2013 Dengler History Award: For the Love of Lawrence

(L to R: Matilda Stundza, Jonas Stundzia, Amelia Stundza, David Meehan. Recipients are holding citations from Congresswoman Niki Tsongas and Senator Barry Finegold. Monument photo taken by Robert Lussier)
Click HERE for event photos!


On June 20, 2013, well over 150 guests gathered at Esperanza Academy, School of Hope, to honor David Meehan and Jonas Stundzia. Since 1998, the History Center has held the Eartha Dengler History Award Ceremony to spotlight the efforts and accomplishments of outstanding leaders who work to bring development, opportunity and prosperity to Lawrence. Now in our 35th year, the Lawrence History Center is proud to pay tribute to two men who were instrumental in helping us, and so many other like minded organizations, develop and prosper in Lawrence while respecting the City's powerful history and heritage.

These two remarkable men have lived their lives in Lawrence with a love and passion for the city, its rich and diverse history, its people, and its built environment. In the extraordinary achievement of the Strikers’ Monument, they have given Lawrence the rare gift of a profound and resonant piece of public art. With its powerful emotion, the Monument brings the City back from its repression of the meaning and impact of the strike. And it lets all Lawrencians take pride in the stand for justice that was the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912. And, while the Strikers' Monument is the most recent accomplishment for David and Jonas, it is preceded by a lifetime of achievement, commitment and dedication to the people and City of Lawrence.

LHC Founder, Eartha Dengler, and her daughter, Claudia, had hoped to be at this year's Award Ceremony, but was not able to do so. She did; however, send these sentiments:

"The story of Lawrence and its people is the story of America - of people pursuing a better life, of families taking care of each other, of hard work, of industry and of freedom. It's a story that most of us share. I am almost 91 years old and still the courage & fortitude of the people of Lawrence inspires me. When I started 'the Archives' I had a simple vision that the story of an American mill town & its people had to be captured & told. Truthfully - there were many days when I wondered if this goal of mine would ever be achieved. I am so thrilled to see how many of you share this vision. Through your efforts & contributions we have together collected, preserved and shared the story of the remarkable people of this community. I send my love & deep appreciation"
... Eartha Dengler

Also highlighted that evening were three treasures in the City of Lawrence: The Strikers' Monument, Grace Episcopal Church, and Esperanza Academy. All locations are within walking distance of each other and, since we were fortunate to have had beautiful weather, people were able to tour all three sites before settling at Esperanza for the Award Ceremony.

With profound gratitude to Eartha, the Meehan and Stundzia families, our sponsors, friends, and many others whose contributions have made this 2013 Eartha Dengler History Award Ceremony possible:


Founder’s Club
Eartha Dengler
The Sidell Family
Mrs. Cornelius Ayer Wood, Jr.

Immigrant City Circle
Marcia and Larry Sharp

Preservation Partners
Robert Forrant
Karen and Jack Herman
Pamela Yameen

Research Sponsors
Linda Carpenter and Larry Ardito
Kathleen and Michael Curry
Enterprise Bank
David Giovannitti
Family of Barbara McEneaney
Hank and MJ Powell
Linda and Jurg Siegenthaler

Table Sponsors
Bread and Roses Heritage Committee
Friends of the Lawrence Heritage State Park
Richard Purinton
The Sidell Family

Historic Friends

Andrea Management Corporation
Dexter Arnold
James F. Beauchesne
Joseph G. Bella
Margot and George Bixby
Patricia Broadhurst
Thomas Caffrey
Cambridge BrickHouse
The Community Group
William Donati
Kay B. Frishman
Armand Girouard Family
Susan and Robert Grabski
Anna Hogan
Jim and Barbara Hartrich
Ron Hilbink
Patricia Karl
Lawrence CommunityWorks
Donna Mailloux
Justine M. McComiskey
David Meehan
Gertrude Meehan
Merrimack Valley Central Labor Council
Northern Essex Community College
Pacific Mills
James and Arlene Ross
St. Alfio Society
Mary Kate Small
Henry Stonie
Amelia Stundza
Matilda J. Stundza
Jonas A. Stundzia
David A. Tibbetts
Lisa Torrisi
Torrisi & Torrisi, PC
Senator Sue and Mike Tucker

With special thanks to …
Esperanza Academy, Grace Church, Students from the International High School (Lawrence), Robert Lussier, MG Print and Promotions - a Munro Graphics Company, The Party Connection, Suzanne Korschun, and Musicians—Armand Hyatt, Annamaria San Antonio, and Gary Sidell.


Tue–Fri: 9am-4pm
Sat: By appt
Sun-Mon: Closed


6 Essex Street
Lawrence, MA 01840

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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.