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Italians were among the first European settlers in California, as fishermen from Italy arrived in the 1830s. After gold was discovered in 1848, immigrants from all over the world came for the opportunity that California presented. For the Italians, they encountered a terrain and climate so similar to their homeland that many stayed on to make California their new home. In San Joaquin County, the Italian influence remains profound, with the immigrants and their descendants helping develop the area’s cultural, agricultural, and business climate into what it is today. The legacy of the Italian pioneers has enriched San Joaquin County in immeasurable ways. Every aspect of life here has been touched, molded, and made better by this industrious group who came to a distant land to make a better life.
About the Author
The Pacific Italian Alliance, with the help of local author and historian Ralph A. Clark, has compiled and collected a treasure trove of exciting historic images from a variety of sources including the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum, the Haggin Museum, and the Bank of Stockton Historical Photograph Collection, as well as the generous contributions of several Italian American families that continue to live in San Joaquin County.