Stone and rock cutting is largely a lost art in America today. In Italy it is a respected trade that has consisted of hard work with one’s hands, passed down over the centuries from one generation to the next.
Stone cutter Pasquale Fasolino, born in Gaeta, Italy in 1886, arrived in the United States in 1905 aboard the SS Citta di Napoli, which made trips from Naples to the United States. Formerly the SS Republic, the ship had been reconfigured to carry 1,424 steerage passengers, for immigration.
Fasolino brought the trade to Queens, locating his offices at 48-15 Laurel Hill Blvd., next to St John’s, Calvary and New Calvary cemeteries, to serve the Roman Catholic Italians who would be interring their loved ones there.
He lived at 43-15 52 St. in Woodside with his wife, Maria, and six their children. He also had a Middle Village office, originally numbered 29 Weisse Ave. but changed by the city in 1931 to 66-56 80 St.
The success of the company was largely due to the fact that all six children worked in the business and aggressively built it up into a big success. In 1941 the company was reincorporated as Dominick Fasolino Monuments in honor of the firstborn son, who took over more responsibility. Pasquale passed away in 1966 at age 80.
Today Fasolino Monuments, owned by one Owen McNamara, is known as the premier builder of mausoleums and monuments, serving all Queens cemeteries. Whether it’s just engraving lettering on a tombstone or building a mausoleum for a millionaire, Fasolino has done it all with care and pride for more than a century.