Jefferson County, Colorado
Genealogy and History
A Part of the Genealogy Trails Group
Grip-sack Guide of Colorado, A Complete Encyclopedia of the State of
Colorado, Vol II 1885 -transcribed by J.S. and Arvada Historical
Society references, Wikipedia
Jefferson county, a small station on the "C.C." division of the Union
Pacific railway, is situated on the north side of Clear creek, seven
miles northwest from Denver, and eight miles east from Golden. The
town contains a scattered population of about 200, mostly engaged in
farming, gardening and horticulture. All the lands are easily
irrigated, and produce abundant crops. Clear Creek valley is famous
for its productiveness, and has it past years been very successful in
carrying off the prizes awarded by the State Agricultural fairs. Fare
from Denver, 40 cents.-Tour One.
Arvada in 1870
Description of a new town of Arvada was given in the Golden Transcript
and reprinted in the Rocky Mountain News on Dec 1, 1870.
"A new town has been laid out upon the farms of Mr. Wadsworth and Mr.
Reno, during the past week at Ralston station, which is about midway
between Golden and Denver. Nine blocks have been laid out with streets
66 feet wide between them. The new town site is situated on the high,
dry ridge between Clear and Ralston Creeks, and between the road from
Boyd's crossing north and Boulder road from Cort's crossing. Several
buildings are projected upon the new town site, which has already a
school house. A flouring mill, church, store, brick depot and two
dwelling houses are already secured, and with its facilities at
present for receiving coal from Boulder County, the vast grain groups
of Ralston and Clear Creeks in its neighborhoods, besides the junction
of the Pine Bluff road gives it a start such as few new towns have in
such a new country as Colorado. The name of the new town is to be
Ralston Creek in Named
In John Lowery Brown's diary for June 20, 22 and 23, 1850, the diary
records the finding of gold in the creek and the naming of the creek
for Lewis A. Ralston.
Farmers' High Line Canal 1859
In 1859 William Davidson and S.M. Breath of Boulder County, built a
ditch from Golden to the Arapahoe bar. Water started flowing from the
ditch on July 1, 1860. They sold their rights to George L. Strope and
Phillip McCanley in 1862. In 1864 McCanley's interest was purchased by
Walter S. Cheeseman. The ditch was lengthened and furnished water to
the farms of Niles Ahlstrom, Eli Allen, William J. Cheeseman, John
Clark, Harpin Davis, Elihu Evans, Bishop Machebeuf, Charles Rand,
William A. Rand and John A. Ward. In July 6, 1872, the canal was
incorporated as the Golden City and Arapahoe Ditch. Various changes of
ownership and incorporation thru the years - Arapahoe Ditch Company
(including the original company and Gallup and Eureka companies), The
Extension Ditch Company, The Arapahoe Canal Company, the Jefferson
Ditch Company, until finally in 1885 it assumed the name of the
Farmers' High Line Canal and Reservoir Company. The small ditch
(approx. two miles) started from Golden in 1859 developed into the
canal of over 38 miles that now ends just before it reaches the Platte
In 1864 Francis J. McQuiston, J.S. Kinnear and William B. Alford made
plans for a ditch to start "60 rods above where Bowles' saw mill
stands and terminating in the valley of Ralston Creek." The beginning
point was one mile west of Golden on Clear Creek, and it ended in
Ralston Creek. The water started flowing from the ditch on Apr 1,
1865. The original ditch served the Golden area, but on Oct 27, 1877,
the ditch was leased to G.H. Church for a period of 49 years. The
ditch was improved and extended and became known as the Church Ditch.
At present the ditch is 26 miles long and ends west of Standley Lake.
James M. DeFrance, Harpin Davis, J.P. Mersereau, George L. Allen and
Abrah Slater, were some of the early Arvada area pioneers who used the
water and helped administer the business affairs of the company.
1860 to 1870 saw the establishment of "early water" rights for many
Arvada pioneers. Farmers listed as having decreed water rights from
1860 to 1870 include: Lee, Baugh, Brown, Onellette, Sherick, Cort,
Graves, Hughes, Kershaw, Claus, Couch, Miles, Fisher, Slater, Sayer,
Saunderson, Wolff, Stewart, Juchem, Moody, Rhodes, Lane and others.
The first documented discovery of gold in the Rocky Mountain region
occurred on June 22, 1850, when Lewis Ralston, a Georgia prospector
headed for the California gold fields, dipped his sluice pan into a
small stream near its mouth at Clear Creek. Ralston found about 1/4
ounce (6g) of gold, then worth about five dollars. Ralston's
companions name the stream Ralston's Creek in his honor, but they all
left the next morning, drawn by the lure of California gold.
