Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletMarch 23, 2018

Sisters' Stories

Sister Lamese Farhart's Immigration Story

Both of my parents came to this country from Lebanon in the early 1900s, around 1902. My mother's family came in tact, both parents and four children, of whom my mother at age eight was the third oldest. My youngest uncle was born here soon after their arrival. They settled in Gloversville, NY, and a history of Fulton County describes my grandfather as a peddler who traveled up and down the area north of town selling his wares. He soon saved enough money to open his own general store, and when I was growing up, my grandparents and unmarried aunt and uncles lived in a rather large house that is still standing and seems to be in good condition even today.

By the late 1920s, one of my uncles was owner of a large Buick garage, and my other two uncles worked for him. He ended up owning three garages: in Gloversville, Johnstown, and Amsterdam. Photos taken in those early days show a happy, middle-class family, well-adjusted to the American way of life.

My father's immigration story is equally as interesting. He was fourteen years old and alone when he arrived at Ellis Island, again around the year 1902. Because he heard that there was already a small Lebanese population in Gloversville, he made this his destination. His first job was in the Littauer Glove Factory where he earned roughly five dollars a week. In those days it was surprisingly possible for him to take care of his needs and also put away savings on a regular basis. When he had saved enough money, he started his own business, a comer grocery store.

Continued savings enabled him to send for one of his brothers in Lebanon and set him up in a second Farhart store. This process went on until each his four brothers was operating his own store. Then my father himself became a very successful real estate broker, a career which spanned the rest of his life.

All five Farhart brothers eventually married and were able to provide their children with college educations. The Farhart name is well known today in Gloversville and, as with most families, the Farharts have spread to other parts of our country. What a God-given privilege the blessing of immigration has been for us, as well as for untold millions of others!