My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Two Lowell Actresses Won An Academy Award, and I Met One!

The 87th annual Academy Awards will be given out this Sunday, February 22, 2015. I'm sharing some information on two women who were  born in Lowell, Massachusetts and each was a winner. One of them, I actually met, in London of all places.
Photo by Barbara Poole

Bette Davis was born in Lowell on April 5, 1908 and only lived there a few years. Her former house isn't too far from where I live.
Photo by Barbara Poole

Photo by Barbara Poole

Winter is a great time for me to watch DVDs from Netflix, so I've been getting my fix of her wonderful movies. So far, I've seen about 12*, and don't have a favorite yet. She was nominated for 10 Academy Awards, and won twice for best actress for her role in Dangerous and Jezebel.

Bette has always been a favorite of mine, and I was quite fortunate to see one of her gowns worn in a movie in the exhibit called, Dressed for the Part at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell. I volunteered at this exhibit every Thursday evening, and it was a joy to see public appreciate the costumes.

See my post about that exhibit along with my piece on seeing Princess Diana HERE.

The second Academy Award winner born in Lowell, was Olympia Dukakis. It seems that I've always known that, or maybe since she won her Best Supporting Actress award in 1987 for Moonstruck. Since I was living in Virginia, I must have seen or heard something about where she was from. This memory tidbit came in handy one afternoon in the early 1990s when I was alone in London. While waiting to talk to the concierge at the Russell Hotel, I listened to the lady in front of me (she was relaying information to her husband who was standing a few feet away). Dressed in casual clothes, she didn't stand out...but her voice did. When she turned to leave, I asked if she was Olympia Dukakis. (Note: little if any make-up on.) She said, "yes" and I told her that I had lived in Lowell. She was quite excited, and probably pleased that somebody from Virginia would know that fact. I must have asked for an autograph (since I was collecting them at that time), but I didn't have any paper. She did, and wrote, "To A Fellow Lowellian" Regards, Olympia Dukakis.
Property of Barbara Poole
From Olympia's book, Ask Me Again Tomorrow, her autobiography published in 2003, I chose a few lines to quote. "My mother's family emigrated from the Mani region of southern Greece to Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1907, when she was six years old." "Those who chose to emigrate to American came because it offered them a place where their hard work would be rewarded, where they would be able to improve their circumstances in life. And Lowell offered them a place where they could, at the same time, maintain their Greek values." By the time my brother and I and all of our cousins were born, Lowell had become known as 'the Acropolis of America.'"  They lived at 57 Clare Street.In June 20, 1931, Olympia was born and 1939, the family moved to Somerville, MA.

* Bette Davis movies I've seen:
Now, Voyager
Dark Victory
Old Acquaintance
All About Eve
All This, And Heaven Too
The Nanny
Mr. Skeffington
Death on the Nile
The Old Maid
The Letter
The Great Lie
The Petrified Forest
In This Our Life
Marked Woman
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte
The Man Who Came to Dinner
Three on a Match
The Bride Came C. O. D.
Of Human Bondage
The Anniversary
The Watcher in the Woods
Satan Met a Lady
Dead Ringer
Phone Call From a Stranger

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

There Is A Lot to Like About Lowell -- Along the Merrimack River in Four Seasons

"There is A Lot to Like About Lowell" is the city slogan.
(See tab on right side called "Lowell Series" for many more articles about Lowell.)

Along the Merrimack River in Four Seasons

The Merrimack River From Wikipedia: "it is a 117-mile-long river in the northeastern United States. It rises at the confluence of the Pemigewasset and Winnipesaukee rivers in Franklin, New Hampshire, flows southward into Massachusetts, and then flows northeast until it empties into the Atlantic Ocean at Newburyport."

There is a man-made beach, a popular spot during the summer. The river can be very rough, high or smooth (above and below).
Six bridges cross the river, the city is on both sides.

There are walk paths on both sides of the river, and even in the middle, as shown above (with man-made canal on left and river on right).

While looking up information about the river, I found a site, I wasn't aware of. It's the NOAA National Weather Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, they track the height of the river (see their colorful chart below on the left).

Since Lowell currently has the most snow of any city in the United States (February 16, 2015, at 111") I'll be watching  the gauge readings frequently. We all remember the recent floods in 2006 and 2007.

Flood Categories (in feet)
Major Flood Stage:58
Moderate Flood Stage:54
Flood Stage:52
Action Stage:50

Historic Crests
(1) 68.40 ft on 03/20/1936
(2) 60.60 ft on 04/23/1852
(3) 60.57 ft on 09/23/1938
(4) 58.84 ft on 05/15/2006
(5) 58.09 ft on 04/17/2007

Snow chart, posted February 16, 2015, by Mill City Weather. (Permission granted to use.)