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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Brichetto's Tomb

The Brichetto Tomb sits all alone, high up on a hill overlooking what was once the vast lands of the Brichetto estate in San Joaquin County, California. Immigrants from Italy, G. Joseph, a pioneer farmer and merchant, and his wife, Luigia Canale, settled in the Banta area of San Joaquin County in the 1870’s. The mausoleum is made of marble and granite, built in the Grecian Doric style. The tomb sits alone on one acre of land that is enclosed by a wrought iron fence. Built in 1916 according to the provisions of the will of G. Joseph Brichetto, the tomb contains twelve crypts but only six have been used.

G. Joseph Brichetto 23 Dec 1841 to 22 May 1916
Luicia Brichetto 18 Feb 1860 to 12 Dec 1956
Irene L. Brichetto 7 Jun 1884 to 10 Sep 1945
John N. Brichetto 5 Feb 1881 to 3 Mar 1934
Baby Edward 13 Jan 1883 to 11 Dec 1883
Baby Henery 14 Dec 1885 to 25 Nov 1886

The wrought iron fence that encloses the acre of land was made by Stewart Iron Works Company who are still in business to this very day.

There is nothing quite like this in all of San Joaquin County. I decided to do a little research about this family who commanded such a grand place of eternal rest.

G. Joseph Brichetto came to San Joaquin County in 1867. He was employed by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company in tunnel construction for a time; he then settled in the San Joaquin gardens on the river, and later located in Banta, where he raised and sold vegetables. In 1872 he opened a general merchandise store at Banta, which he conducted for many years. He became a large farmer and landowner in the Banta section, owning, at the time of his death in 1916, 9,000 acres of land on the West Side. I found this little article about him in an Ohio newspaper:

13 September 1917
When an inheritance tax report was fixed in the estate of the late G. Joseph Brichetto, it was shown that he came to California with a capital of $40 and in 40 years accumulated an estate of $333,279.35

There were seven Brichetto children born and five who lived to adulthood:

John N. Brichetto was born 5 February 1881 and died 3 March 1934. He formed a partnership with his brother, Joseph C., under the name of Brichetto Bros. which is known for their grain farming. John was the president of the Board of Directors of the Banta-Carolinia Irrigation District which cared for the irrigation of some 20,000 acres in the Tracy and Banta districts. He also became prominent in banking circles becoming director in both the San Joaquin Valley National Bank of Stockton and the Bank of Tracy. In 1916 he married Nancy Kneass.

Irene Brichetto was born 7 June 1884 and died 10 September 1945. She never married.

Mollie Brichetto was born 12 September 1887 and died 2 June 1965. She married Joseph J. Raspo in 1911. Joseph was employed by Mollie’s father in the general merchandise store the Brichettos owned. In 1917 he acquired a one-third interest in the concern and its trade, and in November, 1918, he became sole proprietor, purchasing the business from the Brichetto heirs.

Minnie Cecelia Brichetto was born 8 October 1889 died 6 December 1989. She never married.

Joseph C. Brichetto was born 18 February 1894 and died 20 August 1976. Joseph became the manager of the vast agricultural interests of the Brichetto estate, consisting of several thousand acres of land on the West Side, which he developed into one of the show places of Central California. He married Eva Campodonico in 1921.

Photos curtesy of Brian W. Barringer


footnoteMaven said...

Sheri Baby:

Doesn't it amaze you that information about a San Joaquin farmer is found in a Cleveland newspaper?

Great research job!


Terry Thornton said...

Thanks for information about the Stewart Iron Works. Several of their cemetery enclosures are found through Mississippi.
Terry Thornton

Billy Wardle said...

is there a way to get to the tomb, or at least the iron gate?

Billy Wardle said...

is there a way to get to the tomb, or at least the iron gate?