Whittier Birthplace Honors Former Curator ‘Gus” Reusch with Welcome Center Naming

Those attending the ceremony included, from left, Whittier Birthplace Trustee Linda L. Koutoulas, former Trustees Elinor Curtin-Cameron, Mark Reusch, Executive Director Kaleigh Paré-Shaughnessy, Trustee Marcia Rogers, Trustee Robyn Tretter, Trustee President Arthur H. Veasey III, City Councilor Thomas J. Sullivan, Trustee James Carbone and Richard Cushing, former Birthplace volunteer. (Courtesy photograph.)

Then-Whittier Birthplace Curator Augustine “Gus” Reusch reads a Whittier poem during the 132nd Annual Meeting of the Haverhill Whittier Club in 2016. (WHAV News photograph.)

Augustine J. “Gus” Reusch, former curator of Whittier Birthplace, is being permanently recognized for his contributions to the museum and community at large.

The Trustees of the John Greenleaf Whittier Homestead honored Reusch Saturday during the seasonal reopening of the Birthplace by naming its multipurpose carriage shed as the “Augustine “Gus” Reusch Welcome Center.” Trustee President Arthur H. Veasey III led the ceremony before family and friends.

“On this bright spring morning we gather to pay tribute to a kind and decent man, whose dedication to this placid yet honorable place, has given so much to the memory and legacy of Haverhill’s favorite native son. Today, Gus Reusch stands abreast—James Hazen Carleton, Donald Freeman and Ray Comeau—as a keeper of the flame—as an individual who has literally brought to life the memory of John Greenleaf Whittier for countless visitors, school children, scholars and admirers,” said Veasey.

Reusch was named curator in 2008, staying on until the appointment in 2020 of Executive Director Kaleigh Paré-Shaughnessy. Besides his stewardship of the Birthplace, many know Reusch as a middle school social studies instructor for both St. Joseph’s School and Haverhill public schools for nearly 40 years.

Reusch accepts the YMCA Community Service Award. (WHAV News photograph.)

He began his teaching career at St. Joseph’s School in 1965. He then taught between 1971 and 1985 at the Dr. Paul C. Nettle School, between 1985 and 1997 at the Caleb Dustin Hunking School and then back to St. Joseph’s School until his retirement in 2002.

Many saw Reusch portray Whittier during the museum’s popular Whittier Snow-Bound Weekends.

Reusch was also honored in 2016 with Haverhill YMCA’s community service award. Then- YMCA Board President Dianne Connolly also noted, “His volunteer work is Herculean. He volunteers at eight elderly housing facilities, three churches and two libraries. In his spare time, he is the curator of the John Greenleaf Whittier Birthplace.”

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