The Fenaroli's of Porcigatone
Ettore & Antonietta Fenaroli
Ettore Fenaroli was born in Porcigatone P.Parma Italy November 2, 1887. Ettore died March 10, 1972 in St Francis hospital. Poughkeepsie NY, at 84 years of age. His body was interred March 14, 1972 in Friends Cemetery Upton Lake NY.
He married Antonietta Cacchioli in New York City NY, 1921. Antonietta was born in Posso P. Parma Italy April 16,1896. Posso is a collection of farm houses near Borgotaro. The church is St. Martin of Traponia or St Joseph church across the Vorna (stream). She was the daughter of Guiseppe Cacchioli and Margherita Piscina.
Antonietta died September 28, 1989 in Northern Dutchess Hospital Rhinebeck NY, at 93 years of age. Antonietta & Ettore Fenaroli lived in Clinton Corners NY from about 1956 till their deaths. Her body was interred August 2, 1989 in Friends Cemetery Upton Lake NY.
Antonietta Cacchioli Fenaroli arrived in Ellis Island at the age of twenty. She came from a tenant farm in Posso, near Borgotaro. Her father Guiseppe and her mother Margherita Piscina worked very hard to keep very little. Their first five children were all girls. Not a good situation for a farming family, so the girls started young to work soil. They were so good at it Papa Guiseppe often said his girls were as good as a dozen scruffy boys. Rumor has it, Antonietta was sent to America to join her sister Gina, because she was getting to cozy with a boy, not to Papa's liking. So Antonietta, nicknamed Tonietta left for the New World.
She boarded the last Ship to leave Italy after the USA entered WW-I. What should have been a 9 day trip ended up taking a month. The ship zig zagged to avoid German submarines and eventually ran out of some supplies, such a sweet water for washing and bathing. More significantly the war caused the mails to be greatly delayed. No one expected Mom to arrive when she did. At Ellis Island there was no one to meet her. She was kept there for two weeks. Mom lost all but the clothes on her back because at Ellis Island, her cardboard suitcase was put on top on a Radiator. How could someone from Posso know anything about indoor heat or plumbing for that matter. It happened Papa put two bottles of his wine in the suitcase for Tonietta's sister Gina. Gina had a thing for wine. The bottles burst ruining everything in the suitcase.
Eventually the Ellis Island officials placed Mom in a convent in Lower Manhattan. Mom did laundry for her keep and was not to happy with America at he time. A priest well known for helping immigrants visited the convent and asked about the pretty young lady always crying. The Nun's related Mom's story or at least what they knew of it. All Mom knew was that her sister lived in a place called 49 street. The priest asked an Italian man to do what he could to help Mom. The man knew there was a Northern Italian Colony in the Eastside of Manhattan around 49th street. He walked up and down the East side of noisy, busy Manhattan, shouting, Does anyone know Antonietta Cacchioli ? Wonder of wonders a young lady said , I do. It was Mom's cousin and that's how Mom was introduced to the land of hope and opportunity.
While a boy in Porcigatone, Ettore's farm chores included Shepherding. As children, Papa often told us of bringing his sheep to the high meadows early in the morning using common property paths. However in the evening as the sun set Papa would bring his sheep down from the high meadows across the pastures of other property owners. There the grass was greener and richer. Papa's sheep gained the reputation of being healthier and fatter than other sheep. Papa was a good shepherd. His father recognized this and would often take Ettore to the Monday Open Market in Borgotaro with a centime's or two for spending money.
Some of Papa's boyhood friends were wise to Ettore's evening passage through green meadows. One night they played a trick on him. As he passed the cemetery, the jumped up from behind the gravestones wearing white sheets. Papa became so frightened he began to stutter. The stutter continued well into manhood and didn't completely disappear until his fifties.
Papa arrived at Ellis Island 30 September 1905 on the French Liner La Lorraine. He left from a French Channel port, probably Le Havre. Papa's recollection of the trip was day and night dancing to good music and with good food. Papa liked the USA even before he arrived. Papa's first job in the USA was in the kitchen of the still famous Park Plaza Hotel on 59th Street and Central Park. Here while gaining a reputation as a practical joker he learned his culinary art that served him well for the remainder of his life.
Papa left the kitchen's of New York City for health reasons. First he he opened along with his brother Albert and another partner a Fruit & Vegetable store in Brooklyn NY. This proved to be a pure disaster. He lost all his hard earned savings, $8000 ( big money in those days) , in about 6 months. Discouraged and despondent he went to Edgewater NJ, about 5 miles north of the George Washington bridge to work in a local restaurant called Leo's. As of this writing Leo's still exists, Subsequently he along with Charlie Rossi the waiter at Leo's opened their own restaurant, The Hudson Villa was in an old Dutch Mansion perched on top of the Palisades in Fort Lee NJ, about 1 mile south of the Washington Bridge. It was a beautiful location with a fabulous view of New York and the Hudson. They got the business going slowly with much hard work by Papa , Mama Charlie and his wife. Eventually John D. Rockefeller bought the property to keep the beautiful spot as a wilderness area forever. To my knowledge it remains that today surrounded by the High Rise Apartments of today's Fort Lee. Subsequently Papa and Charlie moved the Hudson Villa to a Frenchman's Mansion in Richfield NJ, followed by another move to final location on the Hudson Villa to Coytesville NJ.
Coytesville is about 1 mile north of the George Washington Bridge and near the then famous Nightclub "Ben Marden's Rivera". Infamous may be a better description since the nightclub was well known to New York's high society first as a speakeasy during prohibition and then as a gambling casino for the hoy paloy and underworld elements. Some brutal murders occurred in the woods near the Riviera and near the Hudson Villa. A famous case involved a man tied to a tree and burned at the stake.
The original mansion occupied by the Hudson Villa still exists as a classy 3 apartment dwelling surrounded by high rise apartments. It is located on Myrtle Avenue in Coytesville.
In 1956 Papa Retired with mama to Clinton Corners where they spent their remanning years enjoying country life.
*** Ettore Fenaroli and Antonietta Cacchioli had the following children:
+ 11 i. Margaret Louise Fenaroli was born March 31, 1922.
+ 12 ii. Louis Joseph Fenaroli was born Jan 24, 1924.
+ 13 iii. Arthur Louis Fenaroli was born October 21, 1929.
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