2016 Annual Hall of Fame Awards Celebration – October 20, 2016

Join the Jefferson County Historical Commission and members of the community as we honor and celebrate our 2016 award winners and new Landmark designations and unveil the latest edition of Historically Jeffco Magazine:

  • Hall of Fame Inductee: Joe Tempel
  • Norm and Ethel Meyer Award: The Colorado Railroad Museum
  • Writer’s Award: 3 adults and 2 youth winners
  • Jefferson County Landmark Designation awarded to: Arvada Jaycee Hall; Center for the Arts, Evergreen; Big Red Barn at Beaver Ranch; and The Alderfer Ranch House and Barn

October 20, 2016 from 6 to 9 pm. at the Mount Vernon Country Club

There is no charge for attendance, but space is limited!  Please RSVP by October 14.  For more information and to RSVP, contact Dennis Dempsey at 303-271-8734 or ddempsey@jeffco.us.

Please see our Hall of Fame page for more information about the award and a list of past awardees.

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Jeffco Archives Celebrates 25th Anniversary

“But history. . .is not really the story of what happened; it is necessarily the story of what is preserved in the record.” —George R. Stewart, The California Trail

More than 1600 bound ledger books are housed in the Jeffco Archives.

More than 1600 bound ledger books are housed in the Jeffco Archives.

Archives are critically important to historical researchers. Without them, and the dedicated people who make them available to the public, JCHC and others interested in history would be limited in their ability to capture and share the history of any local area. This year is a great time to express our appreciation for our own Jefferson County Archives, described in this article by our county archivist, Ronda Frazier.

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the Jefferson County Archives. Surprisingly, many people, citizens as well as county employees, are unaware that Jeffco has a repository for its historical records, but the Archives is here, open to the public, and going strong! As the current Archivist, I am very proud to be a responsible steward of Jefferson County’s history. I welcome the challenge of continuing and building on what was started 25 years ago.
—Ronda Frazier

Archivist Ronda Frazier

Archivist Ronda Frazier

Jefferson County Archives:
25 Years and Going Strong!

By Ronda Frazier, CA, County Archivist

On February 19, 1991, the Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution to establish the Jefferson County Archives. It would be the policy of the County to promote and encourage the use of its public records by all persons, and to provide for the adequate storage and preservation of its historical public records under the direction of the newly hired County Archivist. The archivist was directed to locate all county public records and to develop a comprehensive plan and program for their management and permanent preservation. At the time, records were being stored in the court house vault, in basements of various county buildings, over the garage of the Lakewood Library, in a cell block in the former jail, and in a warehouse on Violet Street, ironically sharing a building with the Affordable Cremation Society. In 2010, the archives reading room, office, and all of the historical collections were moved to their current location in the Laramie Building at 3500 Illinois Street in Golden.

A variety of records are housed in the county archives.

A variety of records are housed in the county archives.

Today, Jefferson County Archives holds approximately 700 boxes of records, 1,670 individual bound ledger books, 715 maps, and numerous photographs, scrapbooks, artifacts, and other types of media. It is the official repository for all of the county’s permanent records that possess historical or evidential value. The Archives collects and preserves these records and makes them available to individuals interested in the history and development of Jefferson County and its governing body. Additionally, the Archives can accept donations of historical items from citizens or groups outside of county government if the items fall within its collecting scope. The Archives selects and cares for unique, unpublished materials in order to make them available for use now and for generations to come. Every item in the Archives’ collections is listed on the website and is available for use by the public. There is also a small reference library in the reading room which contains published books related to Jefferson County and Colorado history, as well as all Jefferson County Historical Commission publications.

In addition to county records, Archives can accept appropriate records from citizens or groups.

In addition to county records, Archives can accept appropriate records from citizens or groups.

The Archivist answers about 450 requests for information per year, on average. Questions about property or building history account for 50% of those requests. Records in the Archives can help trace the ownership of a property from the present all the way back to the original land patent. Tax appraisal cards contain photos as early as 1949 of houses and businesses throughout the county, even those no longer standing. Other popular research topics include roads, county government history, railroads, and family history. Tax records are used by genealogists in order to locate property owned by their ancestors and to define the time period in which they lived in Jefferson County. Other frequently used historical records include aerial photographs, school census records, commission minutes, marriage records, livestock brand registers, and incorporation records, just to name a few.

For more information about the Jefferson County Archives, how to schedule an appointment to conduct research, and internship and volunteer opportunities, contact Ronda Frazier, County Archivist, at 303-271-8448 or archivist@jeffco.us. Please see our website at Jeffco Archives for a complete listing of records and collections available, or Archival Collections.

A version of this article is posted on the county website. Photos courtesy Archivist Ronda Frazier.

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History Matters

We all know the significance of history in our own lives, but we begin to wonder, sometimes, whether that concept is widely understood in our communities. Others share those concerns, and they have created a new cooperative effort, the History Relevance Campaign (HRC) to remind people why history matters to all of us. At a time when many organizations are struggling with reduced budgets and wavering public support, it’s more important than ever to honor our local history and make sure decision-makers are aware of our interest in preserving our stories and our historic places. History Colorado, our statewide voice for history, has already endorsed the HRC value statement.

