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|small and inadequate, and grammar school students
had to walk across the bridge to Bartlett School. In 1883, Pawtucketville
citizens went to City Council and petitioned for a new grammar school.
The result was Pawtucket Schoolhouse on Mammoth Road. Soon afterwards,
the new Moody Street Schoolhouse was constructed but students were eventually
moved back into Pawtucket School and the building was sold. In 1897,
the Lexington Avenue School opened as the new primary school replacement
for the Old Varnum Avenue Schoolhouse following a proud 142 year history.
This would later be known as the Coburn Mission.
As Pawtucketville became more accessible, new residential development increased. The land area east of Mammoth Road blossomed as a neighborhood populated primarily by Irish and French-Canadian families. With the increase of population, more municipal services became necessary. The 1880s saw the extension of the electric trolley line into Pawtucketville and the Mammoth Road Firehouse was constructed in 1891.
In 1895, the new Moody Street Bridge was constructed, opening a large suburban tract of land in East Pawtucketville that resulted in an increase in property values from Beaver Brook to the Tyngsboro line. Construction of the Lowell Textile Institute began in 1900 and its placement on the high cliffs over the Pawtucket rapids greatly contributed to the development of this newly opened area. The city took the old Varnum cow pasture in West Pawtucketville by eminent domain in order to construct an isolation hospital for those afflicted with contagious diseases. The 1913 Board of Health Report stated:
beyond doubt public safety requires certain sick should be shut off from free communication with the outside world ... carried out at a special hospital.
In 1917, the old iron
bridge at Pawtucket Falls was removed and a new concrete bridge constructed.
This was the fourth bridge at this site. In conjunction with this improvement
initiative, all residential and commercial structures on the river bank
around the bridge were demolished and the land was designated a public
park. In later years, the old river road was widened with the coming
of the VFW Highway and thus, Pawtucketville became completely accessible.
Due to increasing land taxes and residential sub-division development,
the last farms of West Pawtucketville disappeared in the 1950s. Yet
this legacy of isolation, self-sufficiency, and open space persists in
the character of modern Pawtucketville. Many contemporary residents
still think of their neighborhood as a separate town and to most people
of Pawtucketville, this is generally considered a compliment.
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