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13 September 2008

Innovations of Yesteryear Festival

Museum History

In 1976, the Bicentennial issue of Life magazine declared that Francis Cabot Lowell's factory in Waltham was the fourth most important development to shape America. Unfortunately, Lowell's factory was virtually dead when it received the honor. After 150 years of production, the historic facility was shuttered, neglected, and perilously close to demolition. Luckily, the mill's fortunes soon turned. The site was granted status on the National Register of Historic Places. Waltham received a $10 million urban revitalization grant, which allowed the site to be renovated and preserved. As part of the site's renovation, a group of cultural, civic, and business leaders created the Charles River Museum of Industry in what had been the mill's massive steam-powered engine and boiler rooms. Following a monumental campaign of fundraising, cleaning, building, planning, and installation, the museum opened its doors in 1980 --- Charles River Museum of Industry