Lawrence, Massachusetts

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Lawrence, Massachusetts
City
Ayer Mill
Ayer Mill
Official seal of Lawrence, Massachusetts
Seal
Nickname(s): Lawtown, Immigrant City

Location in Essex County in Massachusetts imap_caption        =
Location in Essex County in Massachusetts

imap_caption =
Coordinates: 42°42′25″N 71°09′49″W / 42.70694°N 71.16361°W / 42.70694; -71.16361Coordinates: 42°42′25″N 71°09′49″W / 42.70694°N 71.16361°W / 42.70694; -71.16361
Country United States
State Massachusetts
County Essex
Settled 1655
Incorporated 1847
Incorporated (city) 1853
Government
 • Type Mayor-council city
 • Mayor Dan Rivera
 • City Council President Modesto Maldonado
Area
 • Total 7.4 sq mi (19.2 km2)
 • Land 7.0 sq mi (18.0 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2)
Elevation 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2012)
 • Total 77,326
 • Density 10,449.4/sq mi (4,034.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDST (UTC-4)
ZIP code 01840, 01841, 01842, 01843
Area code(s) 351 / 978
FIPS code 25-34550
Website www.cityoflawrence.com

Lawrence is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States on the Merrimack River. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a total population of 76,377. Surrounding communities include Methuen to the north, Andover to the southwest, and North Andover to the southeast. It and Salem are the county seats of Essex County.[1] Lawrence is also part of the Merrimack Valley.

Manufacturing products of the city include electronic equipment, textiles, footwear, paper products, computers, and foodstuffs. Lawrence was the residence of Robert Frost for his early school years; his first essays and poems were published in the Lawrence High School Bulletin.[2]

History[edit]

Founding and rise as a textile center[edit]

Massachusetts National Guardsmen with fixed bayonets surround a parade of strikers.

Native Americans, namely the Pennacook or Pentucket tribe, had a presence in this area. Evidence of farming at Den Rock Park and arrowhead manufacturing on the site of where the Wood Mill now sits was discovered.[3]

Europeans first settled the Haverhill area in 1640, colonists from Newbury following the Merrimack River in from the coast.[4] The area that would become Lawrence was then part of Methuen and Andover. The first settlement came in 1655 with the establishment of a blockhouse in Shawsheen Fields, now South Lawrence.

The future site of the city (formerly parts of Andover and Methuen), was purchased by a consortium of local industrialists. The Water Power Association members: Abbott Lawrence, Edmund Bartlett, Thomas Hopkinson of Lowell, John Nesmith and Daniel Saunders, had purchased control of Peter's Falls on the Merrimack River and hence controlled Bodwell's Falls the site of the present Great Stone Dam. The group allotted fifty thousand dollars to buy land along the river to develop.[5] In 1844, the group petitioned the legislature to act as a corporation, known as the Essex Company, which incorporated on April 16, 1845. The first excavations for the Great Stone Dam to harness the Merrimack River's water power, were done on August 1, 1845.[6] The Essex Company would sell the water power to corporations such as the Arlington Mills, as well as organize construction of mills and build to suit. Until 1847, when the state legislature recognized the community as a town, it was called interchangeably called the "New City", "Essex" or "Merrimac".[7] The Post Office, built in 1846, used the designation "Merrimac." Incorporation as a city would come in 1853, and the name "Lawrence", merely chosen as a token of respect to Abbott Lawrence, who it cannot be verified ever saw the city named after him.

Canals were dug on both the north and the south banks to provide power to the factories that would soon be built on its banks as both mill owners and workers from across the city and the world flocked to the city in droves; many were Irish labourers who had experience with similar building work. The work was dangerous: injuries and even death were not uncommon.[8]

Portrait of Ambassador Abbott Lawrence by G.P.A. Healy

The Bread and Roses strike of 1912[edit]

Working conditions in the mills were unsafe and in 1860 the Pemberton Mill collapsed, killing 145 workers.[9] As immigrants flooded into the United States in the mid to late 19th century, the population of Lawrence abounded with skilled and unskilled workers from almost every nation in Europe: Ireland, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Poland, and Lithuania; French-Canadians from the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island; and farm girls from all over New England. Lawrence became known as Immigrant City very early in its existence, and can reasonably boast that for its small geographic size (less than 6 square miles) it has had more immigrants from a greater variety of countries in the world per capita, than any other city of its size on Earth.[citation needed]

Lawrence was the scene of the Bread and Roses strike, also known as the Lawrence textile strike, one of the more important labor actions in American history. In 1912, Massachusetts law reduced the work week from 56 hours to 54 hours and subsequently lowered wages for thousands of women and child workers. The average worker at the time earned a $7 a week and paid an equal amount for their monthly rent. On January 11, mill workers discovered their pay had been reduced and went on strike. Fewer than 1,000 of the 25,000 workers who went on strike were members of a union. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) provided most of the leadership for the strike and also provided food and clothing for the strikers. The Massachusetts National Guard, private, and city police countered strikers for two months. Because of dangerous conditions, small children were sent out of the city for their protection.[10] Although there were many skirmishes between the police, militia, and the strikers, only 2 people died and relatively few were injured on either side. Dynamite was found, and although newspapers originally accused the strikers, a local undertaker, John Breen, was arrested and charged - admitting that the president of a mill had paid him $500 to do so, in an attempt to discredit the IWW.[11] Immigrant groups normally mistrustful of one another banded together in the common cause of higher wages. When police and National Guard assaulted a group of women and children, public outcry forced mill owners to capitulate. The striking workers won wage increases for themselves and thousands of workers across New England. One of the major companies involved in the strike was the American Woolen Company, led by the son of a Portuguese immigrant, William Madison Wood who had risen through the ranks in the textile industry.

