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     Venice Hylo:  Italian Pioneers

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  • Guiseppe and Filomena (nee Zippili) Michetti-Guiseppe and Filomena Michetti, 1940Guiseppe Michetti was born in Abruzzi, Italy, the province of Teramo in the small town of Corropoli on February 26, 1880.  Filomena Zippili was born May 17, 1886. They got married October 18, 1906.  Two sons and a daughter were born to them [in Italy], Rodolfo (Rudolf), Ottone (Otto), and Gisella, who passed away at the age of 10 months.  Guiseppe left for Canada on March 24, 1910.  He then worked his way through the U.S., eventually ending up in British Columbia in 1912, where he worked in the construction of the Canadian National and Grand Trunk Railways.  Later he went to Edmonton, Alberta.  In 1914 he traveled to the Hylo area to file for a homestead (SW¼ 3-66-15-W4), and began working in lumber camps, living in a tent until his log house was built.  In 1917, Guiseppe made arrangements for his wife and two sons to join him from Italy.  Arriving in Hylo on April 4, 1917, Filomena was happy to be reunited with her husband but upon arrival at their shack which was home, she was not very impressed with the situation her husband lived in. Michetti Sawmill, Mile 101 Seven more children were born to them: Gisella, Lydia, Sylvia, Henry, Orlanda (Ollie), George and Benito.  After that, Guiseppe built a large, two-story house, where the family was raised in poor conditions.  While homesteading, he continued to work in bush camps, trapping, hunting and the saw mill.  When Guiseppe was approaching the age of 70 years, he applied for his pension, then divided his homestead and a couple of other farms for two of his sons.  In the early 1950s, his family had all left home, so Joe built himself a smaller frame home on his homestead, close to his sons.  They continued to live in their home until the time of his passing on November 1, 1966, at the age of 86 years.  Filomena passed away April 11, 1977 at the age of 90 years. 

  • Rudolph (Rodolfo) and Pierina (nee Marchesi) Michetti-Rudolph Michetti was born in 1908 and came to Canada in 1917 at the age of nine with his Mother Filomena and brother Otto to join his Father Guiseppe, who was homesteading in Venice.  In 1919, he helped his Father build their home, and by the age of 12, he was working on a construction gang and by 15 was working on a railroad gang.  In 1924, his Father sent him to study steam engineering at the Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary.  In 1928, he and his Father purchased an Advance-Rumely tractor to break virgin land. According to Tony Bonifacio, Mr. Michetti boarded with an Italian family and met Antonio Rebaudengo, who had formed the Fascist Party in Calgary, and Mr. Michetti later had a role in setting up the Venice Fascist party when Mr. Rebaudengo came to Venice in December, 1925.  In 1931, he married Pierina Marchesi and they had 10 children.   Mr. Michetti was an ardent supporter of William Aberhart and the Social Credit Party viewing them as the solution for the economic troubles of farmers in 1935.  In 1940, as President of the Venice Fascio, he was arrested by the RCMP Corporal Fielding, who was a personal friend, and sent, first to the internment camp at Kananaskis and, then, to Camp Petawawa in Ontario.  He was released after spending nine months in Ontario and returned home.  He set up a machinist's shop in Lac La Biche and worked at the setting up of the Fort McMurray oil sands project.    

  • Otto and Fleurette (nee Gingras) Michetti-Otto Michetti was born in 1909 in the town of Otto and Fleurette Michetti, 1991 Corropoli in the province of Teramo and came to Canada in 1917 at the age of eight with his Mother Filomena and brother Rudolph to join his Father Guiseppe, who was homesteading in Venice.  In his account in the Venice-Hylo history book, he mentions that they were supposed to leave in the fall of 1916 but were prevented from doing so because he had a cyst on his leg.  The ship was torpedoed in the mid-Atlantic and there were no survivors.  They arrived in Boston on the White Star liner Cedric and, then, made their way to Edmonton.  He worked with with Father and brother and ended up as the head sawyer when a group of nine settlers formed a portable lumber mill to process logs (1927).  In the next years, he worked on the railroad and road building.  In 1970 an American management magazine interviewed railway men and his interview was published twice.  He was working for the Northern Alberta Railway.  He married Fleurette Gingras and they had three children (Dolores, Douglas and Kenneth).  The family made their home in Edmonton on Buena Vista Road.  He was responsible for preparing the Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railroad for transport and installation at Fort Edmonton Park.  He donated over 500 hours to the project of upgrading their three miles of track.1

  • George and Olga (nee Tichonuk) Michetti-George and Olga Michetti, 1948George Michetti was the 8th child of Guiseppe and Filomena Michetti and was born in 1925 in Edmonton.  He worked on the family farm and went to school until the age of 15.  The land was worked using horses and a walking plough and the land was cleared without machinery. George and Olga Michetti Family, 1982 In 1942, he took over the family farm and grew alfalfa seed.  He bought his first Massey binder and bindered crops for many neighbours.  He was joined on the farm by his brother Henry in 1945 and they worked it together until Henry became manager of the local Co-op Store.  They raised hogs as well as turkeys.  From 1942-55, he and his brother Henry hauled rocks for the Northern Alberta Railways.  In 1948, he married Olga Tichonuk and they had eight children.  In 1976, he sold the land except for the home site.
  • Paolo (Paul) and Santina (nee DiBingi) Michetti-Paul Michetti was born in 1886 in Cosropoli, province of Teramo, Paolo and Santina Michetti Italy and married his wife Santina DiBingi, who was born in 1887, in Italy.  He emigrated to Canada in 1914 to join his brother Guiseppe.  He worked initially for the Grand Trunk Railway in BC and then returned to Venice.  In 1920, his wife joined him in Venice with two of their nephews, Tony and John Varze.  He sought work in the US for a while but returned to Venice where the couple lived with his brother and family.  Eventually, they homesteaded NE1/4 34-65-15-W4 and built a log cabin, followed by a proper house.  They had three children (Albert, Alfred and Yolanda). Paul worked as a section man on the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway (later the Northern Alberta Railways) as well as farmed.  The family farm was taken on by their sons who increased the land holding and raised purebred Hereford cattle and hogs.

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