Chelmsford Historical Society
Outline of Interview Mar 3, 1975 Raymond Caunter
SIDE ONE
13-born in Lowell at Corporation Hospital in 1909
20-mother was born in Lowell, father was born in South Acton
25-father worked at Saco-Lowell Machine Shop, once the largest company of its type in the world
35-lived on Worthen Street in Corporation Boarding housing
42-lived in a foreman's house (his father's capacity) laborers weren't provided with housing
65-also owned home in Granitville, but preferred to live near job
74-Giant Store building replaced Saco-Lowell Housing
93-Saco-Lowell was located between Dutton and Jackson streets near the Swamp Locks (tape states this is the Northern Canal but it actually is the Pawtucket)
107-remembers visiting the machine shop when it was closed
121-buildings are all razed (present site of Pellon)
130-Saco-Lowell closed down (during the twenties?) probably because of taxes business moved to Newton, then to Saco, Maine
156-subject's family moved quite often between Granitville and Worthen Street
166-attended Middlesex Village School, Worthen Street School and Sargent School in Granitville
171-father bought house on Baldwin Street
178-had been owned by Spaulding Family, known as Middlesex Slaughterhouse
245-attended Charles Morey School, Lowell High School received football scholarship to Cornell University quit very early in the year due to some misrepresentation of terms of scholarship
262-Worthen Street School, site of transformer building
268-Greek Church was once Worthen Street Baptist
276-movement around the city was accomplished by trolley cars and walking
284-downtown Lowell
295-small section on Worthen Street hasn't changed its facade over the years
312-Canals (mistakes Northern for Western Canal)
315-Remembers watching Greek people picking up eels from canal bed after it was drained on Sundays
321-Acre-Greek and Irish section
336-Irish moved to Flats, St. Peter's and Sacred Heart Parishes
344-North Common Village, had been huge tenement blocks probably built around 1930 or later
361-Little Canada was just across Merrimack Street
377-area where Lowell Technological Inttitute Buildings are
384-Laurier Park, baseball diamond at site of present LTI Reaearch Building
389-Ethnic areas in the city of Lowell e.g. Middlesex Park near Hadley Field, English
402-Round House, near railroad station, where Corey's is today. Building burned in 1975
418-Ethnic rivalry exhibited mostly in sports,but was not otherwise significant
440-Lowell was a cosmopolitan city because of the Textile industry
448-upper Middlesex street was "Scotchtown" (near the Hi-Hat Roller Skating Rink, in direction of North Chelmsford Line)
459-expertise of different ethnic groups e.g.Scotch, jute and carpet weaving
467-English, drawing and spinning rooms
469-Lowell Mill Girls
476-Women working in the Mills
478-was a freshman at Lowell High, hired by Mr. James Gaffney, head of the Merrimack Mills for the summer
484-there were many women still working there who had worked all their lives in Lowell,having come there from the farms
488-other workers exhibited a great respect for Caunter's education
498-women's views of Lowell
502-working long hours
506-remembers one particular woman, named Ishawood she began work at daylight, and left when it was too dark to see the yarn run through the machine
5i6-work day was around fifteen hours
523-a few of the women lived in corporation boarding houses
531-but most of the boarding house residents were men
539-viewed the Duttin Row Houses before they were destroyed
544-some of the rooms were unbelievably run down
550-it would have been too expensive to renovate the interior
553-there were long hallways, with single rooms off to each side
560-there were community bathrooms
565-and wooden frame bathtubs
569-Exodus of industry from Lowell in the 1930's
578-industry went South, inducements were many, i.e.tax breaks
585-at the same time Lowell's tax rate was increasing
589-Lowell was terrtbly hard hit by this exodus of industry as well as the Depression
591-effects of the Depression o no work anywhere
598-people stood in line outside mills every morning to apply for work
610-after High School, Caunter went to Cornell on a football scholarship, quit after a few months due to some misinterpretation over the terms of the Scholarship
614-got a job at Fletcher's Quarry ONLY BECAUSE of ability to play baseball. Fletcher wanted to have a winning team Caunter became known as a "Fireball Pitcher"
618-worked in curb yard 45 hours, earned $18.75 a week
629-Caunter remembers "you had to have something going for you to get any kind of a job
633-Sports
634-Twilight League, South Common, attracted eight to ten thousand people per game
638-the league was composed of people from all over the city
643-there was no admission but they "passed the hat"
645-basketball was usually played in a Church league
649-CYML Catholic Young Men's Lyceum, looated near St.Patrick's Church on Suffolk Street
662-played basketball it the Armory
666-Played semi-pro football, practised at night after work, Team received percentage of proceeds from passing the hat
671-games were played at the Fairgrounds on Gorham St.
680-attracted thousands of people
686-Teams: Butlers from the "Flats", Indians from 'Swede Village", St. Peter's Cadets, Rovers from "Centralville"

SIDE TWO
2-didn't play high school ball
8-preferred to go trapping after school rather than football practice
24-played semi-pro for the Providence Steamrollers
35-received twenty five dollars per game
40-traveled in Buick pick up truck
75-Cornell only gave football scholarships, other sports were not yet recognized with scholarships
94-Caunter also ran track, hurdles, hundred yard dash for Independent groups
104-ran under an alias while in High School to prevent ramifications from high school coaches
150-many players played under an assumed name in semi pro because they also played college ball
174-Caunter notes that he was 5'11, weighing 190 lbs. and that was considered "Big"
179-things are different today
199-played baseball with the Cape Cod League
243-sports of that era were better than today
268-teams pitched in to buy equipment
278-in baseball, foul balls were always retrieved
286-"Sand Lot" Baseball was popular and kept the kids busy
328-Golf is now the "in" sport
341-girls in sports YWCA
364-luckily times have changed (i.e.in regard to the status of women)
383-women have been held back by old traditions, but these are changing today
395-Rose O'Neil, a well known name locally in golf game. She lived near the North Common and always played football with the boys
434-more and more today, women are being accepted in sports
466-tradition bound notion that only men belong in the field of sports

End of interview
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