Lawrence MA

Lawrence MA


The City of Lawrence is a city that takes pride in its immigrants and industry. But, with the Methuen Street dividing it, North Andover to the east and south with only five miles between them, you’ll find one of Massachusetts’ largest cities!


History of Lawrence



The transformation of Lawrence into a significant industrial center was swift. In 1845, an ambitious group of Boston business people led by Abbott Lawrence gathered the Essex Company to maximize Bodwell Falls’ energy for commercial purposes. The group thinks it would help them grow their businesses and make more money, which it did.


This move changed things quickly and gave rise to many new opportunities that rapidly transformed this once rural farming community located on Merrimack River waterfalls into a booming industrialized city within just three years.


By the end of three years, Essex Company had completed a dam with two canals and a reservoir. They also created 50 brick buildings, including an Atlantic Cotton Mills, where they manufactured cotton products for export overseas. Together with the Atlantic Cotton Mills comes the Pemberton Mill, which produced flour distributed domestically in California.


Furthermore, The Duck Mill was used to produce fabrics from hemp imported by sea vessels headed towards Asia (due to its proximity). These successes led them into gas works producing coal-gas lighting & heating energy while simultaneously constructing their locomotives.




The woolen mills of Lawrence quickly became a prominent manufacturing center when passenger train service in the Boston and Maine Railroad was established in 1847. Today, the original mills remain to remind locals and visitors that this city is still a vital textile manufacturer.


Lawrence was declared as a city after the passenger train service was introduced to the country. The City quickly achieved prominence with more than 100 mills producing woolen textiles by 1860.


The rise of Lawrence as a textile center


The 1912 Lawrence textile strike is a famous example of an event that spurred labor unrest in the United States. In early January, workers at mills owned by American Woolen Company and other local woolens manufacturers walked off their jobs to protest wage cuts and long hours, and dangerous working conditions.


The Native Americans who lived around this area were present during that time. They were called the Pennacook or Pentucket tribe, and they have been discovered to be farming in Den Rock Park and making arrowheads at the site of what is now Wood Mill.

The first settlers in the area of Lawrence were European colonists from Newbury going down to the Merrimack River inland. The settlement was part of Methuen and Andover until 1655, when a blockhouse named Shawsheen Fields, now South Lawrence, was built to protect these colonies against Native American attacks.


The ambitious industrialists within the Water Power Association of Massachusetts, Abbott Lawrence et al., sought to buy more land for their factories and mills. So they purchased control over Peter’s Falls on the Merrimack River to get Bodwell’s Falls (the present site of Great Stone Dam).

The first excavations were done on August 1, 1845, to harness Merrimack River’s water power and eventually sell it to Arlington Mills. It allowed them to be in control over constructing mills and build them according to their client needs.


The city of Lawrence, Massachusetts, was initially called the “New City.” But when it became a recognized town in 1847, it was later an incorporated city in 1853, and the name changed to honor Abbott Laurence. However, it is said that he never saw the new community named after him because his health prevented travel until 1850.


The infamous Bread and Rose Strike in 1912


The Pemberton Mill is one of many that collapsed during the 19th century. In 1860, 145 workers were killed when it came crashing down due to unsafe working conditions. An overwhelmingly sizeable immigrant population in Lawrence at this time made up a skilled labor force from all over Europe with no shortage of work or money.


The infamous Bread and Roses Strike, as some people call the Lawrence Textile strike, happened in America’s most historical labor actions.


Post-war History


In 1950, Lawrence was a thriving city. The wool industry had made it so for decades. Still, as that business declined in the late 1940s and early 50s, Lawrence began its decline into poverty with only 64 thousand remaining residents by 1980.


Lawrence—The Immigrant City

Lawrence has a long history of welcoming immigrants. Hence, the place is also referred to as the City of Immigrants. The Irish were the first to arrive and start working in textile mills. However, Lawrence soon became home to many other nationalities, including French Canadians, Englishmen, Germans, and Poles, all following their own successions waves as they took advantage of opportunities given by the industrialization process that was sweeping through America during this period – even though it meant leaving everything behind them for an uncertain future ahead.


During that century, Italians, Poles, Lithuanians, and Syrians arrived in America. Puerto Ricans began to arrive just thirty years later, with a new wave from Dominicans following shortly. Of course, the latest arrivals come from Cambodia or Vietnam – but all are Latino at heart.


The community in Lawrence


Many people in the community have worked tirelessly to create a place they can feel safe and at home. The commitment of these individuals is exemplified by their strong neighborhood associations or police force, but that’s not all there is to it: much of what makes this city so great comes from the dedication and work ethic demonstrated every day on sidewalks across neighborhoods in Lawrence.


Lawrence offers diverse recreational activities, historical attractions, and cultural landmarks. In addition, city youth can sail the waters of Lawrence’s Merrimack River with their peers or on family outings through the city-sponsored program.


