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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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My Italian Grandpa: 1954

My Italian Grandpa: 1954

My paternal grandfather in his home in Calpella, California, in late December 1954. Born February 1874 in Murialdo, Italy; married a local girl in 1901. Arrived New York July 1904. After getting settled in Northern California, sent for my grandmother (age 24), father (age 4) and uncle (age 2) in 1906. Naturalized in 1914, then a year later purchased a ranch in Calpella, built a house, and grew wine grapes for nearly 40 years. A couple years before this was taken he sold the ranch and moved next door to this house. He died in August 1961, aged 87. He was always Grandpa to me, but his given name was Agostino. Photo by my brother or sister. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Angelo Pellegrini

Anyone who's related to or interested in Italians in America, especially their food and cultural traditions should read some of Angelo Pellegrini's books ...

Two photos of our grandpa

Of these photos which our brother has restored and written of so well: I believe I took the one of grandpa in the chair and our sister took the one of him playing the accordion.

What a lot of change this gentleman saw in his lifetime

Thanks for posting this.

The Commonality

tterrace, I really never thought we had a lot on common. Given the differences in age, geography and ethnicity. However I was wrong, besides our proud Nationality, we are both blessed to be first generation Americans.

Grandpa and his accordion

Good Italian that he was, Grandpa played the accordion, as seen here (playing Santa Lucia, probably*) with one of my cousins in 1951; the day of his and Grandma's 50th wedding anniversary celebration, in fact. Again, as with all good Italian families, this was taken in the center of household life, the kitchen. My father also took up the instrument and played for dances in Calpella, but after a stint at the Del Monte cannery in San Francisco in the teens his hands could no longer manage the keys and buttons, so that was that. JohnHoward's humorous note points up what a cool name Terrace would be, pronounced nella moda italiana, but in reality tterrace is merely an Internet alias, my blognomen, if you will.

*My sister says it was more likely Over the Waves.


I always enjoy the back stories of the people that left home to build a better life for future generations. I wonder how many of us would attempt to do it today? Love all of your photos tterrace, keep them coming!


Eighty was a ripe old age in 1954 and is still an achievement today. With seven years to go, Grandpa's eyes reflect the future yet to come and his countenance reveals that he had a sense of humor. What a family treasure this photo must be.

He is, America.

A truly wonderful story.


Marvelous story! It really adds a dimension to the photograph. Thanks.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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