Please Send Us Your North End Story!

We are very excited to collect stories for the North End Story Vault, which is the online component of the North Square Stories public art project.

In the near future, you will be able to access the North End Story Vault on your mobile device by aiming your camera at the North End Story Map sculpture in North Square.

If you have a North End story that you would like to share through the North End Story Map sculpture, please send your story to us using the form on this page. Please include the location in the North End where you would like your story to appear.

You can also upload pictures and documents to the North End Story Vault using the form.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please get in touch and we will be very happy to help.

Thank you!

– The North Square Stories Public Art Team

A+J Art+Design

2 Bradley Street
Somerville, MA 02145



    Would you be willing to record this story as part of the Oral History project?
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    Here you can attach up to six pictures and/or documents.
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    If you have lots of pictures or large files such as movies, please let us know in the Special Notes section below and we will arrange for another way to receive your media.

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    Thank you for sending your story!

    I grew up in Brockton on the South Shore and my Sicilian Grandparents lived with us. Periodically we would make the trip into the North End to buy all the Italian specialty items that were hard to find or more expensive in Brockton. We would always stop at Giuffre's Fish Market on the corner of Cross and Salem Street. They had a large barrel by the store's entrance that was full of ``chiocciole`` (snails). I was a young boy, 7 or 8 years old, and while my grandparents shopped, I would watch the snails slowly crawl up the sides of the barrel and wonder why they did not seem to try and escape. I remember being shocked when the store clerk came over and scooped some out and told me that a customer was bringing them home to eat!- Jim Pinzino
    My great Uncle Emanuel LoPresti immigrated to the North End, Boston, in 1910. He brought later his 2 children Laura and Alfred, and his wife Alfonsina (Amalia) from Licodia Eubea, Sicily. His other child Inez remained in Sicily with her grandparents and later joined her family in America. My great uncle established and became the first editor of the all Italian daily newspaper La Notizia (The News) in the North End.- Thomas Damigella
    In 1918 my great uncle, Emanuel LoPresti died from Influenza. At that time there was a worldwide epidemic of the disease. His daughter Laura continued as editor of the newspaper. He was honored with a grand public funeral. (See accompanying article.)</p> <p>Later the La Notizia newspaper became very involved with the Sacco and Vanzetti murder trial and in 1920 became the initial headquarters of the Sacco and Vanzetti Defense Committee . The headquarters was later moved to 251 Hanover Street in 1925 where they continued to fight for a retrial until the eventual execution of Sacco and Vanzetti in 1927.- Thomas Damigella
    La Notizia continued to be published and managed by the Husband of Laura LoPresti, Graziano Longarini, who was a Captain in the Army during World War I and later graduated from Boston University. He was also a member of the elite Governors Council. He continued to run the paper until his retirement and closing of the La Notizia in 1976 which was around the same time that he wrote the book The American Miracle. The Graziano was a staunch supporter of the Constitution and promoted the economics of capitalism which ironically was contrary to the La Notizia original political position on socialistic principles which were popular within the Italian communities in the 1920’s.- Thomas Damigella
    My mother immigrated at the age of 7 to the North End in 1925 and joined her parents and sister at 284 Hanover Street. Her birth place was Licodia Eubea, Sicily. She left behind grandparents, uncles, and aunts who decided not to immigrate to America. However, her father Sebastiano, his brother Pasquale, and his sister Alfonsina were the first to leave Sicily in the early 1900’s to find work and opportunity in America. They first came to Boston’s North End.- Thomas Damigella
    My grandfather Placido Amarù, born in Pietraperzia, Sicily, came to New England at the end of the 19th century with nothing but his wits and energy, worked briefly in the Maine woods cutting roads for loggers, and later took a job in a general store on Prince Street. Working there, he was able to invite his betrothed, Maria, to come from Alia, Sicily, and they married in Boston. He soon became a partner in the store and then a full owner and eventually he bought the building, and was able to move his family into the upper floor. The store was in that short stretch of Prince Street from North Square Park to Hanover, which is unrecognizable now; it was on the same side where the North End Press is located. The doorway was set in from the sidewalk and the paving in front of the door was of small white tiles with the letters Libreria del Populo in black tile, because he also sold books – along with musical instruments, stationery paper, guns, sheet music, phonograph records, cigars, just about everything. As he prospered, the growing family moved from the North End to a small house in Malden and, a few years later, to Lexington where he bought a large house on Massachusetts Avenue within sight of the Battle Green. By then he and his wife had nine children — five girls and four boys, all of them handsome, quick-witted and rash — and he owned several apartment buildings in the North End and now had his store at the corner of Prince and Hanover, plus a bank, a travel company, a photography studio and other ventures, including a shoe factory in Sicily and a villa in Palermo. From my mother I heard many stories about other figures in the North End, including Dr. Balboni, the Failaccis, the Lo Prestis and the Longarinis; those last two were publishers of La Notizia, an important newspaper of the Italian-American community back then. Incidents in some of my novels are inspired from stories about my grandfather and his extended family.- Eugene Mirabelli