• Boott Cotton Mills Museum with Trolley

    Lowell

    National Historical Park Massachusetts

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  • Folk Festival Parking and Schedule Changes

    While the park helps the city prepare for and celebrate the Lowell Folk Festival, the Visitor Center parking lot at 304 Dutton St. will be closed Wed July 23-Mon July 28. Also check our Operating Hours page for changes to tour and exhibit schedules. More »

Adopt-a-Gatehouse

Moody Street Gatehouse actually faces Merrimack Street and the Merrimack Canal.

Moody Street Gatehouse actually faces Merrimack Street and the Merrimack Canal.

Amy Glowacki, NPS

Moody Street Feeder (on Merrimack St.), Lower Locks, Swamp Locks, Francis Gate, and the Pawtucket Gatehouses (pictured below) are available for volunteer adoption. These gatehouses reside along the canals and rivers in unique and often spectacular settings. All of the gatehouses are historic structures that include rare features often not seen in America, such as 19th century canal locks, spillways, canal gates, and other important features associated with the development of water power.

Lowell National Historical Park strives to encourage the preservation and the interpretation of the gatehouses, locks and dams.

You can assist the park with the preservation of these buildings and the beautification of the grounds:

  1. Volunteers can pledge to visit these structures on a regular basis, reporting any safety issues, damage, and vandalism to the park.
  2. Volunteers will perform light upkeep chores inside these buildings on a monthly basis, such as sweeping, window cleaning, and dusting.
  3. Volunteers will also pick up litter and help with plantings to spruce up the grounds for visitors.

You can also assist visitors by:

  1. Showing them the interiors of these buildings.
  2. Telling visitors about the history of these structures and the early importance of canals and water power to Lowell.
  3. Providing a basic orientation to visitors helping them find places to see and things to do in Lowell.

Training will be provided for any of the above tasks.

If you are interested, give the Volunteer Office a call at 978-275-1740. You can also send us an e-mail or an application.

 
The Swamp Locks Gatehouse is located a short walk from the Visitor Center parking lot.
One of the historic gatehouses needing adoption is located at the Swamp Locks. This area receives extra visitation during boat tour season, which runs from late June through early October. The gatehouse also lies in the heart of an extensive downtown area that will soon be redeveloped.
Paul Mueller, NPS Volunteer Office
 
Lower Locks Gatehouse is located across from the Doubletree Hotel and Middlesex Community College in the downtown.
At the Lower Locks area, the Pawtucket Canal that was originally built in the 1790's is about to flow finally into the Concord River. This area is a visual treat for all those who come across this complex of canal, lock chamber, and spillways.
 
The Pawtucket Gatehouse is located in the vicinity of the Pawtucket Falls in the Merrimack River.
The views from the Pawtucket Gatehouse are quite spectacular. The gatehouse itself juts out into the Merrimack River at the Pawtucket Falls. Two volunteers from Bristol-Myers Squibb take timeout during a clean-up event to enjoy the scene.
Paul Mueller, NPS Volunteer Office

Did You Know?

Photo of mill workers outside of a Boardinghouse

There were female and male overseers in the mills of Lowell in the 19th century. In Rev. Henry Miles' book, Lowell As It Was, and As It Is, he mentions that the Boott Cotton Mills has recently opened a new weave room and it is being overseen by two women overseers. More...