Families from Marano Marchesato, Cosenza, Calabria

Maria Cairo and Frank Ventura with Salvatore Cairo
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Title: Maria Cairo and Frank Ventura with Salvatore Cairo
Description:   Maria Cairo  was born in 1889 in Marano Principato, and died December 20, 1931 in Chicago, IL. She married Frank Ventura (sitting) April 30, 1905 in Guardian Angel Church,  Chicago IL. He was born November 30, 1882 in Gesuiti, Calabria, Italy., and died October 17, 1939 in Chicago, IL. It is believed that the young man next to them in this photo is Maria's brother Salvatore Cairo.

In 1949,  Rose Cairo Pellicore told the following story to Raffaella (Ventura) Volino, daughter of Maria and Frank Ventura:

"While in Marano, Italy, Maria Cairo cared for their farm animals, tended the vineyards, and carried large stones on her head for building homes. She made silk from cocoons. Sewing and embroidery work were her hobbies. She loved animals and would rather be outside.

She had no schooling. She came to America with her two brothers Salvatore and Frank about 1900. Her Uncle Caspar Muto, brother of her mother Fortuna Muto Cairo, sent for them. There was a measles epidemic in Italy at the time, and Maria was still very weak when she sailed to America. On the ship, Maria developed an earache. By the time Maria, Salvatore, and Frank arrived at Uncle Caspar's house, Maria was very sick. Uncle Caspar sent for a doctor who prescribed linseed pack on her ear. After two weeks, Maria's face was so swollen, her eyes were shut tight. Uncle Caspar called in another doctor who rushed her in an ambulance to the hospital where she was operated on for double-mastoid. They had to cut off her hair for the operation. The doctor found pus close to the brain. It cost Uncle Caspar $100.00.

After moving to Chicago, IL, she loved opera music and attending concerts. She would play records on the old talking machine which had to be wound by hand. She'd play these records over and over again until she had them memorized - and then she would play them on the old upright piano. "

Maria's daughter, Raffaella, taught her how to write her name after she (Raffaella) attended school at Our Lady of Pompeii, Chicago, IL.

As told by Raffaella Volino: "One day, my mother Maria took me and my brother Joe to visit my Aunt Rose Pellicore. We crossed a bridge and were on it when it turned around - but we did not turn with it. As a result, we lost our way. I don't think these bridges are now in existence. I must have been 6 and Joe 4."

Submitted By: Jeff Caracci (courtesy of Joe Higgins)

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