Cavaletto & Cavalletto

For hundreds of years, the Cavaletto (one “L”) and Cavalletto (two “LL”) families lived in Rivarolo Canavese, Torino, Piemonte, Italy.  In the mid-to-late 1800s, members of two branches of the family emigrated to the United States.  Cavalletto spelled with two L's means "little horse".
JOANNES LODOVICO CAVALETTO (b. 1802) and CATARINA CECILIA VERNA CAVALETTO (b. 1811) had eleven children all born and raised in the Piedmonte region of Italy: Angela, Aloysia, Franciscus, Petranilla, Rosa, Angelus, Luiga, Giuseppe Michele Antonio, Teresina, Aventino, and Michele.  Their son Aventino was the first of the family to emigrate to the United States.  Aventino’s nephew, Michele, son of his brother Giuseppe Michele and wife, Laura Cavaletto, followed Aventino to the United States.
Two branches of the Cavaletto family settled in the Santa Barbara area: Aventino Cavalletto branch and Giuseppe’s Cavaletto branch. The following is a modified brief family history from managed by Jim Henry.
Aventino Cavaletto was the first of the Cavaletto family to emigrate to America.  
The story goes that Aventino worked on the Panama Canal for the French company that began the project. He became sick, perhaps from yellow fever or malaria, and was sent to New York to recuperate in 1885. While there, someone told him that California was a good place to recover his health and that Santa Barbara, with its Mediterranean climate, was particularly nice. So, he settled in Santa Barbara.
In 1886 Aventino ran a boarding house on Rancheria Street. In 1888 he was joined by his wife, Clementina Pagliotti, and their nine-year-old son Lodovico IV, known as “Coto” (m. Farrant).  Aventino and Clementina had four other children:  Giacomo Domenic “Jack” (m. Quick), Domenica (m. Janssens), Jennie Catherine (m. Allen; m. Wooten), and Adelina (m. Cavalli)
Aventino wrote to his nephew Michele Cavaletto telling him that, if he wanted to come to America, he would help him to find a job. So, in 1892, Michele Cavaletto, 21, and his brother Giovanni Battista (“G.B.”) Cavalletto, 16, decided to try it. As promised, Aventino helped them to settle in.  Aventino was granted U.S. citizenship in August 1892.
Aventino filed his will with the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County on November 19, 1897 and died on November 20, 1897.  In his will, he leaves his bay horses, harness, and wagon to his eldest son Lodovico and the rest of the children were to be provided for by their mother, Clementina Cavaletto. 
Aventino Cavaletto
Standing: Aventino Cavaletto and Clementina Pagliotti Cavaletto
Giuseppe Michele and Laura Cavaletto lived in Rivarolo Canavese, Piedmonte, Italy where they raised their children; Eugenia (m. Perello), Madeline (m. Bernasconi), Giovanni Lodoveco (m. Micono), Michele (m. Cavalletto), Francesca (m. Perona), Giovanni Battista (m. Katherine Pagliotti), Margherita (m. Scarvarda), Giovanni (John) (m. Angelina Pagliotti).  Eventually, at least five of their children emigrated to the United States.  
Michele Cavaletto was born in 1870 in Torino, Piedmonte, Italy to Giuseppe Michele Cavaletto and Laura Cavalletto.  Encouraged by his uncle Aventino Cavaletto to come to the United States, Michele emigrated in 1892.  Michele returned to Italy in 1896 to marry his sweetheart, Caterina Cavalletto. The young couple left their hometown in the middle of the night without telling any of their family members.  Catarina wrote to her sister apologizing about leaving without saying goodbye, but, she said, it was too sad.
In California Michele worked on the historic San Jose Vineyard, then leased it, and finally purchased it in 1900. He operated the winery, built in 1804 by Mission padres until 1918 when prohibition took over.  The original house Michele built on their land burned down around 1907.  The second house was expanded as the family needed space for their grandmother. The Cavaletto children attended school at the Cathedral Oaks School at the corner of Cathedral Oaks Road and Old San Marcos Road (now a preschool).
When Michele died, he owned six parcels of land, enough for each of his children to inherit one parcel. They drew the named parcels out of a hat and his son Joe drew the parcel where he was born in 1902. Joe farmed the property until his death in 1976. The property is still owned by the Cavaletto family.
Michele and Caterina’s children married into other local Italian families: Louisa (James Marchiando, Sr.), Joseph (Selina Giorgi), Laura (Pasquale Borgaro), Frances (Angelo Bosio), Peter (Elisa Giorgi), and Lodovico (Laurabelle Rowley). 
Michele Cavaletto family, ca. 1912
Front Row L/R: Louisa, Joe, Michele,
Catarina, Peter, Lodovico. Back Row L/R: Laura, Frances
Photo courtesy of Catherine Cavaletto
Michele & Catarina Cavaletto's children, ca. 1916-1920
Photo courtesy of Catherine Cavaletto
Cavaletto children attended Cathedral Oaks School
(at corner of  Cathedral Oaks Rd. & Old San Marcos Road)
Goin' fishin' - L/R: Peter Cavaletto, Bill Pagliotti, Joe Cavaletto, Louis & Lodovico Cavaletto
Going fishing...  L/R: Peter Cavaletto, Bill Pagliotti,
Louis, Lodovico, & Joe Cavaletto
Photos courtesy of Catherine Cavaletto
Frances Cavaletto (1898-1955)
Angelo Bosio & Frances Cavaletto 
Wedding photo, July 4,1928
Photo courtesy of Goleta Valley Historical Society
Joseph L. Cavaletto (1902-1973)
Joe Cavaletto & Selina Giorgi family wedding photo
Married April 18, 1934 at the Old Mission Santa Ynez
Photo courtesy of Catherine Cavaletto
Giovanni Battista Cavalletto was born in 1875 in Torino, Piedmonte, Italy to Giuseppe Michele Cavaletto and Laura Cavalletto.  He and his brother, Michele, emigrated to the United States in 1892 with seventy cents in his pocket.  Giovanni (who was known as G.B.) went into ranching and worked for Jim Williams, Nicholas Den, and Col. W. H. Hollister.  He also helped lay the first Southern Pacific Railroad track through Goleta. Within two years he was farming himself, raising hay on leased property in Hope Ranch.  Shortly after marrying Catarina Pagliotti in 1902, he acquired his first property in Goleta. He was a pioneer here in raising lima beans and was an original member of the Golela Lima Bean Association.  He also raised walnuts.
Later he bought property at Stow Canyon Road and Fairview Avenue where he planted his first lemon trees in 1917.  As the years went by, he acquired a total of 10 ranches, selling two.  In 1929 he gave each of his three children a ranch followed by a second ranch in 1941.  G.B. and Catarina’s two sons, Louis D. and George A., both went into ranching.  George was also an attorney.  Their daughter, Laura, married Egisto Giorgi, who was also a rancher.
G. B. died in 1955.  Catarina preceded him in death in 1925.
Catarina Pagliotti Cavalletto                          G. B. Cavalletto
G.B. & Catarina Cavalletto's home
Giovanni Battista Cavalletto Naturalization here
Celebration of James Perona & Rita Baudino Marriage in Santa Barbara
ca.1934-1935 (to view an enlarged version of the above photo click on
the link below).  Photo courtesy of Catherine Cavaletto
Cavaletto, Cavalletto Family - see also Borgaro, Bosio, Cavalli, Giorgi, Marchiando, Pagliotti, Perona, Scarvarda families
Catherine Cavaletto
Goleta Valley Historical Society
Looking Back by Justin Ruhge