We the Italians March 21, 2016 - 77 - Page 9

st # 77 MARCH 21 , 2016 Europe. Here in particular, it was the southern part of the State that was looking for workers, around Lake Village which is in Chicot County. In Italy the Italians were taxed very hard and had a lot of uncertainty, so they decided to come to America. They arrived to two different cities: New York, through Ellis Island, and New Orleans. Those who came into New Orleans were a lot, and came to Lake Village, mainly on several barges: when they arrived, they stayed in a plantation called Sunnyside, in Arkansas. These people that came upon the barge to Lake village were treated as slaves. They were promised to have a land, but they didn’t. They were promised to have clean water, but there wasn’t: and a lot of people died from malaria. Father Pietro Bandini came to Sunnyside to check this out, and he saw how this group of men from Italy was being treated and he tried to get this people out of here. So he brought the people out of Sunnyside to Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas, to places not much different than the places they used to live in the Italian countryside. So in this place called East Springdale there was a little chapel and a few acres, something like forty acres, and these people started to live in that church, that later became a school. They stayed there, and Father Bandini acquired land around those 40 acres. I think it was 1898. So Father Bandini was the founder of Tontitown. He was the one who brought the Italian immigrants to Northwest Arkansas. WE THE ITALIANS | 9 www.wetheitalians.com