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Lowell Historical Society
Lowell History Chronology

 
1635 First English settlements on the Merrimack River; and also on the Concord River.
Bust of Benjamin Franklin Butler, Civil War General, Congressman, and Governor
1643 County of Middlesex created.
1644 Passaconaway, Sachem of the Merrimack Valley Indians, submits to John Winthrop, the English Governor.
1647 John Eliot, the Apostle of the Indians, first preaches at Wamesit (now in Lowell)
1653 Town of Chelmsford is founded.
1656 General Daniel Gookin is appointed Superintendent of Indians.
1660 Passaconaway resigns the Sachemship to his son, Wannalancit.
1665 The Indian Ditch is opened around the Wamesit Indian Reservation.
1669 Indian fort built on Fort Hill.
1675 King Philip's War. Nov. 15, butchery of Wamesit Indians by ruffians from Chelmsford.
1676 Fortifications against hostile Indians are erected at Pawtucket Falls.
1686 The Wamesit and Pawtucket Indians retire to Canada and join the tribe of St. Francis, selling their lands to the English settlers.
1695 King William's War. Colonel Joseph Lynde fortifies Lynde's Hill.
1701 Dracut is incorporated
1726 Wamesit annexed to Chelmsford
1734 Tewksbury is incorporated
1792 Proprietors of Locks and Canals incorporated to construct the Pawtucket Canal. Also the Proprietors of the Middlesex Merrimack River Bridge at Pawtucket Falls.
1796 Pawtucket Canal opens
1801 The first carding machine in Middlesex County is used by Moses Hale, at East Chelmsford (now in Lowell)
1803 Germans are recruited to work at Gore & Hunnewell Glass Manufactory in Middlesex Village.
1803 Middlesex Canal opens
1807 Pentucket Lodge of Free Masons is instituted.
1813 Phineas Whiting & Josiah Fletcher open a cotton mill near present day Lower Locks.
1816 Bowers' saw mill and grist mill are erected.
1817 September 2, Francis Cabot Lowell dies.
1818 Gun Powder is manufactured by Moses Hale; satinets by Thomas Hurd; flannel by Winthrop Howe.
1821 Merrimack Manufacturing Company founded in East Chelmsford by Patrick Tracy Jackson, Nathan Appleton, Kirk Boott and others.
1821 Thomas Hurd builds a new mill at Lower Locks, incorporates power looms into his business.
1821 September 11, General Joseph Bradley Varnum dies in Dracut
1822 Hugh Cummiskey's Irish laborers march to Lowell from Charlestown. Irish work gangs are recruited to dig the first power canals along with Yankee workers.
1822 Revolutionary War hero John Ford dies from injuries sustained during a fight with Irish canal workers.
1823 Merrimack Manufacturing Company recruits Yankee women to work in its textile mills.
1824 St. Anne's Church is established by Merrimack Religious Society.
1824 The first newspaper, the Journal issued.
1824 June 18, Ezra Worthen of Merrimack Company dies.
1825 Completion of the Merrimack Company's Machine Shop.
1825 Hamilton Manufacturing Company is incorporated.
1825 Reorganization of Proprietors of Locks & Canals.
1825 Middlesex Mechanics Association incorporated.
1826 Lowell is incorporated as a town March 1, population 2,500
1826 Edward Everett is Representative in Congress. Daily stage coaches run between Lowell and Boston.
1827 Father John Mahoney celebrates first mass in the Merrimack Company's school house.
1828 Kirk Boott representing the textile corporations, meets with Catholic Bishop Fenwick to donate company land for the construction of a Catholic Church.
