Fall, MTAB, and the Colorado Central

September 22, 2020

Golden Eye Candy – Autumnal Equinox – Click to enlarge

Today is the Autumnal Equinox. That means that we have equal amounts of day and night. Welcome to fall!

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

JCPHD updates these numbers Monday through Friday at about 3 PM. Here’s the most recent Coronavirus report from Jeffco Public Health’s Case Summary Page:

Cases in Jeffco – Fri: 5310 | Mon: 5454
Deaths in Jeffco –
Fri: 247 | Mon: 247
Ever Hospitalized in Jeffco –
Fri: 555 | Mon: 564 (currently 20)
Recovered –
Fri: 4755 | Mon: 4813
Known Cases in Golden –
Fri: 198 | Mon: 198

School of Mines COVID-19 case page. | Masks are required. | City and County fire restrictions are in place. | CLEAR CREEK IS NOW OPEN.

Virtual Golden

10:15-11:15AM Baby & Toddler Time with the Library
6PM Mobility & Transportation Advisory Board
MTAB will discuss traffic calming and which projects to prioritize.

Real World Golden

8-9AM Coffee Connections with the Golden Chamber
The Chamber will meet in person on the Visitors Center patio. “Let’s have coffee with… Dr. Jordanna Quinn, KORE Regenerative Medicine.” Note that they’re starting 30 minutes later than usual this month.

Live Music:
5:30PM Todd Scheaffer & Chris Thompson at Coda Brewing

Golden History Moment

Business booming in 1870 – photos from the Golden History Museum collection and advertisements from the Colorado Transcript – click to enlarge

Waiting for the Train – Part 2
Golden-ites were filled with anticipation of the first train of the Colorado Central, scheduled to arrive on September 23rd, 1870. Unfortunately, progress was delayed.  A massive rainstorm began on the 21st and continued into the 22nd, making work on the railroad line impossible.  The weather cleared on the 23rd and the first train arrived & was celebrated on the 26th.  (I’ll tell you about that on Saturday.)

The Colorado Central was already bringing changes to Golden.  A new commission house had opened near the depot, where goods could be stored, shipped, traded, or sold.  The Colorado Stage Company, which had been offering stagecoach service from Denver to the mountain towns, was moving from Denver to Golden.  It was assumed that travelers would now take the first part of the trip by train, then transfer to stagecoach in Golden.

In anticipation of growth to come, the Colorado Transcript had just finished its building on Washington Avenue, and a new hotel was built at 13th and Arapahoe.  The Doolittle livery company had built a new stone stable and had added “a splendid barouche” to their line of carriages and buggies.  In a nod to the times, the business was renamed “Colorado Central Livery Stable.”  Likewise, a new meat market was named “C. C. R. R. Meat Market” (Colorado Central Railroad).

The Transcript reminded ladies that in a few days, they would be able to take the train to Denver to shop.  At the same time, they advertised, “NO MORE GOING TO DENVER TO SAVE MONEY!” because Golden merchants would be able to import their merchandise so easily and economically, ensuring competitive prices.

Part of the reason the town’s founders were so anxious to have a railroad was the town’s declining population. The 1860 census, at the height of the gold rush, had found 1,014 residents in Golden. The 1870 census counted only 587. Without a significant economic boost (such as a railroad), Golden would be well on its way to oblivion. The railroad did the job; by 1880, we had a population of 2,730.

The railroad brought immediate benefits to Golden, but the primary reason for the railroad was to bring rail service to the mining towns (Blackhawk, Central City, Idaho Springs, and Georgetown).  As soon as the tracks reached Golden, construction continued westward into Clear Creek Canyon.

Many 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!