On November 24, 2009, the Lowell Heritage Partnership celebrated the dedication of the Lowell Bell on the Eastern Bank property at the corner of Central and Prescott Streets.
The following comes from the LHP's 15 Year Report: The Power of Preservation by Jennifer Myers
In the 19th century there were no Google calendar alerts, alarm clocks or radio bulletins to mark the top of the hour. There were bells.
Residents of 1800’s Lowell relied of the clanging of the metal to mark when the work day started, when it was time to break for lunch, when it was time to head home or go to for church. Bells were used to spring fire and police crews into action.
But, over the years as technology advanced, the old bells were retired from their time keeping and siren duties to more serene, quiet lives. One in particular found its way to the city’s Centralville neighborhood where it spent eight decades as a planter. The gigantic bell, flipped over and partially sunk into the earth in front of the Draper family’s Jewett Street home, where it had sat since 1923, was unearthed by a crane and donated to the LHP in 2004.
Five years and $25,000 later, the restored bell, mounted on a stone base, was unveiled at the renovated 500 square-foot V-shaped lot at the corner of Central and Prescott Streets donated by Eastern Bank as a memorial to the mill workers of Lowell and a reminder of the importance of bells in their daily lives.
Historians believe the bell, created by the Naylor Vickers Company of Sheffield, England in 1860, was used at the Old Market House at 40 Market Street and served as a fire alarm before the Palmer Street firehouse (now Fuse Bistro) was built. The Old Market House was a market and then the city’s police station.