4th of July Events and a Century of Chevrolet

July 4, 2020

Patriotic attire for the bicyclist statue – Photo by Bud Rockhill – Click to enlarge

Public Health References
CDC * Colorado * Jefferson County * City of Golden

Jeffco Public Health will not update the stats until July 6th. This is where we stood as of Thursday, July 2nd: Cases in Jeffco: 2766 | Deaths in Jeffco: 212 | Ever Hospitalized in Jeffco: 425 | Recovered: 2367 | Known Cases in Golden: 114.

The Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors protocol is in effect. City and County fire restrictions are in place. The City is requiring masks on public property unless you’re six feet apart and the Creek is fenced off. See the City’s website for more details….

Virtual Golden

The Lions Club will be broadcasting 4th of July content all day on their Facebook page, so visit them there. They have left several swag bags at local restaurants, and you can get one if you get there first! Drop by the following (early): Barrels and Bottles Brewery, Barrels & Bottles Brewery at Camp George West, El Dorado, Ace Hi Tavern, Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza, D’Deli, Bob’s Atomic Burgers.

Their online contests will include most patriotic pet, best at home face painting, best photo of a past July fireworks show, and best picture of you with your favorite beverage in Golden.

What’s Open:

8AM-1PM Farmers Market
8AM-1PM 11th Annual Very Fine Wheels Car Show at the VFW
9AM Yoga in Parfet Park with PranaTonic
9AM Walk with a Geologist at Dinosaur Ridge
10AM-2PM Homestead Open House at the Golden History Park

Live Music
1PM Austin Young Band at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse
4PM The Recyclers at Over Yonder Brewing
4PM Boomers at Wrigley’s
5PM Ryan Chrys and the Roughcuts at Dirty Dogs Roadhouse
6PM Tyler T & Sasha at Ace Hi Tavern
7PM Austin Williams & The Storytellers at Buffalo Rose

Most Golden restaurants will be open today, and many have lovely outdoor seating as well as take-out service. Several restaurants are offering special dishes in conjunction with the Lions Club celebration:

El Dorado – Golden Lions Plate
Ace Hi – The Lions Tail (a drink)
Barrels and Bottles – Golden Lions Lager
D’Deli – Golden Lions Club Sandwich
Bob’s Atomic Burger – Star Spangled Burger
Woody’s – ROAR pizza.

Many of the museums are open today. Check their websites for particulars about their crowd control and mask requirements. Some are set up to allow reservations for specific times.

9AM-5PM Colorado Railroad Museum
9AM-5PM Dinosaur Ridge
9AM-5PM Buffalo Bill Museum
11AM-2PM Golden History Museum

Foothills Art Center and the Quilt Museum are closed today. The Mines Museum is still closed for a major renovation.

City Parks and Trails are open, though you must wear a mask (unless you can guarantee 6′ distance from other people at all times).

Full Moon by Tom Schweich – Click to enlarge

There will be a FULL MOON tonight. It will rise at 8:27PM, reach the fullest point at 12:12AM, and set at 5:54AM tomorrow morning.

What’s Closed:

There will be no celebration in Lions Park this year, and there will be no fireworks display tonight.

The Creek will be closed all weekend.

The trails to North Table Mountain and South Table Mountain will be closed beginning at 5PM.

The roads and trails to Mount Zion/Lookout Mountain will be closed from 4-10:30PM.

Golden History Moment

Craig-Frederick Chevrolet, 13th and Ford Streets, 1950 – Click to enlarge

I found this ad in a magazine from 1950 and wondered when the Craig-Frederick Chevrolet dealership had started and when it ceased to exist. Here’s what I learned.

Advertisement from the Colorado Transcript, September 1, 1921Click to enlarge

In the early days of automobile sales, dealerships didn’t seem to come with territories, and several businesses in Golden sold Chevrolets. One of the first Chevrolet dealers in Golden was the Williams Transportation Company. This was run by “Cement Bill” Williams, who built the Lariat Loop road. If the building (shown in the middle of the ad) seems familiar, it may be because it’s still around, and now serves as Woody’s Pizza.

Advertisement from the February 26, 1925 Colorado Transcript

Fromhart, the former blacksmith, became the Golden Chevy dealer in 1923. He was located at 13th and Ford.

Ashton Chevrolet Co. at 12th and Washington – Golden History Museum Collection – Click to enlarge

Fromhart retired in about 1930, and Ralph Ashton took over the Golden dealership. At first, he rented the Everett building at 12th and Washington (currently home to Goozell Yogurt).

Ashton Chevrolet at 13th and Ford – Click to enlarge

In 1936, Ashton Chevrolet moved into the old Fromhart property at 13th and Ford Street. This location offered better access for their service department, and allowed room to add gas pumps.

