The New England Quilt Museum is made to order for those who study, collect, or otherwise admire the American quilts. There are exhibitions scheduled for the Red & Whites.... Free Motion Masterpieces...Man Made, and Quilted Cuisine. There is a quilt design for everyone. You can find tradiitonal as well as contemporary quilts here. I know someone on VT who should definately visit this museum. Perhaps she will be back to the states one day...and we will go together.
Jack Kerouac was a writer born in Lowell, Mass. You can GOOGLE his name and learn much about his books and his life. There are video clips available where he discusses his work.
In Lowell, there is a monument to him and you can find his books in the museum stores.
Kerouac was born in 1922 and died in the late 60's.... he expressed the epitome of the "beat generation". If you were ever fascinated by the Beatniks.... you must read Kerouac's "On The Road".
Although Kerouac died while living in St. Petersburg, Florida he was buried in Lowell, MA, where he was born and grew up. His grave is located in Edson Cemetery on Gorham Street, about two miles outside of the main part of the city. The grounds keepers will provide visitors with maps of the cemetery and directions to Kerouac's grave site--something I highly recommend because Edson is enormous. The cemetery is also in somewhat of a bad neighborhood, something you should keep in mind if you decide to walk. Bus service to Edson is available from the Lowell Transit Authority's bus station on Thorndike Street.
Kerouac's grave site is a popular attraction. People from all over the world come to Lowell to see it, often leaving little offerings. It's not uncommon to find whiskey bottles, cigarettes and even loose change.
The house where Jack Kerouac was born and grew up is located on Lupine Road in Lowell's Centralville neighborhood, on the north bank of the Merrimack River. Kerouac lived in the house until he left the city to attend Columbia University, after his graduation from Lowell High School; his family continued to live there for many years afterward. His novels "The Town and the City" and "Visions of Gerard" are supposedly set there. Visitors can view the outside of the home, but the house is privately owned so knocking on the door and asking to look around isn't really recommended. The unassuming home is on the city's register of historic places and attracts frequent visitors even though the address isn't exactly publicized. A few times a year, usually around the writer's birthday in March and also during Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Weekend at the beginning of October (the time of year taken from a line in "On the Road": "Everyone goes home in October."), tours of Lowell's Kerouac sites, including the house, are offered.
An affiliate of the New Jersey Devils, Lowell's minor league hockey team, the Lowell Devils, play at the Paul Tsongas Arena from October through March. The games are very inexpensive and family friendly. The Arena has its own parking garage; parking is also available in nearby lots. Check website for schedule.
One of the really impressive things about Lowell was the number of 19th Century buildings that have survived. The Lowell Institution for Savings building was built in 1845 to encourage thrift among the women workers.
There were so many good and interesting buildings that I think someone could do a town trail with a leaflet.
In July 1993 the New England Quilt Museum purchased the buildings.
Here we see one of the looms which are still used in the American Textile History Museum. The thing I liked about it was that they not only show the history of textile making from the spinning wheel up....but they keep the old machines running, and you can buy the fabric made in this very mill.
There is a wide array of products which are offered in the museum store. I like to support the museums I visit by bringing home some of their wares. On this trip I purchased some wonderful fabric made here at the mill..which will be ideal "home spun" curtains for my 1700's house. Picked up a couple of toss pillows covered in their traditional designed woven fabrics as well. Other goods are scattered throughout the shop so that you are more apt to satisfy any shopping plan.
Lowell museums tell the story of our society going from the Agrarian to industrial way of life. Hard times, giant successes....grinding out new Americans almost as quickly as the looms that weave the dishcloths of every American kitchen.
Women came from the farmlands to work the mills...and later came the immigrants from far and wide. It was necessary to use everyone...including children ... in the mills. Making a steep curve in the learning and mechanization and development of the country.
Of all of Lowell's Museums, this one dedicated to the history of textiles is my favorite. Their permanent exhibits demonstrate with clarity and interest how the history of the United States is interwoven with textile production from the colonists' early dependence on Europe for textiles and how independence in that area led in part to the American Revolution, to the invention of the Cotton Gin and it's effects on slavery, and eventually the Civil War.
The history of immigration in the Northeast is also documented by tracing the histories of the various textile mills in Northern cities and the people who came here to work in them. Many of these mill cities, including Lowell, still have many of the same ethnic groups living in them from their original immigrant populations.
The museum features children's educational programs and exhibits on textile preservation and restoration. They also have travleing exhibits which change several times a year. In the past some of these have showcased the history of Amercian fashion, Hawaiian shirts, and evening gowns.
The museum also has function facilities for weddings and meetings available for members as well as a very good restaurant and bakery which has actually won a few culinary awards. Lectures and workshops are also given.
This National Park is a restored cotton mill complex on the Merrimack River. Visitors can see what life was like for a 19th century mill worker and tour the park's beautiful buildings and grounds. Has an operating weave room with 88 power looms, "mill girl" dormitories, and visitor center with resturant, children's corner, and industrial revolution exhibit. The park offers tours of the city on its historic street car with admission price. The Boott Mill's gift shop offers many good books about the history of Lowell as well as cotton towels of the variety that were once made at the mill. Very educational and interesting, especially for American history buffs. Worth the trip from Boston.
An artist run collective organization concentrating in the creation of public art projects, art education, and making opportunities for young artists and children of all ages. Their projects include an art installation in twelve abandoned railroad cars as well as several others that can been viewed throughout the city and at the museum. Includes artist run art supply shop. See website for more details.
The Lowell Spinners are a Red Sox class A affiliate team who play at LaLacheur Park in Lowell, MA. The games are almost nightly all summer long and are great fun for kids and adults. Tickets are inexspensive, the best seats running only $7.50.
A showplace for antique and contemporary quilts, the museum features over 150 quilts demonstrating the history of American quiltmaking. They also sponsor an annual quilt festival featuring the work of many local and national quilters. Has a quilt shop and library. They have a great website with full information.
Located in the house where James Whistler was born, the Whistler House Museum of Art's permanent collection includes many of his paintings as well as those of many other artists with a focus on works from the late 19th and early 20th century. Worth the trip, especially for art lovers. Check their website for information.