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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Giovanni Canepa

In sunny Italy, near the city of Genoa, November 1, 1843, the late Giovanni Canepa first saw the light of day and there, too, he was reared, a farmer's boy, having the advantages of the common schools. In 1863 he came to California, where he followed mining at Volcano, then ranching at Vallicita, near Angel's Camp until 1879, when he located in Petaluma. Here he established himself in the mercantile business on the corner of Washington and Kentucky streets, doing a large and successful business until his death, February 14, 1898.

Mr. Canepa was married in 1880 at Douglas Flat, Calaveras county, Cal., to Miss Angela Lavagnini, who was also born near the city of Genoa, the daughter of Stephen Lavagnini, who was an expert gunsmith. Mrs. Canepa came to California in 1879 and after her marriage took an active part in her husband's business until six months after his death, when she sold out and has since been active in building up different business houses in Petaluma. She built the Canepa block, a three-story building on the corner of Washington and Kentucky streets, also the corner of Washington and Keller streets, owns eight residences on North Main street, six of which she built, and also owns valuable property on Main street and built her large residence on Kentucky street, opposite the Plaza, where she makes her home. One child was born of this union, Mary, who is Mrs. Kendrick, of San Francisco.

Mrs. Canepa is an active member of the Woman's Relief Corp, the Ladies Catholic Society and St. Vincents Church and is prominent in business and social circles in Petaluma.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011