Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fort Dummer Revisited

The following information on Fort Dummer is from a series of articles first published in the Academy yearbook, Milestone, during the 1930s. The first article of the series entitled, The Father of William Dummer, appears in its entity in the archives blog dated December 13, 2007. The article appearing below entitled, Fort Dummer, from the 1933 Milestone was written by Calvin Eldred. (*Click on the photographs to enlarge the text. To view the photograph of a piece of Fort Dummer see the blog posting for March, 22, 2007.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Scrapbook Memories

If anyone were to ask me what my favorite item was in the Academy’s archives, I would have to say the scrapbook of Waldo Thorne Worcester. As a student at Dummer Academy from 1916 until his graduation in June 1920, Waldo pasted photographs, newspapers articles, wrote down names of friends and listed scores of athletic games helping to keep alive memories of his three years at the school. ( Waldo is the boy with the Dummer (D) sweater on in the photograph to the left.)
Accompanying the scrapbook is a letter written in 1993 by his son Waldo Thorne Worcester, Jr. in which he wrote:

“Dad always felt that G. D. was his home. He often spoke of athletics and scholarship at the same time. This always impressed me because I was not the student that he felt I should be. My children and grandchildren have experienced this album and feel as I do that it should be returned to G. D. Please feel free to discard anything not of interest to you. Again, thank you for an interest in an old man’s treasure.”

And what a treasure it is! The scrapbook captures the life of adolescent boy during the first-quarter-of-the-Twentieth Century. It clearly expresses what was important to him such as the Dummer Academy baseball and football teams whose members affectionately called him “The Brat.”

He was alert to the war raging in Europe and dedicated several pages to images of Generals and Field Marshals and pencil sketches of angry Germans. He also saved a receipt for a war savings stamp he purchased on June 14, 1918. He went to the movies to see Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks and he kept one copy of his report cards with all As and Bs.

While turning the fragile pages of the album for the first time, something metal fell out on to the table. Picking up the object I found it to be an old razor. Attached to one page was a white envelope on which Waldo wrote, “Razor inside with is the first razor with which I ever shaved myself.”

Waldo Thorne Worcester came as a student to Dummer Academy on January 8, 1916 at the age of 14 ½ and graduated on June 12, 1920, three weeks short of his 19th birthday. He graduated from Boston University in 1924 and passed away in the early 1990s.
***Scroll down to see more pages of the scrapbook.