We’re participating in the Slater’s Sheep Community Art Project

Updated October 12, 2023  |   Published March 6, 2023

If you’ve recently visited our Webster branch, you may have seen this sheep and wondered, “what’s a sheep doing in a credit union?”

The answer is that it’s part of the Slater’s Sheep Community Art Project. This project commemorates the opening of the town of Webster’s new history museum, The Samuel Slater Experience. Local businesses have each sponsored their own 30-pound sheep. Nebraska-based company Icon Poly fabricated them. Sheep will begin popping up all over Webster in the spring as part of the project.

 

The history

Samuel Slater was a textile worker who helped create the town of Webster by bringing cotton spinning mills there in 1812. Using the water power of what is now Webster Lake and the French River, Slater was able to create an industrial town centered on cotton and woolen manufacturing, which attracted other businesses into the area. With the help of his famous friend, Senator Daniel Webster, the town of Webster, Massachusetts was born.

Webster Credit Union was founded in 1928. The goal was for mill workers in town to have a place to store, invest, and borrow money. Then, in 1965, credit union membership was opened to all citizens in the community. The slogan “We’re a Part of You,” which appears on the sheep, was our slogan in the early days of Webster Credit Union.

 

About the sheep

The sheep represent the town’s roots to woolen manufacturing, and they began as blank canvases. Each sponsor may customize their sheep as they see fit. Our artist and member of the credit union, Dave Laabs, painted a Webster First vault on one side and the iconic Webster Roll-O-Drome on the other. Our sheep will be mounted in front of the credit union later this spring.

 

Choosing a name

With our roots in the community, we accordingly decided to let the community choose our sheep’s name. In honor of Webster First celebrating its 95th birthday this year, the community voted between the names of three men who were important to the credit union’s history:

  • Our first president, Victor E. Dziembowski
  • Our first treasurer, Frank P. Brezniak
  • Our very first member, Jacob S. Ciborowski.

 

Voting ended Monday, March 20, 2023 at 12:00pm, with “Jacob” winning. You can visit Jacob at our branch located at 41 East Main Street in Webster, Massachusetts.