During the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1858, Ralston brought another
group of prospectors back to the site of his first discovery. The
placer gold in the area soon played out, but hard rock deposits of
gold were found in the mountains to the west. Some of the miners
abandoned their search for gold and returned to farm the rich bottom
land along Ralston Creek and Clear Creek. They found an eager market
for their crops among other gold seekers. The Territory of Colorado
was formed on February 28, 1861, and the farms in the valley expanded
to feed the growing population of the region.
In 1870, the Colorado Central Railroad laid tracks through the area on
its route from Golden to link up with the Kansas Pacific Railroad and
the Denver Pacific Railroad at Jersey Junction, 3 miles north of
Denver. On December 1, 1870, Benjamin F. Wadsworth and Louis A. Reno
platted the Ralson Point townsite along the railroad. To avoid
confusion with other communities along Ralston Creek, Ralston Point
was soon renamed Arvada in honor of Hiram Arvada Haskin,
brother-in-law of settler Mary Wadsworth. Her husband, Benjamin
Wadsworth, became the first postmaster in Arvada. Colorado was granted
statehood on August 1, 1876 and the Town of Arvada was formally
incorporated on August 14, 1904. A vibrant agricultural community,
Arvada claimed the title "Celery Capital of the World."
Arvada grew rapidly during the latter half of the 20th century as a
suburb of nearby Denver, the state capital. Arvada became a Statutory
City on October 31, 1951, and a Home Rule Municipality on July 23,
1963. By the end of the millennium, the population of Arvada exeeded
Arvada Downtown, also known
as Olde Town Arvada, is a historic district in Arvada,Colorado
bounded by Ralston Road, Teller Road, Grandview Avenue and Yukon
Street. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in
The city has a total area of 32.8 square miles, 32.7 sq mi of it is
land and 0.2 square miles of it is water.
Seat of Jefferson county, is often called the "Lowell" of Colorado, on
account of the number of manufactories located in and near the city,
and its abundant water power.
Golden was first settled in 1859, then, it was a lively place, owing
to gulch mining on Clear creek, both above and below the town, but
these "placers" having been worked out, the placed declined. In 1863
it took a step forward in the establishment of a pottery and paper
mill, the first within 800 miles; but since the completion of the
"Central," rapid progress has been made. The town now contains a
population of 3,000, three smelting works, two sampling works, one
pressed brick works, one iron foundry, one pottery, one paper mill,
stone and lime-rock quarries, lime kilns, etc. The shops of the
"Central" are located here, where most of there box, flat, coal and
common cars are manufactured. Five coal mines are being extensively
worked within a few miles of the city. Besides these, there are
several saw mills and manufactories of small wares. The School of
Mines for the state is located here, and has recently erected a fine,
large, brick building. The number of students in attendance is rapidly
increasing, while the facilities offered them for improvement and
advancement, in theory and in practice, are not equally by those of
any like institution in the country, including the Columbia school of
mines and the Boston plytechnic.
It is due west from Denver 14 miles by wagon, and 16 miles by
railroad, on Clear creek, or Vasquez fork, just below where it
debouches from the mountains, and close above the Table mountains,
which rise 1,000 feet above the town, in what must have been at one
time a great basin or lake, before the waters of the creek cut their
way through to the plain below. These mountains are nearly round, flat
on the top and covered with grass, from the summit of which, a
magnificent view can be had of the towns of Golden, Denver, Boulder,
and down the Platte river to the northeast, and out on the broad
plains to the east, as far as the eye can reach.
The court house at Golden is of a fine quality of brick, with cut
stone facings, standing on an eminence overlooking the city. There are
two banks, a number of business blocks, six church edifices, one large
public school, capable of accommodating 300 pupils, several hotels,
but none worth bragging about. There are two weekly newspapers,
the Golden Transcript,
published by Cap. Geo. West, a pioneer of 1859, and the Colorado
Globe. Water is conducted on both sides of the streets, and
the trees planted along the walks, add much to the beauty of the city.
There are several good quartz mine "prospects" near the city, and the
whole section is underlaid with coal of good quality, some of which is
Clear creek or Vasquez fork rises about 65 miles west, around Gray's
peak and Berthoud pass, emptying its waters into the Platte river four
miles below Denver. Fare from Denver, 80 cents. Tours One and Two.
Lakeside Municipal Building
The Town of Lakeside is a Statutory Town in Jefferson County,
on November 12, 1907. The town population was 8 at the 2010
United States Census, making Lakeside the least populous municipality
in the State of Colorado. Ironically, Lakeside is immediately west of
the City and County of Denver, the most populous municipality in the
state. The Denver Post Office zip code is 80212 serves Lakeside.
The town's namesake lake is Lake Rhoda, which covers 20% of its total
area. Lake Rhoda is a natural lake in the town of Lakeside, Colorado,
located between Interstate 70 and West 44th Avenue. Originally named
West Berkeley Lake, it was renamed Rhoda Krasner by her father, Ben
Krasner, who rescued Lakeside Amusement Park from bankruptcy during
the Great Depression.
