Cuggionesi in Detroit, Michigan

San francescoI do not have much information regarding Cuggionesi in Detroit, but I know there was a sizable number at one time and businesses still carry names commonly found in Cuggiono. The first Cuggionesi arrived in Detroit in about 1880, some of the first families were those of John Colombo, John Oldani, Louis Cucchi, Enrico Biotti, Angelo Gualdoni, Enrico Re, Louis Moroni and Pietro Cucchi. Many of the Lombards worked for the Michigan Central Railroad as laborers, or as ditch diggers.

In 1897, the church of San Francesco, shown at the right, was established after Fr. Francesco Beccherini had convinced the Bishop to allow him to form an Italian ethnic parish at the corner of Rivard and Brewster Streets. San Francesco was the church home of many of the Northern Italians in the area. Unfortunately, the church was torn down to make way for a freeway in the 1980s. The church relocated to Clinton Township.

sanfrancesco interiorThe magnificent interior of the original San Francesco Church in Detroit, Michigan.