The Library and its dedicated volunteers are presently indexing the 8,000 or so Proof of birth records. The hope is the indexing will be done and on line in the spring. It is a wonderful collection and the Library very much wants to share its rich detail with the public. As a hint of what is to come I will show a few images of these records over the weeks to come. About 2% contain photos of the children who came to Lawrence from about 1910 to 1930. These images are being scanned and these are two examples.
June 30, 1913 was the date of a preventable tragedy in the City of Lawrence. Bathouse number 1 was located on a “runway” wharf on the north side of the Merrimack River. It was close to the dam and other bathouses.
It was opening day and scores of boys from all around were poised to jump into the water. At 2:00 PM just as the crowd were ready to start the summer the runway collapsed. There was immediate panic of struggling children. The rescue began immediately by passersby jumping in to save the victims. Henry Hinchcliffe aged 16 was awarded the Carnegie Medal for Bravery. Lyman Parker and Charles Patterson crossed the river from the Lawrence Canoe Club on the opposite shore and proceeded to dvie into the water to help. John Keefe and Police Sargent Timothy J. O’Brien assisted with resuscitation and first aid.
By sunset the crowd at the river bank knew that both survivors and victims had be recovered. The names of the dead are as follows:
Secundo Allegbro, 10 years
William Bolster, 10 years
Jospeh Belanger, 8 years
John Cote, 8 years
Ronaldo Gaudette, 10 years
Joseph Hennessey, 15 years
Roland JOnes, 9 Years
Joseph McCann, 15 years
Flower Pinta, 11 years
William Thornton, 10 years
Michael Woitena, 14 years
The City closed down the bathouses shortly thereafter. Families of the dead were compensated $100 each to defray funeral expenses. The inquest into the fatalities found teh accident was due to insufficiency of the railing under the weight of the boys.
There is a new exhibit on the walls of Pizza King at the corner of Loring and Salem Streets. Researcher Christine Lewis has been documenting the boxing scene of Lawrence for many years. Hours of web searches, interviews, microfilm trawling, and bar hopping have finally led to a fun and interesting display of boxing memories.
Lawrence, MA at one time rivaled its upriver neighbor Lowell as a boxing city, but for many reasons the story of boxing in Lawrence has been overlooked and undersold. Small industrial cities were places where our grandparents got their start on the path toward becoming Americans. As these small industrial cities experience a changing of the guard, much of their history is disappearing. Long gone are the special barrooms that would enshrine the hometown boxing heroes. Sportswriters wrote detailed and highly personal stories about the small city boxers and the men in the business-of-boxing infrastructure. While major sports media outlets like ESPN and Deadspin now provide us with a steady stream of stories and gossip around national athletes, nothing can compare to the long-form journalism of the early 20th century, where, traced over time, lives of these men read more like Greek myths than celebrity tabloids. This exhibit focuses on the early years from 1900 through the mid 1930s. So much of who we once were as a culture can be read through the stories of men like George “The Marine” LaBlanche who died broke in Lawrence. The city leaders passed the hat in order to save him from a pauper’s grave. Lawrencian Tommy “Kloby” Corcoran’s NE title fight with Eddie Shevlin brought over 12,000 fans to the city of Lawrence. When Jimmy Cagney needed to hone his street cred, he hung out with Lawrence’s Andy Callahan. Amateur boxer Mike Tardugno earned an NCAA boxing scholarship that took him through Georgetown and Columbia where he graduated with a law degree. His brother Angie was the 1933 bantam weight AAU champion.
Christine chose the Pizza King in Lawrence for the first exhibit because the King, John Sapienza has deep family roots in the city. She felt that his customers would appreciate and possibly recognize some of these early names. And he’s the last of a dying breed of stand alone pizza men. She certainly has tried a less traditional venue, one that would encourage interaction. This is only the beginning. Watch Queen City MA for more boxing news and stop into Pizza King for a slice of calzone and boxing.
The Bolta Company was a company that manufactured molded plastic products, plastic sheeting, and hard rubber products. It was located in the 1940s and 50s at 151 Canal St. in Lawrence, Massachusetts. It started out as Bolta Rubber Company (1930).
The Friends of the Lawrence Public Library welcome readers, union organizers, and activists to join us in reading eight books to commemorate the Centennial of the 1912 Bread and Roses textile workers’ strike! From September through April we will be reading a selection of fiction and non-fiction books that will take us into the labor turmoil and progressive politics of the early 20th century. The authors of the first and last selections are expected to attend. The final book, Bread and Roses, too!, will be part of a city-wide read in March and April. We hope to have many of the volumes available for sale at either the Library or at the Andover Book Store.
There is a choice of two dates, a Monday (6:00 PM) and a Thursday (3:00 PM), for discussion. These groups will meet on the 3rd floor of the Lawrence Public Library at 51 Lawrence Street. Please contact Louise Sandberg at 978-620-3606 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be including a list of other material to read or watch over the next few months. I am expecting Bruce Watson, the author of the first book, at our first meeting, September 26th.
