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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.


"Incorporated in 1833, the bleachery was begun "for the purpose of bleaching, coloring, printing & finishing cotton & woolen goods" (from the Acts of Incorporation). Few mills bleached their own cloth, so from the start the bleachery was assured a stable and prosperous business. Selecting a site was a crucial part of the operation. A good, clean water supply was necessary for washing the bleached goods, and the resultant foul odor from the process made a location away from heavily inhabited areas desirable. Moore Street had only one house on it when the bleachery commenced operations; it was owned by the Moore family who were farmers. Over the next 20 years, land and drainage rights were purchased by the bleachery in the Moore Street area. By 1845 400 people were employed at the bleachery."

These documents are the payroll records from 1833 to 1854.

Lowell Historical Society Collection, Center for Lowell History: Floor 1, Row P, Section 3, LF.L9523.

Lowell Bleachery 001 to 150