1018-1022 Gorham Street:
  Focus: Louis G. Stoloff

Business Types
  (Textile Mill)
More data
Address History
   Stoloff's Market
   Lowell Trucking Company
   New Knit Mfg Company
   Morris Stoloff in business
   Annie (Moskowicz) Stoloff
       in business
   Stoloff's Market
   Louis Stoloff in business
   Louis Stoloff vitals
   Meyer Stoloff in business
   Meyer Stoloff vitals
   Mildred Stoloff in business
   Vitals for all Stoloffs

Morris Stoloff was born about 1876 in Vilna, Russia (now Lithuania) and Annie Moskowitz was a couple years older. They married around 1894, emigrated to England shortly afterwards, and came to the U.S. about 1899. They settled in the Jewish community on Railroad Street and Morris found a job in a junkyard working for a fellow Russian-Jewish immigrant. They had three children, Mildred, Meyer, and Louis. To help make ends meet and send their youngest to college, Annie ran a grocery store out of their home from 1909 to 1917.

Louis attended MIT, studying civil engineering, but his father fell ill with TB (dying in 1925). Louis returned home in 1922 to start a grocery store, probably with the help of his mother, who was familiar with a smaller version of the business. The building at 1018-1022 Gorham Street was three stories, like its neighbors, but a fire in 1934 destroyed the upper two stories. Louis removed them, patched the ceiling, and, showing good marketing sense, notified the newspapers that he was opening a modern, new store at 1022. The following pictures appeared in the newspaper on opening day.

Louis G. Stoloff
Picture of Louis G Stoloff from 1924

Picture of Stoloff's Market in 1924

Stoloff ran the store until 1945 when his other business interests started taking most of his time. His older sister, who had been working there since it opened, ran it for a couple years and then sold it to a World War II veteran. (She moved on to work in retail clothing and department stores, including one started by one of Louis' sons.) In 1957 the store was purchased by a French-Canadian, Ed LeLacheur, who ran it until around 1977 (when he became Lowell's state senator). After that it alternated between a restaurant, a bar, a grocery store again, and a bar again, which it is today.

Just for fun, look at the 1934 prices at Stoloff's Market.

Another Stoloff business: Lowell Trucking Company

Louis Stoloff started the Lowell Trucking Company with his brother Meyer Stoloff, an experienced "truckman,"in 1929 and ran it until about 1957. It was variously located on First Street and Chelmsford Street and moved to 51 Nottingham Street in 1942 (next to the textile mill Louis started -- see below). Meyer was an interesting story by himself. He started in the junk business with his father and started a couple businesses on his own (fruit, junk, trucking with a friend) before settling in to the trucking business with his brother. After the trucking company closed, he switched to the New Knit company. In the meantime, he became a local championship golfer, a bush pilot, and a prize-winning big game hunter in Alaska and the West.

City directory ad for Lowell Trucking Company about 1950 This ad appeared in the Lowell City Directory in 1950.

A third Stoloff business: New Knit Manufacturing Company

In 1935, Louis and some friends took over a knitting mill and renamed it the New Knit Manufacturing Company. This had to be the height of ethnic success in Lowell: entering the business that Yankees began when they started the city! He ran the mill until his retirement about 1970, at which time a son took over. The mill finally closed about 1979, one of the last left in the city.

New Knit had offices and manufacturing facilities in different locations but by 1952 had consolidated at 21 Nottingham Street. These pictures show that mill building in the year 2000. (It is now empty -- immediately below.)

Picture of 21 Nottingham Street

The building still has remnants of the New Knit name on it. It was painted over by a circuit board company but is showing through again.

Picture of the side of 21 Nottingham Street showing New Knit Manufacturing sign, faded