The Berasi brothers

The Berasi brothers belong to the large community of immigrants from Giudicarie living in Colorado and in particular in Rouse during the late nineteenth century.

Romano (1869) , Angelo (1870) and Benedetto (1875) were born in the rural village of Marazzone to Giuseppe and Cattarina Fina and travel to Colorado between 1898 and 1890, finding work in the mines around Walsenburg and Trinidad and becoming American citizens in 1902: Romano in Walsenburg , Benedetto in Trinidad and Angelo in Pueblo.

Romano contributes to the foundation of the “Società di Mutuo Soccorso Dante Alighieri” in Rouse in 1902, together with another 70 immigrants, mostly a mix of Tyroleans and Italians. The same year he marries in Walsenburg Clementina Frieri  (1877), sister of Giuseppe and Costante Frieri, also Bleggio miners employed at Rouse .

Also the other two brothers marry representatives of the same community: Benedetto marries Barbara Bellotti and Angelo returns to his native country in 1905 to marry Teresa Brunelli, the niece of Carlo Brunelli with whom Angelo, returned to Walsenburg in 1906, opens the Star Saloon.

Teresa follows her husband the following year, traveling with their first-born Lino and settling in Walsenburg where their family grows rapidly.

The 1910 census finds Angelo and his family in Walsenburg, Romano in Rigby (Las Animas) with his wife and Benedetto in Santa Clara (Rouse).

The violence associated with the strikes of 1913/1914 which culminated in the Ludlow Massacre and the consequent impact on all mining communities of Colorado, force Angelo to return with his family in Tyrol in 1914 few months before the war. Even with an American citizenship, Angelo has to serve in the Austro Hungarian army and during the conflict he is based in Val Marcia.

Romano too comes back just before the war, but he settles with his wife and only surviving kid Giuseppe in Milano and stays away from active duty.

The only one to remain in America during those years is Benedetto who, unable to continue working in Colorado, moves to Pennsylvania always working in the mines, this time for the Allegheny River Mining Company in Chickasaw, Pa where another community of Berasi settled earlier on.

In 1921, Angelo returns to Colorado through Boston, but failing to bring back the family decides to return permanently to the new Italy , convincing his brother Benedict to follow him and thus ending the adventure of the brothers Berasi in America.

A special thanks to Dan Calliari for info and pictures.


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