National Park Service
Courtesy of the Nowak Family
As a young woman, Mary sang in Salem’s Chopin Choir, which held rehearsals in the old firehouse at 128 Derby Street. She was involved in many groups and activities in Polish Salem, including the Women's Polish American Citizens Club. She also worked in all three of Salem's main industries: leather, electronics, and textiles (at the Pequot Mill). Visit those pages for some of the many recollections that she shared with researchers for this study.
Mary passed away in June of 2009, as the report for this project was being completed. Her memories are interspersed throughout the report, and her vibrant spirit and humor informed the study in many ways. Below, Mary stands with community member Linda Moustakis and Chuck Smythe, Program Manager of the National Park Service's Northeast Regional Ethnography Program, in front of the storefront exhibit at St. Joseph Hall in May 2008.