Annapolis Greek Heritage

Preserving the Legacy of Greek-Americans in the Annapolis Area

Bounelis: Nick and Efronsini

Bounelis Abramedis 1927

Nick was living in Asheville, North Carolina when Efrosini arrived in New York. He bought Efrosini’s engagement ring in Asheville. Nick sent for his brother Pete and their cousin Paul Karides.

When Efrosini lived in Athens, she was to work for a wealthy family, who didn’t end up needing her. She had no money and was crying in the park when a gentleman asked what was wrong. She told him her story and he said he knew of someone who needed a governess, and so she came to work for many affluent families before coming to America. Efrosini Diamondidis (Diamondidis means Diamond) left from Athens for New York in 1917.

Nicholas and Efrosini were married in New York on June 17, 1917.

Efrosini’s Uncle Demetrios Diamondidis, who was a merchant mariner, attended the wedding. He arranged the wedding in New York. There were three people from the ship that Efrosini sailed on, who attended the wedding.

Sent from Dimetrios Chrysostmos Diamondidis. Uncle Demetrios and Efrosini

“This coming Sunday June 17, 1917 at 1:00pm at the Church of Holy Trinity on 72nd St. I ask you to honor my niece, Efronsini Diamondidis and Nicholas Bounelis in marriage.”

They returned to Asheville and later moved to Morristown, Tennessee, where they lived for three years. Nick’s brother, Pete lived with them in Tennessee.

May 5, 1918 Catherine Nick Bounelis was born. Efrosini and Catherine stayed in the hospital for a month while Nick left for work prospects. There was a full time nurse with Efrosini at all times. While in the hospital, Efrosini would play her mandolin. When they left the hospital the nurse came with them, as she was to teach Efrosini English.

Catherine and Nick Catherine and Godfather Chris Sarris Catherine Catherine

The following year, May 19, 1919, the twins Giorgios (George) Nick and Domna Nick were born. Again Nick left Efrosini in the hospital while he looked for another place to live.

Pete followed Nick to Annapolis and later owned the Wardroom Restaurant on Main Street in Annapolis. He married Eftepie Kosmides. Pete and Eftepie (Tepie) Bounelis lived at the Capitol Hotel with Nick and Efrosini.

Nick wanted Efrosini’s relatives nearby so he sent for her brother Chrysostomos (Chris) and their sister Theresa. Theresa, then sixteen years old, stayed with Nick & Efrosini to help take care of the family. They arrived just before Eleni was born.

Chris, Theresa and Eva just before coming to New York in 1919

Nick bought the Capitol Hotel on 15 State Circle and Restaurant on 200 Main St. on 23, May 1918 for $11,500.00. This was all one building on two separate streets, the restaurant on Main Street and the Inn of State Circle.

The Bounelis family then moved to Annapolis, Maryland in 1919, as Nick had grown up by the sea and wanted to be near the water. Article from 1887

On August 15, 1920 Eleni (Helen) was born in the room on the far right, just above the restaurant. Paul Karides was Helen’s godfather.

Two years later on May 1, 1922, Leftedios (Charles) Nick was born. Efrosini was having a hard time delivering this baby who was supposed to be named Diamondi after Efrosini’s father, but Nick prayed and promised if the baby was delivered safely he would name the child, Leftedios, meaning “safely delivered”, which he did. The following year on August 25, 1923, Diamondi (Daniel) Nick was born.

Nick and Efrosini’s last child, Maria (Mary) was born July 30, 1933.

Efrosini holding Mary, George, Charlie behind hedge, Catherine, Frosso, Helen, George, Nick, Domna

Danny, Helen, Catherine and Domna Charlie and Danny

Nick bought the New York Café in Salisbury, Maryland. Chris (Efrosini’s brother) and Gus Diamondidis, (Efrosini’s cousin) ran the place, with Paul Karides. Sadly there was a fire that destroyed the restaurant. Nick also bought another restaurant in Pocomoke on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Nick’s brother Pete ran this restaurant. Nick would travel between the three restaurants, in Annapolis, Salisbury and Pocomoke.

Paul Karides and Nick Bounelis Gus and Chris Diamondidis

The piano that was in the Capitol’s living room was from the New York Café. Efrosini and Theresa enjoyed singing church hymns and “It’s a long way to Tipperary”. Theresa’s husband John loved dancing.

The Bounelis family had a very good life at the “Capitol”. Nick was known as “Diamond Nick” as he always wore a diamond tie tack. He also always wore a gold pocket watch. He gave Efrosini a diamond lavaliere necklace, diamond earrings and a diamond watch. Eventually their daughter Catherine received the necklace and Domna the watch.

Every Wednesday the family would go in a limousine, owned by the Maggio family, to Bay Ridge. There were beach houses to change into your bathing attire. If they did not go to Bay Ridge they would take the ferry over to Matapeak on Kent Island for a picnic. They would also go to Beverly Beach. This was at a time when Jewish people were not allowed in the private beaches. Catherine tried to go to Beverly Beach with her friend Jimmy Mandris, but was denied entry as they thought Mr. Mandris was Jewish, not Greek.

When they traveled to Baltimore or Washington D.C., they also took a limousine as there were so many children in their family. They would go to

the Greek church on the holy days.