Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Edwin Martin Currier - Interlude for Photos

When we return home from vacation I will continue posting my research on Edwin Martin Currier. My posts of parts 1 and 2 took my search up through 1894 or so.  I wanted to present my study of Edwin's life events in chronological order and I will resume doing that when I post part 3. But in the meantime I wanted to share some recent photos I made in Edwin's home town of Lowell, Mass.  My wife and I worked in a couple of days of our vacation to New England to visit Lowell and see what we could document about Edwin.

Our first stop was a visit to Edson Cemetery. I had documentation that Edwin's parents and his sister were interred there and suspected Edwin was buried with them. I had written the cemetery in March but never received a reply. I called them in May and they confirmed that Edwin's family had a plot with five Curriers interred. A sixth interment was buried in the same plot but not for any Currier family member and that interment was the first logged into the cemetery's records. Edwin is shown as the owner of the lot.


Listed chronologically by date of death, Edwin G Brown was interred in lot # 1803 in 1882.  Apparently the Curriers purchased the remaining five burial sites within the lot and so joined Mr. Brown for their final resting place in the same plot. There is no headstone or marker for Edwin Brown but the Currier family has a family monument and each family members names are engraved with year of birth and death.

The side of the headstone facing east lists Edwin's parents, James Hale Currier and Dorothy (Richardson) Currier, and his sister, Emma D. Currier.  The family name is engraved on the base of the headstone. This monument is remarkably preserved with no erosion or deterioration of any kind from what appears to be a shiny marble facing.

The west side of the headstone displays the names of Edwin and his wife, Carrie Brownell.  Edwin and Carrie were married in 1895. I have documentation of this marriage at home and will include it and other docs when I get home and can resume posting the chronology of Edwin's life.  The first thing we noticed on this side of the headstone is that Edwin's year of death is not engraved. His name is the only one of the five family members that's missing death year.  According to the cemetery log for lot # 1803, Edwin passed away in 1920. I have no clue and the Edson Cemetery office had no idea either, on why the engraving on the headstone was incomplete.  According to the cemetery office records Edwin paid for perpetual service ($100) in 1901.  But the headstones and engraving thereon are a separate function from the services provided by the cemetery.  Perhaps Edwin didn't coordinate to have the work done by the time he passed away?  Edwin and his wife had no children so there was really no one else to accomplish the task.  Not to jump the gun on my pending post(s) on Edwin but when he died he was a resident of a home for "aged men" so he might have let the ball drop due to dementia or something. I guess we'll never know. When I asked the office how I might be able to have the engraving completed they referred me to a list of monument companies that could do the work. I'm waiting for a quote from one of them to see if I can coordinate completion of engraving to display Edwin's date of death.   Considering his interest in genealogy and the Currier family history, I'm sure he would have wanted the engraving to be completed.

Following our visit to Edson Cemetery we drove into the city of Lowell to photograph the places   where Edwin resided and worked. The first of these was 57 Willow Street where Edwin resided in "rear 4" with his parents and sister.

This is 57 Willow Street as it appears today. Three stories and multiple entrances hint that the basic structure may be similar or the same as it was while Edwin resided there (1868 to 1894). Exterior improvements have been made, of course, including the handicap access ramp on the left side of the building. However, as discussed in previous posts, this was the Currier family's address but not their residence. As noted above they resided in 57 Willow Street, 4 rear which was located behind the structure pictured here, probably right about where the blue dumpster is situated in the parking lot behind the house.

The next building we wanted to see was the manufacturing facility of Woods, Sherwood & Co where Edwin started his career with that company as a wire worker. The company no longer exists, at least not in Lowell. But a structure remains at 572 Bridge Street that looks similar to the elongated rectangle of the original plant shown on the maps posted in my Part 2 posting. Whether or not it is the same structure with improvements I couldn't say but it definitely is no longer a manufacturing plant but a multiple unit apartment building. 

The last  building we wanted to see was the residence Edwin shared with his wife, Carrie, and his widowed mother. I'll document their move to this last structure when I resume Part 3 but in the meantime, trust me on this, they resided at 95 Ludlum Street which was probably a shorter walk for Edwin to get to his job with Woods, Sherwood  & Co. 

The home currently has two entrances and three stories. We did not observe any other entrances on either side of the building so presumably two families live there, one on the first floor, the other on the second and perhaps the third floor.  I don't know if that arrangement was the case for Edwin or not but it wouldn't surprise me. According to the Federal Census Records for 1900 and 1910, Edwin rented the home at 95 Ludlum Street rather than owned. A savvy lessor would most likely rent out a three story building like this one to as many tenants as they could get away with. 

We finished our research of Edwin the following morning at the Pollard Memorial Library in Lowell. The library has almost a full floor dedicated to genealogical research, including microfilm newspaper copies. We found obituaries for all the Curriers except for Edwin's mother.  I was hoping also to find some info on Edwin's employer.  I had my fingers crossed I might find a group photo of the employees and the plant for Woods, Sherwood & Co., but no such luck.   The closest I came was a historical sketch published in 1897 on the leading citizens of Lowell that had a nice biography and a photo of Edward Woods, described as the "senior member" of Woods, Sherwood & Co. Since I have no way to scan any of this material away from home I won't be able to document my research until I get home to Florida. And when I do, my search will go on.