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NONFICTION

Italians in the Pacific Northwest

From hardscrabble days as homesteaders and farmers in the 1880s to becoming successful entrepreneurs of the postwar boom generation, Italians settled and later thrived in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Italians labored in several industries, including railway tie hacking in Idaho, coal mining in Black Diamond, logging in Aberdeen, canning salmon in Astoria, terra-cotta and brick manufacturing in Taylor, and growing onions in Walla Walla. Those who ventured into business later grew notable local companies such as DeLaurenti Food & Wine, Pacific Food Imports, Oberto Sausage, Napoleon Oil, and La Panzanella Crackers.

Further still, Italians in the area contributed to inventions from the collapsible crab pot and trawl nets to the atomic bomb, the vaudeville circuit, the Pellegrini bean, and one-of-a-kind accordions. Italian pioneers in the Pacific Northwest also have a connection to Hemingway, Elvis, President Kennedy, Mother Cabrini, and the Loprinzis, the "strongest family in America."

Today, over 300,000 Italian Americans call this region home, and it is the author's hope that this book highlights the contributions of many Italians, known and unknown.

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