Our Ancestors at the Colorado Mines

During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, emigrants from Trentino found work in the coal mines surrounding the Las Animas County town of Trinidad (Hastings, Ludlow, Primero, Starkville, Segundo), located 15 miles from the Colorado – New Mexico border.

These mines and those of other areas of Colorado (Silverton, Walsenburg, Leadville, Central City) attracted our ancestors, who worked long days for low pay. The dangers of mining is evident by the hundreds of graves around the mining towns.  The slideshow below contains early examples of how some of the Colorado mines looked (courtesy of the Denver Public Library, Western History Division).  Perhaps your ancestor lived or worked at one of the mines or camps.

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The mines at Hastings, Colorado were well known, with many emigrants from Trentino settling and working there.  The Victor Coal Company (later the Victor American Fuel Company) built residential housing for the miners (quite bleak), company-run stores, and other facilities.  There was also a telegraph office, a few saloons, and a barber.  The miners were often paid in “scrip”, and had to buy supplies, medical care, and other necessities from company-owned facilities.

The mine was abandoned in the 1920’s, and by the 1950’s most traces of the mine and town had disappeared.

 Related posts: Colorado coal mine dangers

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One Response to Our Ancestors at the Colorado Mines

  1. Pingback: Colorado city directories | trentinoheritage

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