1828 Scottish carpet weavers are recruited from Medway, Mass. by the Lowell Manufacturing Company.
1828 Lowell Manufacturing Company is incorporated and names its first Agent, Scottish immigrant Alexander Wright.
1828 Appleton Manufacturing Company is incorporated.
1828 Lowell Bank incorporated; Death of Moses Hale
1829 Lowell Institution for Savings is founded.
1829 Hurd's Mills fail, are re-incorporated as Middlesex Manufacturing Company.
1829 First Odd Fellows' Lodge, the Merrimack, is organized.
1830 Lowell population 6,477
1830 Boston & Lowell Railroad is incorporated.
1830 Middlesex, Tremont, and Suffolk Manufacturing Companies are established
1830 Fire Department is established
1831 Lowell High School opens.
1831 St. Patrick's Church is dedicated.
1831 Battle of the Stone Bridge - open hostility between the Irish and the Yankee workers.
1831 Lawrence Manufacturing Company is incorporated.
1831 Railroad Bank incorporated.
1831 July 5, Paul Moody dies.
1832 Public school controversy: Rev. Theodore Edson vs. Kirk Boott
1832 The Lowell Bleachery is incorporated; District schools abolished; Sept. 15, Judge Livermore dies.
1833 Lowell Irish Benevolent Society is started.
1833 Police Court is established.
1833 June 26, President Jackson visits
1833 September 13, Warren Colburn dies
1833 October 25, Henry Clay's visit
1834 "mill girls" strike
1834 Belvidere annexed from Tewksbury
1834 Belvidere Manufacturing Company is formed
1834 Visits of David Crockett, George Thompson, Michel Chevalier, and Daniel Webster
1835 Town of Lowell supports the creation of separate Catholic schools.
1835 Boston & Lowell Railroad is started.
1835 Boott Cotton Mills is incorporated.
1835 Tri-Weekly Courier is published
1835 Almshouse established
1835 Death of Rev. Enoch W. Freeman and Captain Phineas Whiting.
1836 April 1, Lowell is incorporated as a city.
1836 Batting is manufactured at Massic Falls by Perez O. Richmond
1836 Caleb Cushing is Representative in Congress
1836 Death of Elisha Glidden
1836 "mill girls" strike
1836 Lowell Dispensary founded (early health services)
1836 Lowell population 17,663, among which 2,661 are listed as "aliens" and 44 "colored."
1836-37 Elisha Bartlett, Mayor
1837 April 11, Kirk Boott dies, after carriage tips on corner Merrimack and Dutton Streets.
1837 Middlesex Manufacturing Company recruits British workers from Gloucestershire.
1837 British immigrant James B. Francis becomes Chief Engineer of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals.
1837 Market House is built
1838-39 Luther Lawrence, Mayor
1839 Lowell Corporation Hospital opens.
1839 Massachusetts Mills incorporated.
1839 April 17, Mayor Luther Lawrence dies by a fall into a wheel pit.
1839 Whitney Mills incorporated
1839 Charles P. & Thomas Talbot manufacture chemicals, etc.
1839 Death of Father Mahoney and Samuel H. Mann
1839-41 Elisha Huntington, Mayor
1840 North and South Commons laid out
1840 Lowell population 20,981
1840 Moses Kimball founds the Lowell Museum
1840 First issue of the Lowell Offering is published.
1840s Ten Hour Movement
1840s Irish workers begin to find employment in the textile mills.
1841 Louis Bergeron family become the first recorded French-Canadian family to settle in Lowell.
1841 Lowell Cemetery is established
1841 "Vox Populi", newspaper, issued
1842 Charles Dickens visit.
1842-43 Nathaniel Wright, Mayor
1843 Hugh Cummiskey, Irish immigrant, is elected to the Common Council.
1843 Establishment of Dr. J. C. Ayer's laboratory.
1843 April 1, Dr. William Graves dies.
1843 June 19, President Tyler's visit
1843 The Missionary Association is formed
1844 City paves streets at public expense
1844 Lowell Female Labor Reform Association is formed.
1844 The City Library opens.
1844 February 16, Zadock Rogers dies.
1844-45 Uriah Boyden and James B. Francis develop inward-flow turbine. Turbines quickly replace breastwheels in Lowell's mills.
1844-45 Elisha Huntington, Mayor
1845 Proprietors of Locks & Canals is reorganized
1845 Incorporation of Lowell Machine Shop.
1845 Stony Brook Railroad is incorporated
1845 Middlesex North District Medical Society organized.
1845 Daily Courier is published
1845 Pentucket Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons re-organized, eleven years after the surrender of its charter under the pressure of the anti - Masonic movement.
1845 British utopian Robert Owens visits.
1845 Whittier's "Stranger in Lowell" and Miles' "Lowell as It Was and as It Is," are published.
Late 1840s Ben Butler begins his political career; supported by Irish Democrats.
