Alfano, Palumbo

The Alfano and Palumbo families are joined by both geography and marriage. Both families are from the Cosenza province of Calabria, Italy and, in the old country, it was said, that you should never marry more than a one-day donkey’s ride away to ensure the family stayed in touch.

Sam Palumbo (r) is holding a photograph of his parents Salvatore Palumbo and Divina Alfano. Salvatore arrived in Golden in 1911 at the age of 17 with his father Giuseppe to take on


any work they could find. By 1920, Sal’s father bought 158 acres of land on the 8 mile bench south of town.

In 1914, at the age of 18, Raphael Alfano arrived in Golden looking for work. Within the year, he sent for his parents and his sister, Divina. 1920 was an auspicious year for both families. Raphael wrote to Carmella Grenta in his home village of Zumpano to join him in Golden as his wife and Sal Palumbo married Raphael’s sister,


Divina. Lou Alfano (l), the fourth of nine children, holds a photo of his parents Carmella and Raphael.

The image behind Lou and Sam is taken by William Wenman circa 1916-1921 of the Columbia River Lumber Company mill site on the Columbia River at the south end of town. Positioned on the shoreline of the west bench, the camera is pointed east. This is a print from the original negative.