New Collection Available: Charles L. Patterson Family Papers, 1899?-1993?

CLPatterson.jpgThe Lawrence History Center is proud to announce that we have another new collection available for research. The Charles L. Patterson Family Papers, 1899?-1993? focus on the life of Charles L. Patterson (seen on the right), a native of Lawrence who moved to Ilion, New York and then Bridgeport, Connecticut. The collection details his early life in Lawrence, including his high school graduation and participation in the Grecian Lodge (Freemasons), as well as his later years working as an accountant. The records include obituaries, marriage announcements, photographs, and certificates directly related to Charles L. Patterson and his immediate family, as well as an extensive genealogy tracing members of the Patterson family from 1609 to 1993. The genealogy shows that Patterson was a descendant of Abigail and Amos Lawrence, who were extremely important in the founding of Lawrence, Mass. The collection was processed by volunteer Krystal Vezina and archivist Jennifer Williams. Vezina also prepared a family tree using the information in the genealogy. This collection would be fascinating to anyone who is interested in the recreational activities of Lawrencians in the early 20th century, the Lawrence and Patterson families, and the movements of Lawrence natives around the country. If you are interested in this collection, you can find the collection guide and family tree here. You can also view the collection at the Lawrence History Center by making an appointment. Please contact us at 978-686-9230 or

Greater Lawrence Technical School donates restored Fire Alarm #615 to LHC



Today, the Lawrence History Center received a magnificent gift from the students at the Greater Lawrence Technical School (GLTS). The students at GLTS, led by teacher Mr. Hatem in the Auto Body Department, have not only restored Fire Box #615, but delivered it to us in person this morning! Students from Auto Body conducted the restoration work, other students did background research and wrote up the process from start to finish (below), and a student photographer came along when delivering the finished product to us in order to further document the project.

We continue to be impressed by the the interdisciplinary approach that GLTS takes with their students, as well as, with student engagement and enthusiasm. Our sincerest thanks go to Mr. Hatem and the the students at GLTS for their hard work and dedication and to LHC volunteer, Gene McCarthy, for the role he played in securing this donation. We are proud to have Fire Alarm 615 in our front lobby, along with a small steam engine they restored back in 2011. And as the story (below) and images reveal, it needed quite a bit of work!

Well done and thank you, GLTS!

Fire Alarm Restoration #615
This report was respectfully submitted by GLTS students, Jaleesa M. and Alexis R.

This is a 1920's Gamewell fire box number 615 stationed somewhere in Lawrence, standing at the height of 5 feet 4 inches. Mr. Hatem, an Auto Body instructor from GLTS, found

Donald B. Cole, proud Lawrencian and author of "Immigrant City: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1845-1922" has passed

Donald B. Cole, last lecture, 2010.jpg
Donald B. Cole at his last lecture in 2010 at Phillips Exeter Academy

Donald B. Cole & family, 9.29.12.jpg
Donald B. Cole with his family in September, 2012.

With great sadness, we learned this morning from his son that Donald B. Cole, author of "Immigrant City: Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1845-1922," passed away on October 5, 2013.

His son, Robert Cole, wrote that his father, "... was very proud of his roots in Lawrence and Andover.... and loved the immigrant story...." He was a friend of the Lawrence History Center and his research has and will continue to inform generations of researchers. He will be missed, but he has left his home city with a wonderful contribution to its history, its identity, and its future. May he rest in peace.


Exeter NH—Donald Barnard Cole, 91, died peacefully at home, Saturday, October 5, 2013

Don Cole was a school man, a Jackson man, a family man. He dedicated his life to the education and service of others—through his teaching and leadership over 42 years at Phillips Exeter Academy; through his research and writing as a historian, specializing in Jacksonian Democracy; and through his devotion to his family.

He is survived by his wife Susan “Tootie” Wilson Cole and their children: Douglas and Carolyn Cole of Woodville WA, Robert Cole of Concord NH, Daniel and Jennifer Cole of Exeter NH, and Susan and Jeff Ross of Windsor CT. He cherished his ten grandchildren—Nathan, Andy and Vanessa; Madeline, Sam and Becky; Derek and Sydney; and Matt and Tim—and his two great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, Arthur and Marion Barnard Cole, as well as his dear sister Constance W. Cole, a fellow educator.

He was born March 31, 1922 in Lawrence Massachusetts and grew up during the Depression, surrounded by Barnard cousins on High Street in Andover. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, before heading to Harvard (Class of ‘44). His education was foreshortened by enlistment in the Navy where he served as a lieutenant and led landing craft missions in Pacific Theater, including the invasions of Okinawa and Guam. Friendships developed on board the USS Lamar stretched throughout his lifetime.


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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.