Schoolhouse Museum Benefits from Malser Trust  
Saturday, March 3, 2012

WEBSTER ¡X The Janet Malser Humanities Trust has saved the Webster-Dudley Historical Society's Little Red Schoolhouse Museum from deterioration at its roof line and beyond.

The one-room schoolhouse, built in 1835, shuttered in 1935, and subsequently reopened for a year or two, has long been a depository for historical documents, materials, and things such as Webster's original town hall piano.

Then, the roof all but fell in on activities a couple of years ago, if not longer. The town trolleys series, managed by John Mrazik and Alan Dabrowski, continued, but with presentations in the Town Hall auditorium or the Corbin Public Library.

Safety couldn't be guaranteed in the museum, so preservation of its contents became the emphasis. Then, society officers, with Douglas Williamson as president, petitioned the Malser Trust for assistance, taking advantage of a clause that encourages the maintenance of historical places. The trust tabbed $15,000 to help the museum with a new roof to rehabilitation. Work is tentatively scheduled for this spring, according to a news release.

Certainly, the late Janet Malser was interested in Webster-Dudley history, as evidenced by the related programs in which she participated not too many years ago. Maybe the society can place a photograph of Ms. Malser in their historical building.

In case anyone has cause to wonder, Janet Malser was a working person most of her life, starting as a secretary with Waterhouse Co. around 1930, when the company built custom auto bodies. They turned to other ventures when the Great Depression dampened enthusiasm for custom projects.

One of her recollections was writing instructions to the assembly of chicken coops, after Waterhouse turned to the manufacture of a wide range of products.

She later worked in an insurance office and subsequently invested in the Commerce Insurance Co., now Mapfre USA. This brought wealth, and her far-reaching foundation.

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Insert an ¡§i¡¨ before the ¡§e¡¨ in ¡§Serra Club,¡¨ and you've got ¡§Sierra Club,¡¨ as I discovered Feb. 10.
The message was about a dinner sponsored by the ¡§Serra¡¨ Club of Southern Worcester County, a group that helps seminarians, but it read ¡§Sierra¡¨ Club, courtesy of a computer spell-check program.
Chances are some Sierra Club members were surprised to learn their grassroots environmental organization had taken a Catholic bent hereabouts.

Not true, though it shows you can't always depend upon spelling technology.

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William Steglitz, professor emeritus of mathematics at Nichols College, and still a contributing member of the faculty, was a Phi Kappa Tau leader at Hobart College in New York City.

There, a framed montage of the Kappa Tau membership disappeared some 50 years ago, in the weeks prior to commencement.

Was it a perfect caper without any clues? Or was it a diabolical scheme?

Now, in the 50th anniversary review of a college magazine, is the big membership group montage, as it was lifted by some young ladies from a nearby women's college.

¡§Look at it,¡¨ said Prof. Bill, tracing a finger across to the right side to the montage. ¡§There I am.¡¨
-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

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