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From Italy to Belmont County: One Family’s Journey
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During the early 1900s, the United States experienced a great wave of immigration, especially from Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe. Among the millions of immigrants from Italy during that time was Alberto (Albert) Marinelli. His ties to Ohio began when his father decided to leave their village in central Italy and seek work in the coal mines of Belmont County. The family of Alberto’s wife-to-be, Gilda Capitini, had undertaken that same voyage of hope from Italy to the Ohio Valley some years earlier.
In both cases, coal mining became a central part of their daily lives. Miners could provide for their families, shift work helped shape their family’s daily routines, and dangerous mining conditions often worried miners and families alike. 
Alberto and Gilda’s story shares common threads with the tales of the many immigrants who made a new life in Belmont County and helped form the area's unique character.
Written and curated by Patti Marinelli, this exhibit includes photos, documents, and other artifacts. It is free and open to the public. The exhibit will run through September.


Bellaire Italian Heritage

Sons of Italy/Roma Theatre
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Learn about the history of the Bellaire Sons of Italy Uguaglianza Lodge 754 and the untold story of the Roma Theater with Vince Gianangeli and Dan Frizzi, Jr.

Chartered in 1917, the Bellaire Lodge has been an integral part of the fabric of the Ohio Valley for over 100 years. Originally formed by immigrants to help immigrants adjust to life in America, the lodge now supports local organizations and holds events to preserve Italian heritage.

Everyone remembers the Bellaire Theatres of the 20th Century. The Capitol, the Temple, the Ohio, and the Elk Grand quickly come to mind. But there was another Theatre that was built by five Italian-Americans to serve the public, and in particular, the Italian community of Bellaire that was known as the Roma Theatre. This theatre building still stands today in excellent condition as part of the business complex of Hughes Office. This building was previously home to the Italian American Club known as the IOC for many years after the theatre closed its operations as the NuRoma Theatre. Dan Frizzi, Jr. will present the story of the Roma Theatre as compiled by his cousin, Tom Ostasiewski, who is the only remaining grandson of one of the founders of this theatre.

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 Permanent Exhibits

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