This is the tale of Gaspare DiCola, a successful fruit importer in Boston, Massachusetts. Gaspare was born in 1866 in the northern seaport town of Termini Imerese in Sicily. His father, Giovanni, was a wealthy farmer that specialized in lemons and olives. The family also started a spaghetti factory : the DiCola Pasta Company.
|Gaspare DiCola, 1866-1916|
Gaspare caught the eye of a young woman who happened to be married to Mariano Bova-Conti. Antonina and Mariano also lived in Termini-Imerese, and the two families knew each other well.
Gaspare served in the Italian army, and then decided to travel to America in 1892. He used his family expertise in the produce business and became known as The Lemon King. Antonia left Sicily with her young son, Antonio. She followed Gaspare to Boston. Her husband came to America to persuade her to return to Sicily with him, but she filed divorce papers in Massachusetts to free herself from his grasp. Mariano was a poor peasant man with little to offer her and their son. But Gaspare had plenty to offer as his business was growing rapidly. He quickly became a very well respected businessman, and was appointed the president of the Italian Red Cross Society, as well as a leader in the local Dante Alighiere Society.
Gaspare and Antonina never married, but lived together in a nice apartment at 21 Fairbanks Street. Her son lived with them until he was old enough to get out on his own. Antonio, her son, constantly tried to persuade his mother to marry Gaspare, as he felt she was living a life of sin.
|21 Fairbanks Street, Brookline, Massachusetts|
|Location of the Fairbanks Station and the vicinity of apartment where Gaspare was shot|