SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Bon Marche: 1908

Bon Marche: 1908

Lowell, Massachusetts, circa 1908. "Merrimack Street looking east." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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My Hometown

I grew up in Lowell. The Bon Marche lasted until at least the late 80's when I was in High School. Their main competitor was Jordan Marsh right next door. One of the two was slightly snootier than the other but I don't remember which anymore.

We bought all of our school clothes, appliances, gifts, furniture etc at these two stores until the late 70's when a shopping mall with a Sears and a Caldor (and more importantly a giant parking lot) were built just outside town.

Somehow, these two stores managed to keep the lights on for years after the rest of downtown died.

Quite a few buildings are still standing

Thanks to the Palmer Street sign, an easy find.

View Larger Map

Bon Marche(d) into Oblivion

Google Map of this district shows that between then and now a faithfully reproduced extension was added to the building on the left side of the street after the Bon Marche building had been razed.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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