This clip shows Carmine Cornelio’s property on Main Street. The first building seen was the original location of Cornelio Motor Sales in 1927. By the time of the film, Angelo Garafolo was running the gas station shown. It was later converted to a duckpin bowling alley. I remember before they had mechanized pinsetters, pinboys would jump down to clear or reset them and send the balls back to the bowlers. Benny Nero’s was right next door for many many years. My grandfather had good reason to be proud of the stone buildings on the corner: he built them himself along with his brother Sebastiano .
Cornelio Avenue was a short, private street that he opened in the early 1920’s on property that he had bought, but even such modest development had an impact. According to a newspaper account:
“Mr.Cornelio built several houses on his private road… The owners of the dwellings and lots are each taxed individually….were it not for the private drive, the values of this back-lot property, and the tax revenue, would be very small.”
While it may have been just an abbreviated little street off of Main, the modest housing there was an important stepping stone for many Italian-American immigrant families of the time.
For the viewer, the star in this clip may be the gal who is seen taking in the laundry. She has been identified as Ernestine Bascetta, and sure enough, the Bascetta family also originally came from Floridia, Sicily. The story of that wave of immigration that contributed so much to Winsted is still waiting to be told….
P.S. Notice how cute, the ladies holding hands at the very end of the scene….