Inside Stories

A Highlands Girl in Pawtucketville

My Childhood Home on Monadnock Avenue

Over the past decade, I have stated the following approximately 7,897 times, “I live in Pawtucketville, but I’m a Highlands girl at heart!”

If you grew up in Lowell, I will bet you an Espresso pizza that part of your adult identity is also directly tied into the neighborhood that you grew up in.

Growing up on Monadnock Avenue I attended St. Margaret School and Lowell High School. Some of my fondest memories growing up included daily stops to Don’s Variety for a Sprite and Funyuns, playing basketball at the Daley and stopping by Callery Park to see who me and my friends may bump into playing baseball. The good old days before cell phones and social media.

When I decided to buy a house eleven years ago, I started my search, naturally, in the Highlands. Shortly thereafter, I broadened my search to include several other Lowell neighborhoods (or Districts as some call them these days) and even one or two houses on the outskirts of Lowell. I found a house in Tewksbury I liked. It was on the border of Lowell. If I could throw (IF being the operative word here), I could have hit the Welcome to Lowell sign. I couldn’t do. In my case, you cannot take the girl out of Lowell. Ever.

Raising the next generation of Pawtucketville voters!

I found a home on a quiet street in God’s Country. I took the test drive a couple of mornings to see how long it would take to get from the house to the Chamber office. If I avoided the start times at the Wang and Pawtucketville Memorial it was a piece of cake. That’s when this Highlands girl became a Pawtucketville homeowner. Nothing says adulting quite like a having mortgage (well that and being excited over a grocery store – more on that below).

When I tell people I live in Pawtucketville I usually get one of two responses:

Those who currently live in Pawtucketville and/or grew up in Pawtucketville, “I love Pawtucketville. It’s a nice area, quiet and the schools are great (post 2020 edit – AND we have a MARKET BASKET!).”

Those who have never lived in Pawtucketville, “Oh, you have to cross the bridges. How long does it to you to get to work? And it’s so far away from the highway! (Post 2020 edit  – BUT you must be so happy to have a MARKET BASKET!)”

Photo credit: Marte Media

(Yes, I have reached the point in my existence that a grocery store up the street from my house is just about as exciting as it gets! Comforting to me is the fact that this seems to be a universal pleasure for all adults.)

Okay, so let’s fast forward eleven years… Not only does Pawtucketville have a Market Basket but also a Marshalls! My kids are all in school at the Pawtucketville Memorial Elementary (we LOVE PMES!) where I proudly serve as President of the PTO. Most days I successfully make it to and from work in under 15 minutes. I have grown to love this neighborhood and the lifestyle it affords me and my family.

This Highlands girl is now a proud Pawtucketville resident through and through!

18 responses to “A Highlands Girl in Pawtucketville”

  1. Gilly Mo Peña says:

    Nothing like being born on 3rd base and thinking you hit a triple.

  2. Dot Richards says:

    Love this. I’m a Lowell Girl and a Highlands Girl. I was born and raised in Lowell and only lived outside of Lowell for the first 6 years of married life. We lived in Nashua and although not that far, it seemed like a million miles away some days. It had doubled my commute to work and once our first son was born and my daycare was in Lowell, the trek to Nashua each night got to be too much to bear. We made the decision to move back to Lowell before our son started school.

    • You live on the same street that my Mom grew up on – but she was close to Merrimack River and Burbeck’s end.

      I love that you lived in Nashua but made your way back to Lowell when the boys were school-aged. Lowell is lucky to have you – you and Ron are such huge supporters of local businesses throughout the region!

  3. Mike Bacigalupo says:

    Wait. I thought P-ville was part of Dracut?

  4. Ellen Andre says:

    Great story, Danielle. I was born in Lowell and lived in the Highlands for 13 years. My family moved to Chelmsford during my high school years. It was traumatic to not attend Lowell High with my friends. Still consider myself a Lowell girl. My Dad had 5 sub shops in Lowell so I worked a ton for him and that allowed me to be part of the community and see friends. Even now I feel like all my connections are to Lowell.

  5. Bob Philpot says:

    Wait. I thought Centralville was God’s Country. Oh well… 😉

  6. Juli Rogers says:

    GREAT article Danielle…
    I was born in Lowell, the youngest of nine. My parents had a fifteen room mansion in the upper Highlands, on Foster Street. My father was a Lowell Police officer. After he passed at the young age of 48, leaving my mom, at 42, alone to raise us, we moved to Dracut. Three generations Dracut schools and I moved to Tyngsborough and worked for the town.
    I have split loyalties between Tyngsborough and largely the Lowell community that I love. After all, there is a lot to love about Lowell and I wouldn’t change any of it.

  7. David Gloski says:

    Great article Danielle. You are such a terrific Lowell ambassador!

  8. Shannon Norton says:

    So I grew up in the Highlands and I live there now. My husband, who came here from Germany, sometimes wonders, why do we live in Lowell? Now that we have settled here, he loves our neighborhood and my son does too!

  9. Mikaela Hondros-McCarthy says:

    Awww I love this article … and we both grew up going to Dons !! Hip hop highlands 4 lyfe 🙂

  10. […] I pack up and head to the grocery store quickly before squeezing in a PTO meeting at Pawtucketville Elementary. (Sidenote: I was connected at Market Basket. Yes, sometimes I check social media while shopping. […]

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