Post-War history[edit]

Lawrence was a great wool-processing center until that industry declined in the 1950s. The decline left Lawrence a struggling city. The population of Lawrence declined from over 80,000 residents in 1950 (and a high of 94,270 in 1920) to approximately 64,000 residents in 1980, the low point of Lawrence's population.

Urban redevelopment and renewal[edit]

Merrimack River at Lawrence

Like other northeastern cities suffering from the effects of post-World War II industrial decline, Lawrence has often made efforts at revitalization, some of them controversial. For example, half of the enormous Wood Mill, powered by the Great Stone Dam and once the largest mills in the world, was knocked down in the 1950s.[citation needed] The Lawrence Redevelopment Authority and city officials utilized eminent domain for a perceived public benefit, via a top down approach, to revitalize the city throughout the 1960s. Known first as urban redevelopment, and then urban renewal, Lawrence's local government's actions towards vulnerable immigrant and poor communities, contained an undercurrent of gentrification which lies beneath the goals to revitalize Lawrence. There was a clash of differing ideals and perceptions of blight, growth, and what constituted a desirable community. Ultimately the discussion left out those members of the community who would be directly impacted by urban redevelopment.[12]

Under the guise of urban renewal, large tracts of downtown Lawrence were razed in the 1970s, and replaced with parking lots and a three-story parking garage connected to a new Intown Mall intended to compete with newly constructed suburban malls. The historic Theater Row along Broadway was also razed, destroying ornate movie palaces of the 1920s and 1930s that entertained mill workers through the Great Depression and the Second World War. The city's main post office, an ornate federalist style building at the corner of Broadway and Essex Street, was razed. Most of the structures were replaced with one-story, steel-frame structures with large parking lots, housing such establishments as fast food restaurants and chain drug stores, fundamentally changing the character of the center of Lawrence.[citation needed]

Lawrence also attempted to increase its employment base by attracting industries unwanted in other communities, such as waste treatment facilities and incinerators.[citation needed] From 1980 until 1998, private corporations operated two trash incinerators in Lawrence. Activist residents successfully blocked the approval of a waste treatment center on the banks of the Merrimack River near the current site of Salvatore's Pizza on Merrimack Street.[citation needed]

Recently the focus of Lawrence's urban renewal has shifted to preservation rather than sprawl.

Events of the 1980s and 1990s[edit]

Immigrants from the Dominican Republic and migrants from Puerto Rico began arriving in Lawrence in significant numbers in the late 1960s, attracted by cheap housing and a history of tolerance toward immigrants.[citation needed] In 1984, tensions between remaining working class whites and increasing numbers of Hispanic youth flared into a riot, centered at the intersection of Haverhill Street and Oxford Street where a number of buildings were destroyed by Molotov cocktails and over 300 people were arrested.[13][14]

Lawrence saw further setbacks during the recession of the early 1990s as a wave of arson plagued the city. Over 200 buildings were set alight in an eighteen month period in 1991–92, many of them abandoned residences and industrial sites.[15] The Malden Mills factory burned down on December 11, 1995. CEO Aaron Feuerstein decided to continue paying the salaries of all the now-unemployed workers while the factory was being rebuilt. By going against common CEO business practices, especially at a time when most companies were downsizing and moving overseas, he achieved recognition for doing the right thing.[16]

Recent trends[edit]

A sharp reduction in violent crime starting in 2004[17] and massive private investment in former mill buildings along the Merrimack River, including the remaining section of the historic Wood Mill – to be converted into commercial, residential and education uses – have lent encouragement to boosters of the city.[citation needed] One of the final remaining mills in the city is Malden Mills. Lawrence's downtown has seen a resurgence of business activity as Hispanic-owned businesses have opened along Essex Street, the historic shopping street of Lawrence that remained largely shuttered since the 1970s.[citation needed] In June 2007, the city approved the sale of the Intown Mall, largely abandoned since the early 1990s recession, to Northern Essex Community College for the development of a medical sciences center, the construction of which commenced in 2012 when the InTown Mall was finally removed.[18][19] A large multi-structure fire in January 2008 destroyed many wooden structures just south of downtown.[20] A poor financial situation that has worsened with the recent global recession and has led to multiple municipal layoffs has Lawrence contemplating receivership.[21]

History of Lawrence immigrant communities[edit]

Lawrence has been aptly nicknamed the "Immigrant City."[22] Starting with the Irish in the 1840s, it has been home to numerous different immigrant communities, most of whom arrived during the great wave of European immigration to America that ended in the 1920s. Since the early 1970s, Lawrence has become home to a sizable Hispanic population, reaching 74% of the population of Lawrence by 2010.

