Albert B. Southwick: An Italian Worcester County saga

Jun 27, 2016 573

The Mount Carmel Church situation is another familiar chapter in the Worcester story – an ethnic group outgrowing its immigrant status and moving on to new outlooks, new horizons and new ways of life. It is doubtful that the aging parishioners of the church can reverse the trend. But they can reflect on the inspiring story of the Italians in Worcester County.

A few Italians arrived here in the 1880s, but the big boost came in 1894 when Jim Frank, an Italo-American in Clinton, heard about Boston's plans to build a huge reservoir in Central Massachusetts. He made the authorities an offer they couldn't refuse — men who would work from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for $1.25 a day.

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