A large group of Jackson employees, family members, local businesspeople, and politicians attended the dedication of the Joseph A. Torrisi Memorial Bridge in Lawrence on October 2, 2023. Located on South Union St., adjacent to Jackson Lumber & Millwork the bridge is now named in honor of our founder, Joseph A. Torrisi, as a tribute to his many contributions to the growth of the city of Lawrence over the years.
“My father would be incredibly proud and humbled to have this bridge named in his honor right next to the business he started with his family in 1946,” said Alfred Torrisi. “His impact persists today in Jackson Lumber & Millwork, in Lawrence, and beyond.”
A general contractor for 20 years before founding Jackson Lumber & Millwork in 1946, Torrisi was well-known for his dedication to community service. In the mid-1950s when many textile mills moved out of the city, he was a founding member of a foundation that worked to attract new businesses to Lawrence, lease the vacant mill buildings, and provide work for the unemployed mill workers. He was also involved in founding Bon Secours Hospital—now Holy Family Hospital in Methuen. A long-time member and past president of the Lawrence Rotary Club, he was also District Governor of that organization. In addition, he was president of the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce, president of the Lawrence Boys & Girls Club, and was active in many other greater Lawrence civic and charitable organizations.
In his dedication ceremony remarks, Al Torrisi thanked Lawrence City Council president Marc Laplante, former mayor Dan Rivera, former state representative Paul Iannuccillo, State Rep. Frank Moran, State Senator Barry Finegold, Senator Pavel Payano, and former State Rep. Christina Minicucci for working to get the necessary local and state approvals for the bridge renaming.
Speakers included Lawrence Mayor Brian DePen͂a and City Council president Marc Laplante. “I am proud and honored to be here with the Torrisi family at this dedication ceremony for this bridge honoring Mr. Torrisi’s contributions to the growth of our city,” said Mayor DePen͂a.
City Council president Laplante remarked, “Joseph Torrisi led an impactful life and created a legacy company in Lawrence that has now spanned multiple generations. His legacy is rightfully remembered with this bridge naming near the current Jackson Lumber headquarters. Let’s remember him and his contributions to Lawrence and the Merrimack Valley whenever we cross the Joseph A. Torrisi Bridge.”
Eagle-Tribune photo by Carl Russo