Centralville is the home of Jack Kerouac

Centralville is the birthplace of beat poet Jack Kerouac.

Centralville was originally part of the town of Dracut, but was annexed to the city of Lowell in 1851. Prior to annexation, Dracut used the Central Bridge toll as a financial opportunity to tax commuters traveling from the city to Centralville.

The toll resulted in a temporary halt to real estate development and deterred prospective buyers. Eventually, the toll scheme was cancelled, lots were further developed, and Centralville was annexed, opening the door to greater development of the neighborhood.

When the toll on the Central Bridge was discontinued, Centralville saw a great increase in population as people moved from Downtown Lowell to the new home lots. Several tears later, during and prior to the American Civil War, African American families in Centralville provided safehouses for slaves escaping from the South on the Underground Railroad. Some of these former hideouts can be visited to this day to remember the heroism of the families who helped the slaves escape.

Currently, Centralville is home to a large population of immigrants, including many South Americans, Africans, and Asians. The Centralville Neighborhood Action Group and the Centralville Neighborhood Partnership are both dedicated to caring for and restoring the parks, memorials, and other public areas in Centralville.

Centralville is also the birthplace of beat poet Jack Kerouac, whom Lowell honors yearly with the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival.

Lowell.com has a helpful real estate guide for apartments and properties in the Centralville neighborhood.

Centralville Parks and Recreation:

  • St. Louis Playground
  • McPherson Park
  • Gage Field
  • McDermott Reservoir
  • Ferry Landing Park
  • First Street Playgound
  • Riverfront Park
  • Monsignor Keenan Playground
  • Brown-Maynard House