People of British ancestry settled the area that would become the City of Lawrence. They were the first owners, supervisors, and shop keepers. The Irish were the first immgrant group to follow starting out as laborers, moving up into city government and supervisory postions. The next on the scene were french Canadian and Germans. The Germans in particular came to the Merrimack Valley because many of them were already skilled in textile production. They would eventually found churches, athletic, social, and literary organizations. In this new acquisition shown here, Arthur Otto Wolf and Helene Minna Hilbert, show that they were wed June 8, 1910 at the German Presbyterian Church.
The final meeting of the Lawrence Public Library book discussion group will take place April 22nd 6:00 PM at El Taller, 275 Essex St., Lawrence, MA. The author will be attending. The public is welcome.
This chapbook is a collaboration between the Library and Cambridge College. The short story, Play of the Game, by Al Basile, has been translated into Spanish and both the Spanish and original English are in the book. The story was first published in a series of books of Red Sox fiction compiled and edited by Adam Pachter. The primary translator is Esteban Corniel. The idea came from Mark Schorr, Cambridge College professor and Robert Frost Foundation president. This again would be another Lawrence City Read, like but also different from the city read of last year, Bread and Roses, too! by Katherine Paterson. Cambridge College liked the idea and financed the effort.
Finally the cover is the creation of Denise Audy, showing a graphic of the “play of the game”. The resulting finished book, 200 copies, was collated, folded, and stapled together by library staff and volunteers. You can find copies at both Lawrence libraries, El Taller, and Cambridge College. For more information please contact Louise Sandberg at email@example.com. Take a look at the article in the Eagle-Tribune.
Join the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library in learning about the beautiful and diverse birds to be found in Lawrence’s own Den Rock Park as well as the surprising bird life to be found in the more urban areas of Lawrence. Susan Hegarty, the author of The Birds of Den Rock Park and Ben Padilla, from Groundwork Lawrence, will be presenting a slide show at the main library, 51 Lawrence Street, at 6:30 April 16, 2013.
Den Rock Park is an 80-acre conservation area located on the border between Lawrence and Andover. It is named for the rock formation shown above and was once slated to be a cemetery. It is now an urban wilderness with 4 miles of trails and dozens of species of birds. Native American artifacts have been found in the park.
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 Library owns 114 linear feet of LFD material which includes: volumes called Statistics of Fires includes address of fire, alarms, occupied, and number of residents, cause of fire, dept. under command of, number of men on duty at fire, apparatus responded, equipment used, extinguished by, losses, and remarks; Fire logs; two payroll books; and records of alarms.
In the mid 1840s the first fire engine house was built in what was to become the City of Lawrence. This one storey structure was located at the corner of Essex and Turnpike (Broadway) Streets where the Brechin Block (southeast corner) used to be. A hand engine named “Essex” purchased by the Essex Company was stored there. This engine was manned by Essex Company employees until it was sold to the town. The engine was transferred to a wooden structure on Morton Street that eventually became a fire station. Later this house would be replaced by Engine 4’s house at the corner of Lowell and Oxford Streets.
Lawrence officially became a town in 1847 at which time the town purchased two more hand engines and two small wooden buildings were built for their storage. One was built on Newbury Street but was removed to Garden Street. Niagara 2 (originally called “Rough and Ready”) was housed. This building again was moved to Union Street and sold. The second fire house was erected on Elm Street between Lawrence and White Streets and held Syphon 3. The building was late moved to Oak Street. In 1850 a fourth hand engine was located at Turnpike and Crosby streets in South Lawrence and was known as the Tiger Fire Association. An act was enacted May 10, 1848 by the Senate and House of Representatives, in general court, to establish a Fire department for the Town of Lawrence.
The present department headquarters on Lowell Street has been the approximate location of an engine house from before 1853 when Lawrence became a city. Known as the Central Fire House, it was occupied by the Hook and Ladder, City Hose, and Lawrence Protective Companies. In 1854 the building was removed to Amesbury Street at the rear of the FirstBaptistChurch until 1864 when the brick fire house was built at Concord and Franklin Streets.
Before 1860 Lawrence had no hose towers. Some had box stoves and small bell towers. The first brick fire house was constructed at the corner of Haverhill and White streets in June 1856 into which hand engine 3 moved. Bonney Light Battery also moved in 1865. The South Lawrence house on Broadway occupied by Engine 3 was built in 1869 and the Garden Street house holding Engine 2 was built in 1871. Ladder 4 went into the brick house at the corner of Franklin and Concord Streets built in 1876. In 1922 the LFD turned the house over to the American Legion. Later houses were built as follows: Engine 4 Oxford Street 1910; Central Fire Station Lowell Street 1907; Engine 6 Howard Street 1896; Engine 7 Park Street 1896; Engine 8 Ames Street 1900; and Engine 9 Bailey Street 1908.
