So a week ago, I found myself at the Boott Mills Museum hoping to catch the "Preservation Movement: Then and Now" that Corey Sciuto had mentioned on his blog. I had never been to the museum, even though it was on my list of many things to do.
I was quite fascinated with the looms. And even though NPS had ear protection available, I chose not to wear them because I found the repetition of the banging looms to be soothing and comforting. I spent a great deal of time just listening and tried to imagine what it would be like if all the looms were running. I expect it would have been deafening.
Because I was so intrigued with the museum and it was late in the afternoon, I never managed to get the time to go through the Preservation exhibit. I especially loved the miniature model of one of the mills and had a field day with it photographically.
But I did find the Preservation exhibit today and spent a great deal of time reading through the excellent presentation.
The "Preservation Movement" was born in the New England area from the unsuccessful attempt to spare the John Hancock house in Boston from demolition in 1863.
After going through the exhibit, I am somewhat saddened that Lowell did lose some of its historic buildings. The boarding houses would have been a treasure to keep, I think. But Lowell is moving slowly forward, in a very cautious and wise manner, maintaining the balance of recognizing and honoring the history here, while still leaving the doors of opportunity open. Many of us would like to see the pace picked up, I suppose. Perhaps for our reassurance that we will survive the tough economic times we have been witnessing and personally experiencing. But like life, even though we are staring at difficult times, this too shall pass. And Lowell will come out ahead, no matter what the naysayers are babbling about.
It has to.
One interesting side note:
Approximately 1.5 years ago, I went through great efforts tracing my ancestry. I found quite a few surprises that nobody in my family was aware of. One of which was the famous lineage on my dad's mother's side of the family. Seems as though many of my ancestors were from Massachusetts and Connecticut. One of my "cousins" many times removed is John Hancock.
So I was quite surprised to find out that some of my lineage had a connection to the Lowell/Chelmsford area with Elizabeth Clark (she being born in Chelmsford and the grandmother to John Hancock).