1846 Lowell population 29,127
1846 The Lowell and Lawrence Railroad is incorporated.
1846 Nathan Crosby succeeds Judge Locke in the Police Court
1846-48 Jefferson Bancroft, Mayor
1847 "Mill girls" donate clothing and the City raises $1990.00 for Irish famine relief.
1847 St. Mary's church dedicated March 7.
1847 June 30, President Polk's visit.
1847 September 12, Patrick T.  Jackson dies
1847 The Appleton Bank is incorporated
1847 Northern Canal is completed on Thanksgiving Day.
1848 The Salem and Lowell Railroad is incorporated
1848 September 16, Abraham Lincoln's visit.
1848 Death of John R. Adams
1849 Battle of Suffolk Bridge - fighting between Irish from Cork and Connaught with those from northern Irish counties.
1849 The Lynde Hill Reservoir of Locks And Canals, is constructed in Belvidere
1849 November 19, death of Edmund Lee Breton
1849-50 Josiah B. French, Mayor
1850 Annual production of 50,000 miles of cloth makes Lowell the largest industrial center in the US. Population of 33,000 is second largest in Massachusetts.
1850 Gas is introduced
1850 County Court House is erected
1850 Prescott Bank is incorporated
1850s Arrival of Jews from Germany
1851 Centralville annexed to Lowell
1851 The Daily News is published
1851 April 21, death of Dr. Abner H. Brown
1851 September 16, first fair of the Middlesex Mechanics Association
1851 James H. B. Ayer, Mayor
1852 Nativists attack Irish girls' school in Lowell
1852 May 6, Kossuth's visit
1852 June, death of Alexander Wright and Otis H. Morrill
1852 Elisha Huntington, Mayor
1852 First big flood after Great Gate was completed. Gate was dropped to save the city.
1853 St. Patrick's Church rebuilt.
1853 Belvidere Woolen Company is organized.
1853 Successful strike at Lowell Machine Shop
1853 July 12, Samuel Appleton dies.
1853 Wamesit Bank incorporated
1853 Huntington Hall is built
1853 November 10, Judge Locke dies.
1853-54 Sewall G. Mack, Mayor
1854 Know Nothing Party candidate is elected mayor on an anti-foreigner ticket. Disbands the Jackson Musketeers (Ben Butler's militia)
1854 Natives of Maine living in Lowell hold their first social reunion.
1854 Merchants Bank incorporated
1854 Death of Rev. U. C. Burnap,  Zaccheus Shedd, and P. O. Richmond.
1855 Irish constitute 27.6% of Lowell's population.
1855 J. Hiss & "Snelling Committee" investigate Sisters of Notre Dame
1855 Middlesex North Agricultural Society incorporated.
1855 Death of Rev. Timothy O'Brien, Dr. Elisha Bartlett, and Abbott Lawrence
1855 Ambrose Lawrence, Mayor
1856 The Jail is built.
1856 The Daily Citizen is published
1856
1856 Elisha Huntington, Mayor
1857 Economic depression
1857 January 16, Thomas H. Benton's visit.
1857 September 10, second fair of Middlesex Mechanics Association
1857 Stephen Mansur, Mayor
1858 November 5, Nathaniel Wright dies.
1858 Elisha Huntington, Mayor
1859 Death of John Adams, Alanson J. Richmond, Jane E. Locke, Samuel W. Browne, and Samuel J. Varney.
1859 James Cook, Mayor
1860 Lowell population 36,827
1860 January 12, Joseph Butterfield dies
1860 March 30, Rhoda M. Wilkins dies by poison
1860 June 19, murder of Elizabeth A. Moore by Bryant Moore
1860 July 14, Nicholas G. Norcross dies
1860 July 26, General Butler is silenced in a Democratic caucus in Huntington Hall on returning from the Charleston Convention.
1860-61 Benjamin C. Sargeant, Mayor
1861-65 Recruitment of Irish and other foreign-born Americans by the Union Army. Cotton mills sell cotton and close for long periods; mills rebuilt and expanded; mill operatives out of work.
