Kentucky and Immigration

repost from

Ky. Voices: Kentucky culture rooted in opportunities for immigrants

July 26, 2013

By Kiran Bhatraju

In the late 1920s, an Italian immigrant with a funny last name arrived in the heart of Appalachia to join the thousands of Scots-Irish who found good wages in the coalfields.

He could have moved to New York or Chicago, but he instead came to Perry County to work as a stonemason.

His arrival was not uncommon. Appalachian and American history is defined by immigrants searching for liberty and prosperity. And even though this particular Italian left his home to emigrate to a land where they spoke a foreign language, he never turned back. The mountains became his new home.

Just one short generation later, his Italian-American son would open a convenience store in Bulan, and his grandson would be the first in the family to graduate from college.

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