Lowell The Essential
One of Massachusetts' largest cities, Lowell was one of the earliest planned industrial cities in the country. Thanks to its proximity to the Merrimack River, it developed as the nation's largest producer of cotton textiles. The early chapters of America's labor history unfolded in the mills here, as strikes and social unrest periodically disrupted production. Though the textile operations petered out by the 1930s, the former mill structures have been successfully preserved and make for an interesting exploration of America's industrial history.