Physical description: Seated: Margaret (Palombi), Ambrogo Bonacquista. Back row: Frank, Joe. Standing between parents: George, Yolanda "Landa". Back of original photo notes: Margaret (Palombi) & Ambrogio Bonacquista, Frank; Joe George; Yolanda "Landa". Ambrogio fought for miners at Ludlow Massacre.
This photograph is a digital scan of an original photograph lent for copying during the Italians of Colorado project. The original photograph is not owned by History Colorado. The digital scan was donated with permissions (see permissions in Registrar's file) and accessioned into the History Colorado collection.
In 2002, the Colorado Historical Society (now known as History Colorado) founded the Colorado Italian American Preservation Association (CIAPA). A volunteer organization, CIAPA’s mission is to work collaboratively with the Society and other organizations to develop, support and coordinate projects that preserve, promote and celebrate Italian American culture and heritage. Since 2002, CIAPA has carried out its mission by meeting with people from the Colorado Italian American community, recording their stories and creating an archive of research materials that includes oral histories, photographs, moving images, sound recordings and artifacts. To date, CIAPA has helped the Society acquire over 200 oral histories, 600 artifacts and nearly 6,000 photographs. Since 2002, CIAPA has developed over 4,000 research files, all of which document the history, culture and traditions of Italian American families in Colorado.
See MSS.02595 Richard Bonaquista file for additional information and images.
From the book Italy in Colorado by Alisa DiGiacomo:
Ambrogio and Margaret (Polumbi) Bonacquisti
Ambrogio Bonacquisti came to the United States to work in the Pennsylvania coal fields in the late 1800s. Around 1905, he returned to Italy where he married Margaret Polumbi in 1907. In 1913, Ambrogio heard that miners were needed at the Rockefeller-owned Delagua mines, seventeen miles northwest of Trinidad. He returned to the U.S. and made his way to Colorado. World War I delayed the arrival of his wife and two sons for seven years.
After Ambrogio began working in Delagua, the miners went on strike. He was at Ludlow on April 20, 1914—the day of the massacre. “I was there,” he later told his family, “and I did what I had to do.” His descendants still own the Winchester lever-action rifle he used that day.
After the strike, Ambrogio returned to the Delagua mines. In 1920, his wife and sons Joe and Frank joined him in Colorado. The couple had two more children, Yolanda and George. When the Delagua mines closed, Ambrogio went to work at the mines in Valdez, where he stayed until retirement. Margaret died in 1937 of pneumonia. Ambrogio died in Trinidad from black lung disease in 1962.