Immigrant communities, 1845–1920[edit]

Lawrence became home to large groups of immigrants from Europe, beginning with the Irish in 1845, Germans after the social upheaval in Germany in 1848, and French Canadians seeking to escape hard northern farm life from the 1850s onward. A second wave began arriving after 1900, as part of the great mass of Italian and Eastern European immigrants, including Jews from Russia, Poland, Lithuania and neighboring regions. Immigration to the United States was severely curtailed in the 1920s with the Immigration Act of 1924, when foreign born immigration to Lawrence virtually ceased for over 40 years.[22]

In 1890, the foreign-born population of 28,577 was divided as follows, with the significant remainder of the population being children of foreign born residents: 7,058 Irish; 6,999 French Canadians; 5,131 English; 2,465 German; 1,683 English Canadian.[23] In 1920, toward the end of the first wave of immigration, most ethnic groups had numerous social clubs in the city. The Portuguese had 2; the English had 2; the Jews had 3; the Armenians, 5; the Lebanese and Syrians, 6; the Irish, 8; the Polish, 9; the French Canadians and Belgian-French, 14; the Lithuanians, 18; the Italians, 32; and the Germans, 47.[24] However, the center of social life, even more than clubs or fraternal organizations, was churches. Lawrence is dotted with churches, many now closed, torn down or converted into other uses. These churches signify, more than any other artifacts, the immigrant communities that once lived within walking distance of each church.[24][25]

The Irish[edit]

Irish immigrants arrived in Lawrence at its birth, which coincided with the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s, the event that drove great numbers of Irish out of Ireland. The Great Stone Dam, constructed in from 1845–1848 to power the nascent textile mills, was largely built by Irish laborers. The first Irish immigrants settled in the area south of the Merrimack River near the intersection of Kingston Street and South Broadway. Their shantytown settlement put them close to the dam being constructed, but away from the Essex Corporation row houses built north of the river to attract New England farm girls as millworkers. The religious needs of the Irish were initially met by the Immaculate Conception church, originally erected near the corner of Chestnut and White Street in 1846, the first Roman Catholic church in Lawrence. In December, 1848, the Reverend James O'Donnell erected "old" St. Mary's Church.[26] By 1847, observers counted over ninety shanties in the Irish shantytown. In 1869,[27] the Irish were able to collect sufficient funds to form their own church, St. Patrick’s, on South Broadway.[24]

The Germans[edit]

The first sizable German community arrived following the revolutions of 1848.[22] However, a larger German community was formed after 1871, when industrial workers from Saxony were displaced by economic competition from new industrial areas like the Ruhr.[28] The German community was characterized by numerous school clubs, shooting clubs, national and regional clubs, as well as men’s choirs and mutual aid societies,[28] many of which were clustered around the Turn Verein, a major social club on Park Street.[24]

The Italians[edit]

Some Italian immigrants celebrated Mass in the basement chapel of the largely Irish St. Laurence O’Toole Church, at the intersection of East Haverhill Street and Newbury Street, until they had collected sufficient funds to erect the Holy Rosary Church in 1909 nearby at the intersection of Union Street and Essex Street.[24] Immigrants from Lentini (a Sicilian province of Syracuse) and from the Sicilian province of Catania maintained a particular devotion to three Catholic martyrs, Saint Alfio, Saint Filadelfo and Saint Cirino, and in 1923 began celebrating a procession on their feast day.[29] Although most of the participants live in neighboring towns, the Feast of Three Saints festival continues in Lawrence today. Many of the Italians who lived in the Newbury Street area had immigrated from Trecastagni, Viagrande, Aci Reale, Nicolosi, Italy.

The French Canadians[edit]

French Canadians were the second major immigrant group to settle in Lawrence. In 1872, they erected their first church, St. Anne’s, at the corner of Haverhill and Franklin Streets. Within decades, St. Anne’s established a “missionary church”, Sacred Heart on South Broadway, to serve the burgeoning Québécois community in South Lawrence. Later it would also establish the "missionary" parishes in Methuen: Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Theresa's (Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel et St-Thérèse). The French-Canadians arrived from various farming areas of Quebec where the old parishes were overpopulated: some people moved up north (Abitibi and Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean), while others moved in industrial towns to find work. ( Montreal, Quebec; but also in Ontario and United-States). . Others who integrated themselves into these French-Canadian communities were actually Acadians who had left the Canadian Maritimes of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia also in search of work.

