The Cassidys

Like many on my blog, this is a highly speculative post. Both photos were taken from Chelmsford Street in south Lowell, but not in the part of Lowell that is actually called ‘South Lowell’. In the book Maggie Cassidy the Cassidys live at 31, Massachusetts Street, but that street doesn’t actually exist (at least not nowadays, I do not know if it ever did and has since been renamed or if it was a made up name). In any case in ‘Maggie Cassady’ writes vividly about getting on a bus and driving South on buses to go and see her. I chose to include the second photo of the Gaelic Club as the Cassidys were a Irish family.

5 Responses to “The Cassidys”
  1. pitoucat says:

    Hi Joerg,
    The names that Kerouac used in “Maggie Cassidy” were all pseudonyms. “Maggie” was really Mary Carney, and she lived at 81 Billerica Street in Lowell. There is no Massachusetts Street there.
    Mary’s father, Albert Carney, was born in Tewksbury, Mass., in 1890, and her mother, Susan Sheridan, was born in Wigan, England, in 1892.

    • pitoucat says:

      There’s a photo of the Carney house on Billerica Street in Steve Turner’s book “Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster” (page 40)

  2. JHaeske says:

    Thanks Dave for enlightening me (and everybody else reading that) about the facts. I knew about the real name but not the address, let alone the dates her parents were born. You know your Kerouac facts. Thanks for stopping by too.

    • Barry S. says:

      Just started reading Maggie Cassidy. Having grown up in Lowell, and reading the description of Massachusetts Street, along the Concord River (actual name) and a railroad bridge, I suspected Jack was writing about either Lawrence or Billerica St. Now I know for certain.

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