Hot Chocolate Competition

Downtown Lowell was alive this afternoon as hundreds of people traveled to the five establishments that were participating the this year’s Hot Chocolate Competition. At each place, you exchanged a quarter for a 4-ounce Dixie cup filled with hot chocolate. One was served plain, another gave you a choice of add-ins ranging from M&Ms to Tootsie Rolls, a third poured on fresh whipped cream topped with cinnamon, another was flavored with Taro and the fifth added a homemade marshmallow,a cookie chunk, and a squirt of caramel. Each establishment had a ballot box and a supply of ballots. You circled your choice on the ballot and added your zip code. As of this writing, I don’t know who won. Here are the store fronts of the participants:

Brew’d Awakening, 67 Market St.

The Coffee Mill, 23 Palmer St.

Cravings, 65 Merrimack St.

Pure Fro-Yo, 108 Merrimack St.

Time Out Cafe

George S. Boutwell, Radical Republican, 1865

In the film “Lincoln,” during the scene in which the roll is being called for votes for and against the adoption of a Constitutional amendment to ban slavery, I couldn’t help wondering who was representing Lowell in the US Congress at that moment. According to the ever-useful “Cotton Was King” history of Lowell (1976, Lowell Historical Society), the Representative in Congress “from the Lowell District” was the staunch abolitionist George S. Boutwell, who had been postmaster of Groton and twice elected Governor of Massachusetts (1851 and 1852). He served in Congress from 1863 to 1869 and was later appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President U.S. Grant, followed by election as a US Senator from Massachusetts. He is buried in Groton, and his former home is the office of the Groton Historical Society.

Congressman Boutwell was a “YES” vote on the 13th amendment.

The comprehensive Wikipedia entry on Boutwell can be read here.