Vincenzo Marredda – Father of Moke Hill’s Parks

Mar 25, 2015 by

Vincenzo Marredda – Father of Moke Hill’s Parks

Beautifully framed portraits of Italian immigrant Vincenzo Marredda — Father of Mokelumne Hill’s town parks – and his wife Giovanna Cavanna have been donated to the History Society Archives by Leland and Alfred Fischer, delivered last week by Roberta Fischer.

Coming to the US in 1906 at the age of 33, Vincenzo became a partner in Upper Italian Gardens (at the east end of Lafayette Street and across Highway 26), eventually owning most of this property as well as parcels along Jesus Maria Road. Giovanna died in 1932 and Vincenzo in 1948. There were no children and both are buried in the Catholic Cemetery. Vincenzo’s will directed that all of his land be donated for the benefit of needy children or, if that could not be arranged, than for some “charitable, religious, recreation, or other public beneficial use.”

The County of Calaveras assumed title to the properties and the first transfer of land in 1951 was to the Calaveras Unified School District as the site of the town’s new elementary school. Early in the 1970s, Bob Rosenthal traded his ownership of the future Shutter Tree Park parcels for two of Marredda’s lots on Rawhide (Prindle) Lane where he built his home. In 1980 the remaining Marredda land was deeded to the Mokelumne Hill Veterans Memorial District. Portions were developed into our tennis courts and horse arena while the historic, terraced Marredda homesite surrounds the Hobbs Field ballpark. Other lots were sold to help support maintenance of these parks and the Town Hall.

We owe a great debt of thanks to Vincenzo Marredda as we enjoy the legacy of public parks he left for his adopted home town.

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