FRANK J. BERNARDI. - One of the leading men of Eureka, and sole proprietor of the leading blacksmith shop in
the city, is Frank. J. Bernardi, a native of Switzerland, but for many years a loyal citizen of the United States.
In 1884, when he was a lad of sixteen years, he came to Eureka, and ever since has made his home in Humboldt county,
being well known in Eureka and also in Alliance, where he made his home for two years.
Mr. Bernardi was born in the Canton of Ticino, Switzerland, March 19, 1868, the son of John and Mary Bernardi,
both natives of that country, the former a cabinet maker by trade. Of his mother Mr. Bernardi remembers nothing,
as she died when he was a child of but five years. He was given such advantages as the local schools afforded and
when he was a lad of fourteen years came to the United States in company with a younger brother, Titus. They left
Switzerland in September, 1882, and in December of that year Frank J. came to Humboldt county. During his youth
he learned the cabinet maker's trade in his father's shop, but on arriving in California he went to work on a dairy
farm near Mattole, this county, where he remained for two years, in the meantime learning the language and manners
and customs of the country. After returning to Eureka in 1884 he worked in sawmills in and near that city for a
time. For several years it had been his desire to learn the blacksmith's trade, and the opportunity offering, he
began an apprenticeship under J. P. Holt, under whom for one year he acquired the rudiments of the trade. Going
to Marshall, Margin county, he worked at the trade for a year, then returned to Humboldt county and worked in the
mills in Eureka for a time. Subsequently he was engaged in the blacksmithing business in Alliance for two years,
at the end of that time returning to Eureka, where he has since made his home. May 1, 1896, he opened a blacksmith
shop in Eureka and in July of the same year entered into partnership with A. S. Kerr under the firm name of Kerr
& Bernardi. Under this name business was conducted for seventeen years, their establishment in the meantime
becoming Eureka's leading blacksmith and wagon shop.
On January 1, 1913, Mr. Bernardi purchased the interest of his partner and has since that time been sole owner
of this flourishing establishment. The shop is located at No. 217 Third street, and occupies a two story building,
30x110 feet, and all the latest machinery required in such an establishment has been installed. This includes a
power drill for iron and steel, emery wheels, electrical portable drills for wood, iron and steel, trip hammer,
tire crimping machine or setter, two forges, clipping machine, rimmers, band saws, wood boring machine, planing
machine, as well as other machinery necessary for their wagon making shop and for their automobile repair work,
with electricity for the motive power. In connection there is a fully equipped and first class paint shop. Mr.
Bernardi makes a specialty of the manufacture of three types of wagons, delivery wagons, logging wagons and heavy
trucks, the kinds turned out by his shop being well known and of acknowledged value in the locality. He also employs
an expert horse shoer and his work in this line is also of superior grade. He is himself in constant charge of
the work, whether it be the repairing of a wrecked automobile, a broken wagon, or the manufacture of a new one,
and nothing leaves the shop that is not up to standard.
The marriage of Mr. Bernardi took place in Eureka in 1896, uniting him with Miss Delta Ada Thomas, the daughter
of William and Mary Thomas, pioneers of Humboldt county, where Mr. Thomas has been engaged in logging for many
years. Both Mr. and Mrs. Bernardi have many friends in their home city. Mrs. Bernardi is a member of the Christian
church, and a regular attendant at its services. In fraternal circles Mr. Bernardi is especially popular. He is
a member of the Knights of Pythias and past chancellor of the local lodge. In politics he is a Republican, and
is keenly alive to all that is for the best interests of the community, although he has never been actively interested
in party affairs. He is one of the best boosters that Eureka has, and as is befitting with one who believes fully
in the splendid future of the city and county, he has invested in real estate and now owns valuable property in
and near Eureka.
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915
Humboldt County, CA
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