A Sparkling Stream, Urban Renewal – Affordable Housing, Choir Practice, Golden Gallop, and Vigilantes

September 13, 2021

Golden Eye Candy – Chris Davell – Sunny Sunday on the Creek – click to enlarge

Virtual Events

6-6:55AM Virtual Dynamic Circuit
8:30-9:30AM Virtual Power Training
10:15AM Spanish Story Time with the Library (except for Labor Day)

Real World Events

5-9PM Golden Game Guild Meet-Up Mondays @ Golden Game Guild

6:30PM Historic Preservation Board Study Session@ City Hall
HPB will discuss the City of Telluride’s Design Guidelines and Standards

6:30PM GURA Board Meeting @ City Hall
GURA will discuss how their values, goals, and perspectives will inform their decisions on what changes to make in Golden’s urban renewal districts. I attended their retreat last month, and their primary goal seems to be building affordable housing. GURA’s Executive Director mentioned during the retreat that another housing project is in the planning stages for the Central Neighborhoods.

7-8PM Golden Concert Choir Rehearsals Begin @ Calvary Episcopal Church
The Golden Concert Choir is beginning a new season and is inviting new singers to join them. They practice on Monday evenings at Calvary Church. They are also offering the chance for people to participate from home. For more information please email the choir at: Goldenchoirs@gmail.com.

Golden Gallop

The Golden Gallop–the annual run/walk to support Golden’s schools–is scheduled for this coming Sunday, September 19th. They are in great need of volunteers. If you’re willing to help, please fill out this three-line form.

Golden History Moment

161 Years Ago
The September 13, 1860 Western Mountaineer (Golden’s pre-Civil War newspaper) included an interesting pair of articles. The first describes a “Vigilance Committee” operating in Denver. The second covers a “Citizens’ Trial” in Golden. Both provide some insight into frontier justice.

Denver in 1860 – Denver Public Library Western History Collection

The Denver story concerned a ring of horse thieves, rumored to include “several men of hitherto fair repute in the community, comprising in all more than fifty members, bound together by a perfect organization, and a complete system of secret signs, grips, and pass-words, and its stations extending to the Missouri river.” The article said that the ring had stolen more than a thousand head of horses, cattle, and mules.

The piece went on to comment that recent public trials had been “a mockery,” so it was understandable that citizens had decided to mete out justice. The article expressed no surprise that the committee was shrouded in secrecy, as any public action would have been met with swift revenge.

Thus far, the article said, at least two of the leaders had been killed by committee members and “this fact has caused a grand stamped of the desperadoes, and produced some alarm even among reputable and worthy citizens.”

The article concluded that, as journalists, the writers regretted the necessity for such actions, but if official forms of justice were not effective, unofficial ones were inevitable. You may be familiar with the term for a member of a Vigilance Committee: “vigilante.”

Golden in 1865 – Denver Public Library Western History Collection

The second article concerned two men who were arrested near Ralston Creek for stealing horses. They were brought to Golden and a trial was organized, with a judge, clerk, defense attorney, prosecuting attorney, and jury.

In this case, several witnesses testified that the two men had been seen loitering near two animals that had been purloined, and one of the prisoners had confessed to stealing them. The court ruled that the confession was “not entirely voluntary,” and so was not admissible as evidence. The jury voted ten for acquittal and two for conviction, so the prisoners were released.

Thus, Golden demonstrated that it was more civilized than Denver. This was an improvement over the Vanover case, a year earlier, which did not end as well for the defendant.

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