Lawrence Heritage State Park - Lawrence Visitor Center

Lawrence Heritage State Park, Lawrence Visitor Center
1 Jackson Street
Lawrence, MA 01840
978-794-1655      

A restored boarding house with two floors of interactive exhibits tells the tale of Lawrence, one of the nation's first planned industrial cities. Along with stories of Lawrence's mill workers and industry, the workers' role in the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike is relived with images and sounds. The Visitor Center's Gallery and Community Room also host a wide variety of temporary exhibits, both art and historical. Art exhibits are usually by local artists, often in group shows. Walk along the esplanade of a nineteenth-century canal and through a park created within the walls of an industrial-era building.

Ongoing Education Programming:

  • Guided Museum Tour:  explores our permanent exhibit about the planned city of Lawrence and its unique role in American industrialization, immigration, and labor history, with emphasis on waterpower and the textile industry.    Grades 3 and up.  Generally one hour, but can be tailored in both duration and content to individual class/teacher needs.  May include interactive 1880s “mock payday”, a Bread & Roses Strike video, and/or a demonstration of textile manufacturing process.  Can be combined with walking tours, weather permitting.
  • Walking tours:  explore the historic North Canal and Mill District, right outside our door.  Tours can focus on waterpower and the Great Stone Dam, on the Bread & Roses Strike, the Pemberton Mill Disaster, or on the history of the district generally.   Tours also include references to the environmental impacts of Lawrence’s industrial development.  Duration varies by focus and the group’s time constraints.
  • Step-on tours for groups with their own bus/transportation, allowing for more time and a closer look at the mills, the dam, and the waterpower infrastructure, which still generates power via a modern hydroelectric plant.  
  • Combination programs:   can be arranged with our local partner organization, the Lawrence History Center, the city’s historical society.  The LHC occupies an interesting historical complex of buildings, and does educational programs which can include hands-on work with primary source materials from its vast collection.

 Contact Information: Jim Beauchesne, 978-794-1655, jim.beauchesne@state.ma.us       

Hours: 

Open year round, Monday through Sunday 9am - 4pm

Driving Directions: 

From Boston: Rt. 93N to Rt. 495N. From Salem, MA: Rt. 114 West to Rt. 495N. From Newburyport: Rt. 495 South. From Rt. 495 North or South: Take exit 45 (Marston Street). From Marston Street take first left onto Canal Street. Go straight through lights then take second right onto Jackson Street. Visitors Center is on the right at 1 Jackson Street.

Site Notes & Advisories: 

Lawrence Heritage State Park is officially designated an Essex National Heritage Area Visitor Center. As such, in addition to giving information about the history of Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley, it also provides general information about the Essex National Heritage Area.

Flags: 

  • Family Friendly
  • Handicap Accessible
  • Parking
  • Restroom

Categories: 

  • Parks
  • Partnership Grants
  • Industrial Theme Trail
  • Museums
  • Visitor Centers

Property Owner/Organization: 

Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation
Essex Coastal Scenic Byway
Rail Trail
Rail Trail Trailhead