Vincent (1898-1951) and Girard [Gerard] (1895-1962) Rossi
Vincent and Girard Rossi were born to Pasquale and Margaret Famiigletti Rossi, the former in 1891 and the latter in 1895. Their father came to the United States in the 1920’s. He was a “well known barber in Waterbury” for 15 years and then moved to Thomaston, living there for twenty eight years. For 25 of the 28 years, he ran Piney Grove Inn on the Torrington-Thomaston Road. He moved to Lakeland, Florida and lived there from 1950-1959, dying in the latter year on December 8th. We know nothing about the early education of the two sons nor the family life of the Rossis, When the Federal Art Project began in Hartford, the brothers were stone masons working for the Kelly Brothers Company makers of cemetery headstones. They worked on FAP projects from 1937-1940. One of their first jobs was restoring the headstones at the old cemetery behind First Church in Hartford. Vincent produced numbers of a Mark Twain Plaques, and the FAP placed them in schools. However, only the family has one of these. The largest job the brothers worked on was The Nativity Set of life size figures of the traditional Christmas scene. Both made plaster castings of the figures. The Set opened in front of the Old State House in 1938 and attracted many admirers from outside of Hartford. The Rossi brothers also worked on the creation of stone walls for the set. 1940, they took part inwere part another project for the Set, this time to redesign and repaint the figures and walls. Vincent Rossi died in 1951 and Girard Rossi in 1962.
Sources: FAP work cards for each brother; Hartford Courant articles: “Ancient Epitaphs Reappear Clear Cut on Headstones behind Center Church,” May 7, 1937; “Striking Nativity Scene To Be Displayed Here,” December 15, 1938; “Holy Family Pictured in Park Scene,” December 21, 1938; Obituary of Vincent P. Rossi,” August 11, 1951; Pasquale Rossi Dies at Age 66,” December 8, 1959; WPA/FAP newsletters, 1937-1938; Social Security Death Index.