Italian-American Immigrant Oral History Catalog

 

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Prepared by James Seelye

Foreword

During the period between 1982 and 1985, the Center for Oral History at Northern Michigan University (defunct), with the assistance of financial grants of money from the Paisano Club of Upper Michigan, Northern Michigan University, and the Michigan Council for the Humanities sponsored a project dealing with Italian immigration into Upper Michigan, also known as the Upper Peninsula.  Directed by Dr. Russell M. Magnaghi, the project interviewed over 150 individuals with a variety of backgrounds.  These interviews comprise an unused archive which offers insight into the immigrant experience.  The project visited every Italian-American community in Upper Michigan, neighboring Wisconsin, and Ontario.  These communities included:

  1. Chippewa County:  Sault Saint Marie.
  2. Dickinson County:  Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Loretto, Norway, Vulcan.
  3. Gogebic County:  Bessemer, Ironwood, Wakefield.
  4. Keweenaw County:  Mohawk.
  5. Houghton County:  Baltic, Calumet, Franklin Mine, Hancock, South Range.
  6. Iron County, Michigan:  Caspian, Crystal Falls, Iron River, Virgil.
  7. Mackinac County:  Cedarville-Hessel.
  8. Marquette County:  Gwinn, Ishpeming, Marquette, Negaunee.
  9. Menominee County:  Hermansville.
  10. Iron County, Wisconsin:  Hurley, Kimball.
  11. Ontario:  Sault Saint Marie.

Monsignor David Spelgatti encouraged and aided the project over a period of twenty years.  The catalyst who got the project started in 1982 was Greta Swenson, formerly of Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.  Many of the interviews were conducted by Donna Anderson, Mary Adams Bone, Rick Filizetti, Pete Frecchio, Flora Fregerio, John Ghiardi, Bev Gschwind, Diane Kordich, Greg Nienwendorp, Adele Perugini, Greg Rose, Myron Re, Christine Sericati, Greta Swenson, Robert Varda, and Alycee Westphal.  Besides the interviewers and interviewees, many unnamed people also helped by providing basic information on who to interview within a specific community.  They are remembered and thanked as well.

Dr. Magnaghi donated the original tapes to the Northern Michigan University Archives.  Two additional copies have been made to facilitate their use among researchers.  They are available at the Michigan Collection in the Bentley Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and at the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul.

In order to facilitate the use of this collection of tapes, Dr. Magnaghi had a catalogue of the tapes in question prepared.  It has been reproduced below.  Magnaghi, Mr. Ted Bays, and Mr. Jim Seelye edited the catalogue.

The catalogue provides general information about what is available for each interview, such as a transcript of it if available.  Magnaghi and Bays had an index prepared of some of the subjects and places discussed in some of the interviews on tape, but not for all of them. 

Dr. Magnaghi published a book based on the interviews on tape in this collection and on summaries of interviews not on tape. This book is entitled, Miners, Merchants, and Midwives:  Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Italians (1987).

Note:  Anyone planning on using this collection will find general information regarding computer searches, copyright information, citation information, restrictions of use, etc., in the preface at the beginning of the Inventory Finding Aid.

Content Note:

The tapes in this collection give insight into the kinds of lives various Italian immigrants to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan led both before they arrived and after they arrived.  Among other things, the tapes also give insight into the way these immigrants made a living and into their social activities, their religious ideas and practices, their political views and behavior, their views of America and of the “old world”, their relations with other ethnic and American groups, and the kind of people they have become.

Subjects Discussed in these Tapes, Transcripts, and/or Summaries Include:

Trip to America Church Dinners and Parties
First Impression of America Priests (Italian)
Immigration via Canada Bingo (Church)
Work in the Mines Games Italians Played
Conditions in the Mines Occupations of Italian Immigrants
Wages Sending Money to Italy
Houses Prejudice against Italians
Housing (Company) Discrimination against Italians
Wine Making Living Conditions
Bootlegging World War I
Bands (Musical) War Service
Boarding Houses Italy (Fighting for it)
Picnics Holidays and Festivals
Boarders (Renters) English (Learning it)
Family Characteristics Weddings
Bringing Family to America Businesses (Italian)
Lodges (Italian) Including: Political Activities
Dukes of Abruzzi Cornish Miners (views of them)
Christopher Columbus Italy (Life there)
Sons of Italy Italy (Returning to it)
Name Changes Italian Organizations
American Citizenship Entertainment
Schools for Italians Crime and Violence
Churches (Italian) Ku Klux Klan
Religious Education (Italian) Social Life
Senior Citizens Home Depression, WPA
Parades (Italians) Sausage Making
Church, Religious Activities Cheese Making
Church Music Bread Making (Italian)
Diets Bacala Making
Funerals Doctors, Hospitals
Women (Italian) Upper Peninsula Attractions
Suicides (Italian) Honors (Italian Americans)
Money Lending Clubs (Italian Americans)
Songs (Italian) Italian-American Federation
Naturalization Healings
Trapping Animals Lore (Italian American)
Mixing with Non-Italians Landlookers

 

Places Discussed in These Tapes, Transcripts, And/Or Summaries Include:

St. Mary’s Church (Calumet) Carp River
Ford Plant (Kingsford) Mines
The Bunker Hill The Queen
Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company  

 

Citation Key Example:

Interviewee’s Name Abruzzi Reunion
Date of Interview August 17, 1981
Length of Interview 2 ½ Hours
Interviewer Swenson
I – Indexed I, R
R – Release Form  
Transcript (if available) Transcript

NOTE:

The original Catalogue of Interviews had a numbered index listing some specific topics located on some of these interviews, including, fascism, women, lumber camps, and the like.  This index is listed at the end of the catalogue.  For specific interview information, and which interviews contain the indexed topic, please contact the Archives. 

