It was once the valley of opportunity for Italian immigrants seeking a new life in America. Wednesday, the village of Endicott continued to celebrate that tradition.  

A small part of that history lives on through the Little Italy Heritage Center.  

"It can't do anything but bring back memories to them. Everybody's not consistent, but there's some things here that people have to see," said Endicott Mayor John Bertoni.

In the center, you'll find everything from Endicott-Johnson memorabilia, to pieces like an old phone booth that sat in the popular Oaks Inn restaurant.    

"Anybody and everybody was in this phone booth at least 10 times. They put the point spreads on the Giants; I mean, it was all over," said Bertoni.

Through the years, Endicott's Little Italy Foundation looked to grow the center.  

Thanks to a $10,000 small community grant through Broome County, the group can put the finishing touches on a full kitchen in the basement.  

"We're here to do our own private dinners, community events we can run free of charge inside the building, and then cooking and demonstration, along with language and music," said Little Italy Board President Michael Romeo.

Little Italy President Michael Romeo says preserving history for the next generation will help them appreciate Endicott's deep roots.  

"There's a lot of kids that, growing up, you talk to a lot of kids within the school district now, they don't know what this community was, and where it came from and how it came to be, so we're here to be able to show it to adults, to the older people, to kids," said Romeo.

The foundation expects to begin offering cooking classes and events by 2020.