October 9, 2018: Lawrence History Center celebrates 40th anniversary, welcomes 2 new members to their board of directors

October 9, 2018


Contact(s): Susan Grabski, Executive Director, Lawrence History Center, 978-686-9230

Lawrence History Center celebrates 40th anniversary, welcomes 2 new members to their board of directors

Lawrence, MA – On September 29, 2018, the Lawrence History Center (LHC) celebrated their 40th Anniversary with an Annual Meeting and Open House. Well over one hundred guests throughout the day experienced a variety of activities in support of one of the LHC’s founding principles to recognize “community historians” and the value and importance of the emergence of public history.

The LHC Board of Directors, Staff, and Volunteers hosted and connected guests to one another as they reminisced about the past and discovered new things while touring our beautiful facilities and normally private archival storage spaces. Visitors enjoyed a blacksmithing demonstration by Richard Wright, the Passport Medallion Project and passport “rubbings” facilitated by Jim Beauchesne of the Lawrence Heritage State Park, Tours of the Essex Company complex and LHC archive by staff and volunteers, Joe Demonaco and his dioramas of Chestnut Street and the Delmonaco Sandwich Shop, Tom Delisle and his hundreds of photos of Lawrence representing the "Old Neighborhoods of Lawrence" from the 1960s on, the Civil War Memorial Guard, a Stone Mill Photography Tour led by Robert Lussier, and The Lewis Hine Project: Stories of the Lawrence Children by Joe Manning.

A joint program between the Lawrence History Center and the Andover Center for History & Culture, “One Neighborhood, Two Towns: Lawrence and Andover,” went right to the beginning of Lawrence’s history. Speakers explored an area of Andover that was purchased to become a part of what is now South Lawrence. Former Lawrence resident and long-time Lawrence History Center volunteer Rick Wetmore discussed the development of South Lawrence as well as recounted some of his memories of growing up in the community, Lawrence City Councilor Marc Laplante discussed his research on World War One memorials located in South Lawrence as well as the lives of the men they pay tribute to, and Lauren Kosky-Stamm, Director of Programs and Social Media at the Andover Center for History & Culture shared research on the relationship between early South Lawrence families and Andover.

The concept behind the imagery used to celebrate the 40th Anniversary (captured beautifully by artist Kate Delaney above) was to show historic and contemporary figures walking the same street, sharing a place, sharing an experience, and sharing and making the history of Lawrence.

LHC President Mike Hearn presided over the 40th Annual Meeting, at which two new board members, Lance Adie and Anil “Nilly” DaCosta, were elected by the membership to serve their first three year terms.

Kathleen Curry, LHC Vice President, thanked outgoing board members Pamela Yameen and Rich Padova. Both are stepping off the LHC Board of Directors as their respective terms have come to an end. Pamela has served as Past President this last year after having served as President for 12 years; Rich has served the maximum of four three year terms as a board member.

Guests gathered mid-day to cut a 40th birthday cake and toast to 40+ more years of collecting, preserving, sharing, and animating the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas acknowledged the milestone with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition in honor of our 40th anniversary and “in recognition of our invaluable contributions to the Greater Lawrence Community by celebrating and preserving our past as a way to inform our future generations…”

Jonas Stundzia, an original board member and previous president, in a written statement read by current LHC director Susan Grabski, recalled fond memories of “our first days in the two small rooms at the YWCA in Lawrence.” He went on to say, “Let us enter into a new epoch of 40 years with the same enthusiasm, with our wonderful staff and volunteers in our quest to preserve our dear city's history and culture.”

More about the Lawrence History Center Board of Directors, 2018-2019, may be found at http://www.lawrencehistory.org/about/board

Event photos may be found at: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2152189661466218&type=1&l=78100c5cdc


The Lawrence History Center was founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives by German immigrant Eartha Dengler. The organization’s mission is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence, Massachusetts and its people. The archive is located at 6 Essex Street, Lawrence, Massachusetts in the former Essex Company complex – a site built in 1883 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.