Introduction: In the beginning...

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webmaster | 01/13/12
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At least one thing is true of all Maderans. In fact, this one thing is true of all Californians. Come to think of it, this one thing is true of every American. We are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants — even the Native Americans among us are descendants of immigrants.

Once upon a time, America was home to nobody. Then came the first immigrants to the New World over what is now the Bering Strait — or perhaps across the Pacific in little boats blown off course. Take your choice; opinions are divided as to the route, but only a few folks who still believe the earth is flat would deny that at one time this great land was once unoccupied.

After those first immigrants came to America, they were followed by tribes (nations) of different sorts. Europeans, Africans and Asians were either brought or found their way to America, and now their descendants are fast filling up the land.

Each new wave of immigration brought new cultures — languages, customs, food —to America, and that process is an important piece of our past, whether it be national, state, or local. That is what prompted this writer to explore the story of Italian immigration to Madera after 20 years of studying the history of the town...

 

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