1861 Hospice begun to provide health care for the Irish.
1861 April 6, Captain G. V. Fox of Lowell attempts to relieve Fort Sumter.
1861 April 19, collision between the Lowell Militia and the Secessionists in Baltimore, in which Ladd, Whitney, Needham, and Taylor are killed, first Civil War casualties
1861 April 20, Soldier's Aid Association formed - the first in the United States
1861 July 14, Nathan Appleton dies
1861 September 24, visit of Prince Jerome Napoleon and Princess Clotilde.
1862 April 3, death of Surgeon E. K. Sanborn
1862 May 24, death of Z. B. Caverly
1862 August 9, Captain E. G. Abbott and seven of his company killed in the battle of Cedar Mountain
1862 August 29, Lieutenant J. R. Darracott killed at the second Bull Run
1862 October 5, death of Captain T. A. Crowley
1862 November, death of I. W. Beard and Charles L. Tilden
1862 December 13, Lieutenant Thomas Claffey killed before Petersburg
1862-64 Hocum Hosford, Mayor
1863 Incorporation of the Lowell Horse Railroad
1863 January 12, return of General Butler from New Orleans and reception in Huntington Hall
1863 February 25, Soldier's Fair
1863 April 2, death of Stephen Mansur
1863 April 30, Captain George Bush killed at Chancellorsville
1863 May 1, Captain Salem S. Marsh killed at Chancellorsville
1863 June 3, Lieutenant Solon A. Perkins killed at Clinton, Louisiana
1863 July 3, Captains John Murkland and David W. Roche killed at Gettysburg
1863 October 6, Judge Advocate A. W. Farr and seventy-seven others captured and put to death by Quantrell's guerrillas in Kansas
1864 January 8, death of Dr. John C. Dalton
1864 April 14, Lieutenant Charles B. Wilder of the navy killed in the Nansemond River, Virginia.
1864 May 6, Major H. L. Abbott killed at the battle of the Wilderness.
1864 May 31, Captain L. C. Mumford killed at Cold Harbor.
1864 June 7, death of J. H. B. Ayer
1864 July 8, death of John Avery
1864 October 20, death of John P. Robinson
1864 First National Bank incorporated.
1865 Samuel P. Marin is employed by the textile companies to recruit French-Canadians.
1865 January 28, final return of General Butler from duty in the army. He "rises to explain" in Huntington Hall.
1865 June 17, dedication of the monument to Ladd and Whitney.
1865 June 22, death of Joshua Mather
1865 December 11, death of Dr. Elisha Huntington.
1865-66 Josiah G. Peabody, Mayor
1866 Music Hall opened
1866 February 13, death of Dr. James Thompson
1866 July 2, death of Horace Howard
1867 St. John's Hospital is founded, in part as a response to the health needs of the immigrant population.
1867 Celina Lavallee, composer of Canadian national anthem, married in Lowell.
1867 July 4, Statue of Victory erected
1867 Death of Samuel A. Brown, John Aiken, Dr. Benjamin Skelton, Ransom Reed, Dr. J. M. Allen, Joshua Swan, David Hyde, Abner W. Buttrick, Caleb Crosby, S. S. Seavey and Charles A. Babcock.
