Huntington Hall/Merrimack Street Depot
By 1904, the building that housed both Huntington Hall and the Merrimack Street Depot had served as the city’s main public gathering place for generations. The City of Lowell and the Boston & Lowell Railroad entered into a joint agreement to build the hall in 1853, providing the railroad with the Merrimack Street Depot and the city with a public hall. Named for the early longtime Lowell mayor, Elisha Huntington, the building housed the hall in its upper stories, and the train depot on its bottom story.
The hall was very prominent during the city’s Civil War years. In 1861, the Union’s Sixth Massachusetts Regiment left from the hall on its way to Washington, D.C., before meeting a tragic fate in Baltimore that left four of its soldiers dead, including Luther Ladd and Addison Whitney, now buried at Monument Square under the obelisk that bears their names. During the 1880’s, the hall housed memorial services for President Garfield and Generals Grant and McClellan. And a few years later, General Benjamin Butler made his final speech in the Hall shortly before he was laid in state there in 1893. http://forgottennewengland.com/2011/12/20/the-grand-fires-of-1904-huntington-hall-lowell-massachusetts/
November 11, 1884
The accompanying images of Huntington Hall were provided to me by Ruth Evans ( http://www.twirlingjennies.com/ ). She has also graciously provided a link to further information about the building and site. http://libhost.uml.edu/files/original/d4ad79714db5828649a74830bb32ccf0.pdf