Lowell Doughboys Statue and Tribute

This is a cross-post from Lowell Historical Society Board member Eileen Loucraft’s blog  LowellDoughboys.

Lowell Doughboy Statue -Tribute of a Greatful Neighborhood

The Lowell Doughboy Statue is located at the intersection of Fletcher and Willie Streets in Lowell, MA.  It was dedicated June 3, 1923 in an impressive ceremony attended by thousands of people.  The square is located in front of the current Lowell Firefighters club.  They have an impressive mural which gives the statue a unique look.  This location used to house the Marine Club, The Broadway Social Club and  Butler Volunteer Firemen.  It was the Broadway Social Club who was responsible for purchasing and dedicating this monument.
The monument honors 36 acre men who gave their lives during World War One.  Imagine 36 men from one small neighborhood paid the ultimate price.  This shows the impact this war had on the city of Lowell.

South Side –
April Joseph
Murray Stephen A
McDermott James C
Toner William H
Gearin George E
Mitchell William J
Michalopoulous Athenasios
Roy Charles J
Theodorou Christos
Wilber William F
Alix Armand
Chaput Philip
East Side  – “LEST WE FORGET”
Connolly John L
Flannery Edward J
Cranna John
Ricard Leo A
Manning Thomas M
Quinn Edward F
Kelley Duncan
Georgulias Efstrafios
Lyons John A
Worthy Joseph
Fletcher Carl E
Muraswsky, Joseph
West side – “LEST WE FORGET”
Wallace Charles
Trainor John J
Warren John M
Ryan John H
Mansour George
Macheras Elias
McCellen James W
O’Brien John A
MacLean A Stewart
O’Donoghue Michael T
Longtin Charles J
Ayotte Arthur J

At the statue dedication Major Edward L. Logan, Mayor John J. Donovan and Congressman John Jacob Rogers spoke.  I think the Congressman said it best,

“Let this statue be always a beacon star which will help you to strive onward that the lives of those it honors may not have died in vain.”

Also known as Connolly Square named for Private John Leo Connolly,  Co. M 101st Regiment killed in action  – 23 Oct., 1918 at Belieu Bois, France.  Born 3 Aug., 1893, at Lowell, son of Michael and Bridget (Brown) Connolly (both born in Ireland); brother of Rev. Edward B. Connolly, O.M.I., of Colorado Springs, Colo., Frank, Henry J., Raymond, and Mary (wife of Fred Provencher). His occupation was a shipper at the Baker Chocolate Company, Boston.

March 24th – Mass Memories Road Show comes to Lowell

The Mass Memories Road Show is coming to the Tsongas Industrial History Center (Boott Mills) on Saturday, March 24th, 2012!

This show is an opportunity to provide up to three photos representing you or your family’s history in the city for a digital online archive. They are also looking for oral histories.

For more information, please visit: http://massmemories.net/lowell.php

Lowell’s Irish Monument – 1977 Dedication Remembered

From the inscription: “…through their efforts in every facet of city life they helped establish Lowell as one of the most important cities in the nation.”

This is a great photo taken by Dick Howe of Lowell’s Irish Monument set in the Cardinal O’Connell newly restored greenspace. To the rear is the monument – bust and fountain – in memory of Lowell-born William Cardinal O’Connell – longtime Cardinal-Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston. This is the 100th anniversary of O’Connell’s elevation to the College of Cardinals. This monument to the Irish immigrants who came to Lowell in the 1820s to dig the canals then stayed to become citizens, raise their families and contribute to the community was a project dear to the heart of former Lowell Mayor and Lowell City Councilor Leo J. Farley. With the help of a great committee that included Susan Callery, Agnes Kirwin and Lewis Karabatsos and others – and the generosity and support of locals of Irish heritage and those that appreciated the contibutions of the Irish, the monument was designed and installed by the late Adian Luz. For those who might remember we had a Shamrock Ball (or two) with a program to raise funds for the monument. We participated in the Regatta Festivals up on the Boulevard where we sold Irish Coffee, lamb stew and Irish bread and displayed art and artifact of our heritage. In a collaboration with Dr. Patrick Mogan we sponsored a presentation of traditional Irish music and performance at the Smith-Baker Center.

