Golden, Colorado is an historic city at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. It was founded during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in June of 1859 and was originally a mining camp named “Golden City” after Thomas L. Golden. Golden served as the provisional Jefferson Territory from 1860 to 1861 and was the official capital of the Colorado Territory from 1862 to 1867. It has a colorful history making it the historical gem of Colorado.
Center of trade
Golden was the center of trade between the gold fields with the East. It was the gateway to the mountains and became an important industrial center. Golden City boasted at one time or another three flour mills, five smelters, the first railroad into the mountains, the Coors Brewery, brick works, the only paper mill west of Missouri and clay and coal mines. During the 1870s, it became home to the Colorado University Schools. Today, the Colorado School of Mines, once part of the University Schools, still exists. Golden was also home to Colorado’s third (Methodist) church, oldest Baptist church, likely oldest Christian (Disciples of Christ) church, and first Swedish immigrant (Lutheran) church.
As the 19th century became the 20th, several industries faded away, but others remained, including the brewing, brick making, clay mining and porcelain industries. In the 1920s a revitalization project brought the first streetscape and ornamental lighting project and urban renewal on its north and east, anchored by new senior high and grade schools. Golden successfully managed to endure the Silver Crash of 1893 and the Great Depression. The School of Mines helped by gaining a worldwide academic reputation. The Coors brewery continued to flourish and helped keep the city afloat.
After World War II Golden boomed
By 1959 the town had grown and included the Magic Mountain theme park, which was one of the first attractions like it in the US. The 80’s and 90’s brought another revitalization project and today the city still has Coors, the Colorado School of Mines and others like the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the National Earthquake Information Center, the American Mountaineering Center, and the Colorado Railroad Museum. If you like Jolly Ranchers, they were invented in Golden and one famous permanent resident, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, is buried on Lookout Mountain.
So come on out and soak in the history!