Food, What’s Online, and Better Life through Electricity

March 30, 2020

Coronavirus Update

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

The State-Wide Stay-at-Home Order is in effect through April 11, 2020.

Jefferson County’s case count page says that as of 4:30PM yesterday, there were 245 “confirmed, probable, suspected, or under investigation” cases in Jefferson County. There have been 5 deaths and 43 are hospitalized. There are 21 known cases in Golden.

Many thanks to our March sponsors…what a long, strange month it has been. If you find this daily email valuable, please consider sponsoring us for the month of April. As NPR always says, “We can’t do this without you.”

If you’re impacted by the Coronavirus shutdown and in need to food, here are two excellent local resources:

Jeffco Public Schools are providing Grab & Go Meals for anyone 18 and younger. Stop by one of the pickup locations between 10:30AM and 1PM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They will bring 2 lunches and 2 breakfasts to your car for each child. The closest pickup location to Golden is Welchester Elementary (map). Learn more….

BGoldN: The Golden Backpack program, the City, and the Golden Civic Foundation are working with 10 local restaurants to provide food for Golden-ites who are in need and impacted by the current crisis. Go to the drive-through line at Bell Middle School (map). They’ll be handing out breakfasts from 9-10AM and lunches from 1-2PM. First come, first served!

You can contribute cash to the BGoldN program, so they can provide more meals. Click here to donate. They will also be accepting food donations at Bell during the drive through hours (9-10AM, 1-2PM).

Virtual Golden

Friday evening, both Holidaily Brewing and State-38 Distilling hosted fun and interesting “parties” on Facebook live. Karen with Holidaily shared a number of facts I didn’t know, such as the origins of the artwork on their cans. Sean at State-38 unveiled their top-secret recipes for some of their most-requested drinks. You can still watch them–just visit their Facebook pages.

The Golden History Museum has been posting videos every day. Check their YouTube channel to tour one of the cabins at the History Park, learn a Victorian craft, learn a new cooking skill, and more. The Museum’s curator, Mark Dodge is thinking about what artifacts he should collect from this episode in our history. How to tell the story of the 2020 Epidemic to future generations? If you have ideas, contact him at

The Golden Community Center is offering a variety of fitness classes via Zoom and Facebook Live.

5PM Today – Golden History with Barb Warden
Golden United has asked me to do a series of Golden history talks. I gave the first one (1859-1870) last week, but they had some technical difficulties and didn’t get the whole thing recorded. I’m doing a make-up lecture today at 5PM, so we can try again for a recording. Join us today at 5PM to learn about fortunes won, duels, lynchings, high aspirations, and low cunning in early Golden. The next one in the series will be tomorrow at noon. We’re using Zoom, so you’ll be able to watch it live and ask questions. If you haven’t used Zoom before click the link about 5 minutes early, so you’ll have time to install the little app that makes it all work.

6PM Telephone Town Hall with Congressman Perlmutter
Congressman Ed Perlmutter has scheduled a telephone town hall tonight to talk about the coronavirus. He will joined by local public health officials. Learn more about how to join the call.

Golden History Moment

On Saturday, I wrote about Golden’s first electric power company. The Golden Illuminating Company began supplying electric power in 1887. On Sunday, I added some interesting follow-up information about the company’s founder, M.H. Morrill. Today I’ll tell you about the next several decades, as electricity wormed its way deeper and deeper into our lives.

Advertisements from 1920s Colorado Transcripts – Click to enlarge.

1915 The Jefferson County Power and Light Company purchased the Golden Illuminating Company in 1915. This company moved their offices to Washington Avenue and had a small showroom of electrical appliances. In fact, a big part of their business plan seemed to involve selling appliances on the installment plan. For a time, the company would not sell them outright–they insisted on adding payments to the monthly electric bills. This company extended service beyond the Golden city limits, into Fairmount and Morrison. By 1926, they had grown from approximately 300 customers to 1242.

1926 Several regional power companies, including Jeffco Power & Light were consolidated to form Colorado Central Power Company. The new company covered Golden, Morrison, Englewood, Littleton, Fort Lupton, Plattevill, Johnstown, Milliken, Hudson, and Keenesburg. The new company’s main offices were in Golden, on Washington Avenue. The new company continued to push electrical appliances, but by this time they had competition from other stores, including Linder Hardware, just down the street. They began advertising that cooking with electricity was cheaper and cleaner than cooking with coal or wood (no soot).

1930 By the early 1930s, the company was serving 7500 consumers in 11 towns. They began servicing Pleasant View in 1930. They experienced some ripple effects from the 1929 stock market crash. Colorado Central Power Company was owned by a parent company–Empire Public Service, based in Delaware. That company was over-extended, and in 1930 they offered stock, promising to pay a dividend of 6-1/2%. A number of Golden people bought into that offer. By 1932, Empire was in receivership, and its investors lost their money. Nonetheless, Colorado Central Power continued on.

March 25, 1937 Colorado Transcript Ad

During the 1930s, they supplied power to several WPA (Roosevelt-era public works) projects, including CCC camps in Morrison and Mount Vernon Canyon, the new dam for Ralston Reservoir, and to Camp George West. As the Depression lingered, they stopped the relentless advertising of appliances and instead began a decades-long campaign to get people to use more electricity. They emphasized that the more electricity the public used, they cheaper they could provide it.

In the post-World War II era, they continued to encourage everyone to improve their lives by using as much electricity as possible. A 1959 advertisement showcased this house on 16th Street as being thoroughly modern, with plenty of electrical conveniences:

The concept of reducing energy consumption was a few decades away!

Downtown Golden shining brightly in the mid-1950s. Notice the Colorado Central Power Company’s neon sign mid-block, behind the PAINT sign. Click to enlarge.

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!