Historic Golden Institutions

Jefferson County (Est. 1861)

Jefferson County ColoradoGolden is the county seat for Jefferson County, which is the fourth-largest county in Colorado, with a population of approximately 558,000 and an area of 773 square miles.  The County is governed by three elected commissioners, and employs approximately 3,000 people.

The County Courthouse, at 100 Jefferson County Parkway, houses several functions, including Accounting, Assessor, Board of County Commissioners, Budget and Risk Management, Building Safety, Clerk and Recorder, County Attorney, County Manager, First Judicial District Courts,  Human Resources, Motor Vehicle, Planning and Zoning, Public Information Office, Public Trustee, Transportation and Engineering, and the County Treasurer.

The Sheriff’s Office Complex, at 200 Jefferson County Parkway, includes both the sheriff’s employees and the 1300 inmate county jail.

The District Attorney’s building, at 500 Jefferson County Parkway, is home to the First Judicial District, which includes both Jefferson and Gilpin Counties.

The Open Space Building, at 700 Jefferson County Parkway, includes Animal Control, Facilities and Construction Management, Jeffco Open Space, Jeffco Parks, and Mediation Services.

The Dakota Building, at 800 Jefferson County Parkway, includes the Coroner and the office that issues birth and death certificates.

The Human Services Building, at 900 Jefferson County Parkway, encompasses Aging and Adult Services, Disability Services, Family Children and Youth, Financial Assistance, Food Assistance, Health Benefits, Housing Assistance, Long Term Care. and Veterans Services.

The Laramie Building, at 3500 Illinois Street, includes the American Job Center, Child Support Services, Community Development, Elections,  Employment Services, and  Information Technology.

Colorado School of Mines (Est. 1870)

Colorado School of Mines Campus

Colorado School of Mines Campus

Colorado School of Mines (CSM) has an international reputation for excellence in both engineering education and the applied sciences with special expertise in the development and stewardship of the Earth’s resources. CSM graduates go on to a wide range of careers, including renewable energy, mining, petroleum, and environmental work. CSM is also very involved in renewable and sustainable energy development. It partners with the National Renewable Energy Lab (also located here in Golden) in several areas of energy research, including biomass, biofuels, and fuel cells.

CSM is an integral part of the Golden community: Many of its employees and most of its students live here. Local businesses enthusiastically support college activities, and Mines students provide hundreds of service hours to the community.

CSM is home to a world-class Geology Museum which is open to the public. The National Earthquake Information Center, which is operated by the U.S. Geological Survey, is also located on the CSM campus. The Earthquake Center offers tours by appointment.

Many Golden locals attend Mines athletic events. The schedule for upcoming events is available on their web site. The athletic department also hosts summer sports camps, popular with Golden school children.

The Colorado School of Mines was founded in 1870 by the Episcopal Bishop of Colorado. The school was turned over to Colorado Territory in 1874 and became a state institution when Colorado attained statehood in 1876. An excellent history of the school is available at the campus bookstore or the Golden Library: Rocky Mountains to the World: A History of the Colorado School of Mines. 303-273-3000.

Contributing Editors:
Dr. John U. Trefney, President Emeritus, Colorado School of Mines
David Powers, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Colorado School of Mines (Retired)
Dr. Wilton Eckley

Eckley, Wilton. Rocky Mountains to the World – A History of the Colorado School of Mines. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers, 2004.

Campus Artwork. Retrieved March 21, 2011 from Colorado School of Mines website:

Adolph Coors Brewing (Est. 1873)

Coors Brewery, Golden Colorado

Coors Brewery, Golden Colorado

Adolph Coors emigrated from Germany in the late 1860s. He had been trained as a brewer and followed that trade in his adopted country, working in a brewery in Illinois before moving to Colorado. In 1873, he opened his own brewery in Golden. An advertisement from the time described Coors as a dealer in “bottled beer, ale, porter, cider.”

The brewery grew until 1916, when Prohibition came to Colorado, and alcoholic beverages became illegal. At that point, Coors shifted production to malted milk and near beer. They also established a porcelain plant.

Prohibition was repealed in 1933 and Coors was ready. A line of delivery trucks emerged from the brewery a minute after midnight on the date that sales became legal.

By the mid-1950s, Coors was producing more than one million barrels of beer each year. By the 1970s production exceeded seven million. Annual production exceeded nineteen million barrels by the 1990s.

For many years, Coors was available only west of the Mississippi River, and this created a strong mystique to the brand. Tourists often returned to their homes in the east with trunks full of Coors beer. In 1981, the company began selling beer east of the Mississippi.

For the first century of its existence, Coors was a family-owned company, managed by Adolph Coors’ descendents. In 1975, the company became publicly traded, but the Coors family remains strongly involved in managing the business.

Over the past decade, Coors has combined forces with several other grand old breweries, to improve the marketing and distribution reach of all.

In 2002, Coors acquired Bass Brewers in the UK. In 2005, Coors merged with Canada’s Molson brewery, to form Molson Coors, which became the fifth largest brewing company in the world. In 2008, Molson Coors formed a joint venture with SABMiller plc. MillerCoors is the second largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales.

Built on a foundation of great beer brands and more than 288 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers, including Miller Lite, Coors Light, MGD 64, Coors Banquet, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller High Life, and Keystone Light.  The company also imports Peroni, Grolsch, Pilsner Urquell and Molson Canadian and offers innovative products such as Miller Chill and Sparks.  MillerCoors features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company.

MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel’s craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wis., and two microbreweries, the Leinenkugel’s 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver.  The Golden facility is the largest single-site brewery in the world!

For more information about the company, visit

Sources:  (04/02/2011)

A Woman’s Life in Golden, Eileen Wagonbach Allen, published by the Golden History Museums, Golden, Colorado, 1980, reissued in 2010.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Est. 1977)

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The goal is to speed the process of turning emerging technologies into market-ready solutions. Many of the energy-efficient technologies that we buy in hardware stores today were developed at NREL.

NREL was established here in Golden in 1977. It was known as the Solar Energy Research Institute at that time and focused on solar, biomass, and wind energy. It became a national laboratory under the Department of Energy in 1991, and its scope broadened to other energy technologies.

In addition to doing primary research and development at the lab, NREL partners with many universities and industry groups, including the Colorado School of Mines.

Sources: (04/22/2011)

Edited by: H. Dana Moran, NREL (Retired)