A welcoming gateway to the city of Lawrence, the bold red and white letters spelling P-I-Z-Z-A K-I-N-G (Corner of Salem and Loring Streets) break the monotony of the dull urban backdrop. For over 4 decades, those seeking sustenance in the form of cornmeal crusted-pizza or delicious meat pies have been beating a path to this comforting landmark. The Sapienza family brought the business to Lawrence in 1966 from its original location on Revere Beach. The reigning Pizza King, John Sapienza made his first pizza at the age of 9, it took him an hour. Now able to make a pie in one minute with both eyes closed, Mr. Sapienza keeps ‘em coming back for his great food and a bit of Lawrence sass.
Noted here John Sapienza is donating funds collected at his restaurant to the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library by way of Louise Sandberg, archivist and librarian.
The Friends of the Lawrence Public Library are offering original prints of 1884 ward maps of Lawrence. Please contact the Friends or Louise Sandberg firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-620-3606. The maps are available for wards 1-5. This covers all of North Lawrence. Ward 1 is Prospect Hill and Ward 5 is Tower Hill. The maps can be purchased for $5 payable to the Friends of the Lawrence Public Library. There are also a number of other maps availabe for purchase.
Hadassah was established in 1912 in New York City by Henrietta Szold and the Daughters of Zion, a women’s study group. The goal was to promote the Zionist ideal through education, public health initiatives, and the training of nurses in what was then the Palestine region of the Ottoman Empire. Szold served as the first president. Hadassah and chapters soon opened in Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, and Boston. At the founders’ meeting that coincided with the Jewish holiday of Purim, the group took the name Hadassah, the Hebrew name of the biblical heroine Esther, central figure in the celebration of Purim.
Szold was the driving spirit behind the establishment of the first medical school in Palestine, as well as the country’s first Tipat Halav mother and child clinics, the first hospital in Tel Aviv and the two Hadassah hospitals in Jerusalem.
The founding date for the Lawrence chapter of Hadassah, now, Hadassah of the MerrimackValley, was January 19, 1925 with signatures by Henrietta Szold and Zip Szold on the charter.
At the beginning (1845) there was the Merrimack River. The Essex Company wanted to build a new industrial city. It chose a section of the river called Bodwell’s Falls where there was a drop in elevation to build what would become the Great Stone Dam. This dam was a marvel of engineering at the time. It was made entirely of granite and measured 900 feet long and 35 feet wide at its base. Land from both Andover and Methuen were taken on either side of the river. These pieces would become north and south Lawrence. The north canal was dug at the same time as the building of the dam. Mills began to appear along the river and the canal. One of the early mills located on the north canal was the Pemberton Mill. It collapsed in 1860 and caught on fire, but was rebuilt that same year.
The City first grew up on the north side. Broadway ran north and south from Andover through Lawrence to Methuen. It was originally called Turnpike Street and was part of the early Medford-Andover Turnpike. The bridge on Broadway had several names throughout the years: Andover Bridge, the Falls Bridge, and the Broadway Bridge. Later it would be renamed the O’Leary Bridge after a hero of the 1stWorld War. The major commercial thoroughfare in Lawrence was Essex Street named after the county where the city is located.
The Lawrence Common was a gift to the Town of Lawrence by the Essex Company. It is situated in north Lawrence and bounded by Haverhill, Lawrence, Jackson, and Common Streets. The park is 17 acres and is now officially Campagnone Common named after three brothers who lost their lives during World War II. On the Common are two areas named after famous Lawrencians: The Robert Frost Fountain is named after the famous poet and Lawrence High School graduate of 1892 and is directly across from City Hall, and the Bernstein Stage is toward the middle of the park and is named after Leonard Bernstein, famous orchestra conductor and composer. The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument is also in the middle of the Common and is dedicated to the men of Lawrence who lost their lives in the American Civil War. City Hall overlooks the Common and is the seat of city government. It was originally called the Town House when Lawrence was still a town.
Just east on Common Street at the corner of Jackson Street is Grace Episcopal Church, the city’s oldest church structure.
Another church that is both very old (1872) and large is St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.
The Everett Mill runs along Union Street from Canal Street to General Street. This is where the Bread and Roses Strike started in January of 1912. The Lawrence Machine Shop is the building directly behind the Everett Mill. It is made of stone and was originally built and run by the Essex Company. The Union Street Bridge was first called the Lawrence Bridge and connected both sides of North and South Union Street across the Merrimack River. It is also called the Duck Bridge due to the fact that a mill that wove duck cloth was located nearby. The Essex Company offices are located at the corner of Union and Essex Streets. This building is now owned by the Lawrence History Center. Lawrence Heritage State Park is housed in an old boarding house at the corner of Canal and Jackson Streets. Inside is a museum about the city and meeting rooms. The newest institution located in this area is the Immigration and Naturalization Center where naturalization ceremonies take place. Lawrence General Hospital is the only remaining hospital in Lawrence.
