The William H. McGuffey Historical Society hosted La Gazzetta contributing writer Ben Lariccia and award-winning realtor Connie Tarr-Bostardi to speak before the group on local Italian American history at its May 19 meeting. Richard Scarsella, Chairman of the Board, introduced the two presenters to the audience assembled at the Kravitz Deli Community Room in Liberty Township.
The topic was the arrival of the first Italians in the Mahoning Valley during the 1873 coal miners’ strike. In an effort to defeat the strikers, local coal mine operators transported Italians from NYC to Coalburg in Hubbard Township and to Church Hill in Liberty Township. Lariccia presented a slideshow that reviewed the historic coal strike and its consequences.
In the second part of the session, Tarr-Bostardi offered information on Italian surnames of Hubbard Township, many of which originated in today’s Isernia province, especially from the villages of Carovilli and Castiglione. The presenter ended by sharing research recently gleaned from her participation at the 2018 reunion of Carovillesi in Krebs, OK where Italians from Hubbard once found employment as miners. A lively question and answer period followed that included stories from attendees who had grown up in Coalburg.