Boris W. Migliori, seated, was on hand when Riverside Cycle cut the ribbon after purchasing H.R. Sawyer Schwinn Bicyclery.
Legendary bicycle shop owner Boris W. Migliori passed away Saturday night, his family confirmed today. He was 94 years old.
While a formal obituary is expected this week, word of Migliori’s passing quickly spread throughout the city Sunday with online condolences and tributes.
“I got my first bike from him in 1952 and saw him off and on throughout the years. When I did see him it was like he just ran into his best friend. He never forgot your name once you met him,” Kenny Boles wrote on Facebook.
Paul E. Johnston took his tribute a step higher, suggesting a permanent monument be built to honor Migliori.
“They should erect a statue of him. He loved his customers and knew who everybody was,” he wrote online.
Local historian Arthur H. Veasey III mourned, “Another member of the Greatest Generation has passed.” Veasey noted Migliori was a tail-gunner in a B-24 Liberator bomber aircraft. “There could not have been a more perilous job in the Army Air Corp in World War II,” he said. Migliori served in the U.S. Army Air Forces, forerunner of today’s air force, and was awarded many medals for his service.
Migliori had been an icon in downtown Haverhill since 1945 when he purchased H.R. Sawyer Schwinn Bicyclery from founder Herbert Richard Sawyer. The original shop was on Fleet Street and then Bailey Street—both thoroughfares would fall victim to the city’s Merrimack Street Urban Renewal Program during the 1970s. Unlike many other business owners, Migliori was one of few who decided to stay in downtown Haverhill after the wrecking ball moved through. He became an urban renewal developer, buying land from the Haverhill Housing Authority and building a new shop at the intersection of Ginty Boulevard and Mill Street in 1970.
Migliori retired from the business in 2007 and his son, Arthur, retired in 2013. The bicycle shop continues as an independent retail business, Riverside Cycle, operated by Aaron Millett.
Funeral arrangements are expected to be announced by the Paul C. Rogers Family-Carnevale Funeral Home, 334 Main St., Haverhill.