Lowell in Middlesex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Life on the Corporation
Neat rows of boardinghouses once lined the streets of Lowell. The companies hoped that a moral, clean, and safe boardinghouse environment would encourage parents to send their daughters to work in the mills. Life “on the corporation” soon became a centerpiece of the acclaimed “Lowell Experiment.”
Over time, as mill owners sought to cut costs, working and living conditions deteriorated. Workers resisted with strikes in the 1830s, and agitation for a shorter work day in the 1840s.
(Inscription next to the bottom photo on the left)
The once-heralded Merrimack Mills boardinghouses were demolished in 1966. This destruction fueled an intense local debate. One result was Lowell’s commitment to preserve its industrial and cultural heritage.
(Inscription under the photo on the lower right)
Merrimack Mills and boardinghouses, 1848. By providing decent housing for employees, Lowell investors sought to avoid the brutality of Britain’s factories and urban slums.
Erected by Lowell National Historic Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 42° 38.833′ N, 71° 18.65′ W. Marker is in Lowell, Massachusetts, in Middlesex County. Marker is on French Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Lowell MA 01852, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. To Education (within shouting distance of this marker); Raymond A. Sullivan (within shouting distance of this marker); Lowell High School Clock Restoration (within shouting distance of this marker); Brown, Fay, and Watson Houses (within shouting distance of this marker); Wetherbee, Kelly, Rose, Maynard, and Ward Houses (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); W.H. Parker Building (about 400 feet away); The Birth of an Industrial City (about 400 feet away); St. Anne's Church (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lowell.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 297 times since then and 15 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 23, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.