Many times, wandering around the internet searching for resources to help me in my research, I come across a site that may be of interest to many of us researching our Trentino heritage. One such site is Rouse1906. This site is a resource that strives to document and share the heritage of the men and women who worked the Colorado coal fields in the early 1900’s. Although the majority of the site is dedicated to the coal fields at the Rouse coal camp, the stories and experiences of those miners are very comparable to the stories and experiences of our ancestors who worked the coal mines in other parts of Colorado. Due to the mobility of the workers, many names in the author’s database can be found in several different mines in Huerfano/Las Animas. The purpose of the website is to be a platform to collect information from descendants and make that information available to others.
The author’s great-grandfather emigrated from the Trentino village of Tenna, and travelled to Walsenburg, CO to work at the nearby coal mines. He worked, as did many of our grandparents and great-grandparents at coal mines operated by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. The author, through stories, documents, and photos, details the history of the CF&I, the coal camps, and the people who lived and worked at the mines. Many of the comments he makes are similar to the stories I heard of my grandparents’ experiences at the CF&I coal mines at Hastings (Las Animas County).
Rouse1906 represents a project to collect the common memories of thousands of immigrants who worked the southern Colorado fields in the early 1900’s. It is open to suggestions and contribution of everyone with a story to tell, a picture to share, a memory to preserve. Rouse1906 is well worth visiting and may trigger some of your memories or ideas for research.