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Tom C. Korologos tells the story of his family's immigration to the United States in the early 1900's. (Written story submitted May, 2001)
Although there were other Korologos' already in the United States in New York and Utah, my father Chris T. Korologos had the distinction of being the youngest in his family to leave his village of Tyros, Greece and venture to the New World to seek his fortune and ostensibly to return to Greece.
Chris T. Korologos was 14 years old when he arrived in the U.S. in 1914, much to the chagrin of two of his brothers who were already here. It was said, "Why did they send us this baby and not an adult . . . ?" Their concern was over whether the latest arrival was going to get a job and how they were going to cope with a mere teenager.
Nonetheless after spending some 70 days on the open seas because of World War I and zigzagging shipping routes, which were necessary to avoid German war ships, Korologos arrived at Ellis Island and was immediately quarantined for 21 more days. U.S. immigration authorities wanted to make certain the new arrivals were not carrying any foreign communicable diseases.
Eventually working his way to Pocatello, Idaho, where there were an
It didn't quite work out that way. After working on the railroad and in various odd jobs in Pocatello, Korologos was already employed at the Utah Copper Mine outside of Salt Lake City. Korologos applied for a job at the copper smelter in Magna, Utah, got the job and was ordered to report to work the next morning. He didn't show up. Instead he chose to go into the restaurant business with another friend from Tyros, Tom Gouvisis.
While all of this was going on Irene M. Kolendrianos was immigrating to the United States in 1915 as a three-month old baby in the arms of her mother Eleni. Her father was already in the United States, running a restaurant in New York City. Irene started grade school in New York. However, in an effort to be with relatives and friends from their Greek village, Leonidion, a short distance from Tyros in Arcadia, they also moved to Salt Lake City in the late 20's.
A bustling Greek community was already in existence in Salt Lake City where a Greek Orthodox Church was organized and functioning as early as 1905. Most social activities centered around the church and in "Greek Town" on the west side of Salt Lake City, near where Korologos had opened his restaurant/bar.
It became obvious to Korologos that there was a major dearth of eligible young men in the village for his sisters to marry. Consequently, twice he sent word to Greece to send sisters to the U.S. where pre-arranged marriages occurred for them, much to everyone's satisfaction. One sister married his partner, Gouvisis, and the other married his friend Bill Manes who, along with his brother, had taken up farming in Layton, Utah.
It also became obvious that Korologos too needed to find an eligible lass. His friends and partners in the bar identified Irene Kolendrianos, now a teenager herself attending West High School, as the "chosen" one for Korologos. The rule, of course, was that he wasn't to know about this until such time as it became official. Nonetheless, Korologos found out and many a day he would sneak off to the high school where he would follow his "bride-to-be" to make sure she didn't talk to other boys as she walked home . . . . or that she didn't smoke . . . or carry on in an unsavory manner.
In 1932 Chris and Irene were married in Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church. Bill Manes' brother, Pete, was best man. And, also in 1932 Chris opened a bar on Fourth South and State Street in downtown Salt Lake City. This was a major departure from the Greek Town area and also was next to the Salt Lake City Hall which supplied a flourishing crowd of customers. It remained open until Korologos' death in 1963.