We call on organizations to endorse, share, and use this statement on the value of history in contemporary life. With common agreement, commitment, and open conversation about why history is important, we believe the historical community can change the common perception that history is nice, but not essential.

Visit their website at HistoryRelevance.com for more information. Download their statement, The Value of History, here and help them spread the word!

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Transportation Symposium April 30th

Transportation, Preservation & the Evolution of Place
2016 Historic Preservation Symposium

Saturday, April 30, 2016, 9 AM – 3 PM
The Rising Church (Historic Arvada Methodist Church)
7500 W. 57th Ave. in Olde Town Arvada, Colorado

The Jefferson County Historical Commission (JCHC) has teamed up with the City of Arvada and the Arvada Historical Society for an exciting day of educational programs revolving around the theme, “Transportation, Preservation and the Evolution of Place.” The cost of the Symposium is $12 per person (includes lunch at Kline’s).

symposiumAfter lunch, a walking tour of the Downtown Arvada Historic District is planned. The tour will focus on Olde Town history, architectural character, and recent development projects including the proposed site for display of the historic .04 Trolley, listed on Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List (2015).

Download the Symposium information (pdf) or download the registration form.

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Hazel Humphrey’s Dedication to Jeffco History

As we just posted on Elmer Wyland, we thought it best to profile Hazel Humphrey at the same time. This is second in our series for Women’s History Month 2016.

Hazel Humphrey, left, presents Centennial Site plaque to [unidentified] and Elmer Wyland of Fort Westernaire, 1975, on behalf of the Historical Commission.

Hazel Humphrey, left, presents Centennial Site plaque to [unidentified] and Elmer Wyland of Fort Westernaire, 1975, on behalf of the Historical Commission.

Hazel Humphrey, raised in the foothills along Soda Creek where the Humphrey Museum now stands, came by her interest in history naturally. Hazel lived in the 100-yr-old log home in which she grew up for all but her first four years of life. Her parents were avid travelers, collecting wherever they went, and equally dedicated to saving treasures of the past.

Thus Hazel grew up in a personal museum, and bequeathed her home as a museum upon her death. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 as an outstanding example of the architecture of its day, at the end of the same year in which Hazel had helped found the Jefferson County Historical Commission. The property was also designated a Jeffco landmark in 2012.

humphreyRead more about the Humphrey Museum in the 2000 Historically Jeffco magazine. Please note, the Museum has experienced many changes in the last 15 years. Please visit the Humphrey Museum website for current information.

The story of the family and their legacy is also shared in the 2012 issue. For her dedication to Jeffco history, Hazel Lou Humphrey (1917-1995) was honored by the Jefferson County Hall of Fame in 1984.

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Fort Westernaire, Elmer Wyland’s Vision

Thirty years ago this month, the “Red Barn” at Fort Westernaire burned down. Westernaires Alumni posted the story on Instagram and sent us a link via Twitter. Our connection with these folks was triggered when we posted the following photo on Twitter back in January.

Hazel Humphrey, left, presents Centennial Site plaque to [unidentified] and Elmer Wyland of Fort Westernaire, 1975, on behalf of the Historical Commission.

Hazel Humphrey, left, presents Centennial Site plaque to [unidentified] and Elmer Wyland of Fort Westernaire, 1975, on behalf of the Historical Commission.

Elmer Wyland, founder of Westernaires and Hall of Fame honoree.

Elmer Wyland, founder of Westernaires and Hall of Fame honoree.

Elmer Wyland (1900-1983) built the Westernaires out of his enthusiasm for horses and horsemanship, and his desire to serve the young people of Jefferson County. The organization he founded and spent 35 years developing is still going strong today. Elmer Wyland was designated a Jefferson County Hall of Fame honoree in 1986.

In 2005, 5280 magazine profiled Wyland’s project and Glen Keller, Elmer Wyland’s successor as lead wrangler of the famed Westernaires.

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Jeffco Women in and of History

Before Women’s History Month, March 2016, gets entirely away from us, we thought it appropriate to honor the women who have made, or have documented, the county’s history for us and for posterity. Many of these women, more than two dozen, have been named as Jefferson County Hall of Fame Honorees over the years. More than a drop in the bucket, but not full equality by any means.

For Women’s History Month back in 2009, we decided to honor some of the women who have contributed to Jefferson County, particularly in the fields of Government, Education, and Community organizing. We created large posters that were displayed in the atrium at Jeffco Courts & Admin, which introduced visitors to dozens of women, past and present, who have advanced Jefferson County in these important areas. Please remember, as we do, that the women featured here are only a few of the many who could be mentioned in each of these areas of service.

Feel free to read or download these posters at the links below:

governmentFinding a Voice in Government:
Women in public service

educationPutting Women on the Map:
Women in education

communityKeepers of the Flame:
Women in community service

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