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Dacie Moses celebrates 128th

February 4, 2011 at 12:00 am
By Noelani Kirschner

If there was ever any doubt about Carleton’s love for Dacie Moses, let her 128th birthday anniversary stand testament to the devoted appreciation and support of students, faculty, staff, alums, and community members alike.

On Sunday Jan. 30, heavenly smells of a homemade brunch wafted out of the cookie house as multitudes from the Carleton community made their way to the celebration. Students mingled with alums as they munched on a wide variety of breakfast treats, like Dacie’s famous Beer Muffins and scrumptious Swedish Tea Rings, reminiscing about the life of the late former Carleton community member.

“We celebrate to honor Dacie’s legacy of hospitality and generosity,” said Julia Uleberg Swanson, the Dacie Moses House Coordinator.  “We also celebrate with gratitude that the house continues to provide a place for students to bake and make themselves at home.”

The house has been celebrating Moses’s birthday since the year she passed away. It used to be celebrated every five years but, due to the popularity of the event, it is now celebrated annually.    

This year, in addition to celebrating Moses, the Dacie Moses House also celebrated Tim Vick, the Geology Department’s Technical Director, who will be retiring later this year. Vick helped preserve the house when the College was deciding if the school should tear it down or keep it functioning as a community-gathering place.

According to Swanson, “There wouldn’t a be Dacie Moses House if Tim hadn’t stepped in to save it.”

Candace “Dacie” Moses was born January 26, 1883. She was a long-time employee of Carleton who was known in her day for often having students over her house for cookies, cribbage, and a chat. Moses started working in the Carleton’s Treasurer’s office in 1919 and moved to her namesake house at 110 Union Street in 1922. Sunday brunches at her house with students started in 1947 and have continued ever since.

When Dacie died at the ripe old age of 97 in 1981, she gave the House to the college through her last will and testament. But Carleton deemed the house too rickety and unstable. They were set to tear it down when Vick stepped in. He convinced Carleton’s Director of Facilities that the house was still functioning and it could survive another year. In addition, he got the student support to keep the Dacie culture continuing at the House.

“You can’t just take the Dacie Moses program and move it to Leighton, you know?” Vick said about the matter. “The House has a certain culture to it. It’s still kept pretty much the same way Dacie had it.”

The brunch was lively, with musical performances by the Knights and the Knightingales. The memory of Dacie lived on, as faculty members and old friends of hers talked about the former house owner. 

“Dacie was an absolutely wonderful person,” said Marienne Hutton, an old friend of Moses’s.

Added Dixon Bond, “Dacie was great. She always had a smile.