Sidewalk maker: Angelo C. Sposeto

Angelo Charles Sposeto was born in Pennsylvania in 1912, the son of Italian immigrants Dominic (formerly Domenico Esposito) and Frances (formerly Francesca Valenti) Sposeto. The family moved to Des Moines, Iowa the same year, and little Angelo grew up in the bootlegging business, eventually running nightclubs there. He met and married Mary Jaquinto (formerly Iaquinta) in 1931. The 1940 census records him in Des Moines, Iowa, with four children, the youngest age 1. He was recorded as looking for work. The family records say that he was looking for a way out of the Mafia life he was born to.

They came to California in 1941 and lived in Albany and El Cerrito at first. There Angelo invented a concrete mix he named Marblecrete. It was used in his Rainbow Carwash at MacArthur and Broadway. His son Dominic, an attorney, has recorded a wealth of the family’s history in a book he is now giving away free. I have relied on it for these details.

His work on Oakland sidewalks is scarce and scattered. An Oakland Tribune item mentions him as a concrete contractor in 1946. The earliest sidewalk mark I have of his is from 1947, showing that he was a member of Local 594 of the OPCFIA at the time.

union-bug-175-sposeto

The records of the Berkeley School Board show that in 1956, he was awarded a contract to install a retaining wall and drainage system on the Berkeley High athletic field.

Later in the 1950s, he acquired a proper concrete stamp.

sposeto-59

The only other date I have is 1963, drawn by hand inside the barrel-shaped mark.

The 1967 business directory listed Sposeto’s business at 9300 G Street, while Angelo and Mary lived at 2655 Wallace Street, a curious little road across 14th Avenue from Highland Hospital.

Angelo died in 1975, age 62, and is buried in Lafayette at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. He and Mary Sposeto had five children; with the death of son Frank Albert last week, only Dominic survives today. Frank worked for his father’s firm after serving in the military, and I’m sure he could have shared some stories about his dad and the streets of Oakland.

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One Response to “Sidewalk maker: Angelo C. Sposeto”

  1. Mike Fitz Says:

    Wonderful history, so interesting. Thank you, Andrew.

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