Beginning in the 1870's
Italians came in great numbers to Colorado. The Roaring Fork Valley's Italian immigrants performed the hard, dirty work wanted by no one else. Most were coal miners who worked the mines at Sunlight, Spring Gulch and Marion. Although initially few in number, they were joined by others who heard of the mines' employment opportunities.
envisioned a better life for himself. He left his native Italy and wife in 1895 to immigrate to New York City. Although John found work there, friends told him of employment to be found in a coal camp named Sunlight in the state of Colorado. It was at Sunlight that John found a future for his family.
After 10 years toiling in the mines,
several trips back to Italy, and pleading, John Amicarella convinced his wife Mary to come to the United States. In 1905 she passed through Ellis Island with children Adeline, George, Lawrence and Tony in tow. The Amicarella family eventually grew to ten children. In time, their descendants set aside coal mining for less dangerous professions.
and many other Italian immigrants contributed greatly to the prosperity of this region, going on to become ranchers, bankers, business owners, builders, physicians and more.
An ideal culture is one
that makes a place for every human gift.Margaret Mead
In the 1890's, John Amicarella came to Sunlight, southwest of Glenwood Springs. His wife, Mary, followed in 1905. The couple raised their family at Sunlight.