​Many of the audio interviews have been digitized. To listen to the recordings, either click on the interviewee's name or visit our NMU Oral History Project website.

Abruzzi Reunion
Hurley, WI
August 17, 1981
2 ½ Hours
Swenson
I-R
The Quattro Abruzzi Society dates from 1905 and was recently revived.  This tape was made during an annual meeting held at the Liberty Bell Restaurant and is a bit confusing.  The organization is discussed by members.

 

Airaudi, Ambrose
Negaunee, MI
April 21, 1981
30 Minutes
Olson
I, Transcript
Airaudi, and Italian American mine inspector, discusses his work in the Negaunee area, and mine safety in general.

 

Alfonso, Anne S.
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
May 1, 1982
1 ½ Hours
BoneI-R
The life of the Italian immigrant in Sault Ste. Marie, MI, is presented.

 

Amicangelo, Irma
Iron Mountain, MI
June 30, 1982
105 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
Also on the tape are Silvio Egizii and Delgia Cerasoli.  This is an excellent presentation of life in the Italian community stressing folklore, food, and prejudice.

 

Angeli, Elvira Manci
Iron River, MI
March 10, 1982
60 Minutes
Westphal
I, Transcript
The matriarch of the Angeli family of grocery owners, Mrs. Angeli discusses her life and that of her husband Alfred, and the development of the family business.

 

Ballario, Angeline
Iron Mountain, MI
June 8, 1983
45 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
Discusses the Piedmontese in Iron Mountain, and presents general information on her family and the community.

 

Barbiere, Mary
Gwinn, MI
July 23, 1985
1 Hour
Filozetti
R
Mary Barbiere was a housewife and widow who brought her children up in Gwinn.  She and her daughters discuss their lives and also the life in the community.  She is a bit difficult to understand.  She was born in 1893 in Italy.

 

Barsotti, Ercole
Calumet, MI
October 23, 1982
45 Minutes
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
Ercole’s father, Peter Barsotti was born in Chicago, and moved to Calumet where he successfully operated an ice cream business.  Ercole discusses this business which he eventually operated, and life within the Italian community, especially in recent years.

 

Bazola, George
Iron Mountain, MI
March 10, 1982
1 Hour
Frecchio
I
An Italian immigrant who immigrated to Iron Mountain and discusses life in the community, He enjoyed fishing.

 

Bertoldi, John
Iron Mountain, MI
July 8, 1982
45 Minutes
Sericati
I-R, Transcript
Bertoldi discusses Italian immigration and life in Iron Mountain.

 

Biagini, Ada
Sault Saint Marie, Ontario, Canada
June 1983
2 ½ Hours
Magnaghi
I-R
This was an interview done at the Marconi Hall library with five individuals participating.  It is a clear interview and is a lengthy discussion of life in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  This is an excellent interview.

 

Bianchi, Maffeo
Gwinn, MI
July 16, 1985
60 Minutes
Filozetti
R
An Italian immigrant from the province of Lombardy who discusses his life:  trip over, life in Gwinn, and good personal comments.  Work in an Iron Mine.  This is an excellent tape.

 

Boggio, Charles and Lucy
Mohawk, MI
September 11, 1982
65 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
Charles came to the United States and then returned to Italy between 1920 and 1930 and as a result comments of fascism.  The tape discusses the Italians in Mohawk:  boarding house, mining, the Depression and his life.

 

Bonacci, Carmine
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
July 13, 1982
1 ½ Hours
Bone
I-R
The tape discusses Carmine’s life in Italy and in the Italian army.  It also includes life in the Soo.

 

Bono, John
Calumet, MI
December 10, 1982
40 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
This is the story of an immigrant who arrived in 1920.  It discusses life in Italy and the trip over.  He also talks about life in Illinois and working for Calumet and Hecla copper mining company.

 

Bono, Victoria Perona
Calumet, MI
December 10, 1982
45 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
Victoria discusses life in the Calumet-Laurium area.  She discusses in detail the role of women and her father Batista Perona who was a dairyman and flower grower.  This is a unique story of the Copper Country.

 

Bonslett, Carmen Barasa
McHenry, IL
September 23, 1982
55 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R, Transcript
Mrs. Bonslett was originally from Negaunee and the daughter of Batista Barasa and related to the Marketty family.  She discussed the Barasa family both past and present.  Mention was made of individual Italians in the Negaunee area.

 

Bracco, Anton
Calumet, MI
February 19, 1982
1 Hour
Magnaghi
I-R
This is a very good tape which stresses work in the Calumet & Hecla copper mine.  Anton went into detail about mine work through the 1950s.

 

Bracco, Mary
Calumet, MI
September 10, 1982
20 Minutes
Magnaghi
I
This is a short tape.  Mary Bracco had been very active in lodge affairs.  She comments on the society, Ladies of the Eternal City.  She saved the minutes and donated them to the Michigan Tech Archives.

 

Brosio, Henry
Iron Mountain, MI
June 8, 1983
1 ½ Hours
Magnaghi
I-R
Mr. Brosio discusses people from Piedmont in Iron Mountain and presents general information along with comments on the Italian lodges.

