Apr 17, 2013

2620 E. 115th Street

Built in 1906

Single-family dwelling: four bedrooms, two bathrooms

The Place
Prior to the 1920s, most Italian immigrants lived in the Big Italy neighborhood, but conflict between other ethnicities in that area prompted some families to move to communities in other nearby areas of Cleveland. The neighborhood from which the wood for several pieces was one such enclave, the seventh of these offshoot communities.

Maintaining cultural and familial ties was of the utmost importance to Italians; many of the immigrants to Cleveland came from the same villages. Hometown societies, as well as strong church communities, allowed them to keep their heritage alive. Though many writers and historians choose to concentrate on linking Italian immigrants with organized crime, that lifestyle was much more anomalous than usual.

The People
John Ciarlillo was born in 1884 in what was recorded as Sangonni, Italy. Though reference to a village named Sangonni cannot be found, it is possible it refers to the Val Sangone, a valley in Piedmont, Italy, in the Turin province. He immigrated to the United States as a boy, in 1895.

In the 1930s and 1940s, Ciarlillo lived in the house at 2620 E. 115th Street with his wife, Philomena, and his  children, John Jr., Joe, Vincent, Gusty, Peter, and Marie. He was a janitor at Hawken School, which was  then a small private school that educated boys from kindergarten through ninth grade. He and his wife died on the same day in 1960. The cause of death is not clear. They are buried at Lake View Cemetery.

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