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Timeline of Lowell History

Timeline of Lowell History
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c. 1600: Passaconaway, a Pennacook chief living at Pawtucket Falls, emerges as leader of the Merrimack Valley’s native peoples.

1635: English settlers move into the valley.

1652: The area called Wamesit, between the Merrimack and Concord rivers, is declared Indian territory.

1655: Chelmsford is chartered on the Merrimack River, on land that is now Lowell.

1710: The Varnum family builds a gristmill on the Merrimack River.

1737: A small textile mill is built on land that will become Lowell.

1814: Francis Cabot Lowell invents the American power loom. Boston Mfg. Co. is established on the Charles River in Waltham, MA.

1822: The first large textile mill is built on land that will become Lowell. Local men and Irish workers from Boston dig Lowell’s first power canal.

1823: Merrimack Mfg. Co. produces its first textiles. Most workers are young Yankee women from the countryside: “mill girls.”

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