 

Brunello, Anthony
Hurley, WI
August 22, 1982
70 Minutes
Magnaghi
I
Also on the tape are William and Reina Vittone and C. Canelia.  They discuss their life on the farms in what is called “Dago Valley” in Kimball, WI which is near Hurley.  This is a unique experience for the North Country.

 

Caliaro, Carlo and Mary
Hermansville, MI
June 21, 1982
90 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
The couple discusses life and work in the lumber mill community of Hermansville:  the home of the IXL (Wisconsin Land & Lumber) Company.  There is emphasis on the IXL band, gardening, and the use of botanicals by the Italians.

 

Canelia, Cesaria
Hurley, WI
August 22, 1982
70 Minutes
Magnaghi
I
Mrs. Canelia came to the United States as an adult after World War II.  She is one of the few recent immigrants in the area.  She discusses the life of an immigrant and life on the farm in “Dago Valley”.

 

Cantrella, Americo
July 28, 1988
Rubello
Transcript

 

Cappo, Giovanna “Jennie” Mare
Baltic, MI
March 16, 1982
1 ½ Hours
Magnaghi
I-R, Transcript
Born in Piedmont, Mrs. Cappo came to the US as a child.  She discusses the trip over, her mother’s impressions, mining, Italian lodges, food.  This is an excellent tape.

 

Centanino, Dominic “Doc” and Jeanette
Calumet, MI
April 3, 1982
October 23, 1982
1 ½ Hours
Magnaghi
I-R
This is an excellent set of tapes and the interviewees have been active members of the Italian-American community.  Life in general is discussed, stories told, Italian women in Calumet, a detailed history of St. Mary’s Italian Catholic church, and general comments.

 

Cerasoli, Delgia
Iron Mountain, MI
June 30, 1982
105 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
Also on the tape are Silvio Egizii and Irma Amicangelo.  This is an excellent presentation of life in the Italian community stressing folklore, food and prejudice.

 

Chetto, Sam
Negaunee, MI
June 8, 1982
80 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
This is an interesting interview of Italian immigrants in Negaunee.  Mr. Chetto is an active man who has many “how-to-do” comments on the tape on construction and fixing things.  He discusses wine making.

 

Christopher Columbus Women’s Auxiliary
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
June 26, 1982
45 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R
This tape was made during the 50th anniversary banquet of the organization.  Speeches are included and there is the presentation of awards.  This is a typical, contemporary Italian-American event.

 

Ciarloni, Leonard
Cordova, TN
November 19, 1983
Magnaghi
Transcript

 

Cieslik, Evelyn
Winneconne, WI
March 18, 1989
Keiler
Transcript

 

Cifferi, Esther
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
July 12, 1978
1 hour
Perugini
This tape was done prior to this project but has been included.  It discusses life in the community, and is in Italian.

 

Colombo, George and Lena
Coburntown, MI
May 14, 1982
80 Minutes
Magnaghi
I
George and Lena Colombo were brother and sister.  Unfortunately, George died on May 18.  The family was from Lombardy.  Through family photographs they discussed Italian life in the shadow of the Quincy mine.  This is a very good interview.

 

Comensoli, Jr. Joseph
Negaunee, MI
January 20, 1983
20 Minutes
Magnaghi
I-R, Transcript
This is a short interview in which Mr. Comensoli discusses the history of the Northern Terrazo Company.

 

Contratto, Paul
Bessemer, MI
August 23, 1982
90 Minutes
Magnaghi
I
The Contratto farm in particular and Italian farms in general is discussed.  Other business activities in the Gogebic County area are discussed.

 

Corsi, Joseph
Kingsford, MI
March 11, 1982
45 Minutes
Frecchio
I
This interview discusses the life of Italians in the Iron Mountain Area.

 

Coyle, Anna
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
June 1983
2 ½ Hours
Magnaghi
I-R
This is an interview done at the Marconi Hall library with five individuals participation.  It is a clear interview and is a lengthy discussion of life in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  This is an excellent interview.

 

Crilli, Armand
Hurley, WI
September 9, 1981
30 minutes
I, Transcript
A prominent individual in the community, Mr. Crilli talks about the Italians in the community, and discusses his role.

 

Crispigna, Tomati
Iron Mountain, MI
June 7, 1982
90 minutes
Sericati
I, R
In rather general terms, discusses life in Iron Mountain’s Italian community, and is an excellent interview.

 

Croci, Marcella
Iron Mountain, MI
April 25, 1983
1 hour 45 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
The interview discusses life in general in the Iron Mountain area.  It concentrates on the role of women, women’s lodges, and gives details about individuals.

 

D’Angelo, Josephine
Gwinn, MI
30 Minutes
Mrs. D’Angelo was in her 90’s and died soon after this interview.  Her daughters provide the store of her life, and it stresses the role of the individual woman.

 

Dani, Flossie
Hermansville, MI
June 21, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
R
French – Canadian by birth, Mrs. Dani is completely “Italianized”, being one of the last women making Italian bread.  She provides an excellent view of life and work in the town, and stresses the role of women.

 

Darin, Margaret Chino
Hurley, WI
May 6, 1982
30 minutes
I, R
Mrs. Darin discusses Italian life in Hurley, and concentrates on her father, who was a steamship agent in town.

 

Daughters of Italy
Houghton, MI
April 13, 1983
25 minutes
Magnaghi
This is a typical annual meeting of the Daughters of Italy of South Range.  The meeting is in both English and Italian, and 40 members were present.

