Events

Chamber of Commerce festival brings alive Malden’s business and commerce past

By Sky Malerba On July 24, Malden residents, many dressed in top hats and long dresses, moseyed outside the Converse Memorial Library for a special summer festival. On the shimmering front lawn, a trio of singers sang hymns from their open songbooks. Ginger beer was sold, old friends and strangers alike greeted each other. The scene may have resembled something from 1891 but this particular festival took place in the year 2021 from 3 to 6 in the afternoon, as part of the larger Malden Summer Festival series. The “1891 Night”  festival, in which participants dressed up in period Victorian costumes, marked the 130th anniversary of the Malden Chamber of Commerce. Founded on March 31, 1891, the chamber now has over 300 members. Asked about the event’s theme, Chamber of Commerce President Donna Denoncourt, dressed in an off-the-shoulder white gold dress, said, “We wanted… to recognize the history… and all the chamber does in connecting people.” The Malden resident, who began her career as a financial advisor with Waddell & Reed in 2013, has been […]

Education

Researching Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden

By Amanda DeRosa  On the Brooks Estate in Medford, once a part of Malden, there is a brick wall about three feet high, built by an enslaved man named Pomp. Pomp’s Wall serves as a reminder that there were enslavers in New England, just as there were enslavers in the South. “It is important that people understand that Northern slavery was significant and involved tens of thousands of enslaved people,” said Dora St. Martin, director of Malden Public Library, who is leading a long-term research project, titled “Black Lives (Enslaved and Free) in Colonial Malden.”   “This project hopes to provide a view into the lives (of) free and enslaved Blacks in Malden from 1760 to 1800.  The project will allow us to understand the centrality and importance of African Americans in the history of the founding era of Malden,” St. Martin said. St. Martin recently hosted a public Zoom lecture event, detailing updates on the research team’s findings. The lecture was funded in part by Revisiting the Founding Era, a four-year national initiative of the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History presented […]

Featured

Community Spotlight: Asian American businesses and organizations make an impact in Malden

A look at Wah Lum Academy, District Kitchen, and the Chinese Culture Connection. By Saliha Bayrak and Kyla Denisevich. Photos by Keren He. What started off as martial arts lessons in the driveway of Mai Du 15 years ago is now the nationally renowned Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy in Malden and Quincy. Lined with a diverse array of businesses and organizations, Malden is a microcosm of a culturally rich world. Many of these locations are owned and operated by Asian Americans — entrepreneurs and community leaders like Du who are shaping the city to reflect their culture. Asians are the second-largest ethnic group in the city, comprising 22.5 percent of the population. Asian Americans have made unmeasurable contributions to the city and played a significant role in the community, which sometimes goes under appreciated. Denzil Mohammed directs the Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute, which works to educate Americans about the contributions of immigrants. “More than 11% of immigrant Asians in the U.S. are self-employed, meaning they’re entrepreneurs, they have some […]

Featured

The Show is Over for Showcase in Revere

By Nicholas Forgione If 2020 were a disaster movie, an obvious cliche would be the end of a long-standing movie-house in America’s Beach City. In fall of 2020, Revere’s Showcase Cinema de Lux —  closed due to pandemic restrictions — announced that its doors would  not reopen and that the property would change hands. While the area has other  movie-houses, (including some owned by Showcase), the end of Revere’s Showcase is the end of an era.  From its location near Revere’s Northgate Shopping Center, on the border of Malden’s Ward 8 along Route 1, Showcase Cinema was the backdrop for, and part of, the stories of area residents for more than five decades.   The  end of the Revere’s Showcase Cinema reflects the conflict between  sentiment and practicality.  Earlier this year, National Amusements Inc., the owner of Showcase Cinemas, reached an agreement with real estate firm NorthBridge Partners for the sale of the theater;  the property will be leased to  Amazon.  Jonathan, a former resident of Malden who worked at Showcase in the 1990s, recalls “lots of fun memories.”  Jonathan concedes to being “saddened” at an emotional level. And, he […]

Featured

Linda Mazonson Zalk: Places we’ll remember all our lives

In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based participatory archiving program that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories stored in a digital archive at openarchives.umb.edu.  Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. This summer the MMRS team invited anyone with a connection to Malden to contribute photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. Through January 2021, you can take part in the online version and submit your own photos via this link. This is the fourth profile in the series.  By Marielle A. Gutierrez The physical places in Malden hold so many memories to its residents. However, over time, hometowns evolve—places that Maldonians frequented as a child or as a young adult are no longer there. There is no longer a physical place to attach a memory to. It is important to remember and record what is gone, or else an important piece of history is lost. Linda Zalk (formerly Linda Mazonson) may know this […]

