The Old Residents’ Association (Lawrence, MA)

oldresidentsThe library owns a scrapbook.  It contains newspaper clippings, programs, and announcements concerning the Old Residents’ Association and the early history of the City of Lawrence.  The topics included in the scrapbook are primarily about Old Residents’ Association events in particular the text of talks given at the meetings by members, but also includes information about social events and obituaries of members.  Other topics covered in the scrapbook are the Grand Army Fair (1872), new church bells for St. Mary’s (1874), and the election results (1875).

The Old Residents’ Association of Lawrence, Mass. was organized December 22, 1877 with the objective “to collect and preserve facts relating to the history of Lawrence; to encourage social intercourse, local enterprise, and intellectual and moral culture”.  Any one of good character, who had lived in the city or in the vicinity for twenty-five years, could become a member, with proof of citizenship and the fee of one dollar.  The first president was the Honorable Daniel Saunders, V. P George D. Cabot, historian John R. Rollins, treasurer Dr. William D. Lamb, and secretary Robert H. Tewksbury.  The meetings regularly drew several hundred attendees.  They listened to lectures on local history by the members, sang ”old-time” songs, and socialized over refreshments.  Within a few years the group began holding concerts of professional musicians at the large halls in the city and annual suppers. The last year the Old Residents’ Association appeared in the Lawrence City Directory was 1913.

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