February 12th, 2019 marks the 210th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, and on Saturday September 16, 1848, a visitor to Lowell, Massachusetts.
The future president visited the old City Hall (now Enterprise Bank’s headquarters) as a young congressman representing the Whig Party in 1848. It is known that Lincoln gave a speech that night in support of Whig presidential candidate Zachary Taylor, and evidence points to him spending the night in the still young and bustling textile center (some 22 years after the founding of the Town of Lowell).
The relationship between Lowell and Lincoln goes well beyond just that visit as well. Mayor’s Office alum, Jen Myers, has an extensive post on Lincoln’s many connections to the Mill City in the Original Room 50 Blog, including the city’s (literally) riotous reaction to the news of Lincoln’s assassination.
The Lowell Heritage Partnership website also details the role that organization played in the restoration of the Abraham Lincoln Monument in the Highlands in this 2013 blog post. The following is an excerpt from that post.
In March 1908, Lowell schoolchildren started saving their Lincoln pennies in hopes of raising $2,000 to build a monument for Lincoln’s 100th birthday on Feb. 12, 1909. The monument, built at the corner of Lowell and Chelmsford Streets was ultimately dedicated on Memorial Day 1909 with a ceremony that attracted thousands, including civil war veterans who were members of the local chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic.
As can be expected, a century of wear and tear did take its toll on the monument, and as Lincoln’s 200th birthday was celebrated throughout the nation, a group of Lowellians looked to provide a renewed tribute to the great emancipator. In 2010, the Lowell Heritage Partnership partnered with the city of Lowell by providing $2,500 of the $4,000 cost to refurbish the 101 year old monument. On June 10th, 2010, local officials, members of the LHP, and students from the nearby Abraham Lincoln School gathered at the monument to celebrate the re-dedication.
The Lowell Heritage Partnership (LHP) is a coalition formed in 2000 to preserve and enhance Lowell’s natural, built, and cultural heritage through community partnership. Be sure to visit lowellheritagepartnership.org for more information on the Lincoln Monument restoration and other restoration projects that the LHP has been involved.