1867 Young Men's Christian Association organized.
1867 Old Ladie's Home established
1867 September 10, third fair of the Middlesex Mechanics Association
1867 October 8, General Sheridan's visit.
1867-68 George F. Richardson, Mayor
1868 Scottish immigrant Alexander Cumnock becomes Agent of the Boott Mills
1868 Old Residents' Historical Association is formed, signaling a growing interest in local history.
1868 Lucien Lager and Father Andre Marie Garin of Quebec arrive in Lowell, April 18
1868 St. Joseph's Church is founded to serve the growing French-Canadian community.
1868 First Lowell celebration of St. Jean-Baptiste Day; musical soiree in cellar of St. Joseph's.
1868 B. F. Butler Post, No. 42, G. A. R. established
1868 Cowley's History of Lowell published
1868 Memorial Day first observed in Lowell
1868 December 4, General Grant's visit
1868 Death of Dr. Samuel L. Dana, Samuel Burbank, Adam Putnamand Silas Tyler, Jr.
1869
1869 Lowell chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians is founded.
1869 Lowell Hosiery Company incorporated
1869 Death of John Nesmith, John Wright, Dr. George A Whitmore, James G. Carney, Joseph Tapley, J. R. V. Coburn, and John Sullivan (aged 102)
1869-70 Jonathan P. Folsom, Mayor
1870 Lowell's first French language play, "Le Proscrit," is performed at Huntington Hall.
1870 United States Cartridge Company opens
1870 Death of Thomas Nesmith, Rev. Amos  Blanchard, Linus Child, B. C. Sargent, Dr. J. P. Jewett, John F. Rogers, Jesse Fox, Charles F. Bassett, H. G. F. Corliss, Charlotte Butler and Ellen Tague (aged 102)
1871 Hugh Commiskey dies, at his home on Adams Street, at age of 82, December 12.
1871 Small pox epidemic, causing 178 deaths and 580 cases
1871 Central Savings Bank organized
1871 Fire Alarm Telegraph established
1871 Framingham Railroad opened for travel
1871 Death of Sidney Spaulding
1871 ec. 9, Grand Duke Alexis' visit
1871 Edward F. Sherman, Mayor
1871-77 Father Garin supervises construction of Immaculate Conception Church.
1872 People's Club organized
1872 Japanese Embassy's visit
1872 Pawtucket Bridge finished
1872 Water Works established
1872 Death of William North, E. F. Sherman, George Brownell, and Oliver M.Whipple.
1872 Josiah G. Peabody, Mayor
1873 Morning Times issued, morning edition
1873 Young Women's Home, later the Ayer Home for Young Women and Children established
1873 Death of Fisher A. Hildreth and Dr. John W. Graves.
1873-75 Francis Jewett, Mayor
1874 Samuel P. Marin is elected to the City Council, the first French-Canadian to reach public office.
1874 Fiftieth anniversary of organization of St. Anne's celebrated
1874 Fire at Wamesit Mills, loss $40,000.
1874 G. A. R. Hall dedicated
1874 Pawtucketville and Middlesex Village annexed to Lowell
1874 Kitson Machine Company incorporated
1874 Lowell and Andover Railroad opened for travel
1874 Death of Rev. John  O'Brien and Homer Bartlett
1875 Strike by male mule spinners is unsuccessful when they refuse to make alliance with immigrant and women workers.
1875 French-Canadian immigrant Joseph L. Chalifoux opens his first clothing store. his family would later open the Chalifoux Block, then Lowell's largest department store.
1875 Samuel P. Marin builds the first tenement block in what will become Little Canada.
1875 Knights of Pythias dedicate new hall.
1875 King Kalakaua's visit
1875 Death of Tappan Wentworth
1876 First Portuguese boardinghouse in Lowell.
1876 Fiftieth anniversary of First Congregational Church
1876 Fiftieth anniversary of First Baptist Church
1876 Semi-centennial celebration of Lowell as a town.
1876 June 8, Emperor Dom Pedro's visit.
1876 Reform Club formed
1876 Death of Albert Wheeler and Josiah B. French
1876-77 Charles A. Stott, Mayor
1877 The French Congregational Church is founded.
1877 Fiftieth anniversary of Universalist Church celebrated
1877 Shaw Stocking Company formed.
1877 Death of Jonathan Tyler, Artemas L. Brooks and Drs. Harlan Pillsbury, David Wells, and D. P. Gage.
1877 J. C. Ayer Company incorporated.
1877-79 Benjamin Butler Representative in Congress
1878 Lowell Sun founded; originally the voice of the Irish community.
1878 Lowell Art Association formed, primarily by Yankees
1878 First annual regatta of Vesper Boat Club held.
1878 Electric light in Merrimack Mills.
1878 Lowell District Telephone Company formed.
1878 Cowley's History of the County of Middlesex published in the Middlesex County Manual.
1878 July 3, James C. Ayer died.
1878-79 John A. G. Richardson, Mayor
1879 Morning Mail issued
1879 Unitarian Church celebrates fiftieth anniversary
1879 Death of Samuel Batchelder
1879 United States Cord Company established
1880s United Cartridge Company recruits Swedish workers.
1880s Arrival of the first Greek and Polish immigrants in Lowell.
1880 Lowell population 59,485; 39% are foreign born.

 

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