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Timeline of Lowell History

Yankee Plus Dec 2015


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.”

1826: The Town of Lowell is incorporated.

1831: Lowell High School is founded: first co-ed public high school in the U.S.

1834: James Abbott McNeill Whistler is born in Lowell (his father is chief engineer for Proprietors of Locks & Canals).

1835: Boston & Lowell Railroad begins service.

1836: The City of Lowell is incorporated. The city seal reads “Art Is the Handmaid of Human Good.”

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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