Worcester Trade School - Some verry pretty places.

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This postcard features the first-built section of the Worcester Boys Trade School, completed in 1910 and, with assistance from students attending the school, greatly expanded in 1916-1917. The building at that time fronted on Grove Street and faced Armory Square, so named because of the Worcester National Guard Armory located diagonally across the square. Milton Higgins, a noted Worcester industrialist, was instrumental in establishing the school, acting as an early advocate, donor, and fundraiser.

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As seen above, the original structure (far left) was incorporated into the new building, which is much grander in scale and more elegant in design. The architects of the expansion also took care to symmetrically match the extension on the right to achieve visual balance. After a new co-ed Technical High School was finished in 2006, this entire suite of buildings was renovated into apartments and is now known as the Voke Lofts.

REFERENCES
(1) Worcester Institutional District - Waymarking.com

Sent to: Mr. Leroy Stalker
Address: [???], NY
Dear Friend your card received and like it very much. I think there must be some verry pretty places there this is not a pretty card but most men are interested in schools and colleges I have quite a collection of them from different [???] Good night and answer soon
Your Friend  Rose L. Ross
66 Madison Street, Worcester Mass

  Postmark: 01/31/1912 - Worcester, MA

Postmark: 01/31/1912 - Worcester, MA

THE MYSTERY

  • The sender and recipient of this card were born 22 years apart in different states and lived 300 miles away from each other. Were they simply engaging in a regular exchange of cards, which was a bit of a rage in the early 1900's, or was there something more? It is tempting to read a certain sentiment into Rose's comments, ("Good night and answer soon") but it seems unlikely that tender thoughts would have been shared with a much younger married man in something as public as a postcard sent to his home.

THE SENDER

In the 1900 federal census, Rose L. Ross, is listed as married and head of household, living at the time with her two children and her mother, Elizabeth Smith. Notably, however, her husband does not appear on that record. We also learn that she worked as a "Laundress" and was born in Rhode Island in 1866. Oddly, she is not recorded on the 1910 census, even though she apparently lived at the same address on Madison Street from at least 1900 through 1912.

THE RECIPIENT

Leroy E. Stalker was born in 1888 and, according to the federal census records for both 1910 and 1920, was living in Union, New York. He worked at a shoe factory throughout this period, including time spent as a "Fiber Worker" and "Carton Cutter." Married when this card was sent, he had only recently left his parent's house to live independently with his wife. He died in March 1974 at the age of 86 and is buried at the Riverside Cemetery in Endicott, New York.

REFERENCES
(2) Federal Census Records & Social Security Death Index - Ancestry.com