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| During prohibition many
of the German brewery workers were laid off, since the Harvard Brewing
Company was only permitted to produce soft drinks and "near beer."
When prohibition was repealed in 1933 and the company was permitted to
produce beer again, some of the former workers returned. Others,
however, had taken new jobs or had left Lowell. By then, the German
clubs no longer existed but many of the former brewery workers still remained
in contact with one another.
The Harvard Brewery prospered and was one of the major tax payers of the city of Lowell. It also paid its employees well and they in turn, were loyal to the company. Many first and second generation Germans worked there, as well as other immigrant groups. Harvard beer and ale were well known and valued throughout New England. During World War II one of the employees was accused of spying for the Germans, and since Germans were the major stock holders at that time, the government enforced the Alien Property Custodial Act and took over the brewery. In the mid-1950s the Harvard Brewery declined and in 1956, was sold to a New York concern. Today only two buildings of the former Harvard Brewing Company remain, the rest having fallen victim to fire and urban renewal.
Artistic rendering of the Harvard Brewing
Company (courtesy of Gerald H. Roth).
The German Cultural Club
The German Cultural Club of the International Institute of Lowell reflects the ebb and flow of German immigration to the Greater Lowell area, as have its predecessor clubs. It was founded after World War II, when so many German-born women moved here as the wives of American servicemen. In 1960, Lydia Mattei, now Executive Director of the International Institute, had the idea to form a German
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