The Lowell Cemetery is a non-municipal and non-denominational cemetery. 

77 Knapp Ave, Lowell, MA 01852 | 978-454-5191

Lowell Cemetery Timeline

1840 - 1848
1850 - 1874
1884 - 1896
1903 - 1960
1981 - Present

1840

A "Committee of Five" local businessman, led by James G. Carney, comes together to consider the development of a privately run cemetery.

1841

In January, Oliver M. Whipple, Esq., deeds 43 acres of land in the Fort Hill area to the newly formed Proprietors of the Lowell Cemetery for the sum of $5,000

The Cemetery is laid out based on a design by George P. Worcester.

The Lowell Cemetery officially opens to the public on June 20 with much fanfare -- a parade, a band and speeches.

It is believed Abigail R. Brown is the first person interred in lot #422.

1842

The Lowell Corporation Hospital purchases a large lot for those who succumb to illness in the hospital and whose families cannot afford burial.

The "Ladies of the City" raise $444 for an entrance gate. The funds are deposited in a bank but not put to use until 1861.

1844

The Mechanics Phalanx, a military unit, purchases lots and has them consecrated.

1848

An octagonal -shaped chapel is built on the property at a cost of $750.

1850

Cemetery Trustees acquire 3-1/2 acres of adjacent land.

1852

Cemetery builds greenhouses for the convenience of its lot owners.

1855

Trust funds for the care and maintenance of the lots are established.

1856

Elizabeth Lewis purchases a ten-grave lot. The first burial is for her husband Walker, an African American.

1861

Another fundraiser is held for an entrance gate. Monies collected, along with funds raised in 1842, are enough for the construction in 1862 of a granite gateway, designed by C.W. Painter.

1863

Cemetery Trustees acquire an additional 30 acres.

1874

Lowell and Andover Railroad (L&ARR) line is built alongside a Cemetery border. L&ARR claims some Cemetery land by eminent domain.

1884

Mrs. Ann Gage is the first woman elected to the Board of Trustees, but she declines to serve.

1885

Mr. Charles Potts Talbot funds the replacement of the 1848 octagonal chapel with a new, Gothic-style, granite structure at a cost of $2,714.

1885

Mrs. Hocum Hosford, in memory of her husband Hocum, funds the addition of a bell tower and bell to the existing 1861 granite entrance gate.

1885

The remains of Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John C. McFarland ( d. 1841) are interred along with three other Civil War veterans in the Lowell Cemetery’s Grand Army of the Republic lot.

1886

Louisa Wells, a former mill girl, dies and requests, in her will, that any residue from her estate be used to erect a monument on her grave. Her family contests it and, after a long legal battle, loses in the courts. The "Mill Girl" monument, created by Evelyn Longman of the Daniel Chester French Studio, is erected and dedicated in 1906.

1887

A Gothic-style, granite administrative building, designed by Frederick Stickney, is built at the Lawrence Street entrance. Today it serves as an exhibition area of Lowell Cemetery artifacts and ephemera in collaboration with the Lowell Historical Society.

1888

Cemetery Trustees acquire 9-1/2 acres along McAlwin Street that are surrendered at the request of F.B. Shedd for the adjacent Shedd Park.

Renowned British sculptor Price Joy is commissioned to create the James C. Ayer monument. The lion, made of Italian marble, is arguably the Cemetery's most recognized monument.

1890

The Egyptian-styled Receiving Tomb, funded by Freeman B. Shedd in memory of his son, is completed.

1896

Lot owners without trust funds are now charged annual fees for lot maintenance.

1903

The explosion at the nearby U.S. Cartridge Company causes damage to the Cemetery's gravestones and trees.

1905

The Knapp Street entrance gateway is completed and opened

1922

Lot maintenance trust funds and annual fees are eliminated and replaced by a perpetual care endowment, with monies coming from the sale of each lot.

1949

On-site greenhouses are discontinued.

1960

Edith Nourse Rogers, the first woman to be elected to Congress from Massachusetts and a powerful advocate for veterans, is buried in the Lowell Cemetery next to her husband, Congressman (Massachusetts) John Jacob Rogers.

1981

Catherine Goodwin conducts the first walking tours of the Cemetery.

1990

Catherine Goodwin is elected to the Board of Trustees and is the first woman to serve.

1997

U.S. Senator and 1992 presidential candidate Paul E. Tsongas is buried in the Lowell Cemetery.

1998

The Lowell Cemetery is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

2006

The new administrative building on Knapp Avenue is opened.

2015

The Oliver M. Whipple Columbarium and Garden of Remembrance is completed and dedicated.

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