Celebrate Italian-American Heritage Month on Staten Island! Here is a story about Carlo Porazzi, a carpenter at the General Depot for lighthouses from 1901 to 1931. (Information seen at the National Lighthouse Museum!).
Born in Novara, Italy, Carlo immigrated to America about 1897. He lived in Rosebank, on Pennsylvania Avenue, now Hylan Boulevard, in a two-family house that he built himself for his wife Caroline Columbo, and their two children. Caroline was born in Italy in 1864, and came to America separately from Carlo. He started work for the Lighthouse Service in 1901, carving casting patterns from wood to create molds for lamp parts and other items that were made at the Depot. In 1921, Porazzi was paid $5.08 a day, or about $1,560 for the year, a common income for that time. Over the next eight years he received several raises taking his daily rate to $7.36 a day. He lived on Staten Island until his death in 1946.
The National Lighthouse Museum is the site of the former national headquarters for all materials and equipment used by light keepers and USLHS personnel from 1864 to 1939. Once a lively and bustling site of 18 buildings, today only 6 remain.