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Immigration Stories: The World Comes to Lowell

Resources to learn about stories of immigrants who settled in Lowell.


Starting in the 1860s, waves of French Canadians migrated to New England. In only forty years, the French-Canadian population of New England grew from 37,000 to over 600,000. About 31,000 of these immigrants established their new lives in Lowell, and the number more than doubled over the following ten years. Available work in cotton, wool, lumber, and paper mills, and furniture-making provided the draw. Through 1920, Canadians represented the largest immigrant group in every New England state but Connecticut. Proximity to Quebec and the Maritimes made the trip more accessible than a multiple-day journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Canadian immigrants usually settled in neighborhoods where they could preserve their language, religion, and family networks.

French-Canadians Into the Acre and Beyond