Saturday, September 28, 2024: LHC Annual Business Meeting & Open House

Please join us on Saturday, September 28, 2024!
10:00 AM—10:45 AM
Annual Business Meeting & Updates

[Business Meeting Materials will be posted in early September]
11:00 AM—12:00 PM
White Fund Lecture
"No Avenging Gibbett": The 1860 Pemberton Mill Collapse"
Professor Robert Forrant
On January 10, 1860, something unthinkable happened: a rumble in the early evening, a heave, a shake, and the Pemberton Mill in Lawrence, MA collapsed! Just over 100 mostly immigrant workers were dead. “The catastrophe that destroyed the mill is almost unparalleled in our history,” said Harper’s Weekly. “We doubt, indeed, whether in any age, so many human beings have ever perished so terribly by an accident of ordinary life. War may produce parallel scenes of horror, but the annals of peace may be searched in vain for any calamity so appalling as the disaster at Lawrence,” The London Times reported. At a hurried coroner’s inquest, West Point-educated Charles H. Bigelow, chief engineer for the Essex Company and nominally in charge of the mill’s construction received singular blame for the horror while the wealthy Bostonians involved in the mill’s construction received zero scrutiny. Why did the mill fall? What of the families of workers who’d lost their lives? Who or what was at fault? These questions and more will be discussed by UMass Lowell history professor Robert Forrant in a talk based on a just-published article in the New England Quarterly on the mill’s collapse.
9:00 AM—1:00 PM
Blacksmithing Saturday at the Essex Company Forge
Demonstration by Richard Wright
Step back in time with us for a day of blacksmithing at the Essex Company forge, the company that built the city of Lawrence!
Richard Wright will be demonstrating the craft of traditional blacksmithing methods, forging both iron and mild steel to create items for practical use in our historic courtyard. The forge was first in use in the early 1880's when the Essex Company complex at 6 Essex Street in Lawrence was constructed.
Free and open to the public. Part of Essex Heritage Trails & Sails Weekends.
Questions? Please contact us at 978-686-9230 or