Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mary Ann McNamara - Lowell's Acre: Irish History Tour; March 12, 2011

This Thursday, as I'm sure you all know, is Saint Patrick's Day.  Like a huge number of people in the most Irish of American counties (Middlesex), I too claim Irish ancestry.  However, I missed out on Irish Cultural Week.

Fellow Lowell history buff Mary Ann McNamara, did not.  Mary Ann found me on Facebook a few months ago, and since then, we've shared a few stories and photos about the city with each other.   Being an earlier weekend riser than I dare to be, she went on a walking tour this past Saturday with St. Patrick's Church Parish Historian/ Archivist Dave McKeanand and shared the photos she took there.

I have received a lot of requests over the years to go into churches in Lowell and photograph them.  I've always felt strange about as much as trying, and the one time I did try to go into Immaculate (an easy walk from my house and a beautiful church inside), the doors were locked.  Mary Ann has, in addition to neighborhood photos, added a few pictures of the inside of Saint Patrick's Church in here.  Although I knew it was a Patrick Keely church, I was surprised to see that such a simple-looking church was so detailed inside.  The murals are a great detail.  She's very knowledgeable about the neighborhood and the parish, so go check it out!

Mary Ann McNamara - Lowell's Acre: Irish History Tour; March 12, 2011


  1. Thank you Corey for your compliments. I'm in no way an expert about the topic---just a lover of Lowell's architecture, music & art scenes, diversity and rich history. Dave McKean, on the other hand IS an expert on local Irish history and St. Patrick's Parish in particular. I encourage any of your readers to attend one of his fascinating and fun presentations whenever they have an opportunity. I tried to record references for the various captions I wrote, but forgive me if I overlooked any. One place to get some info about the church along with Irish and Acre history is:

    Thanks again for using your blog to allow me to share my love of my hometown. I try to instill a sense of pride in my grandnephews and show them that even "regular" people are part of history and can play a role in preserving it for future generations.

    Mary Ann McNamara

  2. Oops! While I LOVE the link I posted above (!) here's the link I INTENDED to share:

    UML also has some great local history resources both online and at the university, as does the Mogan Center.

  3. Mary Ann- You are a person after my own heart! Great pictures :)

    Corey- So, are people asking for pictures of mostly the Catholic Churches, or do you think there is an interest in learning about all the houses of worship? I think an event highlighting the history & architecture of Lowell's church buildings would be amazing, kind of like a Doors Open Lowell: Church Edition.

    Kim Zunino

  4. Hi Kim - I personally would be interested in all of them and think that'd be a great project!

    The primary reason for me being interested in all of them is that Lowell started as a Yankee Protestant city. Many of the oldest churches, Like St. Anne's, are not Catholic. Saint Anne's is so old it has the box pews like Old North, etc.

  5. Liana Cheney (UML) published a two volume reference set in 1984 called 'Religious Architecture of Lowell, Mass', which I reference a lot. It has a great overview of nearly all of the churches in the City. I have a set in my office if you ever want to take a look. I think the library has a set, too.