The importance of preserving local historical documents cannot be understated. Genealogists use these materials to find out about the ancestors, while students, teachers, and scholars find valuable information linking local events to larger historical trends. This past Saturday archivist Jennifer Williams attended the quarterly meeting of the Mount Vernon Neighborhood Association. She spoke in front of an audience of approximately one-hundred people about the importance of preserving local history, and the fact that even a single photograph donated to the LHC has the possibility to have a large impact on future genealogists, students, and scholars. She also gave a brief overview of the important events that have occurred in the city's history, including the creation of the Great Stone Dam, the experiment station and water filtration center, and the Bread & Roses Strike. She also spoke about the fact that while Lawrence has received a great deal of negative press, there are many reasons for residents to proud of their city. The events mentioned above have national and world-wide historical significance, and the history of immigration in Lawrence has created a legacy of diversity that includes Semana Hispana, the Feast of the Three Saints, and the Asian Center of the Merrimack Valley.
The members of the Neighborhood Association were pleased with Jennifer's presentation, finding the information she presented to be very informative. Many had never heard of the important history of the city, and were eager to learn more. Several members stated that they had materials they wished to donate to the LHC, while others expressed an interested in visiting the organization in order to do some research. Several people also decided to participate in our listserv. After the meeting Jennifer placed scans of historical photographs on a table for members to look at, and quite a few individuals came over to view and discuss the images. Many approached Jennifer to discuss their experiences in Lawrence and the fact that they really loved their city. The Lawrence History Center is always looking for opportunities to connect with the community and make them aware of the resources at our organization, as well as the importance of preserving the city's history. We greatly look forward to similar events in the future.