Tag: Hazleton

Memories from the 1930’s

Genetti’s Annual Outing, Hazleton, PA – 1934
click on photo to enlarge

A few weeks ago I received a visit from a fellow genealogist and Tyrolean, Judy Givens. Judy lives just six hours up the road from me in Colorado. We met online through the Facebook group Trentino Genealogy – La Genealogia del Trentino of which we are both members. Like me, she is 50% Tyrolean and was born in Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Louise and Judy chatting about their Hazleton families

Sometime ago Judy emailed me about a group of photos saved by her father, dating to the early 1930’s. At the time, her father worked for – you guessed it – the Genetti Markets! Judy said she would stop for a visit next time she was in New Mexico and bring her photo memorabilia with her.

We finally met-up in August, sharing memories of Hazleton, laughing about our overlapping family stories and, of course, discussing the three photos she had brought for me to scan.

What a surprise! The large panoramic was a group picture taken at a Genetti staff picnic, circa 1934. I immediately recognized the four Genetti brothers reclining on the grass, front and center. Dressed in summer white, were Stanley, Albert, Leon (my grandfather) and Gus Sr. What a fantastic moment captured on film!

From the Hazleton Plain Speaker,
July 1934

After scanning the photograph and enlarging it for restoration, I had another surprise. Sitting directly behind Stanley (first brother on the left) is an elderly woman. It was Oliva, mother of the four brothers (and my great-grandmother)! Looking closely at the many smiling faces, I recognized one more person. The young boy sitting behind the third brother from the left, Leon, was my Uncle John! In 1934, John Damian Genetti, Leon’s oldest son, would have been fifteen years old. As an adult, he worked as a butcher for the Genetti Markets.

Wondering if any newspaper notices existed for the event, I searched Newspapers.com for the month of July 1934. Yes, there was a short article about the company picnic published in the Hazleton Plain Speaker. Now we had a bit of info to go along with the photograph.

 

From the Standard Sentinel
June 9, 1934

I was amazed that in 1934, during the years of the Great Depression, Genetti Markets employed two hundred people. I wondered just how many neighborhood groceries had been opened by the four Genetti brothers. From June of 1934, I found a clipping listing all of the local Genetti markets. At the time of the company picnic, there was a total of eleven markets run by D. Genetti and Sons.

Judy’s other images were just as compelling. I immediately recognized Genetti’s Popular street store in Hazleton. It was the family’s first neighborhood market, managed and operated by my grandfather, Leon Genetti.

Located at 436 South Poplar in Hazleton Heights, the market was right next door to my grandparents’ home. When I was a little girl in 1960, my grandmother Angeline would take me by the hand, walk me next door and let me pick out penny candy and little tubes of toothpaste. I remembered the old-fashioned hanging lights and stamped tin ceiling, exactly as pictured in Judy’s photos. Of course by 1960, my grandfather had long ago retired. But his son-in-law, Steve Kashi (married to Leon’s daughter Adeline), now owned and operated the little market next door.

Judy’s father, Quentin Knies, is standing to the left of the post, wearing a bowtie. Genetti Market on Poplar St., early 1930’s.
click on photo to enlarge

Judy’s photos from the early 1930’s pictured the interior of the grocery store along with several employees. Her father, Quentin “Knute” Knies (1910-1974) stands to the right of the gentleman in a suit.

With a little research, I learned that “Knute” lived right down the street from the market on South Poplar. What a small world it is indeed! Judy’s father had worked for my grandfather, lived on the same street as my family and most likely knew my aunts and uncles, perhaps even my father who was only a toddler in 1934.

My special thanks to Judy Givens for finding me, making the trip to Santa Fe and sharing her photographic memories with our website followers.

Judy’s father “Knute” is the tall fellow on the left. Genetti Market, Poplar St., early 1930’s.
Click on photo to enlarge.

I hope to see you in the future, Judy, when I take my next trip to Colorado. Mille grazie et un abbreccio!

All three photographs have been added to our Photo Gallery. You can find them on the Pennsylvania Genetti Family page.

We Made the News!

standardspeakerOur thanks to writer, Jill Whalen, at the Standard-Speaker newspaper for writing an extensive article about the Genetti family of Hazleton, PA. When I sent out press releases a few months back, I had expected just a few paragraphs about our October reunion to be published in the paper. I was completely blown away by the full-page article detailing our family’s history in the area and their involvement in local business. Jill obviously did her research – digging into old family documents, genealogy records and newspaper archives. Since my memories of our family businesses are as a child – my father taking me for a visit to the Tyrolean Room (where he worked) or buying groceries at our local Genetti market, I was surprised by many of the details Jill included in her article. Some of which I wasn’t aware of! What a great piece to include in our growing family archive!

imagegallery1The complete article can be found as a link on our Family News page. Or just click here and go directly to the article page on our website.

Want to read the article online at the Standard-Speaker? Click here for the original story.

I’d like to acknowledge one detail left out of Jill’s article. It was brought to my attention by a descendant of Damiano and Oliva that there was no mention of their daughters or the role they played in establishing the family businesses. This was an unfortunate oversight and I offer my apologies.

Yes, it is my understanding that all of the children (including their daughters) worked hard to help the family prosper in a new land. Until they married and left the family home, the five Genetti daughters all contributed in some way to the growing business. Two daughters, Esther and Anne, also had official job titles within the Genetti company. According to the Federal Census, Esther never married and worked for many years as a bookkeeper in the family business. Youngest daughter, Anne, was also a bookkeeper in the Genetti offices until her marriage to James McNelis in 1932.

Our family history centers around the four Genetti sons, but often ignores their sisters and the part they played in establishing D. Genetti & Sons. My sincerest apologies to the descendants of these dedicated women (Dora, Tillie, Esther, Erminia and Angela) who were regrettably overlooked in this recent article.

I also would like to acknowledge the many grandchildren (and great-grandchildren!) of Daminano and Oliva who worked in the family businesses throughout the years. You are part of the entrepreneurial spirit our ancestors brought with them on the long journey from Castelfondo to Hazleton. I applaud your contribution to our family history!

New Family Photos

DamianoFamily

The family of Damiano and Oliva Genetti, circa 1898, Castelfondo, Austria

Last week I received a wonderful package of photos and information from Jean Branz Daly. Jean is my first cousin once removed (my father’s 1st cousin) and the granddaughter of Damiano and Oliva Genetti. We have been corresponding for several months and Jean has shared many of her family memories with me. Her package of photographs was a treasure trove! I’ve spent the last few days adding many of them to our Gallery section of the website.

Take a few moments and walk down memory lane …

click here to view Family Photographs.

Jean was also kind enough to make copies of a booklet from the Tirolesi Alpini from Hazleton, PA. This social club was dedicated to those who had emigrated from Tirol (Tyrol). It contained a number of interesting articles and photos about the Tyroleans of Hazleton, including several about Genetti family members. I’ve added one about Gus Genetti Sr. to our Family Story page, click here to read.

Thank you so much Jean! Our ancestry becomes richer with the memories we share!

 

We welcome all contributions to the Genetti Family Gallery. Please send photos as JPG files attached to an email (no more than 8 attachments per email). Include information for each photo so we can give it a caption (names, dates, location). Send to Louise Genetti Roach. Click here for email link.