 

De Fant, Michael
Marquette, MI
June 1, 1982
85 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
Judge Michael De Fant is of Tyrolean decent, and provides an excellent insight to Italian life in the Norway-Vulcan area of Dickinson County.  Agriculture, food, and celebrations are discussed, as well as the Belgians of the community.

 

Demarin, Angeline Lisa
Calumet, MI
March 12 & April 3, 1982
75 Minutes
Magnaghi
I
At the time of the interview, Mrs. Demarin was 98 years old.  She passed away a few days before her 100th birthday.  She discusses life in Calumet, and concentrates on her family, the Lisa’s, who were pioneer settlers in Calumet.

 

De Muri, Gildo
Iron Mountain, MI
April 18, 1983
45 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
A descendant of Venetian immigrants, Mr. De Muri discusses life in Iron Mountain.  Stressed are the Sons of Venice Lodge, and the Frigo Cheese Company, which got started in the city.

 

De Paoli, Silvio
Caspian, MI
Ca. 1980
60 minutes
I, Transcript
An immigrant from the Italian province of Friuli, Mr. De Paoli discusses life in the Caspian area.  He has subsequently died.

 

De Paul, Joseph
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
August 3, 1982
1 ½ hours
Bone
I, R
This is an excellent interview which concentrates on the De Paul family in the movie theater business, located in both Sault Ste. Marie MI and Ontario.  Mr. De Paul died a few years after this interview.

 

De Rubeis, Peter
Hurley, WI
July 20, 1982
1 hour
Magnaghi
I
Mr. De Rubeis has been a musician all of his life, and was involved in Wisconsin politics.  His interview stresses these facts and discusses the Italians of Hurley.

 

Devine, Janet Barasa
Ishpeming, MI
April 23, 1982
30 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
The pioneer Barasa family is discussed at length, although many of the statements are second and third hand accounts.

 

Dominici, Ida
Virgil, MI
September 20, 1979
April 10, 1980
1 hour
I
Mrs. Dominici was in her 90s when the interview was conducted, and has subsequently passed away.  She discusses life in Virgil, a mining location in Iron County.

 

Dorazio, Enrichetta
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
June 18, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I
This is an excellent tape, and was carried out in the Sault Public Library.  It deals with Italian life and folk culture within the community.

 

Dozzi, Felix and Laura
Princeton, MI
October 16, 1982
180 Minutes
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
This excellent tape is on Italian life in the Princeton area, and is one of the best tapes in the collection.

 

Egizzi, Silvio
Iron Mountain, MI
June 30, 1982
105 Minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Also on this tape are Irma Amicangelo and Delgia Cerasoli.  It is an excellent presentation of life in the Italian community, stressing folklore, food, and prejudice.

 

Erspamer, Otto
Hurley, WI
Ca. 1980
1 hour
I, Transcript
Mr. Erspamer has subsequently died.  The interview deals with life in early Hurley, mining, and in particular the Erspamer family.

 

Feather, Vincenza Galenti
Royal Oak, MI
March 21, 1985
1 Hour
Magnaghi
The tape was made in Royal Oak, but it deals with Italian life in South Range, and other communities in the southern portion of the Copper Country.

 

Fera, Carlo
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
October 8, 1982
45 Minutes
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
Mr. Fera concentrated his comments on Italians in the Sault, but then stressed the development of the Sons of Italy in the community.

 

Fera, Stanley
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
June 1983
2 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
An interview done at the Marconi Hall library with five individuals participating, it is a clear interview and a lengthy discussion of life in the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario area.  This is an excellent interview.

 

Feruggi, Amerigo
Iron Mountain, MI
April 7, 1983
50 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
Mr. Feruggi discusses his own life, and centers his comments on farm life in Dickinson County.

 

Fiacconi, Adele
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
July 12, 1978
1 Hour
Perugini
This tape was done prior to this project, but has been included in the collection.  Spoken in Italian, it discusses life in the Italian community.

 

Fiacconi, George
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
June 18, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
This excellent tape was carried out in the Sault Public Library.  It deals with Italian life and folk culture within the community.

 

Fillipini, Ida
Bessemer, MI
August 4, 1982
1 Hour
Re
I, R, Transcript
Mrs. Fillipini was in her 90s when this interview was made.  She spoke in Italian, and her daughters translated.  Topics discussed include life in Italy, friends, and her trip to Michigan.

 

Fittante, Joe
Caspian, MI
March 9, 1982
1 hour
Westphal
I
President of the Duke of Abruzzi Society, Joe Fittante discusses the organization.

 

Fleury, Irma
New Swanzy, MI
July 16, 1985
1 hour
Filizetti
R
Mrs. Fleury was married to a French Canadian.  She discusses life among the Italians, role of women, and her own life.  She was a cook in a lumber camp.  The tape is poor in technical quality.

 

Gardetto, Matt
Ironwood, MI
August 11, 1982
1 hour
Re
I
Also on the tape is Dom Longhini.  The two men discuss life in Gogebic County and the Piave Society.  Side two is very faint and poor in quality.

 

Gasbarro, Alfred
Iron Mountain, MI
April 7, 1983
50 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Mr. Gasbarro goes into detail about Italian life in the community, celebrations, the lodges, and especially the Capistrano Society and the community.  This is an excellent tape.

 

Gedda, John
Hancock, MI
February 18, 1983
20 Minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Mr. Gedda was a baker and discusses the bakery business in detail.  He also provided an excellent of photographs of bread making.

