1883-1895 - Maria & Libero Pocai

First Generation

At 22 years old, Frank Ballentine’s maternal great-grandfather, Libero Pocai, immigrated from Lucca, Italy, to Guerneville, California, after his mother passed. He came to make a few thousand dollars in the logging industry. Libero always intended to return to Italy to “be a big shot.” While in America, his father passed away, and so he later told the Calistoga Weekly (1971), “This is my country.” Libero stayed in California and met Maria Cristofani, who also immigrated from Italy at 18 years old. They married in Guerneville, then relocated to San Francisco, where they worked in the wood and coal business. Maria’s health was poor in the city, so they relocated back to the country, making their home in Calistoga with their two children, Frank (1895) and Henry.

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