Earlier this week, I wrote about the fun and history up at Mill No. 5 on Jackson Street - tonight we take that history downtown, and give it the Boott!
It was a special night in downtown Lowell thanks to the folks at the Lowell National Historical Park - An Evening with the Mills Girls of Lowell.
The event was one in about a million or so special events the park is hosting this year in conjunction with the National Park Service's centennial celebration (lots more to come on this, especially as the special anniversary day looms closer in August. A different kind of loom than the Mill Girls are accustomed to.)
On Tuesday, about 100 people packed into the Tsongas Industrial Center to first watch a Mill Girls re-enactment performance from Marcia Estabrook, who's been portraying historic women at schools, museums and theaters for more than two decades. She performed We Are Not Machines to a packed room at the Tsongas, playing dual roles of pro-mill Mary Paul and Sarah Bagley, instigator of turnouts and strikes.
Tagging along with me for this night out was Andrew, who just happens to be working on a Mill Girls project as part of his grad school work at Simmons.
This night provided an opportunity for the Writer to strike an iconic pose or two at Boardinghouse Park.
Our portion of the candelight tour was led by the latest incarnation of Mill Girls, who also happened to be one of Andrew's buds from Lowell High School, Emily.
Because sometime, as local fave photog Tory Germann can attest to, ordinary things look different when shot in black and white.
Inside the boardinghouse, we stopped by the dining room, where LNHP curator Jack Herlihy entertained folks with his piano.
Many of them were girls between the ages of 15 and 30, usually always unmarried. For their efforts, they got housing, moral supervision, cultural opportunities, and hey - steady work!
In the Keeper's Room, baked goods abounded.
Upstairs, Andrew got his chance at a shot with an honest-to-goodness Mill Girl
Next time this gig is up for grabs, be sure to hoof it over to the Boott!
And keep an eye out this year for the rest of the Lowell National Historical Park's events to celebrate the National Parks Centennial
Check out their website HEREto learn more!