The Lebanese[edit]

Lawrence residents frequently referred to their Arabic-speaking Middle Eastern community as "Syrian". In fact, most so-called Syrians in Lawrence were from present-day Lebanon, and were largely Maronite Christian.[24] Lebanese immigrants organized St. Anthony’s Maronite Church in 1903,[30] as well as St. George’s Orthodox Church, the oldest Greek Orthodox-rite Church in the United States.[24]

The Jews[edit]

Jewish merchants became increasingly numerous in Lawrence and specialized in dry goods and retail shops. The fanciest men's clothing store in Lawrence, Kap's, established in 1902 and closed in the early 1990s, was founded by Elias Kapelson, born in Lithuania. Jacob Sandler and two brothers also immigrated from Lithuania in approximately 1900 and established Sandlers Department Store, which continued in business until 1978. In the 1880s, the first Jewish arrivals established a community around Common, Valley, Concord and Lowell Streets. In the 1920s, the Jews of Lawrence began congregating further up Tower Hill, where they erected two synagogues on Lowell Street above Milton Street, as well as a Jewish Community Center on nearby Haverhill Street. All three institutions had closed their doors by 1990 as the remaining elderly members of the community died out or moved away.[24]

The Polish[edit]

The Polish community of Lawrence was estimated to be only 600–800 persons in 1900. However by 1905, the community had expanded sufficiently to fund the construction of the Holy Trinity Church at the corner of Avon and Trinity Streets.[24] Their numbers grew to 2,100 Poles in 1910. Like many of their immigrant brethren from other nations, most of the Poles were employed in woolen and worsted goods manufacturing.[31]

The English[edit]

A sizable English community, composed mainly of unskilled laborers who arrived after 1880, sought work in the textile mills where they were given choice jobs by the Yankee overseers on account of their shared linguistic heritage and close cultural links.

Yankee farmers[edit]

Not all immigrants to Lawrence were foreign-born or their children. Yankee farmers, unable to compete against the cheaper farmlands of the Midwest that had been linked to the East coast by rail, settled in corners of Lawrence. Congregationalists were the second Protestant denomination to begin worship in Lawrence after the Episcopals, with the formation of the Lawrence Street Congregational Church in 1847,[32] and the first in South Lawrence, with the erection in 1852 of the first South Congregational Church on South Broadway, near the corner of Andover Street.[24]

New immigrants, 1970 to present[edit]

Immigration of foreign born workers to Lawrence largely ceased in 1921 with the passage of strict quotas against immigrants from the countries that had supplied the cheap, unskilled workers. Although many quotas were lifted after the Second World War, foreign immigration to Lawrence only picked up again in the early 1960s with Hispanic immigrants from Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and other Latin American countries. Immigrants from southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, have also settled in Lawrence.

Indicative of immigration trends, several Catholic churches now conduct masses in two or more languages. St. Patrick’s Church, a Catholic church in Lawrence and once an Irish bastion, has celebrated Spanish masses on Sundays since 1999. A mass in Vietnamese is also offered every other week.[33] St. Mary's of the Assumption Parish is the largest Catholic parish in Lawrence by Mass attendance and number of registered parishioners and has the largest multi-lingual congregation in the city and has been offering Spanish masses since the early 1990s.[citation needed]

Since the 1990s, increasing numbers of former Catholic churches, closed since the 1980s when their Irish or Italian congregations died out, have been bought by Hispanic evangelical churches.[34]

The 2000 Census revealed the following population breakdown, illustrating the shift toward newer immigrant groups:

Dominican Republic, 22%; Puerto Rican, 22%; other Hispanic or Latino, 12%; Irish, 7%; Italian, 7%, French (except Basque), 5%; Black or African American, 5%; French Canadian, 5%; English, 3%; Arab, 2%; German, 2%; Lebanese, 2%; Central American, 1%; Polish, 1%; Portuguese, 1%; Guatemalan, 1%; Vietnamese, 1%; South American, 1%; Spanish, 1%; Cambodian, 1%; Scottish, 1%; Cuban, 1%; Scotch-Irish, 1%; Ecuadoran, 1%.[35]

Geography[edit]

High Service Water Tower (1895), also called Tower Hill Water Tower, a notable eyecatcher or folly, named an American Water Landmark in 1979 by the American Water Works Association.

Lawrence is located at 42°42′13″N 71°9′47″W / 42.70361°N 71.16306°W / 42.70361; -71.16306 (42.703741, -71.162979).[36] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.4 square miles (19 km2), of which 7.0 square miles (18 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km2) (6.07%) is water. Lawrence is located on both sides of the Merrimack River, approximately 26 miles (42 km) upstream from the Atlantic Ocean. On the north side of the river, it is surrounded by Methuen. On the south side of the river, the town is bordered by North Andover to the east, and Andover to the south and southwest. Lawrence is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) north-northwest of Boston, and 27 miles (43 km) southeast of Manchester, New Hampshire.

