Carlo Guaschetti and Giovanni Casorzo travelled from Tonco, Alessandria, Italy in 1882. The reasons for leaving Italy were many and varied. By 1882, Guaschetti had lost daughter, Teresa at age 1, son, Pietro at age 2, daughter, Maria at age 9 and his wife, Delfina Balagno at age 29. Little is known of son, Severino, born in 1867. A son, Antonio, accompanied Carlo to America. Records show that in 1885, Antonio was attending St Louis college in Victoria.
Upon their arrival in New York, Guaschetti and Casorzo dug sewers and then headed for San Francisco and Victoria. On the Island, they were miners for the Vancouver Coal Company. In 1883, Guaschetti and Casorzo met Father Pandosy on the docks at New Westminster. Father Pandosy sold them on the Mission in the Okanagan, as the place to spend a happy life and as the spot with the greatest farming potential in the interior of British Columbia. The Casorso Story states “… it was all that the two Italians had dreamed of - neat, tidy, with big corrals, two log cabins, a chapel, a vegetable store and another log building used as cook and bunk-house. It was living proof to Indians and settlers that, under devoted Christian leadership, a permanent agricultural community was in the making. All the work was done by hand. Equipment was crude and handmade; yet, despite this, the fertile land produced in great abundance.” Guaschetti and Casorso had agreed to work for the mission for six years and, in return, the missionaries would help each to establish a homestead.
By 1889 they had both applied for pre-emptions on bordering lands. The 1891 Canadian Census recorded both Charles and his son, Antonio Guaschetti, as living next to the Casorzo family. Antonio, at age 20, applied for his own preemption. Both the 1892 and 1893 British Columbia Directories list A. J. Guaschetti, as farmer, in the Okanagan Mission. A second pre-emption was filed by Carlo in 1895, but, by 1902 it was being sold off for unpaid property taxes. A March 26, 1910 Manifest indicates he had been in the USA since 1906 and was arriving in New York, with his final destination as Antonio’s home in California.
Carlo Guaschetti and Giovanni Casorzo left their struggles in Italy for what was to be a better life. While Guaschetti was only here for a few years, numerous other Italians from Tonco eventually made their way to the Okanagan. They include the Balagno, Biagioni, and Rampone families.
Map from the November 18, 1884 BC Land Act shows the Guaschetti and Casorso preemptions at the N. W. Corner of the Indian Reserve Mission Creek. (The Casorso Story by Victor Casorso, 1983)