Arts

Little Free Libraries “Revive” Malden’s Neighborhood Libraries

  By Sharon Santillo An international effort that encourages citizens to set up free neighborhood book exchanges has arrived in Malden. Moreover, these “little free libraries” are bringing back a miniature version of the neighborhood libraries that the city lost beginning in the 1980s. Sparked by the non-profit organization, Little Free Library, Malden residents are creating tiny spaces where anyone passing by can take a book to read or leave a book for someone else to find. The first little free library was created by Todd Bol in 2009 to honor his deceased mother who loved to read. He built a one-room schoolhouse model and put it on a post in the front yard of his Wisconsin home and filled it with books. He shared the idea and it spread globally. Now there are over 50,000 little free libraries across the United States and in over 70 countries. Soon you will see these small libraries around Malden. Malden Arts has received a grant from the  Malden Cultural Council to register 10 little free libraries in Malden […]

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Who was Herbert L. Jackson?

Did you know that Malden’s city hall’s council chamber is named the Herbert L. Jackson Council Chambers? And did you know that a switchbox art project on Salem Street has been created to commemorate Herbert L. Jackson? Who was this favorite son of Malden? Herbert L. Jackson was the first African American ever elected to the Malden City Council. Councillor Jackson has the distinction of a 30 year career in public service. He was first elected as a councillor for Ward 7 from 1945 to 1947, and in Ward 5 from 1947 to 1951 and as a City Councillor-at-Large from 1965 to 1975.  He served as president of the Malden City Council four times during his political career. Furthermore, Jackson was the first African American elected as a State House Representative in the 20th century, serving from 1950 to 1954. The City of Malden achieved national prominence in the election of Herbert L. Jackson as a Massachusetts District Governor of Lions Club and again, he was the first African American elected to such a post in the […]

Arts

Malden Sketch Group celebrates 20 years of sketching

When committees make decisions on the dispersal of grant money, there is always the hope that this little bit of money will lead to some greater good for the community. Who could ever have predicted that a little grant given to the Malden Sketch Group 20 years ago would have led to one of the longest lasting drawing groups in the whole Boston area? Nunzio Luca was there at the very beginning. Fred Seager, also one of the founders remembers, “I had a great deal of respect for him and consider him as a mentor. He was a much admired head of the Malden High School Art Department for years, and was a wonderful artist and good friend.” Nunzio and Fred decided to get a life drawing group together and they set out to find a space. “We were fortunate also to have the early support of the Malden Arts Council in the grant process, Niecie Degan and Nana Goldberg were facilitators of the cultural center building, an old fire station on Pearl Street. It […]

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Warren Thorburn reflects on his Malden summer job from 1945

This is the time of year teenagers start thinking about summer jobs. What kind of jobs were available to teens in Malden seventy years ago? Warren Thorburn was just fifteen years old in the summer of 1945 when he took a job as a telegram delivery boy for the Malden office of Western Union. WWII in the Pacific was still raging, families were using ration stamps for food items and gasoline and the United States was just recovering from the Great Depression. There was no reliable or affordable long distance phone service then, and the only way to send a message quickly over any distance was by telegram using a system of electrical impulses and Morse Code. A base price of 10 words, and higher prices for additional words, kept most messages short not unlike texts and tweets today. Western Union had ads in all the big magazines of the day, such as Life and Look, urging people to send greetings or money by telegram. Warren lived with his family near Teele Square in Somerville. […]

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Malden’s Suffolk Square is a forgotten Jewish enclave

Have you ever heard the term banker’s hours? This usually refers to being open for the shortest, most inconvenient hours. But back before Suffolk Square in Malden, Massachusetts was leveled for urban renewal, banker’s hours had a whole different meaning. Suffolk Square was a Jewish enclave in Malden, the heart of which was in the vicinity of Cross and Bryant streets and the old Lincoln Junior High School. When Elaine Lubin’s grandparents wanted to buy land in Malden, the large, established banks in Malden Square weren’t where they went for a mortgage. The Jewish bank in Suffolk Square, Progressive Workmen’s Credit Union, saw the potential in this hard-working Polish Catholic couple who had immigrated to Massachusetts from Vilna in what is now Lithuania. They approved of their plan for a small dairy farm in the area of Bowdoin Street and Bent Avenue and gave them a mortgage for the property that they then purchased from Mrs. Bent. When Elaine’s parents needed a car loan for their new blue Plymouth, they also went to Mr. Eiseman at […]