Normal School (Massachusetts)

State Normal School Map

The Practice School (also called the Training School) that had trained so many young women to be teachers started May 25, 1869.  The Training School students passed an elementary examination at the beginning of term.  It was abolished in 1922.

In the middle 1890’s the State of Massachusetts was intending to construct another State Normal School.  Lawrence competed for it’s location in Lawrence as seen by the map above.  The City of Lowell, ten miles up the Merrimack River, won and was awarded the honor by an Act of Legislature, June 6, 1894.  This would be the forerunner of the University of Massachusetts College of Education.


Another Mystery Picture


Italian fraternal group with Bellini Band photograph taken on the steps of Jackson Terrace just off the Lawrence Common.  On the upper steps the William Bellini Band are arranged with their instruments.  Below them are what appears to be an Italian fraternal organization.  These men are in suits, white gloves, hats and sashes.  There are 2 young girls on either side with flowers.  The American flag is on the right and what may be the Italian flag on the left.

I have displayed this image in a number of locations trying to see if anyone recognizes individuals or the name of the organization.  My guess is it is dated from the late teens of the twentieth century.

Mystery Picture


Retail merchants with students.  The signs read “So. Lawrence’s offering to the World War” and “Retail merchants association of So. Union St. and vicinity” – The picture is of men dressed in white with white hats and American flags.  They hold the 2 signs quoted above.  A strip of contact prints was originally framed with the picture.  These prints are of children. No identification.  The picture was taken (I think) on South Union Street looking south with the Union Street School in the background (Corner of Union and Andover Streets).

Am I right with the location of the picture?  Does anyone recognize any individual?

First Unitarian Church (Lawrence, MA)



The Unitarian Church (also called the Unitarian Society) was organized November 15, 1847.  The first meetings were held in the Odd Fellows Hall on Hampshire Street and later in a chapel created for that purpose.  The wooden structure at the northeast corner of Haverhill and Jackson streets was dedicated in May of 1850.  The church was torn down in 1916 and was replaced by a much smaller structure.  Ultimately the Unitarian and Universalist Churches merged.  This congregation moved to North Andover.

Trinity Congregational Church (Lawrence, MA)


The Central Congregational Church was organized December 25, 1849.  Meetings were held in City Hall until August 5, 1854 when a new church was built at the corner of Essex and Appleton Streets.  August 12, 1859 the church was destroyed by fire.  Eventually the new stone church was built on Haverhill Street across from the Common.  It was dedicated June 1, 1860.  On June 28, 1883 the Central and Eliot Congregational Churches were consolidated under the name Trinity.  The building still stands and is now Fuentes de Salvacion.

Lawrence Street Congregational Church (Lawrence, MA)


The Merrimack Congregational Society was organized August 1, 1846.  The name was changed to the Lawrence Street Congregational Church January 5, 1847.  The first structure was a small wooden church located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Lawrence and Haverhill Streets.  The church was destroyed by fire in 1912 and replaced with a stone building in 1915.

The building still stands and is now Iglesia de Dios.  This church was established on August 28, 1968.  In 1975 the congregation moved into the building that had been the Lawrence Street Congregational Church.

Sewer Plans (Lawrence, MA)

Plan and profile of sewer in Water St., section 1

These sewer plans are bound in twelve volumes measuring 66 x 53 cm.  Each plan is hand drawn and lettered.  They show the date they were accepted.  Later additions are also dated.  Some of the original drawings and additions are signed by the engineer.  There are occasional insertions.  Scale and direction is illustrated.  Included on each page is an indexing number that refers to a table at the engineer’s office.  The plans were drawn over a period from 1848 to 1921.

There are 724 plans.  All are available on Digital Commonwealth.