on Merrimack Street in Downtown Lowell. All of Lowell's fire department was joined by men and equipment sent from Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut and Lawrence in the fight to save Pollard's from a raging fire. Pollard's, also known…Read more Pollard’s Department Store – Lowell Born . . . Lowell Owned . . . Lowell Managed
Reading newspapers from the morning after the Titanic sank is almost like reading the first page of an alternate history novel. The first few words are familiar: The next are shocking: The Lowell Sun, the Boston Evening Transcript, and the Lewiston Evening Journal all reported similar headlines in their April 15, 1912 editions. Just imagine,…Read more What if . . . the Titanic hadn’t sunk 100 years ago?
Maybe you've come through Billerica. On the northern approach, near the North Billerica commuter rail station, lies the site of the John Rogers homestead, marked by a sign erected by the Massachusetts Tercentenary Commission in 1930. The sign memorializes an event that happened even longer ago on today's Billerica Avenue. Early in Billerica's history, during the…Read more When Eastern Massachusetts was the Frontier, 1695
The emigrant ship Moravia crept into its dock in New York late on the night of August 30, 1892. The ship was sent straight to quarantine. On its ten-day voyage from Hamburg, Germany, 22 of its 358 passengers had been buried at sea, victims of Asiatic Cholera. Two more passengers convalesced in the ship's hospital,…Read more The Immigrant Experience in 1892: New York’s Cholera Scare and its Effect on Boston
On a cool, cloudy Saturday afternoon in early May 1967, two men simultaneously spotted the billowing smoke escaping from the first-story windows of Sacred Heart School's "new building" on its Moore Street campus in Lowell, Massachusetts. John J. McWilliams, an off-duty police officer, ran and activated the fire alarm at a nearby fire-box. John Sickles,…Read more Fires of Lowell, Massachusetts – Sacred Heart School, 1967
One of the more interesting aspects of writing a blog is seeing which topics attract the most interest. In mid-December, I wrote a post about the Spanish flu (link below) and its spread across Massachusetts in 1918 and 1919. Since then, it's been one of my most popular posts (placing fourth most popular of the…Read more 1918: Spanish Flu, Attitudes toward Housekeeping, and a Little Bit about Linguistic History
During New England's Blizzard of 1888, also known as the Great White Hurricane, over four feet of snow fell in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The storm dumped as much as 40 inches of snow in New York and New Jersey. In a world before road salt and snowblowers, the Great White Hurricane suspended communication and travel…Read more The Great White Hurricane – New England’s Blizzard of 1888