Aside from the Merrimack River, other water features include the Spicket River, which flows into the Merrimack from Methuen, and the Shawsheen River, which forms the southeastern border of the city. Lawrence has two power canals that were formerly used to provide hydropower to the mills - one on the north bank of the river, the other on the south. Channeling water into these canals is the Great Stone Dam, which lies across the entire Merrimack and was, at the time of its construction in the 1840s, the largest dam in the world. The highest point in Lawrence is the top of Tower Hill in the northwest corner of the city, rising approximately 240 feet (73 m) above sea level. Other prominent hills include Prospect Hill, in the northeast corner of the city, and Mount Vernon, along the southern edge of the city. Most industrial activity was concentrated in the flatlands along the rivers. Den Rock Park, a wooded conservation district on the southern edge of Lawrence that spans the Lawrence-Andover town line, provides recreation for nature lovers and rock-climbers alike.[37] There are also several small parks throughout town.

Transportation[edit]

Lawrence lies along Interstate 495, which passes through the eastern portion of the city. There are three exits entirely within the city, though two more provide access from just outside the city limits. The town is also served by Route 28 passing from south to north through the city, and Route 110, which passes from east to west through the northern half of the city. Route 114 also has its western terminus at Route 28 at the Merrimack River. Lawrence is the site of four road crossings and a railroad crossing over the Merrimack, including the O'Leary Bridge (Route 28), a railroad bridge, the Casey Bridge (bringing Parker Street and access to Route 114 and the Lawrence MBTA station to the north shore), the Duck Bridge (which brings Union Street across the river), and the double-decked O'Reilly Bridge, bringing I-495 across the river.

Lawrence is the western hub of the Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority's bus service. It is also home to the Senator Patricia McGovern Transportation Center, home to regional bus service and the Lawrence stop along the Haverhill/Reading Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail system, providing service from Haverhill to Boston's North Station. Lawrence Municipal Airport provides small plane service, though it is actually located in neighboring North Andover. Lawrence is located approximately equidistant from Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and Logan International Airport.

Climate[edit]

Lawrence has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa), which is typical for the southern Merrimack valley region in eastern Massachusetts.

Climate data for Lawrence, Massachusetts
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F 33.9 36.4 45.2 56.6 68.2 77.3 82.6 81.1 72.9 62.5 50.7 38.1 58.79
Average low °F 15.4 16.9 27.0 37.1 47.3 56.6 62.3 60.6 52.2 41.6 33.0 21.4 39.28
Rainfall inches 3.92 3.17 3.93 4.06 3.67 3.46 3.34 3.18 3.78 3.96 4.06 3.56 44.09
Average high °C 1.1 2.4 7.3 13.7 20.1 25.2 28.1 27.3 22.7 16.9 10.4 3.4 14.88
Average low °C −9.2 −8.4 −2.8 2.8 8.5 13.7 16.8 15.9 11.2 5.3 0.6 −5.9 4.04
Rainfall mm 99.6 80.5 99.8 103.1 93.2 87.9 84.8 80.8 96 100.6 103.1 90.4 1,119.8
[citation needed]


Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 8,282
1860 17,639 113.0%
1870 28,921 64.0%
1880 39,151 35.4%
1890 44,654 14.1%
1900 62,559 40.1%
1910 85,892 37.3%
1920 94,270 9.8%
1930 85,068 −9.8%
1940 84,323 −0.9%
1950 80,536 −4.5%
1960 70,933 −11.9%
1970 66,915 −5.7%
1980 63,175 −5.6%
1990 70,207 11.1%
2000 72,043 2.6%
2010 76,377 6.0%

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2010 Census, the city's population is 76,377, the population density is 10,973.7 per square mile (4237/km²), and there are 27,137 households (25,181 occupied). The racial makeup of the city is 42.8% White (20.5% non-Hispanic), 7.6% Black or African American, 2.5% Asian (0.8% Vietnamese, 0.8% Cambodian), 1.3% American Indian or Alaskan Native, 0.1% (57 total) Hawaiian Native or Pacific Islander, 39.3% some other race, 6.5% two or more races, and 73.8% of the population is Hispanic or Latino (of any race) (39.6% Dominican, 22.2% Puerto Rican, 3.0% Guatemalan, 0.8% Ecuadorian, 0.7% Mexican, 0.6% Salvadoran, 0.5% Cuban) (U.S. Average: 12.5%).[38]

As of the census[39] of 2000, there were 72,043 people, 24,463 households, and 16,903 families residing in the city. The population density was 10,351.4 people per square mile (3,996.5/km²). There were 25,601 housing units at an average density of 3,678.4 per square mile (1,420.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.64% White (U.S. Average: 72.4%), 4.88% African American (U.S. Average: 12.3%), 2.65% Asian (U.S. Average: 3.6%), 0.81% Native American (U.S. Average: 0.1%), 0.10% Pacific Islander (U.S. Average: 0.1%), 36.67% from other races (U.S. Average: 5.5%), 6.25% from two or more races (U.S. Average: 2.4%).

There were 24,463 households where the average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.46.

