The year was 1903, and the young Italian was headed to Madera from Firebaugh. He had been working for Miller and Lux for a year when he caught the news that the Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Co. had rebuilt the flume of the old Madera Flume and Trading Co. and was looking for workers.
Domenic Sordi liked the smell of lumber a lot more then he did cattle. Lumber wasn’t stubborn; it did what he wanted it to do, and what he wanted to do was to build houses.
It didn’t take long for the young immigrant to integrate himself into Madera’s burgeoning Italian community; most of them lived in southeast Madera close to the lumber mill. In time he would join the rest of his countrymen as they moved to the countryside to farm, but for right now he was satisfied with just having a job.
Domenic Sordi’s story really begins in Italy, in the province of Lucca. At the beginning of the 20th century, cattle baron Henry Miller and his partner, Charles Lux, were in need of workers, so they sent representatives to Italy on a recruitment drive. One of the Italians who was persuaded to sign up was 18- year-old Domenic...