Sioux Lookout Genealogy and History Club History Walks
For many summers, during the Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival, The Sioux Lookout Genealogy and History Club has helped residents and visitors to town reflect back upon the people who helped build this community into the place it is today.
Referencing the Tracks Beside the Water local history book series, as well as interviews with family members, members of The Sioux Lookout Genealogy and History Club have helped share the stories of these outstanding individuals.
With this year’s festival starting on August 2, the following are some of the stories presented during last year’s festival.
Carlo Ariano was born in Cassino, Italy in 1875. His parents were very poor market gardeners. He had one brother, Biaggo and one sister, Crescenza. They were so poor that he was thirteen –years-old before he had his first pair of shoes.
At the age of twenty-five he went to work for a widow, Mrs. Antonia Leonardi Nacci, born 1862 in Cassino, who ran a market garden. She was about forty-years-old and had three or four grown children. Giacinda (Mrs. Leonard Paolucci) and John Nacci were two younger of those children.
Carlo was a good worker, so after a few months she approached him and suggested that they get married, so as not to cause any gossip. She needed a man to help her keep her teenagers in tow. Well, to a poor country boy, that farm looked pretty good, so they were married. They had three boys – Angelo, Henry b. 1901, and Luigi.
Around 1906, when the railroad was being built in Canada, the stories coming back to Italy were that there was a fortune to be made there. It was decided that he would immigrate to Canada, build a house and send for his family. He arrived in Canada, docking at New Brunswick and started working his way through Canada on the railroad until he reached Fort William. He then started working for John Tintinalli at the coal docks there and then came to Sioux Lookout to work for John at the coal docks here.
He began clearing the bush and built a two storey house out of logs at 23 York Street. When his house was completed, about 1911, he sent for his family, which included stepson John and stepdaughter Giacinda. His boys, Angelo, Henry and Luigi were teenagers by now and they all hired on the C.N.R. as call boys.
The youngest Luigi was fifteen and continued working for the C.N.R. for fifty years.
Henry took another job working in Fred Hamilton’s hardware store. After that, he worked at the Bay for Mr. Williams and remained there thirteen years. Henry and Jack Nagle decided to go into business for themselves. They took over the butcher shop built by the Jewells. Their partnership continued for eighteen years, at which time John Nagle left. Henry continued until retirement. He had married Josephine in 1922. Their son Ernest Charles Ariano became quite an entrepreneur and has left another legacy which we know is a story worth taking the time to tell on its own another year.
Giacinda married Leonardi Paolucci circa 1914 and raised a family here in Sioux Lookout.
Carlo’s wife Antonia died May 14, 1920. By this time, Carlo was working for the CNR Car Dept. He had a house full of boarders - any Italian that came over from the old country stayed there as there weren’t too many houses in Sioux at this time. So, his boys came to him one day and said that something had to be done – a woman was needed to do all the cooking and cleaning and run this big house. They decided he should go back to Italy and find himself a wife. Henry and his step-son, John Nacci, lent him the money to go back to Italy. Henry took his job in the Car Dept. while he was away. Then he went to Italy in search of a wife.
His mother was still living there, so he asked her if she knew of any nice single girls he could marry. She said yes, she had noticed a young lady at church every morning. She also ran a confectionery store in the neighborhood. So she approached this lady, Scholastica Simone, and told her that she had a son who had come from Canada and was looking for a wife and would she like to meet him. Scholastica was living with her aunt and uncle and about seventeen cousins. She said she would be delighted to meet him but Mrs. Ariano should talk to her aunt first and arrange a meeting. This was done. He went calling on a day that the aunt and uncle were present – he asked Scholastica if she would like to marry him and go to Canada. By this time the stories were coming back to Italy that Canada was the land of “milk and honey” and a fortune was to be made there. She said “yes”, but would like a period of courting so she could get to know him. He was honest with her. He told her that he was a widower with a grown-up family, had a good job with the CNR, had a boarding house full of boarders; of course no modern conveniences: he had some chickens, pigs and a cow. She would have lots of hard work but he would be good to her because he was a kind man. They started courting. They were never alone. A seven-year-old cousin followed them wherever they went. She was thirty and he was forty-five years old.
On November 4, 1920, they were married. They spent their honeymoon in Monte Casino’s Monastery (which was later bombed).
They were in Italy for about nine months before they were able to obtain a booking on a ship and get a passport. Finally, after a stormy passage, which took two weeks, they arrived in Canada, docking at Montreal, and then by train to Sioux. This was in 1921. Four children were born within the next few years – Chris, Edward, Gilbert, and Patricia. True to his word, Scholastica worked hard but she didn’t mind. Carlo was a kind, good husband and father. The children say they never heard a quarrel between them and had a happy home and upbringing
The depression came, but they didn’t notice it. Scholastica was a good cook and she made most of the children’s clothes. Carlo was laid off from the CNR but he worked for the town, hauling wood at night for five dollars a month.
In 1940, at the age of sixty–five, he retired from the CNR with a pension of thirty dollars and eight cents. Three of the four children were still in school, so he went to work for the town, retiring at the age of seventy. He died at the age of eighty-six in 1961. Scholastica died in 1971.The family felt they were very fortunate to have this man and woman as their parents. The community appreciates the legacy of family that Carlos and his two wives Antonia, and Scholastica left here in Sioux Lookout.