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- Efisio and Antonia (nee Riva) Manca-Efisio Manca was born
on May 12, 1879 in Oristano, Cagliari, Sardinia. Antonia
Riva was born October 12, 1886 in Sparone, Province of
Torini, Italy. Efisio was a brick maker in Italy, but with
little work in Italy and France, he ended up working the
mines in Colorado. During this time, his first wife Vincenza Anna Muntoni and one
of his daughters died. His remaining daughter was named Madelana. Efisio came to Alberta in 1910 to work in the
coal mines at Cadomin.
He began corresponding with Antonia
Riva, who came to Cadomin that same year. They were
married when she arrived. They returned to Sardinia for a
few years, then back to Cadomin in 1914. Efisio and
Antonia built their first home on the NE¼ 14-65-15-W4. The Manca's had two farms, the original "Venice"
farm, and Antonia's property, the "Hylo" farm. Efisio died on February 9, 1970, and Antonia died on
October 22, 1961. Both are buried at Hylo, Alberta.
and Antonia's children are Eliza Maria, Pasquale Joseph,
Mario, Constantina Maria, Remo and Victor. Son
Augustina Coli in 1940 and they farmed in
the area. In 1949, he became manager of the Co-op in Hylo for four years before transferring to Morinville in
1953. He then ran Co-ops in Leduc, Prince George,
BC, and finally returned to Alberta. The couple had
two children: Angie and Garry.
- Beniamino Maragno-Beniamino Maragno was one of
the first group of Venice settlers who left Edmonton on
July 27, 1914.
- Enrico and Josephine (nee Dellara) Marchesi-Enrico Marchesi
was born in a northern village in Ghai, Italy.
At the age
of 25 years, he came to Montreal, Canada in 1906. He
worked at the Shawinigan Falls Aluminum Company for 14
years. During this time, he returned to Italy in 1911
got married to Josephine Dellara, and brought her to live
with him in Montreal in 1912. She brought with her
Meardi, who was her nephew. Three children were born to
them there: Pierina (1913), Severina (1915), and Ernest
In 1920, the
family moved to Hylo to pioneer and farm. They stayed
initially with a friend
who was homesteading there and was from the same village in
Italy. As soon as they located the homestead (SW¼
33-65-16-W4), they commenced to build a log house and moved
there. In the coming years, four more children were
Fred, James and Severina (Nina).
They continued farming,
trapping and fishing and Enrico also worked in the tie
camps and on the railroad to help with living expenses. Enrico and Josephine lived on the farm at Hylo until
Josephine's death in 1953. In 1955, he moved to St. Mary's Salesian School for Boys in Edmonton.
He worked free of
charge as a custodian for twenty-two years. In 1979, he
retired from the Boy's Home at the age of 96. He lived
with Pierina and her husband
Rudolf Michetti, until he passed away
at the age of 98 years.
- Augusto and Teresa Marini-Augusto was born on
September 14, 1878 in Petriano, Italy, a town near the
city of Urbino in central Italy. Teresa was born February
26, 1879 in Petritoli, Italy, a town near the city of
Fermo, also in central Italy.
Augusto met Teresa when he
was stationed in her town as a police officer. They were
married on February 4, 1904 in Petritoli. For the next six
years, Augusto eked out a meager living as a bricklayer
and doing other odd jobs. In September of 1912, Augusto
arrived in Montreal. He worked his way west working on
threshing crews in Saskatchewan. In Alberta he found work
in the coal mines at Cadomin. Augusto left the mines in
1914 to join with nineteen other Italians who came to the
Hylo-Venice area looking for homesteads. He filed on SE¼
32-65-15-W4 and immediately built a log shack.
accompanied by the children (Dominic or "Mimo" and Dominica or
arrived in Edmonton in August 1920. In March of 1922, the
family arrived in Hylo. During his time in Hylo, Augusto
worked as the postmaster, station caretaker, farmed,
operated a sawmill, and became the local game warden.
While Augusto was busy with various jobs away from home,
Teresa looked after the Post Office, kept the family home
in running order and prepared the meals. Augusto was
one of the people arrested in 1940 after Mussolini
declared war on Canada but he was released. Teresa passed
away on May 17, 1955 and Augusto passed away on May 6,
- Carlo and Dominica
"Maimie" (nee Marini) Meardi-Carlo was
born on April 2, 1898 in Voghera per Bastida dei Dossi,
Italy. Dominica (Maimie) was born February 28, 1906 in
Fermo, Italy. At the age of 16, in 1914 just before war started, Carlo
decided to go to Canada to join his uncle,
His first job was in an aluminum factory in Shawinigan
Falls, Quebec. In 1918 he left for Hylo and filed
homestead papers on SE¼ 33-65-15-W4. Due to some
discrepancy, the government took back the title. Carlo
lived with his uncle's family on the next quarter until he
married. On October 25, 1923, Carlo and Maimie were married
in the Hylo School. In the spring of 1924, Carlo and Maimie
moved to SE¼ 5-66-15-W4. At this time, Maimie filed on a
quarter across the railroad (NE¼ 32-65-15-W4). Carlo went
to work for the railroad as a section man. Alone at home
on the farm, Maimie learned to milk cows, set hens for
chicks and do chores that otherwise would have been done
by Carlo. In 1943 Carlo retired from the railway and
started farming full time. In 1952, when major road
construction began in the area, Carlo went to work for the
Department of Highways.
He stayed with this job until 1963
when he retired at the age of 65. Over the years they had
four sons, who helped out on the farm while Carlo was away
working. Carlo passed away on May 25, 1970 after a short
battle with cancer. Maimie passed away on July 14, 1994
from heart failure.
Son Bruno Meardi was born in
1925 and quit school at age 15 to work the land with
various farmers in the area. In 1942, he began work
with the Northern Alberta Railways in McLennan.
also worked in bush camps logging. In 1944, he
married Olga Shalapay, the local teacher. In 1947,
he worked as a grader operator for the government and, in
1940, he purchased a truck and began a trucking
business. For 40 years, he trucked livestock for
area farmers to Edmonton. Olga taught for 35 years
and was active in the Alberta Teachers' Association.
Bruno and Olga's daughter,
Cecile Meardi, married J. Michael Kirkbride
and was instrumental in developing the Hylo-Venice:
Harvest of Memories
community history book published
Richard Meardi, Carlo and Maimie's second son, was born in Edmonton
and helped his Father on the farm. In 1950, he left Hylo and went to work in construction returning to Lac La
Biche in 1953 where he drove a truck.
In 1954, he
married Janet Lozinski and had three daughters. They
worked their homestead NW-6-66-15-W4) for many years. In
1956, he purchased a school bus from
and operated it for 40 years.