  • 41.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them. (U.S. Average: 32.8%)
  • 36.6% were married couples living together. (U.S. Average: 51.7%)
  • 25.7% had a female householder with no husband present. (U.S. Average: 12.2%)
  • 30.9% were non-families. (U.S. Average: 31.9%)
  • 25.5% of all households were made up of individuals. (U.S. Average: 25.8%)
  • 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. (U.S. Average: 9.2%)

In the city the population had a median age was 30.0 years (U.S. Average: 35.3):

  • 32.0% under the age of 18
  • 11.1% from 18 to 24
  • 30.3% from 25 to 44
  • 16.7% from 45 to 64
  • 9.8% were 65 years of age or older.

For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $25,983 (U.S. Average: $41,994), and the median income for a family was $29,809 (U.S. Average: $50,046) . Males had a median income of $27,772 versus $23,137 for females. The per capita income for the city was $11,360. About 21.2% of families (U.S. Average: 9.2%) and 34.3% (U.S. Average: 12.4%) of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.7% of those under age 18 and 20.1% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

Local[edit]

Voter Registration and Party Enrollment as of October 15, 2008[40]
Party Number of Voters Percentage
  Democratic 21,254 53.25%
  Republican 2,980 7.47%
  Unaffiliated 15,380 38.54%
  Minor Parties 297 0.74%
Total 39,911 100%

Form of government:
Plan B - "Strong mayor" - Mayor and city council, the councilors being elected partly at large and partly from districts or wards of the city. Party primaries prohibited.[41] [42] Lawrence has an established City Charter[43] and with a Mayor-council government. There are nine city councilors and six school committee members; most are elected by district; three city council members are elected at large. There are six districts in Lawrence and all elections are non-partisan. The Mayor serves as the seventh member and chair of the school committee. The city council chooses one of its number as president who serves as chair of the council. The city of Lawrence also elects three members to the Greater Lawrence Technical School Committee these members are elected at-large. City Council and Mayoral terms of office begin in the month of January.

Lawrence City Council Lawrence School Committee Greater Lawrence
Technical School Committee
  • Sandy Almonte (A)
    • (Jan. 2010–present)
  • Estela Reyes (B)
    • (Jan. 2012–present)
  • Kendrys Vásquez (C)
    • (Jan. 2012–present)
  • Oneida Aquiño (D)
    • (Jan. 2010–present)
  • Eileen O'Connor Bernal (E)
    • (Jan. 2010–present)
  • Marc Laplante (F)
    • (Jan. 1998–Jan. 2002 District D),
      (Jan. 2010–present)
  • Nilka Alvarez-Rodriguez (At-Large)**
    • (Jan. 2000–May 2005 District C),
      (Jan. 2006–Jan. 2010 At-Large),
      (Jan. 2014–present)
  • Modesto Maldonado (At-Large)*
    • (Jan. 2010–Jan. 2012 District C),
      (Jan. 2014–present)
  • Roger Twomey (At-Large)
    • (Jan. 2008–present)
  • Myra Ortiz (A)
    • (Jan. 2014–present)
  • Milquicided Santos (B)
    • (Jan. 2012–present)
  • Pavel Payano (C)
    • (March 2011–present)
  • Jeovanny Rodriguez (D)
    • (Jan. 2014–present)
  • Patrica Mariano (E)
    • (Sept. 2012–present)
  • Jim Blatchford (F)**
    • (Jan. 2012–present)
  • Dan Rivera (Mayor)*
    • (Jan. 2010–Jan. 2014 City Council),
      (Jan. 2014–present)
  • Leo J. Lamontagne (At-Large)*
    • (Jan. 1986–present)
  • Gary Mannion Jr. (At-Large)
    • (Jan. 2014–present)
  • Angel Garcia (At-Large)
    • (Feb. 2014–present)

* = President/Chair
** = Vice President/Vice Chair

Lawrence has its own police and fire departments, and Patriot Ambulance serves as the city's emergency medical service (EMS). The city also has its own public works and trash pickup departments.

State and federal[edit]

County government: Essex County
Clerk of Courts: Thomas H. Driscoll, Jr. (D)
District Attorney: Jonathan W. Blodgett (D)
Register of Deeds: M. Paul Iannuccillo (D)
Register of Probate: Pamela Casey O'Brien (D)[44]
County Sheriff: Frank G. Cousins, Jr. (R)
State government
State Representative(s): Marcos Devers (D)
Diana DiZoglio (D)
Frank A. Moran (D)
State Senator(s): Barry Finegold (D)
Governor's Councilor(s): Eileen Duff (D)
Federal government
U.S. Representative(s): Niki Tsongas (D-3rd District),
U.S. Senators: Elizabeth Warren (D), Ed Markey (D)

Lawrence is one of Essex County's two county seats, along with Salem. As such, it is home to a juvenile, district and superior court, as well as a regional office of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. It is also home to the Lawrence Correctional Alternative Center, a regional alternative jail for low-risk offenders. It is not home to the county's sheriff or district attorney; they are located in Middleton (home to the county's correctional facility) and Salem, respectively. The city is also covered by the Andover barracks of Troop A of the Massachusetts State Police, which serves much of the western Merrimack Valley and several towns just south of Andover.