In October, 1977 – a jubilant group  paraded to the monument site after a benediction service at St. Patrick Church in the Acre. A wreath was laid and the late Bishop Rocco gave his blessing and words of dedication.

Note: On behalf of the Lowell Irish Hertiage Committee I gave photos and memorabilia from the monument project to Dave McKean to add to the St. Patrick Church archive.

Remembering Lowell’s Bon Marche at “Forgotten New England”

This is a cross-post from Dick Howe’s blog.

March 6th, 2012

Lowell’s Bon Marché Store Remembered by “Forgotten New England”

by Marie

So many of us have fond  and quite personal memories of the Bon Marché store –  longtime anchor for retail business on Merrimack Street in downtown Lowell. The store’s founder Frederic Mitchell opened his first store on Merrimack Street in 1878. The Bon Marché – as we knew it – was brought by Allied Stores in 1976 and made into a Jordan Marsh. After extensive renovations, it became home to the Lowell School Department’s main office. Today, the building and annex houses the central operations  of the state’s second largest community action agency – Community Teamwork, Inc.

Today in “Forgotten New England” – using some examples of the store’s newspaper advertising – readers get a real sense of the Bon Marché – once touted as ” The Bon Marché Dry Goods Company – the largest department store in New England.” The store is truly entwined with the history of  the Lowell community. Here’s an exerpt from the article:

A few years later, as the Bon Marché and the rest of the downtown community lived through WWII, the store instituted wartime hours and again offered war bonds and stamps to its customers to support the war effort.  Lowell experienced a brief economic boom in the war years, mostly from the increased need for clothing produced by its remaining textile mills and its involvement in munitions manufacturing.

Read the full article here at forgottennewengland.com.

Do you have memories to share about the Bon Marché?

The Bon Marché building in downtown Lowell during a “festive” time.

St. Patrick’s Day in Lowell, Massachusetts – Then and Now

This is a cross-post from our friend historian Dave McKean’s blog “LowellIrish”. Dave gives readers the flavor of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Lowell back in 1843 and then shows some photos as the 2012 celebration of Irish Cultural Week begins today.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

St Patrick’s Day in Lowell – Then & Now

 Lowell Courier, 1843
The recent snows made the roads difficult to pass through, but the hardy souls celebrated Saint Patrick as they had for years by parading through the streets of Lowell.  The year was 1843.  The account of the day’s festivities was recorded in the Courier. The Irish carried with them 2 green, silk banners; one with the American eagle and the other with the Irish harp.  “A fine band” played tunes as they marched through the neighborhood and into the city proper.  The marchers wore green, silk scarves with green and white rosettes.  Mass was celebrated at St Peter’s that year, then the little group proceeded to the Merrimack House to feast.  Until late in the evening, the men offered toast after toast.  They lifted their glasses to the ideals of democracy and liberty.  They remembered their homeland and their new home too.  They recited poems and sang “Garry Owen.”  The reporter included “all was carried out in an appropriate manner.”  (Note: at an earlier celebration the reporter commented that no alcohol was served, just cider, and very little of that was consumed.)
The article closed with mention that some “blackguard” had made a stuffed effigy of Saint Patrick and placed it on Lowell Street “for the purpose of insulting our Irish citizens.”  To his credit the author states that whoever did so should have spent his time “in stuffing his own head” with the ideals of “good breeding and gentlemanly decorum.”
Thankfully in 2012 we don’t have effigies of the Saint, but this year’s hot item for St Patrick’s Day is a t-shirt from Urban Outfitters with a figure vomiting shamrocks.  And that’s how we display our culture.
Today the Irish Cultural Committee of St Patrick Parish started off their celebration in much the same way their ancestors did.  It began with liturgy, then the parade through the streets and feasting after raising the flag.  Some things don’t change too quickly in the Acre.  If you’re interested in joining any of the activities coming up check out their Facebook page or check elsewhere on this blog.
To see more photos check here at LowellIrish. Check the Irish Cultural Committee Facebook page for photos and information.