The oldest urban National Park in the United States is the Lowell National Historical Park. Established in 1978 thanks to a bill sponsored by Massachusetts Congressman Paul E. Tsongas, the park includes a visitor’s center and a number of historic sites that date back to the nineteenth century.
The Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center is just one of the many highlights of the park. Affiliated with the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, the center tells the story of Lowell through community sponsored events, and it focuses on the history of the people of Lowell, MA. Stories of the many immigrants who came to Lowell can be found here, and the Center Advertising activities such as the Puerto Rican Festival, the Southeast Asian Water Festival, and the Irish Culture Festival.
The National Park also includes guided tours of the textile mills and the boarding houses where the Lowell Mill Girls resided, as well as nearly six miles of canals. The tour is free, takes just over an hour, and uses a park trolley to travel through the sites.
The Boott Cotton Mills Museum is also a major part of the Lowell National Historical Park, and tours of the mill are also offered to the public. A tour of the museum is about 90 minutes long, and it features audio-visual components as well as demonstrations. The tour offers a great opportunity to see what life was like for the mill workers on an actual working mill floor.
The Park offers teacher workshops, educational programs for children, and summer camp programs. The Park is also the home of the Lowell Folk Festival, which is the largest free folk festival in the country.
Reservations are necessary for the guided tours, and the visitor’s center is open year round, with extended summer hours.
Lowell National Historical Park Address:
Lowell National Historical Park
246 Market St.
Lowell, MA 01852
Phone: (978) 970-5000