Notable Citizens: Lito Gallegos

Lito Gallegos. Photo courtesy Tanya Fabian.

With lunch pail in hand and ready for his shift in the Columbine mine northeast of Lafayette, coal miner, inventor and Serene coal camp resident Lito Gallegos began the day by dropping his 7-year-old son from his first marriage, Gilbert, at the three-room Serene school. The two walked down the hill along John J. Roche Street, turned right on George T. Peart Street, then walked another half block north along Harry M. Jones Street to the school’s front door.

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Reprints: 1877 – Star coal mine a recent addition to Erie’s growing coal industry


The important coal mining town of Erie, Colorado is in the county of Weld, close to the eastern line of Boulder County. But the coal measures stand this way to the Marshall Bank and the mountains. It is estimated that the coal lands between Erie and Davidson Station on the C.C.R.R. are good for one hundred million tons of coal; and from Davidson to the mountains it is continuous coal measure.

In counting our magnificent resources, we are accustomed to lay too little stress on the wealth of coal in the county; nor is our natural wealth bounded by our county lines. Eastward the measure extends into Weld, it is not known how far: and southward to Golden.

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Reprints: 1913 – A brief History of the Northern Coal Field in Boulder and Weld Counties, Colorado

SINCE the inauguration of the present strike in the coal mines of Northern Colorado, now in progress three years?, we have heard and read, from time to time, the harangues of professional agitators (and others) portraying the tyranny of the rich coal barons who have waxed fat at the crib of corporate greed in the north, and so persistent has such bitter criticism and false representation been herald abroad, that seemingly, the general public has accepted the same to be more-or-less true. But, to nurse the belief that coal operators in the Northern Coal District have made money, is far from the true facts, as the following brief review of thirty years history of the lignite coal industry and the numerous business failures of those engaged therein, will show.

In 1880 lignite coal for local and winter markets was mined in Boulder County at Marshall, Langford and Louisville; and in Weld County at Erie and in its vicinity. The more prominent producing mines in the early eighties were the Welch Mines at Louisville; Fox and Patterson Mine at Marshall, and the Boulder Valley, Northrup and Mitchell Collieries at Erie.

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