Fred Craig and Steve Frederick bought the dealership in 1938. and at that point it became the Craig-Frederick Chevrolet Company. (That’s the picture that we started with, at the top of this article.) Craig left to start his own dealership in Lakewood in 1955, so thereafter it was “Steve Frederick Chevrolet.” In 1960, the showroom moved across the street, to 1221 Ford Street, though they kept their service department on the west side of Ford Street. In 1962, Steve Frederick withdrew from Golden to concentrate on his dealership in Boulder.

That’s when Chuck Stevinson became the Golden Chevy dealer. He remained at 13th and Ford until he moved to his current location at Indiana and Colfax (map) in 1973. The Stevinson family now has dealerships in Lakewood, Aurora, Littleton, and Longmont.

Many thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and many thanks to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!

Railroad and History Museums Open, July 4th Preview, & Where we Got the Armory

July 3, 2020

Golden Eye Candy: the Hummingbird on South Golden Road – Click to enlarge

Public Health References
CDC * Colorado * Jefferson County * City of Golden

Coronavirus report from Jeffco Public Health’s Case Summary Page, as of 3PM Thursday:

Cases in Jeffco
Wednesday: 2750 | Thursday: 2766
Deaths in Jeffco
Wednesday: 211 | Thursday: 212
Ever Hospitalized in Jeffco
Wednesday: 425 | Thursday: 425 (currently 17)
Wednesday: 2352 | Thursday: 2367
Known Cases in Golden
Wednesday: 114 | Thursday: 114

The Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors protocol is in effect. City and County fire restrictions are in place. The City is requiring masks on public property unless you’re six feet apart and the Creek is fenced off. See the City’s website for more details….

Virtual Golden

6:30-7:25AM Virtual HIIT
9-10AM Virtual Power Training

Real Life Golden

10AM-3PM Train Rides at the Railroad Museum
1PM Friday Tour at the Railroad Museum: Museum Highlights
4PMWild West Walking History Tour
6PM Live Music at Wrigley: Look Both Ways

The Golden History Museum has re-opened! The museum is open from 11AM-2PM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You can call 303-278-3557 to reserve a time for a visit or take your chances with walk-up availability.

If you’re a museum member, you can reserve a time during the members-only hour: 10-11AM. The entrance is now on the Clear Creek side of the building.

July 4th Preview

8AM-1PM Farmers Market will be open

9AM Yoga in Parfet Park with PranaTonic

Parks and Trails are open, though you must wear a mask (unless you can guarantee 6′ distance from other people at all times).

The Creek will be closed all weekend.

There will be no celebration in Lions Park this year. The Lions Club will be broadcasting 4th of July content all day on their Facebook page, so visit them there.

No fireworks tomorrow night…but there will be a full moon!

Golden History Moment

Glacial Floods and the Armory Building
By Guest Historian Donna Anderson

Armory Building – Photo by Donna Anderson – Click to enlarge

Completed in 1913, the Armory Building (1301 Arapahoe St. – map) was designed by James Gow for the Colorado National Guard. Gow originally planned to use brick to construct the building. Seeking to cut costs, he instead used 3300 wagonloads of cobbles. Sounds simple enough, but Golden was famous for its brick manufacturing, and a brickyard was literally blocks away. Gow was looking for something that was free with minimal labor cost to transport it. He ended up using cobbles and boulders from Clear Creek. But, exactly where in Clear Creek did he get the nice rounded rocks? There’s a hidden backstory here.

From 1904 to 1908, two gold dredges operated along Clear Creek from near the MacIntyre Street bridge to what is now the interchange of Hwy 58 and I-70. Although an unsightly mess, dredging produced neatly sorted cobble and boulder piles, left behind as placer gold was recovered. Gow used this essentially free resource, in a way performing a public service to deplete the unsightly piles. Given his thrifty nature, one wonders if Gow also used some free manpower assistance from Colorado National Guard engineering unit, Company A, made up of Mines engineering students, who were required to be in ROTC and who occupied the Armory building for decades after it was built.

For comparison, the July 1, 2020 discharge was 368 cfs..
Graph by Donna Anderson – Click to enlarge

But where did the cobbles ultimately come from? The more than 12,000-year-old Broadway and Louviers alluvium units, deposited along the bed of Clear Creek, consist of glacial outwash (cobbles and boulders). During the last Ice Ages, glacial meltwater floods originating in the Clear Creek drainage west of Idaho Springs brought down all this sediment to and through Golden. The magnitude of flood that would pick up and carry such large cobbles and boulders for miles out of the mountains is gigantic. A well-known Quaternary geologist, Dr. Vic Baker, estimated that the discharge of a glacial flood needed to pick up and deposit the boulders in the Louviers Alluvium would be about 50,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Given that the biggest recorded flood on Clear Creek in the 20th century peaked at nearly 6000 cfs and the huge 1896 flood was an estimated 8600 cfs, that is an almost unimaginable amount of water coming down Clear Creek.

Next time you are enjoying a coffee outside at Café 13, remember that the walls of the Armory Building stand as testimony to glacial floods. Oh yes, Golden rocked during those gigantic glacial paleofloods, thousands of years ago.

