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Center for Lowell History Collections

A list of collections with links to finding aid, inventories and websites that give collection content

logo for the Lowell Day Nursery

Lowell Day Nursery Association Timeline 

1885, February 13 – The Day Nursery founded by a group of 5 Lowell citizens. 

1885, March – A location at 158 Central Street secured. 

1885, April 13 – Lowell Day Nursery officially opens with a primary mission of providing childcare to “help working women to earn something for their support, who, without the nursery would find it difficult to do so." 

1885 – Tuition is 5-10 cents a day. 

1885 September – Moves to 40 Middlesex Street. 

1886 April – Moves to the Bancroft Block on Appleton St. 

1886, December – Moves to Moody Street opposite City Hall. 

1889, November 25 – Day Nursery Incorporated “for the charitable care of young children.” 

1890 – A second location opens at Central Street, which lasts less than a year. 

1890 – A third location opens in Centerville. 

1891 – A house on Kirk Street purchased, and Lowell Day Nursery moves operations to this location. 

1892 – Lowell Day Nursery briefly operates a Children’s Hospital on Middlesex Street. The founding of Lowell General Hospital ends this operation. 

1895 – Lowell Day Nursery acquires land on First Street, which the Centerville location relocates to. 

1916 – Main branch moves to Paige Street. The Lowell High School expansion causes their Kirk Street land to be acquired by the city. Frederick Fanning Ayer (1822 – 1918), one of the early and most generous donors to the Nursery, helps finance the move and the new building. 

1929 – The Lawrence Mill Agent’s House (1833) at 119-121 Hall Street is purchased and remains the home of the Day Nursery until the present day. 

1929 – Miss Elizabeth Throne becomes matron of the Lowell Day Nursery, where she serves for 17 years. 

1951 – Lowell Day Nursery employs a matron, 5 teachers, a cook, and a housekeeper, and has a medical consultant on call. About 50 children a day are cared for. 

1971 – After a years-long fight to keep their location and allow an addition to be built despite being in the designated “Northern Canal Urban Renewal Area”, ground is broken, and Hall Street additions and expansions take place. 

1972 – The Hall Street expansion opens. 

1977 – Tuition ranges from $25-32 a week, and there is a sliding fee scale discount based on income to bring down the cost further for parents in need. 

1980 – City of Lowell Planning and Development Records value the property at $252,750.00. 

Center for Lowell History, University of Massachusetts Lowell Sources:  

Lowell City Directories.  

“How did the Lowell Day Nursery Originate and Develop?” and Lowell Day Nursery Association letterhead image from "Notice of Annual Meeting" Mary Jane Fisher, Clerk, September 5, 1982 from the Lowell Day Nursery Collection, Box 40.

Lowell Planning and Development Reports, Image 3468.  

Lowell Sun, May 26, 1971, p. 63.  

Lowell Sun, May 28, 1972, p. 65-66.  

Lowell Sun, October 16, 1977, p. 19. 

Timeline researched and written by Carisa Kolias and Tony Sampas, Center for Lowell History, University of Massachusetts Lowell, April 4, 2023.