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Established as a gold-rush town, Golden City quickly became a leading economic and political center of the region, being a center of trade between the gold fields and the east, a crossroads and gateway of important roads leading to the mountains, and a center of area industry. By the end of 1860, Golden City had been popularly elected the seat of Jefferson County and was capital of the provisional Jefferson Territory. While the town lost much of its populace and leading citizenry during the American Civil War for several reasons (ranging from military to economic), Golden City became capital of the federally recognized Colorado Territory in 1862, continuing as such until 1867.

Golden was also home to an opera house and seven churches, including Colorado's third (Methodist) church, oldest Baptist church, likely oldest Christian (Disciples of Christ) church, and first Swedish immigrant (Lutheran) church. The town was home to sizable populations of German, Swedish, Italian and Chinese immigrants; five immigrants became mayors of Golden. After World War II Golden boomed, rapidly gaining population, size and economy. In 1959, the town nearly tripled in geographic size overnight when it annexed large properties to the south, including the new Magic Mountain theme park, one of the earliest entertainment attractions of its kind. A number of new subdivisions were built and public infrastructure was modernized, including new buildings for the senior high school, city hall, recreation center, library, museum and central fire and police stations. Also built were new downtown anchors, including department stores and grocery stores, several new church buildings, new county offices, and the Horizon Plan, which transformed the School of Mines.

The decline in the price of petroleum and near simultaneous failure of several downtown anchors placed the central business district into recession in the 1980s, and the downtown was revitalized again through various initiatives, including its second streetscaping project in 1992. In 1993 the old Golden High School building was converted into the American Mountaineering Center, making Golden a research and education hub for mountaineering. The Coors Brewery had become the largest single-site brewery in the world, its Porcelain subsidiary among the foremost of its kind, and Golden became home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Today Golden has a population of over 18,000 people and is home to more people and businesses of national and international influence than ever before, yet maintains a small-town historic identity. A Golden mailing address may also represent one of several communities in unincorporated Jefferson County to the north and west of Golden, communities undergoing continual residential development of former farm, ranch and mining land and which possess a considerable population.

Ref: DP663

Gallery: Colorado

The Indian Lady

Golden.

Elev, 5,675 ft (1,729.74 m)

 Jefferson County.

Colorado.

United States.


The Indian Lady

Golden lies just north of I-70 and west of Denver at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Situated between Lookout Mountain and the two Table Mountains, Golden lies within a sheltered valley fed by Clear Creek. Clear Creek flows through town from the northwest, out of its canyon shared by US 6, and exits the valley it carved between North Table Mountain and South Table Mountain and in which is located the Coors Brewery. Golden City became the "Lowell of the West", a regional center of trade and industry that boasted at certain points in time three flour mills, five smelters, the first railroad into the Colorado mountains, the Coors Brewery, brick works, the only paper mill west of Missouri, clay and coal mines, and more. During the 1870s it became home to three institutions of higher education, the Colorado University Schools of which the Colorado School of Mines remains today. Golden’s public art collection is renowned internationally and features some of the best bronze statues in Colorado. The 30+ bronze statues are located throughout the City.


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