This is a cross-post from LowellIrish researched by the Lowell Historical Society’s Genealogist Walter Hickey and Karen Hickey. More of Walter’s sleuthing will be presented on Saturday March 29, 2014 with his program on “Crime and Punishment in 19th Century Lowell”. More details coming.
This is a cross-post from our friend Dave McKean over at LowellIrish. Dave and other St. Patrick Cemetery stewards are cleaning up and documenting important and historic slate grave stones and markers.
A Word of Thanks
The slate stones in Yard One are a treasure to the early history of the Irish in Lowell. Time is beginning to have its effect on them. Some stones which were pristine a decade ago are beginning to chip, break, and shatter. The carvings on these stones tell us of the happenings of the first arrivals. They are the men who walked with Hugh Cummiskey from Charlestown. They are the women who went to the well that once stood in the front yard of the church. They are the children, so many children, whose short lives would only be remembered in stone.
For these reasons, and maybe some of their own, a great group of folks gathered to help prepare the stones for photographing and our October 12th tour. The weather was perfect. We cleaned every shamrock stone that has been discovered so far, all 20 of them. I lost count of how many pails of brush and dirt we hauled away. By the end of the 2 hours folks were a little sore, a little dirty, and completely exhausted. I do not have the words to say an appropriate thank you.
For those of you who missed out on the fun next Saturday we will be working on some other stones. We’ll meet in Yard 1 from 9-11.
For those who were unable to attend the recent tour of the Old English Cemetery down on Gorham Street, tour guide and Lowell Historical Society board member Kim Zunino has kindly provided her notes. Thanks to all those who did attend, the turnout was fantastic!
Notes are after the jump Continue reading
Original Old Residents’ Association Book Cabinet
The Lowell Historical Society maintains numerous collections of writings, documents and photographs which are open for public research. The collections are comprised of the Society’s original archives as well as those of the Lowell Museum. The holdings of the Society, which differ in size and scope, are located at two neighboring facilities and use of the collections should be coordinated in advance of visitation. Most of the books, photographs, maps and documents are housed the UMass Lowell / Center for Lowell History while the remainder of the collection is in the Society rooms at the Boott Mill site.
Here are two collections that might interest a researcher – one recalls an well-known entertainment venue and the other an effort to preserve the information on very old local grave stones.
Commodore Ballroom Collection
Originally built as the Kasino, the Commodore Ballroom opened in 1924 to become the preeminent Lowell dance club under the ownership of Carl Braun and his family. This collection includes business records from 1936 to 1950 as well as tax filings and payroll information from 1937 to 1945. Also in the collection are song books, sheet music and over 200 autographed photos of musicians including Ray Anthony, Les Brown, Clooney Sisters, Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Sammy Kaye, Vaughn Monroe, Artie Shaw and Jack Teagarden.
Cemetery Gravestone Rubbings
A project financed by the Lowell Historical Society, Lowell State College ( now the University of Massachusetts Lowell) undertook to document and preserve pre-1850 slate stones. The project was directed by Dr. Mary Blewett and involved the work of her students. The collection of imprint rubbings are from many of the oldest graveyards in the city including the Clark, Edson, Hildreth, Lowell, Mammoth Road, Old English, Pawtucket, Saint Patrick’s, School Street and Woodbine Cemeteries.
More collections will highlights will be over the coming weeks.
The Lowell Historic Board has resumed publication of a quarterly newsletter – “Presence from the Past” – with its just issued 2011 Fall Edition. News from the commission is always of interest to Lowell Historical Society members and those interested in preservation. The Society does have a member-seat on the Commission currently filled by LHS board member and Director of the UML/Center for Lowell History Martha Mayo and Commission Assistant Director Kim Zunino is also on the board.
While many topics are covered in this newsletter scholars and interested buffs of the many Lowell cemeteries should check out Kim’s article: The Value of Historic Cemeteries and information on a November 20 tour she’ll conduct on the Old English Cemetery on Gorham Street.
The Newsletter is chock full of interesting article and suggestion of how to research the history of your house, the newly designated historic neighborhood – the Livingston-Harvard Neighborhood District – in the Highlands, how historic buildings in Lowell are going solar… and much more. There is a calendar of events too!
If you aren’t on the LHB Newlettter list, check it out by posting this link information in your browser : http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=jcl44pbab&v=0012ndadPBmR-KpKCbOQHSebsDdYZZIYpPc6BkVbsq9NuNlPdZnR9v3K-wOdKA1ihGwCCkvLgByXdx4-0iabuBs5q2aFCbhxZiohlUyfnmwklg%3D
For my first post here on the Lowell Historical Society’s new blog, I thought I’d begin with a note on a longtime seasonal tradition in two of Lowell’s best known cemeteries.
The Lowell Cemetery’s iconic Ayer Lion after a much-needed renovation this summer.
This past weekend many people took advantage of the cemetery tours conducted at both the Lowell Cemetery and St. Patrick Cemetery. Historian Dick Howe – Lowell Register of Deeds – has been guiding seasonal and special tours at the Lowell Cemetery for the last three years having worked with mentor the late Catherine Goodwin. Catherine began these tours with her husband John many years ago. Local historian and teacher David McKean developed the tours in St. Patrick Cemetery that now include an annual dedication of stones of forgotten Irish immigrants as part of the Mercy Drive program of the Ladies AOH (Ancient Order of Hibernians). This year in a special ceremony a stone from the ancestral home of Hugh Cummisky was buried at his grave site. Look for more information about the tours and ceremonies here at LowellIrish and here and here at richardhowe.com.