, Salem, MA


July 5, 2014

Letter: Story to go with house on Page One

To the editor:

The (renovated) house pictured on the cover of Wednesday’s Salem News (“End of the triple-decker,” June 25) was built by my ancestors after the fire that devastated Salem. Specifically, the building of it was managed by my great-grandmother, Celanire (Boulanger) LaVallee.

My father grew up in that house, as well as his parents and other family members (1914 to circa 1971).

This house is also pictured on my novella, “So Far from Story Street,” which I published in January 2013. The book is based on the life of my great-uncle, Arthur G. LaVallee, who lived in that neighborhood before he was drafted into the campaign against Pancho Villa on the Mexican border, and then again as a soldier in the “Yankee Division” in World War I. He was killed on a French battlefield in September of 1918, at age 22.

My father gave me Arthur’s diaries and letters, and then I penned the book based on those documents.

I was born in Salem in the ’60s, raised in Ipswich and currently reside in New York City (Manhattan).

JP LaVallee

New York City

JP LaVallee’s book is available through

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