Trolleys of the Merrimack Valley

Bay State St Ry 4100 class car on Berkeley St at Avon St, Lawrence. Bridge is over Spickett River, 1917-1918“Trolleys of the Merrimack Valley” a 156 image power point presentation by Transit Historian, Kevin T. Farrell.  This 45 minute program will show how the  development of the electric street railway industry in the last ten years of the nineteenth century into the Twentieth century was the engine that propelled business development in the Merrimack Valley region.  Now you could live in Billerica and work in Lowell or Lawrence. No longer did you have to live within walking place of your employer.  Formerly worthless tracts of land became very valuable overnight. The trolleys connected most every city and town in the valley.  Recreation became a big business as well with trolleys developing the Hampton Beach Casino, Canobie Lake Park, Whalom Park, Pinehurst Park and Norumbega Park, to name a few. By 1936, the trolleys were gone from the Valley but their legacy is apparent with the vast build out of industries and real estate developments that continued to grow under the highway building period of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

 Look back and see how the system was put together with several vast networks of trolley lines on both sides of the border, all with private investment.

Today, little remains of this era except in photos and mementos. Except for the re-creation of a real trolley line at the Lowell National Historical Park in 1985 and the trolleys preserved at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Among the museum’s vast collection of trolleys is one trolley from Lowell and Lawrence that is being restored so it could once again run on the streets of Lowell at the park.  This trolley, Eastern Mass Street Railway car #7005 operated between Lowell and Lawrence along state route 110 in Dracut and Methuen and down to Everett Station from Lowell and down to Salem from Lawrence along state route 114 to name a few lines.  See the excellent restoration work and help become part of the process by making a small donation to this effort.

Come and enjoy the show of the historic photos of long gone by Lawrence, Lowell and Haverhill, free handouts about trolleys in the Merrimack Valley and the Seashore Trolley Museum will be available for all.

Kevin T. Farrell, a life-long trolley enthusiast has been employed in Human Services most of his life. Currently he is a fund raiser for a major  Merrimack Valley non-profit in Lawrence, assisting people with disabilities.

 Wednesday September 25, 2013 6:30PM at  the main branch of the Lawrence Public Library on the 3rd floor.   Free admission!  For more information contact Louise Sandberg at lsandberg@cityoflawrence.com or 978-620-3606.

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