Then & Now: Rossi Macaroni Factory, Routes 53 and 113, Braidwood
June 27, 2012 8:58PM
Rossi Macaroni Factory as it appeared in 1900 at Route 53 near Route 113 in Braidwood. Photo compliments of the Braidwood Area Historical Society.
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:21AM
In 1885, Italian immigrant Peter Rossi opened the Rossi Macaroni Factory on Route 53 near Route 113 in Braidwood. The factory served as a significant employer of Italian and other area immigrants. The most infamous employee of Rossi Macaroni Factory was none other than Anton Cermak, the alleged mob-connected mayor of Chicago, who served from 1931 to 1933.
Cermak was born in the Czech Republic and spent his formative years in Braidwood. In addition to working at the macaroni factory, he was a mule driver for the coal mines. Cermak’s career was cut short when he was shot by an assassin during President Franklin Roosevelt’s inauguration on Feb. 15, 1933, in Miami. Some say, Roosevelt was the intended victim, while others believe mob boss Frank Nitti ordered a hit on Cermak. Rumors circulated that Cermak was killed because he had promised to crack down on mob crime in Chicago.
Today, the Golden Mine Restaurant, offering a tempting array of breakfast, lunch and dinner selections, stands on the site of the old macaroni factory.