Location: 383 Pawtucket Street, Lowell. Directions
|Spalding House Garden Design|
We are creating the scenic Spalding House Garden, which will soon link to the Pawtucket Falls Overlook Park and the Northern Canal Walkway. Based on community and member input we've merged two alternative garden designs into one great design!
|Spalding House-Pawtucket Falls Overlook Park|
|The park was dedicated on September 29th, 2011 with special guest Congresswoman Niki Tsongas. We’re grateful to the City of Lowell and the Lowell National Historical Park for helping make this connection between the Spalding House and the Merrimack River a reality! In photo from left: Rachel Kisker and Diane Tradd, City of Lowell DPD, Landscape Architect Steve Cosmos."|
It was constructed and is managed by the City of Lowell behind the Spalding House. The park provides access to the Merrimack River with a view overlooking Pawtucket Falls. The falls are the very reason for the origin of the Spalding House, as they posed a hazardous obstacle for bargemen traveling the river, which they were forced to portage around.
Two new grants have enabled LP&CT and Window Woman of N.E. to move ahead with window restoration at the Spalding House: $21,000 from the MA Cultural Facilities Fund And $25,000 from the 1772 Foundation.
Thank You! - November 2007 The Trust greatly thanks Picot Company, Inc. for their work to resolve drainage issues at the Spalding House this Fall. Thank you very much!
Volunteers play a critical role in helping us care for and monitor our properties. If you would like more information about any of the properties or would like to volunteer as a land steward, please let us know (978)934-0030. Action projects, in addition to regular site monitoring, on this property could include:
To view the Spalding House Restoration Fact Sheet (PDF): Click Here
Spalding House & Moses Davis Inn
The Spalding House (circa 1760) is known for its rich colonial history (pre-industrial), located at the epicenter of Lowell's rich cultural and environmental past. Among other interesting historical facts, the house is valued for its environmental history with its proximity to Pawktucket Falls, which allowed it to be used lodging by people traveling down the Merrimack River. From approximately 1760-1790, bargemen would stay at the house then known as the Moses Davis Inn, while making their portage around the nearby falls.
Joel Spalding purchased the house on October 6, 1790. Spalding was a 48-year- old widower and the first of three generations of the Spalding family to live in the house. Joel had two children Jonathan, age 15, and Phebe, age 10. His first wife, Phebe Tyler, had died during childbirth ten years earlier. Six months after moving into the house, he married Rebecca Cary. Jonathan inherited the house when his father died in 1823. He then passed it on to his two children, Joel and Sarah, who were born in the house and lived in it their entire lives.
The Spaldings made some alterations to the house, including the addition of the Italianate-style hood over the front door and a small porch on the back of the house. Interior photos, taken in the early 1900s, show elaborate Victorian wallpapers and duct work for a central heating system.
The DAR purchased the Spalding House from Mrs. Henry Lambert who purchased it on behalf of the DAR in April 1906 from Miss Sarah Spalding. The house’s association with three soldiers who had fought in the Revolutionary War held a special appeal to the DAR who was looking for a place to display its growing collection of colonial artifacts.
The DAR began an immediate restoration of the house to expose its colonial features. They uncovered old fireplaces, reopened old doors, and restored the second floor lecture hall. For 90 years the DAR held its regular meetings, hosted teas, staged plays, and distributed scholarships and citizenship awards. When membership in the Chapter declined in the 1980s, the DAR began looking for another local organization to assume ownership of the house and to continue to operate it as a museum.
When the DAR first approached the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust to discuss its taking ownership of the Spalding House, we were hesitant. The Spalding House presented a major challenge to our young organization’s finite resources. Our board of directors recognized, however, that unless they stepped forward a significant cultural resource in the city of Lowell and the Merrimack Valley would be lost. The house’s historic connection with the Merrimack River and the transformation of the landscape around house, from a rural colonial settlement of East Chelmsford to urban-industrial Lowell, fit with the Trust’s mission to educate people about change in the urban environment.
The Trust will use some of the 900+ artifacts given to us with the house for exhibits about the house’s history and the history of environmental change in the city of Lowell. Exterior restoration is the first of four phases. Work remains to be completed on the surrounding landscape, interior rooms, and use of the house’s artifacts to interpret the house's history.
Many thanks to our supporters & funders: