The Magical History Tour

Note: Summer’s over and the magazine’s at the printers, so we’re back to bring you more history. We’ll be talking about the Westall Monument and its rededication April 18, 2014, in an upcoming post.

The goal of the day was to attend the rededication of the Westall Monument, but when we (Mary and Sally) got in a car with Bud Weare to go there, we didn’t realize we were also setting off on a guided history tour that would take us on a 70-mile loop through Jefferson County’s fabled past. One thing led to another as we decided to check out just one more site. Then one more.

In the North Fork Historical District, with its abundance of historic settings, it’s easy to hop from one incredible historic focal point to another. JCHC has been actively involved with citizens from this area since 1999. In 2012, the Pine-Elk Creek Improvement Association (PECIA) received the Meyer Award for their historic preservation efforts in the area.


soplatte1021First stop after Westall was the old South Platte Hotel. We left Dome Rock behind, winding a dusty trail that followed the North Fork downstream to his meeting with the mother river, old South Platte herself. At the confluence, the “town” of South Platte once boomed along the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad. The settlement, made possible by a stop on the narrow gauge railroad, once included a post office, the eponymous hotel, and a telegraph office. Today, the hotel, a 1912 replacement for the original, is all that remains, but it has a remarkable story.

FoxtonPO1025Turning back on our trail, we headed back past Dome Rock and its newly rehabilitated monument to Billy Westall, and made our way upstream to Foxton, where we examined the endangered Foxton Post Office. This 1909 log building was officially declared endangered by Colorado Preservation Inc. in 2002, and looks about the same as it did then, albeit a little dustier and sadder for neglect.

bluejayinn 1034Passing Ferndale, Riverview, then a jog off the main stem took us to Buffalo Creek, home of the Blue Jay Inn. JCHC was lightly involved with the Blue Jay in 2008, so we wanted to see its current status. We’d also recently learned that Civilian Conservation Corps workers were housed in the Blue Jay during the Great Depression, giving that illustrious building another layer of historic repute. Read more about the historic Blue Jay Inn in Historically Jeffco:

Roeder, Milly 2006. Katherine Ramus and the Blue Jay Inn. Vol. 19:27, pp 23-28.

JCHC Historic Preservation Committee members helped redefine this National Register historic district, working with engaged community members from Pine Grove and Buffalo Creek and representatives of the National Park Service to resurvey its historic resources as part of our county-wide cultural resource survey from 1999 to 2002. That Survey Report is available here, as a 12mb pdf. From 2004 to 2007, JCHC also worked with the community to complete the Foxton-Pine Grove Project (4mb pdf) to identify opportunities to preserve the area’s cultural, historic and natural resources and open space.

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JCHC receives State Award for Preservation Leadership

At the State Honor Awards banquet May 14, the Historical Commission received one of the five awards given by Colorado Preservation Inc. this year. Accepting the award on JCHC’s behalf, Chair Mary Lindsey was featured in a short video presentation that described some of JCHC’s accomplishments in the last decade.


On the award website, CPI noted “The Commission’s long-term commitment to preserving Jefferson County’s history continues to have a positive affect on communities by increasing appreciation for historic sites and structures in the area, and raising public awareness of the value and richness of their unique character.”

This year, JCHC celebrates 40 years of active engagement in history and historic preservation concerns in Jefferson County.

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Celebrate History with John Fielder

Join us for this celebration of Historic Preservation Month!

TUESDAY MAY 13 at Boettcher Mansion
John Fielder presents
Jeffco’s Land Protection Heritage

May is Colorado Historic Preservation Archaeology month. For the past 10 years, the Jefferson County Historical Commission (JCHC) has partnered with local communities and historical societies to discuss and share important historic preservation topics. For 2014, JCHC would like to invite you to a very special photographic slide show presented by John Fielder at the Boettcher Mansion, Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve on Tuesday, May 13 at 7:00pm.

The Jefferson County Historical Commission and the Boettcher Mansion are excited to host John Fielder’s Denver Mountain Parks and Jeffco Open Space Photographs choreographed to beautiful music celebrating Jeffco’s land protection heritage!

The event is free to the public, desserts and beverages will be served. See the flyer for more information.

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Laura Miller donates papers to Jeffco Archives

In January, long-time county resident Laura Miller donated her collection to the Jefferson Co. Archives. Archivist Ronda Frazier was pleased to receive the well organized boxes of clippings and records from more than 50 years of county history. Laura Miller is a former state legislator and education advocate who helped organize the R-1 school district in 1950. She was named to the Jeffco Hall of Fame in 2009.

See the full YourHub article here   |   Photo

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Historically Jeffco magazine 2014

Last year’s magazine, which is now online, featured several articles on central Jeffco’s historic quarries. We covered only a fraction of the resources and hope to have more stories of our rich mineral extraction history online here in the coming months.

In 2014, the magazine will have a similar feature emphasis on historic floods, and most likely a bit on our epic floods of September 2013. We invite you to submit stories and photos to us via email (jeffcohistory AT gmail DOT com) if interested.

You may also wish to submit articles for our Writers’ Award. Cash prizes are given in the Youth, Adult Short (less than 1500 words) and Adult Long (1500 to 2500 words) categories and are due by May 1. Download contest application here.

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JCHC News in 2014

This website was established back in 2004 to provide access to historic and JCHC information found on the official Jeffco website and other locations. Please bear with us as we track down and fix bad links created by the county’s 2013 website changes. We’re working on it!

The Historical Commission’s new homepage at is available here.

Additional information on county history is available at Jeffco archives.

The Historical Commission has downsized (by attrition) to the County-established size of 11, and with a recent resignation, now has one vacancy. If interested, fill out and submit the application in our sidebar.

JCHC has decided not to present its annual historic preservation symposium in 2014, but will continue to work with other historical societies to support their efforts. Look for a new HP symposium in 2015. These events are hosted around the county in coordination with historical groups.

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2013 Hall of Fame Photo Gallery

This gallery contains 17 photos.

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