Roslyn Torella grew up in a little village in northeast Ohio situated on the Mahoning River called Lowellville. As a teenager, she was convinced that Lowellville was the most boring place on Earth. However, in 2013, Roslyn began researching the history of her hometown with the objective of putting together a manuscript for her father’s 84th birthday. That research, a wonderful birthday gift for her late father, David Torella, evolved into a book honoring the history of Lowellville. “Lowellville, Ohio: Murders, Mayhem & More” is not a typical history book.
Roslyn took a different approach because she wanted to offer readers the ability to read the actual news stories about the people or events being reported on. The book is a compilation of newspaper articles published in various local papers between the 1850s and 1920s. For many of the stories, Roslyn was able to conduct further research to offer readers more insight into the lives of the articles’ subjects, which she shares with readers in the “historical footnotes” sections. “I love the way reporters wrote a century ago and I wanted readers to experience it too,” said Roslyn. And, that’s probably one of the best parts about the book: a true example of the writing style over 100 years ago. Think unsolved murders, secret abortions, scorned lovers, death over booze, and more as Roslyn combines her passion for history and genealogy in this well-documented, well-researched and, most importantly, entertaining book about an idyllic little Ohio village.
Roslyn Torella is the author of La Gazzetta Italiana’s monthly column “Discovering La Famiglia.” Her family hails from the Molise region of Italy. Her grandparents planted roots in Lowellville, beginning her family’s 115-year history in the village.