Business

Building Community Momentum: The future of Maplewood Square

By Joy Pearson Plans have begun to make improvements to the historic Maplewood business district in Malden. A Maplewood Square Committee of Ward 5 and Ward 6 residents has been following up on the research done in spring 2023 by the ‘Initiative on Cities,’ a capstone project for Master’s students of the Boston University Metropolitan College in City Planning and Urban Affairs. Maplewood Square is 1.5 miles east of Malden Center down Salem Street. Its name dates back to 1853 when Joshua Webster who, as surveyor, connected the Saugus railroad line to the Boston and Maine railroad.  In the mid-nineteenth century, Webster sought to establish a community in the area including 200 maple trees.  And so it was done.  Businesses grew; changes occurred.  Ten years ago, the old Saugus railroad was transformed and made into a bike and pedestrian path that crosses Maplewood Street.  Since then, the path has been part of the Northern Strand Bike Path through the Bike to the Sea organization.  It is well-used by locals and by New England bicyclists. Then and now, […]

Featured

From Tehran, Iran to Malden: The Life Stories of Parto Khorshidi

This article is part of an ongoing Neighborhood View series in connection with the Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based, participatory digital archiving program produced by the Healey Library at UMass Boston that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. When the pandemic upended plans for an in-person MMRS event in Malden (spring 2020), Neighborhood View began this series of profiles to highlight the photographs and stories that residents submitted online to the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. Learn more about the MMRS at the end of this article. By Michael Cao Through key photos, Parto Khorshidi revisits important moments from her childhood in Iran, to France where she went on vacation, and to Malden, the city where she now lives. Some were sad moments, but there were good and beautiful moments, too. For Mass. Memories, Khorshidi selected six photos that best represent her life. She believes these photos work like visual art to tell people her life story. “I put a snapshot of certain significant [moments] because your whole life is full of bits and pieces of events,” she […]

Education

Indigenous wisdom, poetry and history guide community event at Malden River

By Anne D’Urso-Rose I know that our ancestors are really happy for the work that we’re doing. It’s been a 400-year fracture – with colonization and assimilation – and it’s really going to take all of us to come together, in ways like this, to bring balance back to the land and to the water. Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr. – Malden, MA, 9-24-22 As the country recognizes indigenous Peoples Month this November, Neighborhood View reflects on a recent community event that embodied the spirit of remembering, understanding and connecting with Native people, history and culture. “Words on the Water” (morning) and “Project Misik” (afternoon) was a combined day-long event on Sept. 24 in a spot along the banks of the Malden River that is generally hidden from public view. In that space, more than 200 residents, a sampling of Malden’s diverse community, gathered over the course of the day to take part in an Indigenous blessing ceremony, paddle canoes on the waterway, share a meal of Haitian food from “The Island” restaurant, and learn how […]

Featured

Advocate Founder James Mitchell: “A newspaper is something that belongs to the city”

By Shannon A. Garrido Berges Old black and white photographs of bikers soaring over cars and a dramatic shot of the Hindenburg surround me. I sit in an office filed with stacks of  newspapers that read “Advocate’” in bold red letters. The man behind the headlines,  James David Mitchell, sits before me. Mitchell, founder of The Advocate, discusses his journey in approaching the world of local journalism. He details the challenges The Advocate has and continues to face and what that means for the future of local journalism.  His father, James Mitchell Sr.—who sits at the desk parallel from us— started the Chelsea Advocate when Mitchell was a child and worked on many other publications as well. His father’s occupation became a source of interest for Mitchell from a young age  and heavily influenced him to pursue journalism. “When I was a kid, my father used to take me [and my three siblings] to his newspaper office, but I was kind of the only one who was always reading all the time,” said Mitchell. After […]

Arts

ChronoSquad Malden: Exploring History and Identity through Virtual Worlds

By Amanda De Rosa In a cross between Pokémon Go” and a historical tour, a new gaming app lets users both young and old visually travel back in time in Malden to experience the city’s colorful past. ChronoSquad: Malden – a free gaming app available to download via Google Play and Apple Apps stores – follows four detectives, Tam, Su, Francis, and Max, who discover a magic camera that can see through time, called the Chronoscope. The app transforms the user’s mobile phone camera into the Chronoscope, and the app’s integrated map and clues from the ChronoSquad help players discover various portals throughout Malden. [Note: as of April 2024, the iOS app was no longer available.] When these locations are discovered, the Chronoscope reveals hidden histories using augmented reality. This local history scavenger hunt features five different episodes of play, each focusing on different areas of Malden, and reveals historical stories of immigration, abolition, suffrage, and labor. Celia Pearce, the creative director of the ChronoSquad: Malden, is a game developer and professor of game design […]

Featured

Finding inspiration in Malden’s History: Inna Babitskaya

In May 2020, Malden Reads planned to host the Malden Mass. Memories Road Show (MMRS), a statewide, event-based, participatory digital archiving program that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history through family photographs and stories. Due to the pandemic, the in-person event could not be held. So Neighborhood View, in collaboration with Malden Reads, is contributing photographs and stories online as part of the Malden Mass. Memories Stuck-at-Home Show. The following story continues the series of participant profiles, which focus on photographs and what they mean to that resident of Malden. By Joy Pearson  Although we all live in an historical context, our focuses differ. We are shaped by the places and cultures in which we have lived and in which we currently live. But only some of us have eyes that see history everywhere. Inna Babitskaya’s view of life is indelibly guided by historical and cultural lenses. She gravitates to and admires historic buildings. She seeks out biographical facts. When she writes, she writes from an historical point of view. This developed from Inna’s childhood […]

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 […]