DescriptionIn 1813, after touring British textile factories, Boston merchant Francis Cabot Lowell supported the development of a power loom that shaped the history of the U.S. textile industry. Looking for a site to set up a factory, a group of investors called “The Boston Associates” discovered Lowell, at the confluence of the Concord and Merrimack rivers. They were impressed by the waterpower potential of the two rivers. Construction of textile mills and a series of power canals began in 1822.
In the following decades the town experienced economic prosperity at the cost of human needs. Reformer Sarah Bagley organized female workers to fight for better conditions. Due to the influx of unskilled immigrants beginning in 1850, protests were often futile. In the early 20th century, just as labor improvements were being realized, the industry began to collapse, forcing residents to leave.
Beginning in the 1970s, high-tech industry began to revitalize the city; during the same time period, restoration of the former mill district culminated in the founding of Lowell National Historical Park. Today, ever-expanding cultural offerings, such as the summer Lowell Folk Festival , the second-largest free folk festival in the United States; minor league baseball team the Lowell Spinners; and educational institutions have lured individuals and businesses back to Lowell's urban core.
Visitor InfoGreater Lowell Chamber of Commerce 131 Merrimack St. LOWELL, MA 01852. Phone:(978)459-8154
Things to SeeLowell National Historical Park