Posts Tagged ‘East Cambridge’


Alice Ronchetti outside the Cambridge Public Library Branch No.1 in 1935.



We are pleased to announce that the Alice M. Ronchetti Papers, 1935-1973, have been digitized and can now be viewed online, in addition to the original hard copies being available for research at the Cambridge Public Library.

Alice Ronchetti worked as a librarian for the Cambridge Public Library for 38 years, from 1935 until her retirement in 1973. During her professional life, Ronchetti dedicated herself to the needs of both young people and adults. Her “unselfish and outstanding service to the citizens of Cambridge” was noted by the Board of Library Trustees in their resolution to accept her retirement from her position of head librarian.

This collection contains Alice Ronchetti’s professional documents and photographs. The documents include her Certificate of Librarianship and two letters that document her retirement: one acceptance letter from library Director Joseph G. Sakey and one resolution passed by the Board of Library Trustees. The photographs in this collection were taken at East Cambridge (now the O’Connell Branch) and Mount Auburn (now the Collins Branch). They depict Alice Ronchetti’s work life in the Cambridge Public Library system, including her co-workers, children she worked with, and events held at the library. Some of the photographs were undated and the dates have been estimated.

Alice Mary Ronchetti was born on May 24, 1912 to Cesar Ronchetti (b. 1884) and Clotilde Nicoli (1883-1974) in Boston, Massachusetts. She was one of six siblings (Alfred, Joseph, Rose Mary, Mary, and James). Her family moved to Cambridge around 1921. Ronchetti died on October 1, 1986 at age 74 and is buried in the North Cambridge Catholic Cemetery.


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As Veterans Day approaches, I wanted to call attention to a particularly appropriate collection here in the Cambridge Room – a small collection of papers and personal effects related to Salvatore Valente, a Cambridge resident who served in the United States Army and died in World War II. He is also the namesake of the Valente Branch of the Cambridge Public Library.


Photograph of Salvatore Valente in uniform

Photograph of Private Salvatore Valente in uniform and a postcard he sent to his mother in June 1944 from basic training in Fort McClellan, Alabama

Salvatore Valente was born on March 11, 1926, in Cambridge, to Alessandro and Ines Valente, who had emigrated from Italy. He had 10 brothers and sisters and his family lived at 14 Marion Street in East Cambridge. He graduated from Wellington Grammar School in 1942 and attended Rindge Technical School for his secondary education. He left Rindge Tech in 1944 to join the United States Army and was sent to Germany in early 1945. He was killed in action in Germany on March 12, 1945, less than two months before V-E Day. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

In January 1961 the City of Cambridge adopted a motion put forward by Italian-American Councillor Alfred Vellucci to name the new branch of the Cambridge Public Library at the Charles Harrington School in honor of Valente and his family’s sacrifice. Named the “Salvatore Francis Valente Memorial Library,” the Branch is located only a few blocks from Valente’s childhood home. The Valente Branch celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011.

The Cambridge Room collection on Salvatore Valente includes a small number of items related to Valente and his connection to the branch of the Cambridge Public Library named in his honor. The collection includes his birth certificate, his Wellington Grammar School diploma, a postcard he sent to his mother from basic training in Fort McClellan, Alabama, a telegram from the Army’s Adjutant General informing his mother of his death, condolence letters and memorials sent to Valente’s family from various public officials, and two photographs. Items related to the Valente Branch Library include a copy of the City Council resolution naming the public library branch for Valente, invitations to anniversary events, and two newspaper clippings.

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Photo of Johnny’s Foodmaster in  Charlestown from Boston.com.

Those of us who live in Cambridge most likely know the Johnny’s Foodmaster that’s over the Cambridge line on Beacon Street in Somerville.  Who doesn’t love the carpeted aisles and friendly staff?  Last week’s Boston Globe article about a potential Whole Foods takeover revealed something we didn’t know:  the original  Johnny’s Foodmaster opened in East Cambridge in 1947.  Does anyone have photos of the original store?

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