American Labor Museum

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American Labor Museum
American Labor Museum
(973) 595-7953
83 Norwood St, Haledon, NJ 07508

The Pietro and Maria Botto House, also known as Pietro Botto House, located at 83 Norwood Street in Haledon, Passaic County, New Jersey, United States, is a historic site where leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union addressed the 25,000 striking workers of the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913.

Pietro Botto and his wife Maria Boggio, both immigrants from Biella, Italy, were the original owners. They arrived in the United States in 1892 with their first daughter, Albina, and lived in West Hoboken (now Union City, New Jersey) for fifteen years, where they had three more daughters, Adelia, Eva, and Olga. The family saved enough money to build their own home in Haledon, where they moved in 1908. The house was spacious enough to accommodate the entire family, and they rented out three additional rooms on the second floor for extra income.

During the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913, Paterson's mayor refused to allow the strikers to assemble in the city. At the urging of Big Bill Haywood, Pietro and Maria Botto invited the strike organizers to hold rallies at their home in nearby Haledon, where the workers were not on strike, counting on the support of the local socialist major William Brueckman. From March 3 to the end of the strike in June, the Botto House became the Sunday rallying point. Maria kept the house in order and fed the activists who addressed the crowd either from the balcony or from in front of the house. Speakers included Upton Sinclair, Carlo Tresca, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Adolph Lessig, and Patrick L. Quinlan. Despite not being part of the strike himself, Pietro could not find work after the strike, nor could his daughter Eva, who was blacklisted. Sadly, Maria got sick and died only two years after the silk strike.