Saturday, January 12, 2008

Home For Italian Children

Why the Roxbury home? I have no idea. As told here , the home was founded in the wake of the influenza epidemic of 1918. I always puzzled about this place. Why did there need to be a special home for Italian children? Now I know. I'll add Jamaica Plain to the entry here so that Internet searches will be more likely to pick it up.

Boston Daily Globe April 18, 1920

Roxbury Home For Italian Children.

The Home for Italian Children on the old Gahm estate, Centre st, opposite the Arnold Arboretum, will be ready for occupancy on June 1. A special campaign is to be made among the Italian churches and residents of the State during May to provide the funds to finance the purchase and alterations of the home and for its maintenance.

A drive, collections in churches and Italian organizations, and social affairs are among the features of the financial program. Attorney Felix Forte, Pres Thomas Nutile of the First State Bank and Dr Gaetano Praino head the committee. It is aimed to secure $100,000.

The home has been incorporated as the first distinctively Italian aid institution in this vicinity. The corporation has chosen the following as the board of directors to supervise all matters; Cardinal O'Connell, honorary president, Rev R.J. Haberlin, president, Thomas Nutile, treasurer Felix Forte, secretary; Vincent Brogna, Andrew Di Pietro, Rev Pasquale Di Milla, Rev V. Gregori, Rev Anthony Sousa, Ernest Martine and Miss Luisa DeFerrari. Caruso has agreed to sing for the cause. An office has been opened at 60 State st.


  1. My mother stayed at the Home for Italian Children from 1930-1941 - from when she was born until she was 11. I have no pictures of my mother from her youth and am trying to locate some. Can you recommend any websites/ sources where I might be able to get some old pictures of the Home and the children that stayed there?

    1. I would contact the institution - it's still open. Good luck.

  2. My father and uncle were there from 1935-40. I do have a few pictures of them when they were there but only standing by a bush with a few cousins when an uncle or aunt would visit. Saddly, it wasn't until they were there for a few years when the family found out where they were since my grandfather wouldn't tell them.