Today, Tomorrow, and Yesterday’s Trash

July 22, 2019

The Quilt Museum opens a new exhibit today: Evolutions 2019 Juried Challenge & Miniature Quilts by Tina M. Gravatt. This exhibit runs until October 19th, and they’ll have a free opening reception this Friday, July 26th, starting at 6PM.

11:15AM Let’s Dance at the Library
12:15PM Preschool Time at the Library
1PM Sew Days at Golden Quilt Company
6:15PM New Terrain Run Club
Night Life
6:30 Open Mic at the Dirty Dogs Roadhouse
7PM Open Mic at Columbine Cafe
9PM College Night at Woody’s Pizza

11:30-12:30 ED Talks: Pikes Peak Minerals: Beyond Amazonite & Smoky Quartz -Part 1 at the Mines Geology Museum
12-1PM Power Lunch Lecture – What’s Happening at NREL? From Institutional Memory to Institutional Planning. Registration is required. Call 303-384-6565 or e-mail
2:30PM Local Licensing Authority Meeting
3-6PM Under the M Farm Stand open
6-8:30PM The Shenanigans of First Ascents w/ La Sportiva’s Ben Rueck at the Mountaineering Center
6PM Mobility & Transportation Advisory Board Meeting

All Our Yesterdays
I’ve been researching the history of Parfet Park. I plan to write about it later in the week, in anticipation of Buffalo Bill Days and Movies and Music in the Park, which both take place in Parfet. Park. While researching the park, I was drawn off into an interesting tangent: trash.

Before the Kiwanis Club created Parfet Memorial Park, that piece of ground was the town dump. When the dump was dislodged from that location, the city was forced to find somewhere else to serve in that capacity. So I began researching how Golden has dealt with its leavings over the years.

For decades, the accepted practice was to take your refuse beyond the city limits and dump or burn it there. A June 18th, 1903 article in the Colorado Transcript chided residents for using streets and alleys as common dumping grounds for old shoes and clothes, decaying vegetable and animal matter. An October 8, 1903 article added that both sides of Washington Avenue on the north side of the creek were used as a dumping ground for old bottles, trash, and dead cats.

The dump seems to have moved around over the years, and the Transcript generally didn’t specify the location, since its readers at the time would have known where “the dumping ground” was. In addition to Parfet Park, various articles implied that the dump had been located on10th Street, on 11th Street, on 44th Street, “on the main Golden-Morrison road,” and near the water treatment plant.

Rats were a recurring problem. A 1921 article says that “people living near the city dump–especially those who keep chickens–are being plagued with rats. Some exceptionally large specimens have been trapped on 12th St.” A 1923 article reports that rats from the dump travel all over the city. In 1928, “the marshals” poisoned the rats, so citizens were advised to keep their pets away from the dump. In 1929, the city “made war” on the rats. They used poison, and “one man with a small rifle killed several dozen in the space of a few minutes on the creek bank at Eleventh Street.” One promising Golden High School student was praised for spending much of his spare time shooting rats at the city dump.

Even into the 1940s and 50s, disposing of trash by dumping it in the city streets and alleyways was standard practice. More fastidious people drove it out of the city and dumped it along country roads.

In 1948, the city instituted curbside garbage pickup. It was collected every day in the downtown section and twice weekly in residential neighborhoods (thrice weekly during the summer). The city paid a company $1200/year to provide this service. Garbage was strictly defined as food waste, because the collection was used to feed hogs.

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for putting the historic Transcripts online, and thanks to the Golden Transcript for documenting life in Golden since 1866!