The Friends of the Lawrence Public Library sponsored a book club in 2004/05 and has completed six seasons. Topics covered were: Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Nobel Prize winners, Bread and Roses Strike, the art of the Novella, and Banned Books.
Recommendation: The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A good follow up to Strange Fruit.
20September 27, 30 Andrew Coburn Goldilocks
October 25, 28 Per Petterson Out stealing horses
November 15, 18 John Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer
December 13, 16 Tatiana de Rosnay Sarah’s key
January 24, 27 Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa Daughters of the stone
February 14, 17 Kazuo Ishiguro. Never Let Me Go
March 21, 24 Jack Kerouac The Town and the City
April 25, 29 P.G. Wodehouse Young men in spats
Movies we recommend:
An education – education of a teenager in 1960s London
Afghan Star – Afghan American Idol
Departures – Japanese cellist turned casketer
Children of Heaven – Iranian film. A real jewel!
Earth – Deepa Mehta film about Indian partition
Fire – Deepa Mehta film about women in India
Water – Deepa Mehta film about a girl widow
Monsoon Wedding – Indian wedding not to be missed!
Food, Inc. – Don’t watch if you want to eat dinner tonight.
Vinterkyss – Swedish/Norwegian drama set in the arctic night.
The band’s visit – Palestinian band/Israeli village, very well done.
The dead girl – six stories, one corpse
Outrageous – Closeted gay politicians, for liberal political junkies.
Border Cafe – Iranian woman strives for her own independence.
Capitalism: a love story – Michael Moore’s take on economics
Pirate Radio – Great music from the 60s
Baader-Meinhof complex – German film about activism in Germany druing the late 60s and early 70s
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – new Swedish movie, worth the wait
The White Ribbon – German film set in Northern German village Pre World War I
Mother – South Korean film about an extraordinarily excessive mother
The stoning of Soraya M. – more brutality against women
The Cow – 1969 Iranian classic. LPL owns this. Rceommneded, but this film does not show humanity in a good light.
This photograph is in the form of a cabinet card: 20.5 x 15 cm on cream stock with a gilded edge of 25 x 20 cm. It is the gift of George H. Farrell, 58 Thorndike St., Lawrence in July of 1991. Printed on the front below the image “Photo by Geo. Leck, Lawrence, Mass. Balloon ascension by Geo E. Greenleaf of 49 Union St. Boston, Mass., July 4th, 1890, at 5 P.M., Lawrence, Mass.”
These papers were donated to the Irish Foundation and the Ancient Order of Hibernians by the compiler, John Balco. David Burke, one time president of the AOH, knew that Mr. Balco was writing on an Irish topic and asked Balco to donate the research materials attendant to his thesis to the AOH.
The collection is composed of material collected for John Balco to write his Master’s thesis New Perspectives on the Fenian Movement in America at Fitchburg State College in 2009. The topics covered are the Irish-American experience in 19th century America, the Fenian movement, and Irish participation in the US Civil War. The material comes from copies of journal articles, copies of chapters of books, and computer printouts.
This collection consists of two black and white glossy 8×10 photographs. The first photo shows four tombstones from the Bridgman family: William H. died Nov. 14, 1874, Sarah G, died Oct. 24, 1853, Almira H. died Aug. 13, 1851, and Sophia B. July 13, 1851. The latter were all wives of W.H. Bridgman.
The Library also has a postcard photo of the Hearse House and a four volume index of the graves created by the Betsy Ross Chapter of the DAR that covers the years 1847-1899.
Bellevue Cemetery was created as a municipal cemetery in 1847 the year the town of Lawrence was incorporated. It is made up of 100 acres with a separate lot for veterans.
William H. Bridgman was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire in 1812. He moved to Boston at age twelve and was employed as a clerk. He moved to the new town of Lawrence in 1847. He ran a grocery business on the first story of “Bridgeman Hall” which at the time was the only hall in the town. He later went into the grain and flour business and finally finished in the retail clothing line. He married four times; the first three were sisters, Sarah, Almira, and Sophie, who all died within a year of each other and all of 37 years of age. He died April 14, 1874. His fourth wife, Martha, survived him.
There is one photograph measuring 35 x 28 cm. The picture has David Burke on the left and Jack Lynch, Prime Minister of Ireland, on the right. It takes place in Dublin, Ireland at an International Ancient Order of Hibernians meeting in 1972.
David R. Burke was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1937. He attended the Lawrence Public Schools and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1959. David R. Burke married the former Patricia Jurewicz and they are the parents of a son, Kevin Patrick, who is a Middle School Teacher in the Lawrence Public Schools. Mr. Burke was employed with the Lawrence Housing Authority for 38 years, retiring in 2000. He has been affiliated with a variety of organizations including the Irish American Cultural Institute, the Boston Chapter of Comhaltas Ceoltoir Eireann, the Men of Saint Patrick, The Holy Family Hospital Men’s Guild, the Irish Foundation, the Irish Cultural Center, and the Boston Chapter of the Eire Society. But by far the most significant organization Mr. Burke has belonged to is the Rev. James T. O’Reilly OSA Division 8 Ancient Order of Hibernians in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He has been a member since 1969 and was selected as Division 8 AOH’s Irishman of the Year in 1975, and in 1973 he served as Grand Marshall of Division 8′s Annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. In 1999, Brother Burke received the Irish Cultural Center’s Diplomat Award. For his work on behalf of the AOH, David R. Burke in the fall of 2003 was awarded National Life Membership in the Ancient Order of Hibernians by the National Board of the AOH.
