Tales from the Past.... An Oral History Project

The following oral history interviews have been placed on this website and are available for viewing by the general public. We thank these individuals and their families for their time and willingness to tell us their stories. All of these stories provide an insight into this wonderful community of immigrants. In order to view more information about each person, please click on their name and the link will take you to their individual page with information about themselves and their family. You can launch the video from their individual page or just click on the "Video" link after each section and it will take you directly to the video. We are utilizing Vimeo in order to bring you these interviews. Enjoy!!

Raymond Bachoc (b. 1930): Raymond was born in the house of Meharuberria in the French Basque village of Irissarry. He immigrated to California with his cousin Manech Bachoc to join his brothers Henri and Pello who were already here. He initially worked as a sheepherder but later was attracted to the dairy business. He has been a successful dairyman in the Chino area for many years and also very involved with the Chino Basque Club. He had 6 children (5 daughters and one son) and many grandchildren. He continues to live in Ontario on his main dairy. Video

Monique (Elgart) Berterretche (b. 1931): Monique was born in the town of Ispoure, France. She married her husband, Peyo in the Basque Country in 1953 and stayed there one and a half years. In 1956 they decided to come to the United States (Buffalo, Wyoming) and by the end of 1956 they moved to Chino. In 1970, the Berterretches bought the Centro Basco in Chino and to this day it is run by the family. They raised their 5 children in Chino and Monique continues to reside there in retirement.Video

Catherine (Irigoyen) Dourisboure (b. 1909): Catherine was born in the town of Gamarthe in France. She was interviewed at the age of 95 when she reminisced about her youth, going to New York to be with her sister at the age of 16 in 1926. The two sisters then went on to Santa Barbara to continue their work as domestics. She married Michel Dourisboure in 1931 and would raise 5 children in the Burbank area.Video

Martin and Lois (Warren) Echito (b. 1918): Martin (Marty) Echito was born in Chino, California in 1918. His parents, Alejandro and Petra (Errotaberea) Echito were from Eugui, Spain. He met his wife, Lois Warren (born 1919 in Kansas), in high school. They would have their own insurance agency and raised 3 sons. He was a first year member of the Chino Basque Club and a long time member of Rotary. This interview was conducted for their 65th wedding anniversary. Martin passed away in 2014 and Lois in 2012.Video

Errecalde sisters: (Jeanne Plaa b. 1925 and Noeline Mocho b. 1931): The Errecalde sisters are the daughters of Basque immigrants Jean Errecalde and Jeanne Urruty who settled in Norwalk, California Their parents farmed and had a dairy in the Norwalk area where they were raised. Jeanne married Michel Plaa and Noeline married Jean Mocho and together they ran the Mocho & Plaa dairy for many years in Norwalk and later in Mira Loma where they also raised their children. Video

Etchart sisters: (Noeline Magistro b. 1922 and Arlette McGurty b. 1926): The Etchart sisters are the daughters of Basque immigrants Mathieu Etchart and Dominica Itcaina who settled in Chino, California Their parents farmed for many years in Chino where the sisters were raised with their brother Ferdinand. Both sisters graduated from the University of Southern California which was uncommon for women at that time. Noeline married Charles Magistro and raised her family and still lives in Upland and Arlette married William McGurty and raised her family and still lives in Ontario. Video

Alejandro Echeverria (b. 1929): Alejandro was born in the house of Ansonea in Azpilcueta in the Bastan valley of Spain. He came to California in 1954 to his uncle Pablo Itcea in Walnut. He followed his brothers Carlos and Pablo and would later be joined by his brother Juanito. He returned to the Basque country in 1960 to marry Maria Pilar (Pilarcho) Mendiburu and they returned to California in 1961. Alejandro worked as a milker for many years and Pilarcho was a homemaker. They raised 3 daughters, Manuela, Begona and Candida and a son Carlos in Chino. Pilarcho passed away in 2010 and Alejandro still lives in their home in Chino. Video

Louie Etcheberria (b. 1923): Louie is the son of Basque immigrants Domingo Etcheberria and Bernadina Yrigoyen who settled in the El Toro area of Southern California. Louie farmed the hills of that area for many years with his father and his brother Johnny. He was married to Prudence Arbonies of San Juan Capistrano with whom he had three daughters, Anita, Carmen and Grace Ann. He continues to live in San Juan Capistrano with his second wife Barbara Hovely. He is active member of the Southern California Basque Club. Video

Joaquin Gamboa (b. 1928): Joaquin Gamboa was born in Sumbilla, Spain in 1928. He immigrated to Patterson, California in 1953 where his aunt lived. He later moved to Southern California and married Mary Ruiz of Los Angeles in 1962, who was the daughter of Spanish immigrants from the province of Santander. They would have 4 children: John, Michael, Julie and Daniel. Joaquin was engaged in the sheep business and had a love for life and family. Joaquin and Mary lived in Upland for many years. Joaquin passed way in 2010 and Mary in 2014. Video

Saint-Jean Gastelluberry (b. 1935): Saint-Jean (Xenjan in Basque) was born in Behasque, France. He served in the French army at age 20 for 29 months and fought in the Algerian war. He immigrated to America in 1959 and learned how to milk cows. He would eventually go into his own business (1964) having a dairy in Artesia and then later in Chino. He married Catherine Tristant in 1966 and together they raised 4 children. They have been very involved with the Chino Basque Club over the years and are enjoying retirement in Chino. Video

Catherine (Jaureguiberry) Gastelluberry (b. 1937): Catherine (Catalin in Basque) was born in Iholdy, France. She would go to Paris to work (along with her sister) when she was 19 years old. In 1960 she married her first husband Jean Baptiste Tristant and immigrated to Chino, California. Within 4 years they had two daughters with a son on the way. Unfortunately, her husband would pass away unexpectedly. In time she would go to work for Saint-Jean Gastelluberry and eventually marry him. They ran their own business in Chino for 40 years, raised 4 children and now live comfortably in Chino. Video

Martin Itcea (1921-2015): Martin was the son of Basque immigrants Pablo Itcea and Paulina Zualet who settled in the Walnut area of Southern California. Martin farmed the hills of that area for many years with his father and later brought his bride Mary Etcheberria to this homestead where they raised their two daughters Bernadine and Pauline. The Itceas were extremely active in the local Basque community and were seen working in the kitchen and barbecue at many functions. Video

Jean Mocho (b. 1923): Jean Mocho was born in the house of Reculusa in St. Michel, France. He immigrated to America in 1948 to work as a sheepherder but soon started working as a dairy milker. He married Noeline Errecalde in 1953, and in 1956 he went into the dairy business with his brother-in-law, Michel Plaa to run the Mocho Plaa Dairy for over 50 years. He would have one daughter and two grandchildren. He passed away in 2013 in Ontario. Video

Michel Plaa (b. 1929): Michel Plaa was born in Anhaux, France. He immigrated to Chino California in 1953; his brother Arnaud was already established with his own dairy there. He married Jeanne Errecalde in 1955 in Norwalk. He started his own dairy with his brother-in-law Jean Mocho in 1956, called Mocho Plaa Dairy which they would run for over 50 years. They have a daughter and a son, 3 grandchildren and 3 great-grand children. Michel and Jeanne are retired in Upland. Video

More interviews coming soon.....