Healthcare[edit]

Lawrence General Hospital is the city's main hospital, providing service to much of the area south of the city. Other nearby hospitals are in Methuen, Haverhill and Lowell. The city also is served by the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. Guardian Ambulance was established in 1990 and incorporated in 1991 by local EMT's to serve the city during a downturn in the economy at that time. The station moved from the Tower Hill section to its current location on Marston Street in 1993.

Fire department[edit]

The city of Lawrence is protected 24/7, 365 by the 72 paid, professional firefighters of the city of Lawrence Fire Department(LFD). Established in 1847, the Lawrence Fire Department currently operates out of four fire stations, located throughout the city, under the command of a Shift Commander per shift. The LFD also operates a frontline fire apparatus fleet of four engines, two ladders, one cross-staffed rescue(special operations), and a reserve apparatus fleet of two engines and one ladder(quint), as well as several other special and support units. The current fire department staffing is one officer, one driver, and one firefighter/EMT assigned to each frontline unit per shift. The Lawrence Fire Department currently responds to over 13,000 emergency calls annually and a high volume of fire-related incidents. The current Chief of Department is Jack Bergeron.[45][46]

Fire station locations and apparatus[edit]

Below is a complete listing of all fire station and company locations in the city of Lawrence.[45][47]

Engine Company Ladder Company Special Unit Chief Address
Engine 5 Ladder 5 Rescue 1(Special Operations) Car 20(Chief of Department), Car 21(Shift Commander), Car 58(Safety/Training Officer) 65 Lowell St.
Engine 6 480 Howard St.
Engine 7 290 Park St.
Engine 9 Ladder 4 71 S. Broadway

Education[edit]

Public schools[edit]

The City of Lawrence has a public school system managed by Lawrence Public Schools.

Charter schools

High schools

Private schools[edit]

Elementary schools

High schools

Higher education[edit]

Public

Private

Lawrence public library, 1899

Library[edit]

The Lawrence public library was established in 1872.[48][49] In fiscal year 2008, the city of Lawrence spent 0.55% ($1,155,597) of its budget on its public library—some $16 per person.[50]

Media and communications[edit]

Lawrence's main newspaper is The Eagle-Tribune, one of the major newspapers for the Merrimack Valley that was founded in Lawrence in 1890 but later moved its facilities to the Town of North Andover on route 114. Lawrence is home to Rumbo (a bilingual English/Spanish paper) and Siglo 21 (a Spanish paper). Another newspaper closely covering Lawrence news is The Valley Patriot (a monthly paper published in North Andover Massachusetts). The city has one FM station, WEEI-FM 93.7, and four AM stations, WNNW 800, WCAP 980, WCCM 1110 and WLLH 1400. Lawrence Community Access Television is the only television station operating out of the city, and the city is considered part of the Boston television market.

What's Good in the Hood (est.2010), a local blog produced by youth, covers stories about Lawrence.

Lawrence is served by Area codes 978 and 351. Originally a part of area code 617, it became part of area code 508 in 1988 before that, too, was split, with 978 covering the northern half of the old area code. Area code 351 is considered an overlay code.

Economy[edit]

New Balance has a shoe manufacturing plant in Lawrence, one of five plants operating in the US.[51]

Charm Sciences, which manufactures test kits and systems for antibiotic, veterinary drugs, mycotoxins, pesticides, alkaline phosphatase, pathogens, end-product microbial assessment, allergen control, and ATP hygiene, has a laboratory in Lawrence.

