Many of our ancestors from Trentino emigrated to southeastern Colorado during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s to work in the coal mines. I have previously written about some of the mines and dangers these early emigrants experienced:
There is a resource to find names and other information about actual persons working and living in southern Colorado during the 1890’s to 1920’s. The city of Trinidad, Colorado, which was a major stopping point for our ancestors on the way to the coal mines, has placed city directories online for those years and more. These directories, which can be more than 200 pages for each year, are available for download in pdf format can be found at Trinidad City Directories. Of particular interest are those for the years 1899 – 1916, which were the years during which large numbers of emigrants from Trentino went to Colorado.
The directories list almost all persons living in the city of Trinidad during specific each year, and gives information as to their address and occupation. The directories are broken down into first, residents and businesses in the city of Trinidad, then listings at each of the nearby towns and mine camps (for example, Hastings, Ludlow, Primero, Segundo, Sopris, Starkville, etc). The directories for the earlier years lists laborers at the camps. This is followed by a listing of landowners and their holdings, and then a listing of businesses and their owners. Some of the information I found (depending on the directory year) includes:
Emigrants bearing names of Bacca, Casagrande, Dalsass, Fedrizzi, Fellin, Flaim, Franch, Melchior,Menapace, Moser, Yob, Zanolini, Zanon, and more. Not all emigrants are listed. Although I found my grandfather’s brother, sadly my grandparents are not listed.
Specific persons include: Peter (Pietro) Bacca from Flavon, who owned several businesses, including a wine dealership, and hundreds of acres of land. He emigrated to Colorado in 1884, first appeared in an 1895 Hastings directory, and operated a dry goods store there in 1918. Persons bearing the surnames of Dalvit, Franch, Pedron, Ruffini, and Tretter were laborers at various mines. During 1903, Abramo Menapace was a laborer at the Victor Fuel Company coal mine in Hastings. As were Emanuelle, Modesto, and Frank Yob. Frank Menapace was a saloonkeeper in Segundo, as was Arturo Menapace. Abramo Menapace also owned property in Ludlow, assessed at $1025, while Frank Yob owned 267 acres in Segundo assessed at $1105.
Reviewing all these directories can lead to new information about our ancestors who worked, lived, and died in those coal mines so long ago. It will take a while to go through all the pages of each directory, but the time spent will give us some insight to those times.