South Lowell consists of several smaller neighborhoods clustered into one, including Ayer City, Sacred Heart, Riverside Park, Swede Village, the Bleachery, the Grove, and Wigginsville. Ayer City and Wigginsville are named after the two main developers of South Lowell, Daniel Ayer and William H. Wiggins.
Daniel Ayer’s initial plans for Ayer City to be a residential area were unsuccessful because of the lengthy distance from the textile mills, and adequate rail transportation hadn’t been built yet. Ten years later, Ayer revised his plan for the area, and he brought small manufacturing companies and commercial businesses, to the neighborhood knowing that Lowell’s citizens would find necessary goods in the South Lowell area, and they would ultimately move into the area for work. On this second attempt, Ayer was correct in his thinking, and his neighborhood grew.
Wigginsville, founded by William H. Wiggins, was initially developed for commercial purposes, but his land was located in the town of Tewksbury. Over the years, it grew into a small neighborhood, with less than one hundred homes, a church, a railroad station, and a school. In 1906, the Wigginsville neighborhood was annexed by the city of Lowell, adding to the growing South Lowell neighborhood.
One of the most prominent features of South Lowell is the Lowell Cemetery that was built in the Victorian era, combining park-like landscaping artistry with the traditional headstones and markers of the cemetery. Two of its famous inhabitants include US Senator Paul Tsongas and Puerto Rico Governor Charles H. Allen.
South Lowell Parks and Recreation:
- O’Donnell Park
- Lowell Cemetery
- Manning Field
- Commonwealth Avenue Playground
- Stratham Playground