 

Gemignani, Michael
Franklin Mine, MI
(Quincy Hill – Hancock)
May 14, 1982
Magnaghi
I
Life in the Franklin Mine is discussed.  He provides a wealth of information on folklore, life, and stories of individuals.  This is an excellent tape.

 

Gentile, Guido
Hurley, WI
September 17, 1981
30 Minutes
Transcript
The Italians of the Hurley area are discussed.

 

Ghiardi, Margaret
Negaunee, MI
April 25, 1983
1 ½ hours
Ghiardi
I
Mrs. Ghiardi was in her 90s when this tape was made.  She discusses life in the Negaunee and Gwinn areas, and provides details on her own life.

 

Girardi, Blanche
Hancock, MI
October 30, 1985
1 hour 45 minutes
Magnaghi
R
Mrs. Girardi was a member of the group interviewed in the Lorenzetti interview.

 

Glacherio, Caroline
Transcript

 

Giorgetti, Filomena
Hancock, MI
February 18, 1983
40 Minutes
Magnaghi
I
She was an immigrant woman who came to the US when she was 19 years old, in 1920.  After the death of her husband in 1929, she operated a food delivery business.  This is an excellent tape looking at the life of a woman.  Also discussed are Italians in Hancock.

 

Goulette, Eda
Iron Mountain, MI
April 25, 1983
1 hour 45 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
The interview discusses life in general in the Iron Mountain area.  It concentrates on the role of women, women’s lodges, and gives details about individuals.

 

Grego, Frank
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
October 5, 1982
1 ½ hours
Bone
I, R
Mr. Grego discusses the life and role of Italian immigrants in Sault Ste. Marie.

 

Hervela, Jeff
Holland, MI
February 26, 1989
Transcript

 

Italian-American Federation of the Upper Peninsula
Iron Mountain, MI
September 4, 1982
45 minutes
Magnaghi
This tape was made at the last meeting/dinner of the Federation, whose origins went back to 1909.  It ceased to exist because of the lack of interest.  There were remarks made at the end of dinner.

 

Italian Ethnic Mass
Calumet, MI
October 1976
1 ½ hours
Centanino
This Mass was sung by a reconstituted Italian choir which once sang at St. Mary’s church for the Bicentennial.  The singing gives a hint of the former beautiful voices the church was so famous for.  Members were in their 80s at the time.  This tape was donated by Doc and Jeanette Centanino.  However, this tape no longer plays.

 

Izzo, Tony
Iron Mountain, MI
March 10, 1982
120 Minutes
Frecchio
I
Prior to his death in 1983, Tony Izzo was a well – known shoemaker.  He was in his 90s, yet continued to work.  He discusses life in the Iron Mountain area, and the Izzo family.

 

Klein, Alba Calvino
Iron Mountain, MI
January 13, 1980
1 hour
Fregerio
Transcript
The interview deals with Iron Mountain in the 1920s and 1930s, and concentrates on the Depression, the Chapin mine and pit, and life in an Italian household at that time.

 

Lerza, Louis
Iron Mountain, MI
July 22, 1982
1 ½ hours
Sericati
I, R
This interview discusses life in Iron Mountain during the early 20th century.

 

Libertoski, Clara
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
October 9, 1982
45 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Life in Sault Ste. Marie is discussed, and Mrs. Libertoski talks about her family, who operated a bottled soda factory.  She also discusses the Italian farm community in Hessel, located in Mackinac County.

 

Liikene, Olive
Transcript

 

Lombardi, Louis
Calumet, MI
December 3, 1982
120 Minutes
I, R, Transcript
Mr. Lombardi lived in a mining location called Sunny Italy, located in the vicinity of Tri-Mountain, Houghton County.  He discusses life at this location.

 

Longhini, Dominic
Ironwood, MI
March 19, 1983
40 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
The interview discusses Italian life in the Ironwood area, especially at Jessieville.  Mr. Longhini talks about his mine model, the Longhini family, and the Croatians in the area.

 

Longhini, Dominic
Ironwood, MI
August 11, 1982
60 minutes
Re
I, R
Also on this tape is Matt Gardetto.  The two men discuss life in Gogebic County, and the Piave Society.  Side two is faint and of poor quality.

 

Longhini, Rose
Ironwood, MI
February 18, 1981
60 minutes
Swenson
I, R, Transcript
Originally the interview was carried out as a part of Greta Swenson’s ethnic program.  It discusses life in Ironwood, ethnic foods, and the immigrant experience.

 

Lorenzetti, Bernice
Hancock, MI
October 30, 1985
1 hour 45 minutes
Magnaghi
R
This is a lengthy interview done with a group of individuals.  It discusses life in the Hancock, South Range, and Tri-Mountain area.  Stressed are life in general, individuals, role of women, lodges, and foods.  This is excellent.

 

Lucchesi, Georgia
(See information on above interview)
Mrs. Lucchesi was a member of the group interviewed above.

 

Lucchesi, Gino
South Range, MI
January 9, 1979
1 hour
This tape was made on the Heritage Show.  It discusses Copper Country winters and how the Lucchesi’s coped with them.  It also discusses the retirement of Gino.

 

Lucchesi, Gino
South Range, MI
September 13, 1980
180 Minutes
Transcript
Mr. Lucchesi was interviewed by Professor David Halkala of MTU on his radio show.  He talks about life in South range, and the career of his father Cesare Lucchesi.

 

Lucchesi, Gino
South Range, MI
October 26, 1979
90 minutes
The tape was made on the Heritage Show and discusses Cesare Lucchesi’s bussing operation in the Copper Country.

