The Gilded Age, c. 1870-1898, was a time of promise and expanding horizons for the people of Lawrence, known as "the Queen City on the Merrimack." Passenger trains, horse-drawn trolleys, and electric streetcars dominated transportation, one-third of the population worked in manufacturing, and thirteen newspapers brought the latest information to the city's burgeoning population of nearly sixty thousand people. Through unique images from the special collections of the Lawrence Public Library, rich commentary, and a virtual walking tour, Lawrence in the Gilded Age relives the last three decades of the nineteenth century in Lawrence, which had managed to avoid the labor strikes and political and social unrest that plagued the city in the early twentieth century.
Louise Brady Sandberg is the special collections librarian at the Lawrence Public Library and serves on the board of directors for the Lawrence History Center. She frequently lectures on local history and organized an exhibit in honor of the one hundred fiftieth anniversary of Lawrence's incorporation as a city.