Dating back to 1976, when exhibits drawn from local artifacts were located in private homes and other buildings throughout the city, members of the Lowell Historical Museum have worked to preserve and share the history of this northwest Arkansas community. The current museum opened in 2003 and features memorabilia, antiques, and photos from the city’s colorful past. The museum takes visitors on an adventure back in time to show what life was like in this community from the Civil War era to the present.
Lowell began as a small village named Robinson’s Cross Roads. The name was later changed to Bloomington. Located along Old Wire Road, Bloomington was a major freight thoroughfare and a stop on the main line of the Butterfield Stage Line. Bloomington earned the nickname “Mudtown” from many early travelers due to their wagons getting stuck in the ruts and mud.
In 1881, after a tornado demolished much of Bloomington, the buildings that remained were relocated about a mile to the west along the new Frisco railroad. It was at this time that the town was renamed Lowell in honor of one of the men who helped build the new train depot in town.
The dream for a museum started in 1976 with exhibits that were located in multiple local homes throughout the late 20th century. On June 1, 2003 when Mayor Phil Biggers cut the ribbon, opened the permanent location of the museum at 304 Jackson Place and said, “This museum is a sign of the direction we want to be going in this city.” As local resident and museum supporter Elza Tucker stood in the door of the museum and greeted visitors, he said, “This has been a dream of mine since 1976.”
Vera Lou Fowler, Ann Villines, Glenna Yeager and others helped renovate the museum building and served as volunteers for many years. The Lowell Historical Museum's Current Staff includes Liz Estes as director and Nicole Roy as manager with board members Ann Villines, Joyce Roberts, Ray Birchfield, Verna Forsee, Frances Southwick, Mandi Turner.
Historical Museum. City of Lowell Website. . Accessed October 13, 2018. http://www.lowellarkansas.gov/departments/lowell-museum/index.aspx/.