 

Lucchesi Family
South Range
1 hour
Transcript
The family discusses the career of Cesare Lucchesi and his business ventures:  bussing, oil, garage, and air planes.

 

Magnaghi, Russell M.
Marquette, MI
September 5, 1982
30 minutes
R
Professor at Northern Michigan University, Dr. Magnaghi discusses his observations of the last meeting of the Federation at Iron Mountain, and also comments on the Italian societies in the Upper Peninsula.

 

Magnaghi, Russell M.
December 8, 1985
30 minutes
Kordich
R
In this interview, Dr. Magnaghi discusses his role in the oral history project, and how it was developed and funded.

 

Mancuso, Frank “Pat”
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
July 14, 1982
1 ½ hours
Bone
I, R
The interview concentrates on life of the Italian immigrants in the Sault Ste. Marie area.

 

Manzoline, Mary
Ishpeming, MI
September 28, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
Also on the interview is Genevieve Tassin Tousignant.  The two women discuss the life of Mike Tassin, life in Ishpeming, Irish prejudice, businesses, and political life.

 

Marcheschi, Lin and Ann
Hancock, MI
October 30, 1985
Magnaghi
R
This is a lengthy interview done with a group of individuals who discuss life in Hancock, South Range, and Tri-Mountain, which stresses life in general, individuals, the role of women, boarders, restaurants, and foods.  This is an excellent tape.

 

Marketty, Philip
Negaunee, MI
April 22-23, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
Mr. Marketty’s grandfather, Philip Marketty, was originally from Corsica, and settled in Negaunee in 1864.  He discusses the Marketty-Barasa family, life in general and mining experiences.

 

Marsiglio, Linda
Troy, MI
October 24, 1984
Transcript
This interview deals with Italians in Alabama.

 

Marta, John
Calumet, MI
May 29, 1982
110 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
The Marta family was from Piedmont.  John discusses his family and the bakery business, as well as lodges in Calumet.  At times he wanders into the present, which is unfortunate.  He died within a year after this tape was made.

 

Marta, Maria
Negaunee, MI
1972
15 minutes
Rose
This is a brief interview that was carried out by her grandson, Greg Rose.  It discusses life in Negaunee.

 

Martinetti, Martin
Hurley, WI
May 6, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I
Mr. Martinetti was an immigrant in his 90s who has subsequently died.  It is a bit of a confused interview because of the number of people talking.  Part of it is in Italian.  He discusses life in Hurley.

 

Marzetti, Umberto
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
July 12, 1978
1 hour
Perugini
This tape was done prior to this project but has been included in the collection.  It discusses life in the Italian community, and is in Italian.

 

Masini, Assunta
Hancock, MI
October 30, 1985
15 minutes
Magnaghi
Mrs. Masini was born in Lucca in 1893.  She gave the interview in Italian.  In it she discusses her life on Quincy Hill.

 

Maule, Bruno
Hermansville, MI
June 12, 1982
45 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Mr. Maule discusses life in Hermansville, where he worked in the IXL sawmill, stacking finished lumber.

 

Mauro, Fernanda
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
July 12, 1978
Perugini
This tape was done prior to the project, and deals with Italian life in Sault Ste. Marie, and is in Italian.

 

Mirabelli, Sam
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
September 9, 1982
1 ½ hours
Bone
I, R
The tape concentrates on life in the American Sault.  This is part of the collection made by Mary Adams Bone.

 

Mangiat, Elmer
Ishpeming, MI
December 16, 1985
1 hour
Magnaghi
R
Mr. Mangiat’s family was originally from the province of Trentino-Alto Adige.  He discusses life in the Italian community at Caspian.

 

Montagna, Anthony
Marquette, MI
April 24, 1982
1 hour
Gschvind
I
Mr. Montagna was one of the few Italians who lived in Marquette.  He tells the story of an Italian who was outside of an Italian colony.  He died within a month of the interview.

 

O’Neill, Katherine Torreano
Calumet, MI
May 21, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
The interview was done in Mrs. O’Neill’s home, and Catherine Opal was there as well.  Italian life in Calumet was discussed.

 

Opal, Catherine
See above interview.
 

Paisano Club Convocation
Hurley, WI
August 22, 1982
30 minutes
Magnaghi
This is a tape of the convocation held at Connie’s Supper Club.  Included are a talk by Judge Varda, remarks by Dr. Magnaghi, and a sing-along.  This is a typical late 20th century convocation.

 

Paisano Club Singers
Ironwood, MI
1979
30 minutes
This is a recording of traditional Italian songs, probably sung and recorded at Christmas time.  There is a song book that goes with these songs.  Dante Pricco is one of the founders of the group.

 

Paisano Club Sing-Along
Ironwood, MI
June 1, 1982
30 minutes
Magnaghi
This sing-along consists of traditional Italian songs.  It was sung prior to the spring banquet at the Piave society.

 

Paris, Filomena Calcafuoco
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
October 8, 1982
40 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Mrs. Paris is a recent Italian immigrant to Sault Ste. Marie.  She discusses her arrival and life in the Soo.

 

Peres, Ilia
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
June 1983
2 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
This is an interview done at the Marconi Hall library with five individuals participating.  It is a clear interview, and is a lengthy discussion of life in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and is excellent overall.

 

Perugini, Adele
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
June 18, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
R
Adele Perugini organized this interview carried out in the public library.  It is an excellent interview discussing life in Sault Ste. Marie.