Featured

Malden Memory Makers: Neal Anderson makes politics a family affair

In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based participatory archiving program that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories stored in a digital archive at openarchives.umb.edu.  Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. This summer the MMRS team invited anyone with a connection to Malden to contribute photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. Till January 7, you can take part in the online version and submit your own photos via this link. This is the fourth profile in the series.  “Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society.” –John Lewis, congressman and civil rights icon  By Marielle A. Gutierrez The words of the late Rep. John Lewis aptly describe City Councilor Neal Anderson’s motivation for entering a life of public service and his dedication to serving the city of Malden. Anderson has served as Ward 7 City Councilor for  a total of 26 […]

Arts

Comics Writer, Polyamorous, Feminist: William Moulton Marston

By Sky Malerba William Moulton Marston, a psychologist partially responsible for the invention of the polygraph, is most famous for the creation of the DC superhero Wonder Woman. He introduced his heroine in 1941 in the issue All-Star Comics #8 and its 2nd part, Sensation Comics #1, the next year.  This week, William Moulton Marston is the subject for Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures associated with Malden.  Born in the Cliftondale section of Saugus, Marston attended high school in Malden (MHS Class of 1911), graduated from Harvard University and was a professor at Tufts University. Marston, a self proclaimed political historian, was interested in the women’s suffrage movement of the 1920s, as well as activism of women’s rights and advocacy of birth control. Marston had a clear understanding of women’s position in society and wanted to create a strong role model for young girls as he believed they were the stronger sex, and their capacity for love was part of that strength. In the magazine The American Scholar in 1943, he writes, “Women’s strong qualities have become […]

Education

Malden River Loop Dedication: The Story of Louise Stokes

By Amanda Hurley Joggers and bikers huffing and puffing on the new 3.2 mile Malden River Loop may draw inspiration from a Malden athlete who faced both Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler as she pursued her passion for running.   Louise Stokes, a Malden native, is considered the first African-American woman to qualify for an Olympic team. Earlier this summer, the bike loop – which runs along the Malden River and spans three cities, Malden, Everett and Medford— was dedicated to Stokes and former clerk magistrate of Malden District Court, Joseph Croken. Malden City Councillor-at-Large Stephen Winslow conceived of the Malden River Loop project and enlisted the help of graphic artist Elena Martinez of Artfort Design Studio in August of 2019. Martinez recalled that she and Winslow “met at the Joy of Biking Sculpture near Anthony’s” and chatted as they walked the trail. Winslow was “inspired by the chance interactions – just a friendly hi or wave of the hand – that might happen during your time on the trail and the ever-changing landscape of buildings […]

Arts

Sketching for Twenty-five Years: Malden Sketch Group

By Sharon Santillo Like a small acorn that grew into a large tree, a small grant  given to the Malden Sketch Group 25 years ago led to one of the longest lasting drawing groups in the Greater Boston area.  “I thought it would only last as long as the initial grant, but look what that seed money has done,” said Fred Seager, one of the founders.  Another founder was Nunzio Luca. “He was a much admired head of the Malden High School Art Department for years, and was a wonderful artist, mentor, and good friend,” Seager said.  Nunzio and Seager 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 Neicei Degen and Nana Goldberg who were facilitators of the cultural center building, an old fire station on Pearl Street. It housed elderly day care during the day and was open for rental at night,” Seager said. Seager applied for a grant from the Malden Arts Council and was awarded $250. This modest […]

Education

For the defense: Author Erle Stanley Gardner

By Sky Malerba Erle Stanley Gardner was a powerful force of nature. He was a towering, commanding defense attorney and a prolific author who created the archetype of the fearless defense attorney.  And the native city of the man who brought us Perry Mason was Malden, MA. This week, Erle Stanley Gardner is the subject for Malden Arts Mondays, a two-month long celebration of artists and figures associated with Malden.  In 1899 at 10 years of age, Gardner’s family left their Malden home and moved to Oregon to a mining camp. When he was kicked out of Valparaiso University School of Law in Indiana for brawling with his professor, he pursued legal education in California. In Oxnard, California, he would become a successful defense attorney defending poor Chinese and Mexican immigrants who police often used as scapegoats for poorly investigated crimes. Although his legal career provided a steady income, he  found it was not stimulating enough and and he turned to writing, particularly for the  rakish world of cheap pulp magazines, much to his family’s disapproval. During these years he wrote under such pseudonyms as A.A. Fair, […]