David R. Burke has served on a number of Division 8′s Committees and has served in both elective and appointive offices. Presently he is Division 8′s Vice President, Chairman of the Freedom for All Ireland Committee, Division Historian, Cultural Committee Chairman and chairs Division 8′s Annual Fundraiser for the National Board’s Christmas Appeal. In 1972, David R. Burke chaired Division 8′s Fundraiser for the Political Prisoners Dependents Fund, and as a result of his efforts Brother Burke presented at the 1972 AOH National Convention in Dublin a check from his Division for $2,500.David Burke also chaired Division 8 AOH’s “Au Gorta Mor” Memorial that was dedicated on May 6, 2006.Over $40,000 was raised to help make this Memorial become a reality.
David R. Burke was a Past President of the Essex County Board AOH (1973 – 1975) and Massachusetts State Board AOH (1991 – 1993), and over the last 38 years has served on many County and State Board Committees, including Chairman of the Freedom for All Ireland Committee. On the National Board of the AOH, besides serving as an Editor of the Hibernian Digest (1970 – 1974), he has been elected to five terms as an AOH National Director. (1978 – 1980; 1980 – 1982; 1998 – 2000; 2000 – 2002 and 2004 – 2006) Mr. Burke has served on the National Board in various other capacities including: National Chairman of Charities and Missions and National Buy Irish Chairman.
In 1991, David Burke suggested to the AOH National Board that the all proceeds from the Annual Christmas Appeal be presented in person in Ireland. He accompanied then AOH National President George Clough in 1991 & 1992 to Dublin and in 1993 to Belfast to help make these presentations. From 1994 until 2005, David R. Burke along with other National Board Officers and Hibernians, has continued to bring the National Board’s Christmas Appeal Donation. He also has taken part in the Annual Bloody Sunday Commemorative. In 1994, David R. Burke also chaired the National Board’s trip to Ireland marking the 100th Anniversary of the LAOH, and in 1996 he chaired the National Board’s trip to Ireland marking the historical meeting between the AOH in America and the Board of Erin. Brother Burke has taken great pride in making the arrangements in Ireland annually since 1991 for the Celtic Crosses and Harps that have been awarded at National Conventions and to State and County Boards, and Divisions, who contribute a minimum of $1,000 to the National Board’s Annual Christmas Appeal. Brother Burke also made arrangements for the visiting Brothers who were in Belfast for these annual presentations to visit the Political Prisoners in Long Kesh. David R. Burke was also instrumental in establishing the 10 Club for the National Board’s Christmas Appeal as well. The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America, Inc. awarded David R. Burke of Lawrence, Massachusetts the 2007 Recipient of the Sean MacBride Humanitarian Award. The Award Presentation took place at the National President’s Dinner at the Martin Center, Stonehill College, on November 10, 2007.
Mr. Burke was a Trustee of the Lawrence Public Library where he was instrumental in establishing the Irish Room, which has the largest collection of Irish Books in New England, if not the on East Coast for a Public Library. The Irish Room specializes in books and materials from Northern Ireland. He died August 2009.
John Mary “Jack” Lynch (15 August 1917 – 20 October 1999) was the fourth Prime Minister of Ireland, serving two terms in office; 1966 to 1973 and 1977 to 1979.
Lynch was first elected to Dial Eireann as a TD for Cork in 1948, and was re-elected at each general election until his retirement in 1981. He previously served as Minister for Finance (1965–1966), Minister for Industry & Commerce (1959–1965), Minister for Education (1957–1959), Minister for Gaeltacht (1957) and as a Parlimentary Secretary. He was the third leader of Fianna Flail from 1966 until 1979, succeeding the hugely influential Sean Lemass. Lynch was the last Fianna Fáil leader to secure (in 1977) an overall majority in the Dail.
Prior to his political career Lynch had a successful sporting career as a dual player of Gaelic games. He played hurling with his local club Glen Rovers and with the Cork senior inter-county team from 1936 until 1950. Lynch also played Gaelic football with his local club St. Nicholas and with the Cork senior inter-county team from 1936 until 1946. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest dual players of all-time.
Lynch’s status as one of the all-time greats is self-evident. In a senior inter-county career that lasted for fourteen years he won five All-Ireland titles, seven Munster titles, three National Hurling League titles and seven Railway Cup titles. In a senior inter-county football career that lasted for ten years Lynch won one All-Ireland title, two Munster titles and one Railway Cup title. Lynch was later named at midfield on the GAA Hurling League of the Century .