 

Peruzzi, Lydia
Iron Mountain, MI
July 15, 1982
1 ½ hours
Sericati
I, R
This interview deals with the life of Italian immigrants in Iron Mountain.

 

Pianosi, Leno
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
August 3, 1982
1 ½ hours
Bone
I, R
Mr. Pianosi originally lived in the Canadian Soo and discusses life there, and prejudice.  Then he talks about his life on the other side of the St. Mary’s River.

 

Pipp, Frank
Iron Mountain, MI
September 30, 1982
20 minutes
Magnaghi
I
Frank Pipp was police chief for a number of years.  He was born on the North Side or Italian section of Iron Mountain, and comments on the Italians.

 

Pitrone, Sara
Negaunee, MI
March 23, 1983
45 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Topics discussed are the Italians in Negaunee, with concentration on the United Ancient Order of the Lady Druids, of which she is a member, and the Pitrone family and women in some detail.

 

Poglese, Joseph and Congetti
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
October 9, 1982
40 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R, Transcript
Mr. Poglese was in ailing health and a bit forgetful.  He discussed the Italian farmers in Hessel, Mackinac County, the Poglese family there, and the development of his construction company.

 

Pretto, Ernest “Ticker”
Marquette, MI
September 28, 1982
20 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Mr. Pretto was originally from Crystal Falls, and was involved in local sports.  He gives a short interview on life in Crystal Falls.

 

Pricco, Dante
Bessemer, MI
June 1, 1982
1 hour
Magnaghi
I, R
For many years Mr. Pricco operated a bakery in Bessemer, as did his father.  He discusses the bakery business in detail.

 

Pucci, Mariano
Iron Mountain, MI
June 21, 1982
45 minutes
Pucci
I
The interview deals with the Italians in Iron Mountain, and goes into detail about the Pucci family.

 

Pucci, Helen Rocconi
Iron Mountain, MI
June 21, 1982
45 Minutes
Pucci
I
This interview is separate from the one above, but deals with the same topics from a different view point.

 

Raffaele, Carmena
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
October 8, 1982
1 ½ hour
Bone
I, R
Mrs. Raffaele discusses life in general among the Italians in the Soo, and then goes into some family history and folklore.

 

Rastello, John B.
Calumet, MI
May 20, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
Mr. Rastello was in his 90s and has subsequently passed away.  He discussed working in the copper mines and a bit of life in Calumet.  He donated several excellent photographs to the project.

 

Richetta, Anthony
Laurium, MI
May 21, 1982
70 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
This interview deals with copper mining.  Mr. Richetta was in his 90s.  He also talks about the Italians in the Calumet-Laurium area.

 

Rovano, James
Laurium, MI
June 10, 1982
80 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
The Rovano interview tends to be philosophical about the life of the Italian immigrant.  He provides excellent insights into the Italian immigrant, and how they settled.  He provides some folk tales, and talks about Piedmontese knives.

 

St. Juliana, Armenia
Hermansville, MI
June 17, 1982
45 minutes
Anderson
I, R
Josephine A. Linderoth is also on the tape, which deals with the Italian immigrants in Hermansville.

 

Salki, Mrs. James
Butte, MT (Telephone Interview)
May 22, 1983
Magnaghi
This interview was conducted over the phone, and deals with Italians in Butte, Montana.

 

Santana, Florence
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
June 1983
2 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
This was an interview done at the Marconi Hall library with five individuals participating.  It is a clear interview and is a lengthy discussion of life in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.  This is an excellent interview.

 

Sarvello, Dominic
Ishpeming, MI
March 3, 1979
1 ½ hours
I
Mr. Sarvello has subsequently passed away.  In the interview he discusses life among the Italians in Ishpeming.  These tapes were not part of the project, but were donated.

 

Scala, Joseph
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
1 ½ Hours
Bone
I
The interview deals with the Italians of Sault Ste. Marie

 

Sefick, Polly
Nahma, MI
August 26, 1998
Groleau
Transcript

 

Serena, Katherine
Iron Mountain, MI
June 30, 1982
40 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
Mrs. Serena died soon after this tape was made.  She discussed John Daprato, family history, life on an Americanized Italian-American youngster, and the grocery business.

 

Simondi, George
Negaunee, MI
April 27, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
An immigrant from Piedmont, Mr. Simondi served in the Italian army during World War II, and then immigrated to the US.  He discusses life among the Italians in Negaunee and also family life.

 

Sons of Italy:  Outstanding Italian-American Dinner
Marquette, MI
October 9, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I
At the end of this dinner there were speeches and awards given.  Dr. Magnaghi presented a slide show on famous Italians in the Upper Peninsula.

 

Spelgatti, Msgr. David
Ishpeming, MI
October 17, 1980
1 hour
Spelgatti
I, R
Msgr. Spelgatti was the founder of the Paisano Club, and the main force behind this project.  He discusses the Spelgatti history.

 

Spelgatti, Msgr. David
Ishpeming, MI
December 9, 1985
1 hour
Magnaghi
R
In an interview done at a later date than the one above, Msgr. Spelgatti discusses a bit of his family, but concentrates on the Italians, especially in Negaunee, his work as a priest, the community in general, and his development of the Paisano Club.

 

Stabile, John
Sault Ste. Marie, MI
September 4, 1982
30 minutes
Bone
I, R
Stabile family history is discussed on this tape, along with the history of the Italians in the Soo.

