The distinction of being the largest taxpayer in Downieville belongs to Antone Lavezzola, the owner of the St. Charles Hotel and Annex, a house which, under his judicious management, has become extremely popular with the traveling public. Mr. Lavezzola was born on his father’s farm, about six miles northeast of Downieville, on the 25th of November, 1881, and is a son of Mitchell and Maria (Blisselove) Lavezzola, both of whom were born, reared and married in Genoa, Italy. In 1859 the parents immigrated to the United States and came direct to Downieville, where the father started farming. He soon afterward bought from a Mr. Wilson a squatter’s right to one hundred and sixty acres of land, about fifty acres which were cultivable, and when the homestead law went into effect he took it up and proved on it. To him and his wife were born six children, namely: John, who is Antone’s assistant in the management of the St. Charles Hotel; Peter and Daniel, who are farming the old home place; Mary, who has been an invalid for the past twenty-two years; Antone, of this review; and another son who is a carpenter in Downieville. The father died October 24, 1896, at the age of sixty-five years, and the mother lived to the age of eighty-two years.
Antone Lavezzola had no opportunity to go to school until he was seventeen years old, and then he attended only five and a half terms. He is self-taught, having always been a studious reader, and his experiences have been educational, so that he is a very well informed man. He remained on his father’s farm until 1904, when, in partnership with Joseph Lavezzola (no relation), he bought the St. Charles Hotel and St. Charles Annex from John Costa. Two years later his partner died, whereupon Mr. Lavezzola took over the entire management of the property, of which he is now the sole owner, having paid Joseph Lavezzola’s widow in full more than nine years ago. Mr. Lavezzola gives his close and careful attention to every detail of the hotel management and has been very successful. There are forty-five guest rooms in the hotel and annex, all of which are comfortable and well furnished, the heating and sanitary arrangements being all that could be desired. The dining-room is attractive, the cuisine is satisfying, and the guests of the hotel are made to feel at home. Besides the hotel Mr. Lavezzola is a one-third owner of the Monte Carlo Mining Company, a gravel hydraulic mine, and is the owner of the Shamrock group of gold quartz mines at Sierra City. He is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of timber-land, two miles east of Downieville, from which he and his brother John personally cut all the wood for fuel necessary to run the St. Charles Hotel, amounting to about seven hundred dollars worth annually.
One June 14, 1922, in Downieville, Mr. Lavezzola was united in marriage to Miss Theresa Tomola, and they are the parents of two children, Bettie Lou, seven years of age, and Peter Anthony, aged six years. Mrs. Lavezzola is a native of Italy, and is a very popular member of the social circles in which she moves. Mr. Lavezzola is a Republican in his political views and is a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West. He and his wife were reared in the faith of the Roman Catholic Church, to the teachings of which they have remained true. Mr. Lavezzola is greatly interested in good roads and other progressive measures which affect the general welfare. He is generous to a fault, contributing to every worthy cause presented to him. He was the chief financial guarantor of the recent “Forty-niner” celebration, held in Downieville on August 30 and 31 and September 1, which was a distinctive success and brought large crowds of people to Downieville. His success has been well earned, through his persistent industry and his business ability, and he commands the highest regard in his community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3 Pages 344-345. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.