Points of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ Lathem, Edward Connery; Thompson, Lawrance Roger (1966). Robert Frost and the Lawrence, Massachusetts, High School Bulletin; the beginning of a literary career,. New York: Grolier Club. 
  3. ^ Indian History and Traditions, by Maurice B. Dorgan, 1918
  4. ^ Historical sketch of the town of Methuen: from its settlement to the year 1876, by Joseph Sidney Howe, 1876, p.4
  5. ^ History of the City of Lawrence by Jonathan Franklin Chesley Hayes, 1868, p. 11
  6. ^ History of the City of Lawrence by Jonathan Franklin Chesley Hayes, 1868, p. 17
  7. ^ History of the City of Lawrence by Jonathan Franklin Chesley Hayes, 1868, p. 23
  8. ^ Skulski, Ken. The History of Lawrence Massachusetts, Volume 2, page 7.
  9. ^ "The Fall of the Pemberton Mill.". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). April 18, 1886. 
  10. ^ https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/unions/lawrence-strike/mcpherson03.htm
  11. ^ http://flag.blackened.net/lpp/iww/kornbluh_bread_roses.html
  12. ^ Urban redevelopment of Lawrence, MA a retrospective case study of the Plains Neighborhood by Pernice, Nicolas M., M.S., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL, 2011, 136 pages
  13. ^ "Crackdown by police cools Lawrence riots". Spokane Chronicle (Spokane, Washington). August 11, 1984. p. 4. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  14. ^ "TWO NIGHTS OF RIOTING BRING A CURFEW TO LAWRENCE, MASS.". New York Times (New York, New York). August 10, 1984. p. 4. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
  15. ^ McGhee, Neil (August 24, 1992). "Arson epidemic continues in Massachusetts town". National Underwriter Property & Casualty-Risk & Benefits Management (The National Underwriter Company). Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  16. ^ 60 Minutes: The Mensch Of Malden Mills
  17. ^ http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2011/10/17/41306/Lawrence-Massachusetts-mayor-faces-the-wrath-of-residents
  18. ^ InTown Mall demolition begins today, making way for college health technologies building, by Keith Eddings, Eagle-Tribune, 3 January 2012
  19. ^ http://departments.necc.mass.edu/newsroom/2012/01/04/intown-mall-comes-tumbling-down/
  20. ^ Allen, Scott; Andrew Ryan (January 21, 2008). "150 left homeless from Lawrence fire". The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts). Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  21. ^ Kirk, Bill (14 February 2010). "Lawrence fiscal crisis prompts talk of bankruptcy, receivership". The Eagle Tribune. North Andover, MA. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  22. ^ a b c Cole, Donald B. (1963). Immigrant City: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1845–1921. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-0876-8. 
  23. ^ Wadsworth, H.A. History of Lawrence, Massachusetts (Lawrence, 1880).
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Skulski, Ken; Dengler, Eartha; Khalife, Katherine (1995). Lawrence, Massachusetts. Dover, N.H: Arcadia Pub. ISBN 0-7524-0229-3. 
  25. ^ http://lucieslegacy.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/history-of-lawrence-ma-immigrant.html
  26. ^ Quarter-centennial history of Lawrence, Massachusetts : with portraits and biographical sketches of ex-mayors, the board of may [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Wadsworth, H. A.. Quarter-centennial history of Lawrence, Massachusetts : with portraits and biographical sketches of ex-mayors, the board of mayor and aldermen for the present year, other leading officials, and a representation of business and professional men. Lawrence, Mass.: H. Reed, Lawrence Eagle Steam Job Print. Office, 1878, p. 82
  27. ^ Parish History
  28. ^ a b McCaffery, Robert Paul McCaffery. "Islands of Deutschtum: German-Americans in Manchester, New Hampshire and Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1870–1942". New German–American studies, vol 11. Peter Lang, 1996.
  29. ^ Festa of Saints Alfio, Filadelfo, and Cirino
  30. ^ St. Anthony’s Marionite Church Website
  31. ^ Polish Roots website
  32. ^ Quarter-centennial history of Lawrence, Massachusetts : with portraits and biographical sketches of ex-mayors, the board of may [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005. Original data: Wadsworth, H. A.. Quarter-centennial history of Lawrence, Massachusetts : with portraits and biographical sketches of ex-mayors, the board of mayor and aldermen for the present year, other leading officials, and a representation of business and professional men. Lawrence, Mass.: H. Reed, Lawrence Eagle Steam Job Print. Office, 1878, p. 66
  33. ^ "Scenes from a Parish" Mass Humanities, Spring 1995
  34. ^ Betances, Yadira. "Protestant congregations eyeing vacant Catholic church properties Yadira Betances. Eagle-Tribune, December 26, 2006.
  35. ^ Current census data on Epodunk.com accessed 04/09/2008
  36. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  37. ^ Den Rock Park Trail Guide
  38. ^ "American FactFinder". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  39. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  40. ^ "2008 State Party Election Party Enrollment Statistics" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. Retrieved 2010-07-07. 
  41. ^ "Chapter 43- City Charters". The General Laws of Massachusetts- Chapter 43, Section 1. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  42. ^ "Form of Government". City of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Retrieved 2010-06-24. [dead link]
  43. ^ "City of Lawrence Charter" (PDF). City Website. City of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Retrieved 4 November 2009. [dead link]
  44. ^ [1][dead link]
  45. ^ a b http://www.cityoflawrence.com/fire-department.aspx
  46. ^ http://www.lawrencefiredepartment.com/
  47. ^ http://www.lawrencefiredepartment.com/firestations.html
  48. ^ C.B. Tillinghast. The free public libraries of Massachusetts. 1st Report of the Free Public Library Commission of Massachusetts. Boston: Wright & Potter, 1891. Google books
  49. ^ Retrieved 2010-11-08
  50. ^ July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008; cf. The FY2008 Municipal Pie: What’s Your Share? Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Board of Library Commissioners. Boston: 2009. Available: Municipal Pie Reports. Retrieved 2010-08-04
  51. ^ Women's New Balance USA Collection. newbalance.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  52. ^ Artz, Matthew (2009-12-31). "Fremont's 'hamburger king' dead at 81". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved 2010-01-12. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Urban redevelopment of Lawrence, MA a retrospective case study of the Plains Neighborhood by Pernice, Nicolas M., M.S. 2011.
  • Maurice B. Dorgan, History of Lawrence, Massachusetts: With War Records. Lawrence, MA: Maurice B. Dorgan, 1924.
  • "Ethnic tensions in Lawrence" (Archive). WGBH-TV. March 28, 1991.

External links[edit]