Gale’s Hill (Lawrence, MA)

In the late 1880s the swampy area south of Tower Hill was considered unsanitary.  The City Council took it upon itself to remove parts of Gale’s Hill and use the sandy soil to fill in this area and also to use it for the filter beds at the pumping station.  An act was passed in 1890 “to enable the City of Lawrence to abate a nuisance therein and for the preservation of the public health in said city” by borrowing money to be known as the Gale’s Hill improvement loan. The loan was in the amount of $50,000 borrowed by the City Treasurer with the approval of the committee on finance, on the bonds and notes of the city.  The bonds were to be paid back in ten years and 4% interest.  A committee was formed of the mayor, two aldermen, and four members of the common council to see to the preparation of plans, purchase of lands, and fix the price of these lands.  If there is no agreement between the committee and the land holder the land can be taken by eminent domain.  The committee is also responsible for assessing the cost of fill to owners of land that are being improved.  The committee was to supervise the project and disperse the funds. 

The Library owns the papers of this project and a scrapbook compiled by Arthur D. Marble, City Engineer.

2 Responses

  1. My grandfather Farrell F. Moran who immigrated from Leitrim, Ireland lived in the Gale Mansion for several years. HIs sisters Anna and Ellen Moran were domestics to Colonel John Gale. Anna was a close friend to his only daughter. John owned a wagon wheel shop on Essex Street in Lawrence, MA. When John died and then his daughter passed away my Great Aunt Anna was left furniture and many of the possessions in the house in their will. I believe the Gale family originated from Lowell, MA.

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