Baker, V., 1974, cited in Lindsey, USGS Professional Paper 1705
National Register of Historic Places
Clear Creek stream gage data: waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/inventory/?site_no=06719500 and waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/inventory/?site_no=06719505

Guest Columnist Donna Anderson is retired from the oil and gas industry and is an Affiliate Faculty in Geology at Mines. She and Paul Haseman are writing a book called “Golden Rocks!” about the geology and mining history of Golden, to be completed by year end.

NSF Grant, Coronavirus Updates, Pub Trivia, and the Golden Opera House

July 2, 2020

Golden Eye Candy – Summer on Clear Creek – Click to enlarge

Help Mines

Can you spare 10 minutes this morning to help the School of Mines get a grant from the National Science Foundation? Please visit the NSF Virtual Expo–which will take no more than 10 minutes–and fill out a form at the end. You must do this between 8 and 11:30AM Mountain Time. Please click here to learn more.

Public Health References
CDC * Colorado * Jefferson County * City of Golden

Coronavirus report from Jeffco Public Health’s Case Summary Page, as of 3PM Wednesday:

Cases in Jeffco
Tuesday: 2702 | Wednesday: 2750
Deaths in Jeffco
Tuesday: 210 | Wednesday: 211
Ever Hospitalized in Jeffco
Tuesday: 424 | Wednesday: 425 (currently 16)
Tuesday: 2339 | Wednesday: 2352
Known Cases in Golden
Tuesday: 112 | Wednesday: 114

The Safer at Home and in the Vast, Great Outdoors protocol is in effect. City and County fire restrictions are in place.

Here are the changes within the City Limits. All people are required to wear a mask on City property (including parks and trails) UNLESS they can stay 6 feet away from other people. Streets and sidewalks are not public property, so you are merely requested to wear a mask on streets and sidewalks. Nobody is allowed to access the Creek, so no wading swimming, tubing, kayaking, fishing, sticking your toe in the water, or letting your dog go in. The City is fencing off the Creek.

Council is working with several variables, including the Governor and the head of the County Health Department. They are crafting an emergency ordinance to be considered next week, which will either simplify or complicate things–but in any case will likely bring some changes. In the meantime, those are the current Creek and mask rules. See the City’s website for more details….

Virtual Golden

Last night’s Planning Commission Study Session should be posted on the agendas page sometime today. The topic was how GURA might be able to fund or negotiate low-income housing in the West Colfax corridor.

9AM Public Art Commission Meeting
9-10AM Virtual Low Impact Workout
10:15-11:15AM Preschool Time with the Library
6PM Qs and Brews – Pub Trivia with the Library
6PM Clubhouse Live with the American Alpine Club

Golden History Moment

Left to Right – Golden Opera House (1879), Harrison Block (1867), Everett Block (1873) – Photo circa 1880 – Golden History Collection – Click to enlarge

The Ace Hi Tavern building was originally the Golden Opera House. Does it seem strange to think that a small, western town like Golden would have needed an Opera House? Were we really such opera devotees? Not really.

Various Colorado Transcript advertisements for Opera House productions – Click to enlarge

Opera Houses were very popular in the half century or so after the Civil War. Big cities had them as well as small towns, but in big cities they probably had multiple entertainment buildings that specialized for theater, symphonies, and operas. In smaller towns, one structure hosted all entertainment needs. According to Ann Satterthwaite’s Local Glories: Opera Houses on Main Street – Where Art and Community Meet, Colorado built 132 opera houses in 68 towns and cities between 1860 and 1920. Golden’s was built in 1879. The first floor had stores (sometimes restaurants) and the performance area was on the second floor.

This photo of the stage curtain in the Opera House appeared in the February 13, 1947 Colorado Transcript. The photo was more than 50 years old in 1947.. Click to enlarge.

Many troupes of entertainers traveled the country and scheduled stopovers in opera houses as they went. Over the years, the Golden Opera House hosted plays, comedians, orchestras, singers, vaudeville shows, dances, church services, political meetings, dance classes, and graduations (both Golden High School and the School of Mines). Minstrel shows were very popular, and we hosted many, many productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The Golden Opera House hosted Blind Boone, Henrietta Vinton Davis, and William Jennings Bryan.

Public tastes and needs changed as technology developed. When the Golden Gem theater opened in 1908, motion pictures suddenly became the most interesting thing to watch. When the Gem moved into the big, modern building at 13th and Washington, it offered a newer, nicer auditorium than the aged Opera House. Then radio came along. Then television. The Opera House was used less and less over the years, though the Fire Department still used it for dances in the 1930s.

Photo courtesy of the Ace Hi’s Facebook page

I don’t know the interim uses of the building, but the Ace Hi Tavern was operating by 1955. The Stillman family bought it in 1961, and it is now owned by the third generation of that family.