Ah spring, now fully one week into spring and as we look out our window here in Lowell at the Swamp Locks.
we see that Old Man Winter isn’t quite ready to give up yet. That’s not really a problem as we move from our wonderfully heated houses into our warm cars to our comfortable offices but to try to imagine what it was like back in the days when the canal system was built. A very different story. A remarkable achievement!
The canal system evolved from its beginnings in 1821, when the Boston Associates purchased the old Pawtucket transportation canal in what was then East Chelmsford. They initially used the Pawtucket as a feeder canal to channel water into new power canals. Just above Swamp Locks, the Merrimack, Western, and Hamilton canals branched off, taking water to the Merrimack, Lowell, Tremont, Suffolk, Lawrence, Hamilton, and Appleton mills. That’s exactly where our Museum sits just above the Swamp Locks looking at the merging of those 3 canals.
While their achievements were remarkable we believe our will be too. The core of our design team (the germs) marches on to our design finish line and soon it will be hammers, nails, lights, cameras and action. Here we are (top to bottom right side first) Director of Interpretation Diane Fagan Affleck, Textile Curator Karen Herbaugh, Director of Education Sue Bunker, Museum teacher Kathy Hirbour, yours truly Museum Director/President Jim Coleman, Museum Design Architect Doug Mund and Development Director Linda Carpenter. The discussion taking place at this time centered on special sections around the Museum with interactives geared for 3 to 8 year olds.
Just after the meeting we all checked out the conservation work being carried out by conservator Deborah Bede
While Doug Mund and Karen Herbaugh took a close up look at one of the garments under preparation for the renovated exhibit
While the garments are being prepared for the exhibit they will be specially displayed this evening during our Presidents Dinner which honors our most steadfast supporters. A close up look at some of these garments shows a very dapper waistcoat/vest from the early 19th century.
and a snappy looking exercise suit from about 1920. I bet you can just picture yourself working out in it. Remember there was no Lycra/Spandex back then!
To show that it’s not all work and no play the gang had a surprise shower for Stephanie Hebert who will leave us in not so long a time to have her first child. Stephanie has been working on a variety of textile projects in her time here and plans to rejoin us in a few months as our part time registrar.
Finally to show that while we do have fun we do work very hard for this Museum and the things it represents, Diane Fagan Affleck collapses after another long day working to see that the Museum does reach its goals.