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The Town & the City: Lowell before and after The Civil War

Originally created to be a digital archive for Lowell documents from 1826 to 1861, this website has grown to cover many periods and events in Lowell's history.


The Beethoven Musical Society was organized in September 1824 by 75 men and 53 “invited” women. Members of this society were Baptists, Episcopalians, and Congregationalists from Dracut, Chelmsford, and Tewksbury. They formed a “social contract for the purpose of improving themselves in the science of sacred music and for the promotion of harmony in the duties which may be assigned as a musical society in the congregation that will worship in the Stone Church (Saint Anne’s), now being built in this place.” During 1826 and 1827, many members of this non-denominational group left to join one of the newly formed churches. The Beethoven Musical Society formally dissolved in September 1827.

Owner of original document(s): Lowell Historical Society

Location of original document(s): Center for Lowell History

The Old Residents' Contributions, Vol. 3, contains a list of 278 members of the Merrimack Religious Society, and a list of members of the Beethoven Musical Society, organized Sept. 15, 1824, (seventy-five gentlemen and fifty-three ladies) which performed the musical parts of the service of Conservation of St. Anne's. This service with the ordination of Messrs. Edson and Cutler, occupied four hours, from ten until two o'clock. 

A little segment of the lives of people has been the theme of this hasty sketch. . . . years hence some scribbler may employ an idle hour in prying into our affairs . . . 
In the perusal of our "records" will he be moved by a sense of gratitude, and will he wish it were possible to reach across the chasm and shake hands with the workers? 

A Local Music Society of 1824, from Contributions of the old residents' historical association, Lowell, Mass. Vol. 4