A year after its incorporation on November 12, 1907, the Lakeside
Amusement Park, nicknamed "White City", opened on the eastern shores.
Originally name White city, it was opened in 1908 as a popular
amusement resort adjacent to Lake Rhoda. Eventually the name was
changed to Lakeside Amusement Park, but the local populace kept
referring to it by its original name for its glittering original
display of over 100,000 lights. Today it is one of the oldest
amusement parks in the United States, and the oldest in Colorado in
its original location. The park, comprising nearly half of the Town of
Lakeside that it was responsible for creating in 1907, features the
landmark Tower of Jewels.
Both town and park were founded by a syndicate led by prominent Denver
brewer Adolph Zang, who endeavored to build the resort just across the
county line from Denver, and incorporate to move beyond the reach of
Denver liquor laws. Also in town on the southern shore is Lakeside
Mall, built in 1956. The amusement park, shopping mall (the shopping
mall was razed approximately in 2010 and a Wal-Mart now sits on the
site), and lake occupy almost all the tiny municipality. Residences
are limited to a handful of houses in the southeast corner of the town
occupied by employees of the amusement park.
Lakeside is located at 39 degrees 47 feet 0 inches N 105 degrees 3
feet 25 inches W. According to the United States Census Bureau, the
town has a total area of 0.2 square miles, of which 0.2 square miles
of it is land and 0.1 square mile of it is water.
Jefferson county, on Bear Creek, at the eastern entrance of Bear
canon, the terminus of the Morrison branch of the "S.P." division of
the Union Pacific railway. Population, 400. At this place are quarries
of red stone, extensively worked, of the best quality in the state.
All the best stone used in Denver for building purposes comes from
this place. Near the town are valuable iron mines, and the erection of
steel works is contemplated. Morrison presents many attractions in
summer to the tourist. The Kendrick and Evergreen are the principal
hotels. Soda lake, and springs of soda, sulphur and iron, are near.
Trout are found in all the streams, and game in the vicinity. The
"Garden of the Angels," Bear canon and Turkey creek canon, are also
within easy reach, where the scenery is most grand and beautiful.
Picnic parties frequent this place in summer, in great numbers, from
Denver, and other towns in the valley. Distance from Denver, 16 miles.
Fare $1.05. To Mt. Vernon, north three miles; Golden, north six miles;
Brookvale, west 29 miles. Tour Five.
Mountain View, Town Hall and Municipal Court
The Town of Mountain View is a Home Rule Municipality located in
Jefferson County, Colorado. Mountain View is situated west of, and
adjacent to, the City and County of Denver. The United States Census
Bureau estimates that the town population was 529 on 2015Jul1. The
Denver Post Office zip code is 80212 serves Mountain View.
Mountain View was incorporated i n1904 on the land occupied by the
Berkeley Annex subdivision established established in 1888, which
itself was part of the Berkeley Farm founded by John Brisben Walker in
The town grew to approximately 500 residents living in 272 houses by
2008, with approximately 20 businesses in operation, but occupying a
total area of 0.1 square mile or of only 12 square blocks "sandwiched
between Wheat Ridge and Denver."
Jefferson county, is a small town, postoffice, hotel and store, at the
mouth of Mount Vernon canon, 15 miles west from Denver, three miles
south from Golden, and three miles north from Morrison. Several
quarries of lime-rock, lime kilns and coal mines are near the town,
which contains about 50 inhabitants. Rail communication from the north
and south, three miles, distant, several times daily. Tour One.
Jefferson County, is a small station on the "C.C." division, Union
Pacific railway, four miles north from Golden, and 20 miles northwest
from Denver; fare $1.00. It is situated on Ralston creek, the lands of
which are among the most productive in the state. Farming principally;
some stock-raising and coal mining in the vicinity. Irrigation is
extensively followed by in this section of country, and has been from
an early day Tour One.
Jefferson County, Platte canon, is a small side-track station, on the
"S.P." division, Union Pacific railway. The principal occupations of
the citizens is getting out wood, ties, posts and lumber.
Jefferson county, on Dry creek, and the Denver, Utah & Pacific
railroad, is 10 miles north from Denver. Population, 200, engaged in
farming and stock-raising.
Jefferson county, is situated in Platte canon, at the junction of the
North and South forks of the Platte river, on the "S.P." division of
the Union Pacific railway, 20 miles from Denver. It is a romantic
nook, abounding with game, within a short distance of the station.
From this point along up the South fork, an din fact below, along down
Platte canon, in 1880, and at times since some
railroad company had small gangs of men grading a roadbed, but just what company seems to be a
mystery. There are those who claim the work was done by the Chicago,
Burlington & Quincy, others, by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa
Fe, then again, by the Denver & Rio Grande. Quien
Sabe? Fare $2. Tour Five.