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Dr. Gallo’s Visit

July 7, 2014

A visitor from Italy will arrive in four weeks, and you may be interested in meeting him—Dr. Francesco Gallo, who has written (and continues to write) the history of “The Lago-Salida Connection,” available at the library or on our website.

Consider these names: Scanga, Posteraro (or Post), De Luca, Runco, Barone, Muto, Linza, De Grazia, Cicarelli, Cupelli, Veltri, Coscarella, Calvano. These are just some I recognize among the list of 160 immigrants from Lago, Italy, who had moved to Salida by 1920. More followed.

Many of these families still appear in local phonebooks. Dr. Gallo has been in touch with many Salidans over the past decade collecting family stories and information. The current version of his book, “The Lago-Salida Connection: Pioneers from Lago to Salida,” is 170 pages full of names and histories and photographs of both Salida and Lago.

This will be Dr. Gallo’s first visit to Salida. It will be brief, so we’ve arranged to use the Salida Community Center the evening of Monday, August 4th , for a get-together and slide show. Details will follow shortly, and I’ll probably ask for an RSVP so we can arrange for refreshments.

We quickly sold out of the printed books Dr. Gallo sent us. Since it’s an evolving work, he’s kept us up to date with electronic versions to post on the library’s archive website. You can go to , click on the tab “Local History Archives” and then “Archival Collection.”

Or you can click other links along the way, such as “Digital Gallery,” which has much of the library’s photo collection. They are organized by “collection” identifying the donor.

The first in the list is the “Salida Centennial” photo archive, organized as “Book 1” and “Book 2.” Which might not make sense unless you remember the way these were displayed years ago—in two red photo albums in the Reference Room. They were collected as part of the celebration of Salida’s centennial in 1980.

Other collections include the “Bob Rush Collection.” These photos will be familiar to anyone who paused in Bob’s law office downtown. They used to cover the walls. We were very happy to receive them into the library’s archive.

You might check the “Jean Hanfelt Collection.” Jean worked for the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project and these were part of the historical documentation of the Fry-Ark area.

The “Nancy Williams Collection” has an interesting picture of a young Riverside Park, which I’ve looked at thinking we may see it this way again.

The “Virgil Jackson Collection” contains images made from glass negatives found in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. They include fine photos of railroad life.

There are other collections, too, containing old images of place you’ll recognize. You might also look at the Oral History Project. Some of the interviews recorded during a brief burst of recording activity years ago have been transcribed.

The newest collection is “Chaffee County Assessor’s Cards,” which contains scans of old assessor cards that were saved decades ago from the trash. It’s an incomplete collection of Salida properties, but for those included, it contains interesting information for property owners, such as old photos or house details that may have been changed.

Perhaps we don’t want to dwell on the past—or do we?—but it can be instructive to review how we got to where we are.

We’ll have more about Dr. Gallo’s visit on the evening of Monday, August 4^th , but you can note the date now, if this part of Salida history interests you.


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