Another First in Lowell History: The Soda Fountain

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.

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.

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

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

Among the Artifacts: Remembering Lowell’s Hi Hat Rollaway

We call him Hi Hat Guy, at the Lowell Historical Society, after the name of roller skating rink that is lettered across his red tie.  To the modern eye, Hi Hat Guy looks a little like Phil Dunphy, at least at first glance.  He's the father figure played by Ty Burrell on ABC's Modern Family.  Hi…Read more Among the Artifacts: Remembering Lowell’s Hi Hat Rollaway

We made the Lowell Sun! A Look at the Art and Artifacts of the Lowell Historical Society

We've been active lately, at the Lowell Historical Society.  Among the responsibilities of my role as curator of the society's art and artifacts is not only to figure out and document what we have, but also to share this information with the public, many of whom have parents and grandparents (and maybe great-grandparents too) who…Read more We made the Lowell Sun! A Look at the Art and Artifacts of the Lowell Historical Society

Among the Artifacts: The Licensed Newsboy Badge

My fingers first brushed across the small metallic oval a few weeks ago. It was right next to Officer Lee's Lowell PD badge.  This very different badge was light, too old to be plastic.  I figured it was probably aluminum.   As I slid out the drawer at the Lowell Historical Society's archive, the flourescent…Read more Among the Artifacts: The Licensed Newsboy Badge