Like many immigrants to this country, Anna Tirocchi felt strongly
about saving and investing her money to establish a base of security
and respectability. She told her niece Primrose that other dressmakers
in Providence had gone bankrupt because they had not invested their
money. Annas investments were also a hedge against hard times
in her business.
her dressmaking business prospered, Anna accumulated a number of
real-estate holdings. Realtors sent solicitations to Madame Tirocchi,
these suggest that she was known as a prospective investor in commercial
buildings. Her Broadway property included other lots on neighboring
streets. She and Dr. Cella also purchased a set of leaseholds on
North Main Street. These were substantial properties that included
an auto repair garage, a diner/restaurant, and a multi-story commercial
block. Scattered records seem to indicate that Anna managed the
financial side of this joint holding for herself and Dr. Cella.
She paid the taxes and rent due the City of Providence on the land
where the buildings stood. She arranged for insurance and kept accounts
of tenant rents and capital costs.
later years, Anna acquired a vacation home at Narragansett Pier,
which also produced rental income for her, and a property with an
auto service station in nearby Cranston. In the 1930s, as the dress
shop business declined, rents from all her holdings produced a larger
portion of her income.
Anna also invested in Italy, purchasing Italian bonds and loaning
money to business men in Guarcino - Agnello De Meis and Giovanni
Castagnacci - who produced felt and hats of straw and wool. But
the loans were often not repaid and the bonds were worthless after
World War II.
Anna managed her other investments along with her shop business.
The shops bookkeeper kept track of rental income, lease hold
payments and taxes due, capital improvement expenses for the real
estate properties, all the books for the shop, and household expenses
for the family. The business home at 514 Broadway was treated as
a whole and essentially run out of one office. Dr. Cella apparently
submitted payments for his share of expenses - household and investments
- directly to the bookkeeper, for one note has been found that accompanied
a payment directed to the bookkeeper "so as not to disturb
Miss Tirocchi." Tax records seem to reflect casual and erratic
record keeping and inconstant reporting, but Madame Tirocchi did
survive two audits without additional tax or penalty.
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