Twenty-five miles northwest of Boston, Lowell is a textile mill town located at the confluence of the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. In the early 19th century, factories here churned out cloth by the mile, driven by the abundant waterpower of Pawtucket Falls. Today, the city’s economy is no longer so robust, but its historic center recalls the industrial revolution glory days – a working textile mill, canal boat tours and trolley rides evoke the birth of America as an industrial giant.
Besides being the birthplace of the textile industry, Lowell was also the birthplace of two American cultural icons, painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler and writer Jack Kerouac.
In modern Lowell, high-tech and other industries have diversified the economic base. And an influx of Southeast Asian immigrants has diversified the culture (and cuisine) of this classic New England mill town. A short walk away from the historic center into the ethnic neighborhood known as the Acre reveals that Lowell has definitely changed from the city it was 150 years ago.