Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gathering Data

I tend to get obsessed easily.  One of my obsessions used to be with eBay.  Luckily I have gotten it under control.  Oh it started rather simply with Lowell postcards.  From there I got into heavier items like advertisements of Acre businesses.  Then I started noticing that I was betting on items I already had.  Those of you who are "collectors" probably empathize with what I say.  Things are in better control now, but recently my old demons came back to haunt me.  In a moment of weakness I went to eBay and what did I find, but a deed for a parcel of land in the Paddy Camps!!!  I lost control.  My initial bid was a simple $10.  It quickly went to $20, then doubled and doubled again.  Before I knew it I was pushing the "confirm bid" button for $110.  For those of you who know me, I need you to promise you will never share this info with my wife.  I simply left off the last zero when I told her the price.  But it's mine, and it's a beauty.

Which leads me to the topic, where was the Paddy Camp?  More correctly it should be where were the Paddy Camps?  The Camps were "probably" (Please note every time I share new information I now say "probably'"  That's what you get for hanging around archaeologist.) in several locations, likely on Lowell Street, possibly near Merrimack Street,  probably on St Pat Church property.   There is an interesting case that went to the Supreme Court on who owned the land, the Irish squatters or to whom the deeds were passed.  Soon many of the "camps" grew and merged.  So if you're looking for one definite location- sorry.
The Dig this summer may uncover more of the story.

Thank goodness we have some careful readers.  The date for an initial cemetery walk to search for Civil War graves was incorrect.  The correct date is MONDAY, JUNE 27TH AT 9 am.  Again be prepared for heat, walking, and being frustrated.

Lastly, another passing to report of another Lowell historian, Catherine Goodwin.  Many, many years ago Catherine and John were good enough to take me under their wings and walked St Pat's Cemetery with me.  They helped me see the work that had to be preserved.  A couple of months ago Catherine asked if I would promise to do a CW tour of St Pats.  She told me it wouldn't happen for a while, but she wanted me to promise her it would be done.  The work we are doing now in the CW search is all because of her and her insistence that the Irish be recognized in Lowell's Civil War cemetery.  Requiescat in pace.

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