The Museums of Lowell: History & Industry

Lowell has many impressive buildings left over from the early years of the textile industry. It is a city that is often overlooked except for the occasional school field trip. Lowell has many museums and historic sites worth visiting as well as some great places to grab a bite to eat or a drink. Here are the museums of Lowell that you may have never heard of.

The Boott Cotton Mills Museum has an impressive weaving room. From Memorial Day (May) through Indigenous Peoples Day (October) you can also do a 90 minute to 2 hour canal boat tour.

The National Streetcar Museum at Lowell is open year-round on Saturdays and Sundays, but from March through November, visitors can enjoy a ride on the trolleys on two miles of track operated by the National Park Service. For a more extensive collection of street cars, plan a trip to the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, Maine some day too.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has an impressive quilt exhibit on display at the moment, but at Lowell’s New England Quilt Museum, quilts are always the highlight.

The Whistler House Museum of Art is housed in the former home of James McNeill Whistler, a 19th century artist. It was also the home of Paul Moody who invented textile machinery such as America’s first functional power loom.

You can dive deeper into Lowell’s history and see the Mill Girls and Immigrants exhibit at the Patrick J. Mogan Cultural Center.

If you feel like you have a bull in a china shop when you take your child to a museum, you can take in Lowell’s history outdoors instead with one of their unique waterway walks. The waterway walks are all between one and just under two mile loops.

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