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Ernest H. Rosasco

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Ernest Henry Rosasco
21st Mayor of
North Adams, Massachusetts
In office
Preceded byJames A. Bowes
Succeeded byJames M. Lilly
Justice of the
District Court
of Northern Berkshire
Personal details
BornAugust 4, 1907
DiedJuly 1985 (aged 77)
Alma materWilliams College[1]

Ernest "Ernie" Henry Rosasco (August 4, 1907 – July 1985) was an Italian-American jurist and politician who served as the twenty first Mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts and as a justice of the District Court of Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Early life[edit]

Rosasco was born in North Adams, Massachusetts to Giovanni Rosasco, a police captain[2] and G. B. Rosasco.[3] He had three brothers, John, Francis, and William, and two sisters, Mary and Margaret.[4] His wife was Mary A. Fachini.[3]

He graduated from Williams College in 1929 and from Harvard Law school in 1932. He practiced law in North Adams for ten years, and was a member of the North Adams city council from 1938-1941. From 1940 to 1942, he was a member of the advisory committee of the local draft board, and in November of 1942 he joined the United States Army, enlisting as a private to serve in World War II. He served in the 4th Armored division in Europe until November 1945.[2] He was granted a battlefield commission as lieutenant during the war,[5] and was discharged with the rank of 2nd lieutenant.[2]


In 1951 he was again elected to the North Adams City Council. The city used what was known as charter D to select a mayor. Under this, the city councellors elected a mayor, and Rosasco was selected.[2] He was the first mayor so elected and served until 1953.[3] In 1954 he was appointed to the North Adams Planning Board and was a member of the Industrial Development Commission. He was a chairman of the Republican City committee, a trustee of the state soldiers' home at Holyoke.[3] In January 1956, Massachussetts governor Herter nominated Rosasco to the ten member judicial council, a part of the Massachusetts Governor's Council.[3]

In 1961, Rosasco was elected chairman of the Mount Greylock Commission, which managed the Mountain and surrounding park.[6][7]

He became judge of Northern Berkshire District Court in 1962.[4] He served for 14 years, until 1976. County law required part-time judges to serve for 15 years to qualify for a pension, and county commissioners debated whether or not an exception should be made, and his pension was not granted.[8]

Community civic and business activities[edit]

He was active in numerous civic and business organizatioins. He was president of a local Sons of Italy lodge, commander of the local post of the American Legion, and president of the local Lions Club. He was also the director of the North Adams Chamber of Commerced and the North Adams National Bank and a member of the Community Chest organization of North Adams.[2]

Awards and legacy[edit]

In September, 1958 he was awarded the Good Citizenship award, a state-wide award given by Freedom, Inc. and presented by Governer Foster Furcolo at Constitution Day exercises at the State House in Boston. The award was given to first or second generation immigrants, Rosasco's father had immigrated from Italy.[5]

A tribute was made to him and his long service to North Adams was made in the U.S. Congress in 1985.[9] His picture remains in North Adams council chambers and his gavel was used to bring in the new government session in 2018.[10]


  1. Williams College (1930), Gulielmensian, Williamstown, Massachusetts: Williams College
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Thumbnail Biographies of Winners in Election. The North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) 7 Nov 1951, page 7,accessed at Newspapers.com open access
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Name Former Mayor Rosasco To State Judicial Council. The North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) 5 Jan 1956, page 3,accessed at Newspapers.com open access
  4. 4.0 4.1 Rosasco Accepts Judge's Seat With Pride, Humility, The North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) 15 Oct 1962, page 4,accessed at Newspapers.com open access
  5. 5.0 5.1 Good Citizenship Citation For Ex-Mayor E. H. Rosasco. The North Adams Transcript (North Adams, Massachusetts) 2 Sep 1958, page 2,accessed at Newspapers.com open access
  6. "State Acts to Protect Mt. Greylock". Mass Moments. Retrieved 2018-02-05.
  7. "Rosasco Elected Chairman of Mt. Greylock Commission". Pittsfield Berkshire Eagle. November 25, 1961.
  8. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/54996932/
  9. Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the ... Congress, United States. Congress U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985 page 1746
  10. New North Adams Council Approves Appointments, Donation by Tammy Daniels iBerkshires Staff January 10, 2018
Political offices
Preceded by
James A. Bowes
21st Mayor of North Adams, Massachusetts
Succeeded by
James M. Lilly

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