The State Armory was located on Methuen Street and served as the home of the National Guard in Lawrence. It was torn down in the 1970’s. The Bay State Building is the tallest building in the city. At the time it was built (1904) it was the tallest building north of Boston. It is at the corner of Lawrence and Common Streets.
Malden Mills was the original Arlington Mills. Its several buildings straddle the Methuen/Lawrence line. Presently the Malden Mills produces Polartec fabric. Stevens Pond is located behind the mill.
Prospect Hill is located in the East part of North Lawrence. On it is a water tower and Storrow Park, named after Lawrence’s first mayor. On the west side of North Lawrence is Tower Hill. On it is the Tower Hill Water Tower.
Its observation deck is the highest point in the city. On a clear day one can see 60 miles. Bellevue Cemetery is just below the water tower and is owned by the City. The May Street Spring delivered fresh spring water to city residents. It was available to the public until recently. The Spicket River starts in Big Island Pond in New Hampshire feeding into the Merrimack River in North Lawrence. The plains used to refer to the flat residential area north of the Campagnone Common.
The Four-theaters-in-a-row became a place of interest in Ripley’s believe-it-or-not. This entertainment area featuring a string of movie theaters located next to each other was located on the west side of Broadway. All five theaters (one was across the street) have been torn down. Just to the west of Broadway on Water Street where the Boys and Girls Club is now was the location of O’Sullivan Park which was a base ball field. The Lawrence Millionaires played in the New England League at this field until the 1940’s.
The Old High School is not the oldest Lawrence High School, but both the other buildings are gone now. The building is still standing and is used for a number of Lawrence public school students. The original building is located at the corner of Lawrence and Haverhill Streets.
The Rollins School sits up on Prospect Hill and has a beautiful clock tower. It is named after Civil War Hero, John R. Rollins, who was also a former mayor. The Oliver School on Haverhill Street is named after another early mayor, Henry K. Oliver.
The Old Library Building was designed by George Adams, noted local architect. The building still stands on the corner of Franklin and Haverhill Streets. The present Lawrence Public Library was built in 1973. It holds 200,000 volumes and is directly across Lawrence street from the Old High School.
Iglesia de Dios is in the building that was the original Lawrence Street Congregational Church. It is diagonally across the street from the the main branch of the Lawrence Public Library.
The Casey Bridge connects Amesbury Street on the north with Parker Street on the south across the Merrimack River . It is also called the Central Bridge. The South Branch Lawrence Public Library is located in a building on Parker Street across Bailey Street from Lawrence Catholic Academy. St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church is a dominant structure in South Lawrence. It is located at the corner of Broadway and Salem Street.
The Shawsheen River starts in Bedford, Massachusetts, and empties into the Merrimack River in South Lawrence. The O’Connell South Common is named after Korean War veteran, Paul O’Connell. It has baseball fields, a street hockey rink, and a bandstand. The McGovern Transportation Center is a facility in South Lawrence that is the passenger depot for both train and bus public transportation. The Lawrence Municipal Airport is actually in North Andover.
The Wood Mill is located on Union Street in South Lawrence. The mill was originally two lengths that were each 1/5 of a mile long. It, along with the Ayer Mill, were parts of the American Woolen Company.
The Ayer Mill Clock Tower has the largest mill clock face in the world, six inches smaller in diameter than Big Ben in London. Looming over South Lawrence is Interstate 495. The bridge on this road over the Merrimack River is called the O’Reilly Bridge after the Rev. James T. O’Reilly, former pastor of St. Mary’s Church. Just to the right of Broadway on the South side of the river is an area that was originally called Shanty Pond. Nearby is the William X. Wall Experiment Station which houses over 40 scientists, engineers, and support personnel in two organizational units of MassDEP — i.e., the Division of Environmental Analysis (DEA) within the Bureau of Policy and Planning, and the Air Assessment Branch (AAB) within the Bureau of Waste Prevention. A bit further west is the Bashara Boathouse where local residents can take advantage of a variety of boats to use on the Merrimack River. The newest public school in Lawrence is Lawrence High School. Its campus has six academies and is in South Lawrence.
On the campus of the high school is the Veterans’ Memorial Stadium. The stadium is the home of both the Lawrence High School and Central Catholic football teams. It has recently been renovated.
Den Rock Park is just across I-495 and has a unique geological feature. Sons of Israel Cemetery is one of the Jewish cemeteries in Lawrence and is also located in South Lawrence on Beacon Street.
To all of you who were there fifty years ago please join us to celebrate and remember this event in the City’s history. The exhibit will be open to the public from September 24, 2012 to the end of the year.