The Ceresi name was first seen in an article titled: “An Italian Immigrant looks back on life’s grand adventure” by Samuele Turri (Okanagan Historical Society #64 Report, 2000). Samuele and five friends (Angelo Guidi, Amos Guidi and Pietro Guidi, Carlo Cavani and Cesare Bertucci) arrived in Kelowna in 1912. In this article, Samuele states “At first I stayed with a dear friend, Nicola Ceresi….”.
Nicola was born on July 24, 1883 in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. A 1909, Le Havre, France, to New York manifest, listed Nicola, age 25, single, laborer, leaving his father Battista Rossi, in Massa Carrare (Tuscany). His destination was listed as Kelowna, Canada to meet a friend Ulissi Guidi. Two travelling mates, Enrico Alberti and Alfredo Biagioni, were also early Kelowna arrivals.
The 1911 census for Kelowna, showed that Nicholas Ceresi (26), Joseph Rossi (24) and Chance Guidi (25) were lodgers with Ambrogio Suffredini (39). Nicola’s occupation was listed as labourer and his employment as “building”. A 1913 manifest showed Palmizio Favali at Ellis Island, travelling to Kelowna, to meet cousin Nicola Ceresi in Kelowna, BC.
On November 3, 1913 there was a display ad in the Daily News from Nelson, BC, for the “New Grand Hotel… Best Place in Town, $1.00 A DAY UP.” It listed Nicola Ceresi , Joseph Rossi (Nicola’s uncle) and H Wassick of Crescent Valley and a C Fiorenza as owners of the hotel. Crescent Valley is halfway between Castelgar and Nelson, on highway #6, on the way to Slocan, BC.
On June 15, 1944, Nicola married Elizabeth (Betty) Theresa Latka, in Michel Natal, BC. Elizabeth was born on December 19, 1914, in Michel Natal, to Czechoslovakian parents: John Latka and Theresa Hlicke. The 1946 obituary for Alberto Ulissi Guidi indicated that Nicola was his brother in law. Alberto had married Nicola’s sister, Adela Maria Rossi.
The 1949 Voters List listed Nicholas (carpenter) and Elizabeth Betty Ceresi living in Natal, BC,. The 1974 voters listed them retired, in Sparwood, BC. Nicola and Elizabeth are interred at the Elk Valley Cemetery in Sparwood. Nicola passed in 1975 and Elizabeth, in 2002. They had no children.
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