By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – So you think you know Marlborough history? Who was the popular 19th-century author of over 100 books, the son of a Marlborough minister whose family home still stands on the corner of Broad and West Main streets? That was one of the questions asked of participants at Trivia Night, held recently at the Senior Center, by the Marlborough Historical Society. The answer was Horatio Alger.
Another question that brought the teams to their feet and running to the stage was “Who was a noted local dance teacher who began her Broadway stage career in the late 1920s and was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Outstanding Humanitarianism?” Anna Walker was the popular woman who shared her talent with many local people.
The seven teams of history buffs listened attentively as Peggy Schwartz and Joan Gregoire read the questions. The groups conferred, then a team member ran to the stage to record the vote. Placing first were The Bird Brains, which included Councilor-at-Large and Mayor-elect Arthur Vigeant, Councilor-at-Large Trisha Pope, Dick LaFreniere, Susan Alatolo, Ruth Labonte and Jean Lane. Only a few points behind were The Factory Workers – Mary Wenzel, Charlotte Chaousis, Arthur Marsan, George Blanchette and Norma Nelson.
Although participants took the historical data challenge seriously, there were a few moments of laughter when another popular, well-remembered dance teacher, Dorothy Elderkin, who used a frog-shaped clipper to gain her students attention, was mentioned. Former resident Lou Farina jumped up and danced his way up to the stage to present his team's response.
Much thought was given to a question about items made in Marlborough through the years, in addition to the shoe industry. These included mining lamps, wire goods, fire alarm strobe lights and the Marlborough Steamer.
On sale at the event was the Marlborough Historical Society's 2012 calendar, which highlights many local residents, including those who served the country during wartime. The month of May features a photo of The Cornet Band – a band of local musicians who had volunteered and were accepted to accompany the 5th Mass. Regiment during the Civil War. It was noted that at that time, the Marlborough area included what is now Hudson and during those years the average population was about 6,200.
The service history of local veteran John Noble, the recipient of the Purple Heart, who was discharged with three Battle Stars on the European Theatre ribbon, is commemorated and his activities recounted as an important part of the city's history. His participation in the Battle of the Bulge and other heroic efforts are highlighted in the month of August.
To obtain a calendar, call the Historical Society at 508-485-4763 and leave a message.