What do Jack Kerouac, the Industrial Revolution, women's history, Irish and French Canadian immigration, canal boat tours and a frank discussion the North's implicit economic relationship with slavery have in common? Lowell, Massachusetts. Did we expect to learn about any of these things? Not really.
We expected another nebulous city National Historical Park (like New Bedford NHP and Salem NHP) with hidden costs and little historical attraction, created only to bring tourism to a blighted industrial northeast city. Boy, were we wrong.
Lowell NHP is a terrific living and working museum. It is a celebration of our industrial history and a celebration of the city of Lowell. We love learning. Not everyone does. Be forewarned, most of the excitement here is cerebral. Still, it is nice to see that the National Parks people have done it right. The Site is affordable, informational and educational.