Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lawrence Heritage Park

Lawrence Heritage Park is a museum that tells the story of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Investors built Lawrence in the nineteenth century . Building textile mills the investors convinced European immigrants to work at them. All was not well in Bedrock. Poor wages,

unfair working conditions, and long hours made up the immigrants life. This was the beginning

of tensions between the mill workers, and the mill owners. This would lead to the famous Bread and Roses strike.

The Heritage Park is inside an old roominghouse. Many times it was an immigrants first home in America. The boarders usually ate in the kitchen , shared a bathroom , and many times a bedroom. Sometimes they even had to share a bed. An enclosed visitors park welcomes visitors outside. It looks like an old Italian garden.

An old large safe that kept payroll welcomes visitors at the entrance. If you ask they will open up the safe for you. Bolts of cloth are hanging inside from the rafters. Cloth was not the

only commodity being woven in the mills. Dreams that were unattainable in the old country came forth in the new. Dreams for themselves, their children and their grand children. What did they dream of? An education, a three decker home, and a holiday at the beach. These were the people who paved a better way for you and me. My maternal grandparents were two of these people.

Footnote: Lawrence Heritage Park is free, and nearby parking is inexpensive. Not far from the

park are the Pacific Mills and the Pacific Mills diner. One can get there by walking over a canal

bridge from the museum.

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