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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
When Coal Was King
Industry, People and Challenges
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John Carmata
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John Camarta was born in 1891 in Jenga, the province of Ancona, in central eastern Italy. He emigrated to North America during 1909. He worked in an iron ore mine in Minnesota for five years before moving to Alberta in the spring of 1914. Over the years he set up his homestead with his wife and sons, worked in the coal mines of Castor and Drumheller, and eventually operated his own mine for a time. After 52 years in North America he returned home for the first time in 1961. He was pleased with the changes that had taken place in Italy, but stayed in Alberta because he thought he had things pretty good here.

The interview was conducted by Charles Grelli for the Dante Alighieri Oral History Project in 1973.

This oral history project was initiated by Sabatino Roncucci, a founder of the Dante Alighieri Society, for the purpose of documenting immigration history so that it could be shared not only with the Italian community but also the community at large.

John Camarta: Oral History Excerpts

John talks about his work in the coal mines and the impact of oil and gas discoveries on the mines and his job.

Click here to listen!

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