Monday, January 02, 2012

Mappy Monday: 12 West Street, Lowell MA

Happy New Year, everyone!

I've had this little ancestor mapping project on the back burner for a while now. On the back burner I say, mainly because most of the buildings and or addresses that I'm looking for within Lowell don't exist any more. Ideally, I wanted to start with my first known Robillard ancestor to come to the city and map where he or she lived and then climb the ladder, but... that isn't working out too well. So, I guess I'll just go at it all willy nilly like... Who cares, anyway?

12 West St. was the address of the home that my Pepere Robillard and his family lived at in 1930. April 10th, 1930, to be exact. West St. is in Centralville, right off of Lakeview and runs all the way up to Colburn. According to the 1930 census, my Pepere, Joe, was 32 years old that year, as was my Memere, Louise (Wright). Pepere, who was naturalized in 1898, rented his home for $18.00 (is that per week?), and worked as a loomfixer in a silkmill. Memere was home with the kids. The kids, all 5 of them, were between the ages of 2 and half and 13 years. Uncle Jim was the oldest, Uncle Bob the youngest, and, I just have to mention this, Aunt Joan, well... She was on her way. As my Memere was abt 8 months pregnant at this time. What about Uncle Richard and my Dad, you ask? They weren't even a thought in 1930.  Pepere & Memere's neighbors were the Gilbride family at, what appears to be, 14 West St. and the Grotton (or is it Grafton) family at 10 West.

If you look at the map below, you'll see that I marked the current address location.  The house is a very modest one, maybe a starter home, or would you call it a cottage? I do believe the house that is there may be the same house that was there in 1930, although I'm not sure. I keep thinking about the flood of 36 and the more I do the more I doubt that this is the same house. What about the development of the VFW Highway? How did that change the landscape? Shit, I don't even know when it was put in, so I don't know. I tried to do a history of the address at the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds website to figure that out, but I was unsuccessful.

The house at the current address in the map below looks white, but I can tell you it's now 2 shades of a really ugly blue. Yes, I went and hunted it down, even took a few photographs early one weekday morning. Uhuh, that was me standing in the middle of your street with the camera. Can you say wackado?

I wonder how long my Pepere & Memere lived on West St, and if my Uncle Bob remembers it. I kinda doubt he does though, he was, after all, only 2 years old and I know my Pepere & Memere moved around a lot. I mean a lot, always following the work I was told... I could, I suppose, revisit the directories to find this out. Someday.

Anyway, I guess I'm going to try and go backwards from here (then forward again, think 1940 census). In 1920 my Pepere lived at 299 Moody, I doubt the actual building still exists and that the street has been renumbered many times? Do they do that? Renumber streets? Of course they do... I'll go see what I can find.


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