Saturday, July 23, 2016

Tony DeMarco's Living Room

Tony DeMarco's Living Room 
4007 E. Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Tony DeMarco is a former professional boxer in the welterweight division from Boston, Massachusetts. He was born Leonardo Liotta to Sicilian immigrants on January 14, 1932, and grew up in the North End neighborhood of Boston. DeMarco, who was known as the Boston Bomber made his professional debut against Meteor Jones in 1948. On April 1, 1955, he defeated Johnny Saxton by technical knockout in the 14th round for the World Welterweight title. He fought a total of 71 professional fights and had a record of 58-12-1. 33 of his victories came by way of knockout.

DeMarco's final fight was on February 6, 1962. Following his professional boxing career, DeMarco moved from Boston to Phoenix, Arizona in 1963 to help relieve his son Vincent's asthma. He opened Tony DeMarco's Living Room in 1968. The piano bar and lounge became a popular hangout for transplanted Bostonians and locals.

In 1975, DeMarco's son Vincent was struck by a car and killed. With the loss of his son and business down, DeMarco and his family decided to move back home to Boston. The Boston Bomber sold the lounge in 1982 and moved back home to become an officer in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He retired in 1998, and was honored with a street renamed after him and statue in his hometown of Boston. The site of Tony DeMarco's Living Room is now occupied by a U-Haul business.

Below are a few photos that I took during my recent visit to the former site of Tony DeMarco's Living Room, along with three links with more information on the Boston Bomber:


Friday, July 15, 2016

Alhambra Hotel

Alhambra Hotel
43 South MacDonald Street
Mesa, AZ 85210

The Alhambra Hotel was built in Mesa, Arizona in 1894 at the cost of $4,000. The hotel was constructed in Mesa during a period of agricultural development that led to improved infrastructure in the community. The hotel later burned down, and was rebuilt in 1922. Additional rooms were added to the building in 1951. The current building incorporates elements of the original 1894 building and the two 20th century architectural updates. The hotel operates today as a residential hotel and transitional living community.

The Alhambra Hotel was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

Below are two links with more information on the Alhambra Hotel, along with several photos that I took during my recent visit:


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Upcoming Event - 100th Anniversary of the Great Flood in Marshall, North Carolina

If you are in western North Carolina this weekend, you should check out these great events commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Great Flood in Marshall, North Carolina. My 2nd Great-Aunt Althia Briggs died in this flood with James Guthrie.

Below is a flyer for the commemoration with more information on the July 15th and 17th events:

Below is a link to an article with more information on the 1916 flood:


Friday, July 8, 2016

The Matt Ward History Experience Podcast - Episode #8

Check out the eighth edition of The Matt Ward History Experience Podcast!

Episode #8 contains the following segment:
  1. Let's Talk History - Interview with author, historian and fellow American Legion Post 176 member Al Savolaine
You can check out Al Savolaine and his new book Stanley Fisher: Shark Attack Hero of a Bygone Age online via the following websites:

Stanley Fisher: Shark Attack Hero of a Bygone Age -

Matawan Historical Society Facebook -

Matawan Historical Society Website -

1916 Matawan Shark Attacks Commemoration Events Schedule

Below are two photos of Al Savolaine and his book Stanley Fisher: Shark Attack Hero of a Bygone Age:

Below is the official flyer for the Matawan Shark Attacks of 1916 Centennial Commemoration:

First and foremost I would like to thank my guest Al Savolaine for sitting down in Matawan to talk history with me.

This episode would not have been possible if it had not been for the technical support of my good friend Peter Lloyd of One Stone Recording and Mastering. Pete mixed and cleaned up the original recordings into the great episode that you can stream on SoundCloud.

Last but certainly not least, I would like to thank all of my readers and listeners - Especially those who submitted questions for this month's segment of Let's Talk History.

The Matt Ward History Experience is brought to you by One Stone Recording and Mastering in New Brunswick, NJ. Check out One Stone Recording and Mastering for all of you mixing and mastering needs. Go to and receive 10% off your first session!

One Stone Recording and Mastering: