Joseph Rovagna was born in Genoa, Italy in 1871. Mr. Rovagna earned his engineer's degree at the University of Venice, Italy.
On his first trip to the United States he was put in charge of transporting the statue of Christopher Columbus across the ocean on an Italian battleship. He later supervised the placing of the statue on the site now occupied by the New York Coliseum. The statue was later moved to Columbus Circle in Manhattan.
Mr. Rovagna and his wife Clementine moved to Coram in 1908. They opened a general store in 1917. They operated the store for 30 years. Mr. Rovagna also served as the Coram postmaster for 15 years.