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The Love Story of Angela & Innocenti

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

Teri Burrell

A baby boy was born on October 13, 1883, in Milan, Italy. He was left at a local orphanage as a newborn baby and was given the name of Ivelti Innocente. (Later, he would be known as Innocenti Evelti.) According to his birth certificate, his mother did not wish to be named and his father was unknown. As a young boy, Innocenti was a foster child of a widow named Rose Gambero who was from the nearby farming town of Turbigo. Innocenti worked, played and grew healthy. The years swiftly passed. On August 26, 1891, there was exciting news in his neighborhood. A baby girl had been born to Rosa's son Carlo, and his wife, Maria. They named her Angela. Innocenti spent much of his time visiting them and the new baby. She was like a sister to him in age since they were born only eight years apart.

When Innocenti was older, he heard stories about men going to America to earn money by their hard work. On March 28, 1908, he left on his first journey to America where he had heard that the streets were paved with gold! His intention was to work hard to save money so that he could return to Italy to ask Angela to marry him and both immigrate to America.

Innocenti arrived in New York and traveled to Vermont where his sponsor had mentioned that there was work for him in Burlington. He did obtain work at the Rutland Railway, which was located one block away from where he rented a room from a friend he had known form Italy named Carlo. Carlo lived in this house with his wife and their family. Innocenti labored and saved his money all the while exchanging letters with Angela. Quite suddenly, the letters from Angela stopped arriving. Innocenti was confused and heart-broken. Meanwhile, in Italy, Angela also stopped receiving letters from Innocenti in America. She, too, felt Innocenti had rejected her.

Unbeknownst to both Innocenti and Angela, the letters delivered to America from Angela and the letters Innocenti had written Angela (which he had left outside on the mailbox for the mailman) were intercepted and destroyed! The wife of the friend Innocenti rented a room from in Burlington had other ideas for him. She saw a hard-working man in Innocenti and felt that he would make an ideal husband for her unmarried daughter. By taking the letters, she felt that surely Innocenti would ultimately forget about Angela, turning to her daughter to court in marriage.

After some time had passed, Innocenti decided that he had saved enough money and that he needed to find out exactly what had happened to Angela in Italy. He traveled across the ocean dressed in his best clothing with a top hat on his head. He must have looked dandy arriving in Turbigo in such fashion. Having heard that Angela was working in a factory, Innocenti proceeded there to confront her. Angela's friends saw him coming and ran to warn her.

Their meeting, at first, was uncomfortable. Neither knew how the other one felt or what had caused the end of their exchange of letters. They soon conversed and realized that their letters had not arrived at their destinations! Angela said, "Oh, Innocenti, I thought that you did not love me anymore." He replied, "Dear Angela, you know that I love you and have since the day you were born and rocked you in the cradle."

On March 28, 1912, they were married in Turbigo not long after which they boarded a ship headed to America. It was a difficult journey in steerage where they separated the men from the women. People were speaking all different languages and Angela was very ill, as she was in the very early stages of pregnancy for her first child. At night, Innocenti, always concerned for Angela's well-being, quietly searched for her, found her, and brought her to where he was staying on the boat. They needed each other for comfort and companionship.

Settling in Burlington, VT, Innocenti continued his employment for the Rutland Railway working his way up the ladder to the position of a supervising foreman. After living in a small apartment on Cherry Street, they saved enough money to buy their cozy home with an incredible garden at 24 South Champlain Street. Here they raised their eight children and welcomed thirty grandchildren to their new life in America!

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