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     Filomena Michetti:  Oral History Transcript Summary

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Louis (Luigi)

Mike Biollo

Father Giovanni

Camillo Bridarolli

Mr. & Mrs. Henry

John Camarta

Domenico Chiarello

Joe Fabbri

Mario Grassi

Victor Losa

Filomena Michetti

Mrs. Mamie Meardi

Tony Nimis

Giorgio W. &
Norma Pocaterra

Mr. & Mrs. John

Romano Tedesco &
Mrs. Irma Giacobbo

Angelo Toppano

Filomena Michetti.  Photo from booklet Venice Alberta 1914 by Tony Bonifacio,The life of Filomena Michetti is described by her daughter Mrs. Gisella Biollo.  It includes descriptions of her emigration, her early life in the Venice-Hylo area, the depression era and its organizations.

  • mother, Filomena Michetti, born Santo Mero 1886

  • moved to Hylo, Alberta 4 April, 1917

  • experienced difficulties in coming to Hylo - during WWI (dangerous 19 days on ship) to Boston, then train to Hylo (winter, not used to snow).

  • husband (Gisella's father) arrived 6 years prior (1911) to homestead

  • purchased land for $10

  • after Filomena Michetti (mother) arrived, stayed in Hylo; hunting; real pioneer from beginning; cleared land (first 10 acres by oxen, then got horses, finally machinery)

  • father, Giuseppe, was contractor in bush camps making lumber, rail ties - needed money to start a farm

  • was a period of great railway expansion

  • mother's first impression - depressed (Italy was warm and beautiful); came to bush, snow, cold, coyotes

  • after first big rainfall, roof caved in (mud roof)

  • lived in log shack with dirt roof for first 3-4 years.

  • two oldest children born in first house

  • mostly Italians settled in this area, but not all were Italian

  • not many stayed

  • several families (goes on to name some she remembered - Bonifaccio; Biollo; F.;Tedesco; Marcese; Monca; Varsi; Michetti.)

  • get together socially (but not too often because of distances, rough paths, hardship involved) for dinners, parties, Christmas, Easter

  • weren't any real associations or clubs, although there was a co-op formed for buying farm machinery

  • no place, time or money for entertainment

  • large families, hard times

  • 1930s - depression; difficulties for farmers; no value for crops; not much to live on; got government aid of $9/month for a family of 11 people (a dollar could go a lot further then)

  • "sunshine" organization from the city distributed used clothing to rural, needy families

  • education was important; when she was about 4 or 5 years of age, a 1-room school was built about a mile from their home

  • available to all

  • no teacherage; school teacher lived in part of school room

  • friendly atmosphere; personalized

  • WWII - prices better for farm products; became more established; built more  


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