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FOUNDED IN 1859

Founded in 1859, Golden is an idyllic former gold rush town nestled between North and South Table Mountains and the spectacular foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Originally named “Golden City” it became the capital of the federally recognized Colorado Territory in 1862. The Territorial legislature met here until 1867 in a handful of different buildings, most notably the Loveland Block at the corner of Washington and 12th Streets. When Colorado became a state in 1876, locals were outraged when Denver snagged the title of state capitol, but the loss of name distinction did nothing to slow Golden’s growth.

THE LAST “FLAT PLACE”

At the city’s center lies Clear Creek, once known as Cannonball Creek for its cannonball sized river rocks used in the Armory Building. Golden City became known as the last “flat place” before the Rockies, and it soon became a supply center for miners headed to find gold in the western mountains.

Several factors influenced the town’s growth: miners’ supply needs, agriculture and industries. With Golden as a former gold rush town, industries popped up to support the incoming miners and their families. Coors Brewery set up shop in 1873 also contributing to the population growth. Golden’s agriculture flourishes in the rich soil of Clear Creek Valley and has been the center of Golden’s commerce since the City was founded. The rich clay deposits found at Fossil Trace Golf Club are another factor for the city’s growing popularity.

A CENTER OF
INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT

While industry was booming, the city was also becoming an important center of intellectual development as the home to the Colorado School of Mines established in 1870. Other historical sites include the gravesite of William F. “Buffalo Bill” CodyFoothills Art CenterBoettcher MansionCalvary Church, 9th, 12th and East Street Historic districts, and the Colorado Railroad Museum.

TRADITION

Golden maintains its authenticity through long-standing traditions like Buffalo Bill Days and Olde Golden Christmas. Its small town feel can be experienced during the summer street festivals, farmers’ market and meandering down Washington Avenue any time of year.

SOURCES

Golden Old and new, Cathleen Norman, c 1996

Golden, Colorado “A Look at Golden’s 156 Year History” for Visit Golden.com by Joy Meadows, Katie Converse.

http://www.cityofgolden.net/live/golden-history/,
City of Golden, Jan. 25, 2016

GOLDEN HISTORY WALKING TOUR

Now, you can discover Golden's history on the Golden History Walking Tour.  Put together by the Golden History Museum, the free, downloadable tour directs you to 16 historic spots in Golden as it winds  one-and-a-half miles past beautiful homes, stone buildings, gardens, a re-created historic farm and school yard, and - most popular with kids - a historic chicken coop filled with heritage chickens you can feed for a quarter. 

To access the free tour, go to: https://www.goldenhistory.org/learn-do/walkingtour/ Get a printout there of the various stops, or navigate using your smartphone and the customized Google map available at the link. Additionally, there are also print outs available at the Golden Visitors Center.