Lawrence Demographics and Population


Lawrence is the home of some 230,000 metropolitan residents. This city became a metropolis in 1853 and has since had an impressive population growth over its six-and-a-half square mile area. At that time, Mayor Dan Rivera heads the government for Lawrence. He was elected to his position in 2005 after being evaluated as one of “America’s 100 Most Powerful Mayors” with almost four years of service under his belt!


Lawrence (pop 76377) operates on 6.75 sq miles, housing 230K+ metropolitan citizens; it attained status as a city during 1853 but only began flourishing once Municipal Government decided – appointing mayor DAN RIVERA Jr., America’s “100 Most Powerful Mayors.”


Governance in Lawrence


The City of Lawrence is a vibrant and energetic place to live, work, or visit. The mayor and all nine city council members are elected by their constituents on a non-partisan basis for two years at a time. It’s easy to see why this might be such an appealing job since these public servants can take it in turns serving as mayor (elected four-year term) every other month to focus more attention on local issues while still being accessible outside of meetings when needed.


Municipal Services


In the heart of Lawrence, there is a city that provides for everything from garbage disposal to recreational facilities. Street maintenance and public education are two other essential services offered by this City.  The residents have all these things – they just need not come within its limits if they don’t want them.


The Greater Lawrence Sanitary District provides wastewater treatment in the city, which serves every residence and business in the town through 137 miles of sewer mains.


Lawrence Tourism


A tour of Lawrence is not complete without experiencing its industrial legacy first-hand. Visitors to the city can explore a range of sites, from factory buildings that line the Merrimack River and Great Stone Dam – which still runs today as an active hydroelectric dam for power generation purposes – right up to striking clock towers where time itself has been made tangible thanks in part because many locals know how long they have until work with just one glance at their wristwatch.


The Lawrence Heritage State Park is an innovative, interactive outdoor museum that looks into the lives of mill workers and their families. You can walk through one-third of this 23-acre area to see what life was like before electricity or running water became commonplace in mills all over the country. This Park also features art exhibitions at The Essex Art Center and hosts diverse cultural activities such as ethnic festivals where you taste local culture!


Lawrence is a beautiful Massachusetts city that has something for everyone!


Lawrence Education


Massachusetts voted to designate the Lawrence Public Schools as a Level 5, which meant the lowest performance level, school district, under the Patrick-Murray Administration’s Achievement Gap Act of 2010. Made official in November 2011, the act provides the legal system for putting education institutions into receivership.


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts made a wise decision when they appointed Jeffrey C. Riley, the Chief Innovation Officer for Boston Public Schools with an extensive background in turning around schools to be their Receiver for Lawrence Public School District. This happened on January 17, 2012, at which time he also became responsible for being the superintendent and school committee.


Under the statute, professional officials were charged with developing a Level 5 District Plan that would include district goals and plans to speed up achievement. They also had specific progressive goals that connected directly for all students across all schools to see improvement in their results.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that Jeffrey C. Riley would step down at the end of the 2017-2018 school year to allow for a more local approach as Lawrence Public Schools enters receivership with a partnership structure between Local Government and State Authorities.


Lawrence’s Commerce and Business Industry


With a population of nearly 95,000 by the early twentieth century and harnessed strength from Merrimack River’s system of canals fueling Lawrence mills that produced textiles for American and European markets, it is no wonder why this city became a world leader in production.

Lawrence is a hub for industry, with the Merrimack River providing excellent water power.


The town of Lawrence has long been and continues to be an industrial center. Early settlers originally planned the site to take advantage of its location on a river that ran through it–a perfect spot for mills! As more people arrived seeking work during Industrialization’s mid-century boom time, they created businesses like textile plants and shoe factories, which still thrive today.


The city of Lawrence is a bustling, diverse America. Its industry thrives on service work and manufacturing, which are the primary economic pursuit here in this great metropolis.


Are you planning to travel to Lawrence anytime soon?


If you plan to go to Lawrence anytime soon, you must be prepared. Aside from pocket money for leisure and your car, you need to ensure you are ready for a health condition. With that, a DOT card in Lawrence might be necessary.


What is a DOT card?


An essential part of driving commercial vehicles is a DOT health card. To keep your drivers on the road, you often need to help them get this documentation as soon as possible. Scheduling with regular doctors’ offices can sometimes take days or weeks, which creates an operational nightmare if they are unable to work during that time period due to their lack of medical documents. 


But, with our assistance at New England DOT Physicals, we can help you get your DOT health card in Lawrence in no time. We have an efficient process to get you back on the road safely and quickly, give our office a call to schedule an appointment. 


Get your DOT card today!

New England DOT Physicals provides affordable physical exams to CDL drivers, hoisting operators, commercial bus drivers, and more. They help people in Massachusetts, especially in Lawrence, and those beyond the state’s borders. Contact us today and schedule your DOT physical with us!