Wilder Street Historic District
Typical of new neighborhoods being developed in Lowell after the 1860s, they were influenced by the development of street railways that made outlying areas easily accessible from the downtown mill and commercial districts. The first horse drawn line ran along Pawtucket and Merrimack Streets out to Belvidere in 1864 while another line from downtown extending to Westford Street stimulated real estate subdivision of old farmlands in the Highlands area. Successful businessmen often purchased several acres of land, divided it into small lots, created a new street down the middle, and often named the street after themselves.
Wilder Street was one of many streets developed in this manner. Charles H. Wilder, a local landowner, provision dealer, and farmer whose own large estate was nearby acquired most of the Wilder Street area in the 1860s for residential lots that were sold to separate owners in the 1870s and 1880s. By 1896, every house lot in the two block area had been sold and built upon.
The district's early residents reflects the growth of a new middle class in Lowell in the 1870s and 1880s. Wilder Street was considered one of Lowell's finest streets, attracting many new businessmen, professionals, and shopkeepers.