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The Greek Community of Lowell
The Greek community of Lowell, Massachusetts was established in
the 1890s, although the first Greek immigrant to Lowell, Dimitri Kasimatis, came as early as 1874. The initial immigrants were male and they migrated to the city in
search of economic advancement. They intending to stay in the United States long
enough to earn some money and then to return to Greece. But, as the years
passed, they established families, businesses and a community. Women had
followed the men and by 1910, Lowell had become the Destination City for these
newer immigrants. It was known as the "Acropolis of America."
Initially, the Greek immigrants earned their livelihoods as peddlers and later as laborers in the mills. By 1900, the Greek community had established the Holy Trinity Church and numerous businesses. Most of these enterprises were located in the downtown Acre section, along Market Street. They operated service businesses such as coffee houses, shoe shine stands, confectioneries, restaurants, flower shops, bakeries, groceries, tailor shops, dry cleaning shops and pharmacies.
The social and cultural life of the Lowell Greeks centered on the family, home, and the church. Their main social affairs were church picnics and liturgical and over time, they established various social clubs to supplement the community's calendar of events with dances, concerts and plays. In 1907, the community opened a Greek School in the church basement to instruct their children in the culture and language of the old and the new country. The Hellenic American School continues such instruction today.
The Balkan Wars and W.W. I in the teens and the immigrant quotas imposed by the United States in the 1920's stopped most further Greek immigration. But, by then, many had settled permanently here and their offspring maintain a strong community to the present. In the 1950ís, 1960ís and later, newer Greek immigrants have revitalized the existing Greek community in Lowell, Massachusetts.
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Copyright © 2001 by Lowell Hellenic Heritage Association. All rights reserved.
Revised: 21 Feb 2005 15:28:26 -0500