Portugal

In the nineteenth century the industrial revolution and immigration dramatically transformed the landscape where the Concord and Merrimack Rivers join. Canals dug, red brick mills built, Lowell was open for business. Thousand of workers poured into the city. In 1900, nearly 18,000 foreign-born Portuguese lived in Massachusetts; the number reached 50,000 by 1920. A significant number lived and worked in Lowell. By George Kenngott’s account in The Record of a City (1912), life for these immigrants was not easy. The tenements they lived in were “old and dilapidated. Some of them have holes in the floor and the walls are hardly fit for human habitation and should be torn down.” Learn how Portuguese immigrants and their children made their way in the mill city here.