 

Stortini, Assunta
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
July 12, 1978
1 hour
Perugini
I
This tape was done prior to this project, but has been included in the collection.  It discusses life in the Italian community, and is in Italian.

 

Taccolini, Frank
Negaunee, MI
May 27, 1982
80 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
The Taccolini family was from Lombardy.  He discusses mining, Italians in Princeton-Austin, ethnic traits, and individuals in Negaunee.

 

Taddeucci, Solomon
South Range, MI
December 8, 1982
1 hour
Magnaghi
I, R
The Italians in “Sunny Italy”, a location at Tri-Mountain in Houghton County, is the subject of this interview.

 

Tomasi, Emil
Hermansville, MI
June 21, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
The life of Italians in Hermansville and the history of the Bella Venetia Society are the subjects of this interview.

 

Tousignant, Genevieve Tassin
Ishpeming, MI
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
Also on this tape is Mary Manzoline.  The two women discuss the life of Mike Tassin, life in Ishpeming, Irish prejudice, businesses, and political life.

 

Valela, Frank
Ishpeming, MI
October 29, 1982
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
In his late 80s, Mr. Valela discusses general life in Ishpeming and its Italians, and being a long-time member of the St. Rocco-St. Anthony Society.  He discusses the society and its annual carnival in August, and is an excellent interview.

 

Valela, Frank
Ishpeming, MI
1980
1 ½ hours
I, R
On this tape, Mr. Valela discusses his arrival in the Ishpeming area, and his work in the iron mines of the area.  This is another excellent tape.

 

Valente, Frank
Ishpeming, MI
January 17, 1983
Magnaghi
1 hour
I
Discussed are personal life experiences, and the Italians in Ishpeming.  He discusses local political life and his role in Ishpeming and county politics.

 

Valenti, Angelina
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
July 12, 1978
Perugini
I
This tape was done prior to the project, but has been included.  It is in Italian, and discusses life in the Italian community.

 

Valesano, Amelia Benetti
Wakefield, MI
February 23, 1983
20 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
On this short interview Mrs. Valesano talks about the role of Italian women in the Ironwood and Wakefield areas.

 

Valesano, Charles
Wakefield, MI
February 11, 1983
1 ½ hours
Magnaghi
I, R
Mr. Valesano carries out an excellent interview on general Italian life in Wakefield, and the role of women in the community.

 

Varda, Peter and Violet
Kingsford, MI
Norway, MI
June 27, 1982
1 ½ hours
Varda
I, R
This interview discusses Italian life in Dickinson County.

 

Vercellino, Isabelle
Gwinn, MI
July 15, 1985
1 hour
Filizetti
R
Mrs. Vercellino discusses the life of Italians in Gwinn, her own story, and that of her family.

 

Vitton, Peter
Hancock, MI
December 10, 1982
55 minutes
Magnaghi
I, R
The interview was carried out in the potato barn on Quincy Hill.  During the interview Mr. Vitton discusses the Coppo and Quello families, farming in the Franklin Mine location, potato farming, and stories about individuals.

 

Vittone, William and Reina
Hurley, WI
August 22, 1982
70 minutes
Magnaghi
I
Also on the tape are Anthony Brunello and C. Canelia.  They discuss their life on the farms in what is called “Dago Valley” in Kimball, WI, which is near Hurley.  This is a unique experience for the North Country.

 

Whitens, Theresa
Hermansville, MI
June 5, 1982
1 ½ hours
Fox
I, R
Italians in Hermansville are discussed, as is the story of the Arduin family.

 

Windsor, Ann Toti
Virgil Location, MI
1980
1 hour
Since the tape was made Mrs. Windsor has passed away.  She discusses Italian life in the Virgil Location, Iron County.

 

 

 

Index

Angeli family; Baltic; Barasa family; Bessemer; Businesses, including Airplanes, Bakery, Bussing, Construction, Food delivery, Frigo Cheese Co, Garage, Gogebic County, Movie theater, Oil, Shoemaker, and Soda factory; Calumet; Caspian; Celebrations; Churches; Croatians; Crystal Falls; “Dago Valley”, Dairy; Dickinson County; Ethnic traits; Farming; Fascism; Folklore; Food; Franklin Mine; Gardening, including Commercial flowers, and “Dago Valley”; Gogebic County; Grocery; Gwinn; Hancock; Hermansville; Hessel-Cedarville; Hurley; Ice cream business; Immigrants; Iron Mountain; Iron River; Ironwood; Ishpeming; Italy; Jessieville; Kimball, WI; Lodges and societies, including Bella Venezia Society; Capistrano Society; Columbus Women’s Auxiliary, Duke of Abruzzi, General, Italian-American Federation of the Upper Peninsula, Lady Druids, Ladies of the Eternal City, Paisano Club, Piave Society, Quattro Abruzzi, St. Rocco-St. Anthony Society, Sons of Italy, Sons of Venice, and Women’s lodges; Lombardy; Lumber camp; Marketty/Marchetti; Marquette; Medicine (folk); Mining, including Calumet, Gwinn, Hurley, Illinois, Ironwood, Ishpeming, Mohawk, Negaunee, and Tri-Mountain; Mohawk; Music; Negaunee; Northern Terrazo Co; Norway-Vulcan; Piedmont (province); Politics; Prejudice; Princeton; Quincy Hill; Ranching; Sault Ste. Marie, MI and Ontario; Sawmill; South Range; “Sunny Italy”; Tri-Mountain; Virgil; Wakefield; Winemaking; Winter; and Women.