Lowell’s Early History, Hidden in Plain Sight.

Where would you find the site of Lowell’s first kindergarten, first day nursery, first night school, and first foray into community education? Where would find one of the city’s few buildings remaining from the 1820s? Would you go to one of the city’s downtown parking garages? Probably not, but that’s just where you’d see all […]

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Behind the White Fence: Lowell’s Poor Farm

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 […]

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3 Quick Tips to Unlock the Secrets of an Old Lowell Photo

Photographs capture a moment in time, a moment that begins evaporating just as soon as the shutter releases. Be it seconds, minutes, years, or decades later, that photograph cannot be recreated, because the moment is gone, replaced with the next, which itself disappears into another.

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Like Lazarus, the Rialto Rises from the Verge of Oblivion

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.

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How would you redesign Lowell’s Flag?

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.

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Merrimack Valley Magazine Feature! A Peek into Lowell’s Past

An article by Lowell Historical Society Curator Ryan W. Owen appears in the May/June 2016 issue of Merrimack Valley Magazine, which hits Greater Lowell newsstands soon. Lowell has lots to see, and do!  Some of Lowell’s best history-related points of attraction are featured in the article, A Peek into Lowell’s Past. The list includes the downtown […]

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Among the Artifacts: Merrimack Mills Employee Badges from Long Ago

At the Lowell Historical Society, we get to see and study some really interesting artifacts, like the wooden stake from the Central Bridge fire of 1882 or the Hi Hat Guy from Lowell’s Hi-Hat Rollaway, or even the Box of Cinders from the Pollard’s Department Store fire of 1926.  A lot of these, we inherited from long […]

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From the Curator’s Desk: The Wooden Stake in our Collection

During these last few weeks, we’ve been busy at the Lowell Historical Society. As we near the end of our 2013-2014 year, we had our annual meeting last weekend at Lowell’s Pollard Memorial Library where our society’s Vice President Kim Zunino spoke about some of the fascinating finds she’s encountered in the attic of Lowell’s City […]

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The Early History of Lowell’s Hi Hat Rollaway

In our last post, we revealed how we learned that the Hi Hat figurine within our collection was carved in the likeness of former Hi Hat owner, Mo Rochette, who was also famous as the ‘old guy’ behind the snack bar at the Hi Hat during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. But to get there, […]

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