Historical Books, Launch and Signing August 23

Historical Authors Hank Alderfer and Others Host Book Launch and Signing at Augustana Elk Run August 23

Evergreen, CO
CONTACT: Kristina Sherwood, 303-679-8777 X 1604

Some of life’s greatest pleasures can be found between the covers of a book, and Evergreen is rich in stories. Many here will say some of their favorite tales have been collected by columnist Hank Alderfer. Now, Alderfer’s columns have been used to create a new book called Yesteryear. You can hear portions of the book at a special reading and author signing Wednesday, August 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event will be at Augustana Elk Run, 31383 Frost Way in Evergreen. Music will be provided by John and Peter Neilson and wine, cheese, and chocolate will be served.

Alderfer’s vast knowledge of Evergreen’s residents helped him create intriguing stories about local ranchers, families, and Jefferson County life. He received the Evergreen 2010 Leader of the Year Award for demonstrating creative and innovative solutions to community issues in the mountain area. Other distinguished authors represented at the reading will include the following:

  • Upper Side of the Pie Crust by Margaret V. Bentley, presented by Elaine Hayden, Jefferson County Historical Society, Evergreen Mountain Area
  • Evergreen Colorado by Mary Ellen Crain, presented by Elaine Hayden, Jefferson County Historical Society, Evergreen Mountain Area
  • Jefferson County Colorado: A Unique and Eventful History and Lariat Loop by Carole Lomond
  • Secrets of Elk Creek, Shaffer’s Crossing, Staunton State Park and Beyond by Bonnie Scudder
  • Evergreen by John Steinle, former Director of Hiwan Homestead Museum
  • Evergreen Our Mountain Community by Barb and Eugene Sternberg, presented by their daughter, Jennie Boone
  • Things That Last When Gold Is Gone: Anne Evans Colorado’s Forgotten Cultural Pioneer by Barbara Sternberg, presented by her daughter, Jennie Boone
  • Portraits of Preservation by Mike Strunk, presented by Hank and Barbie Alderfer

“So many people love stories about our Evergreen community and want to know more,” says Augustana Elk Run Executive Director Rita Waxon. “The insights of the local authors at the reading shed light not only on the past, but on how we view the present.”

The event is free of charge and books will be available for sale and for autographs. For more information, please call Kristina at 303-679-8777 X1604.

About Augustana Elk Run and Augustana Care

Assisted living at Augustana Elk Run can mean more freedom, joy and time. Services are tailored to your loved one’s unique needs and preferences, so he or she can take advantage of new friendships, opportunities and possibilities.

Augustana Care provides housing, health care and community-based services to older generations and others in need—and helps those we serve live the lives that most inspire them. The principles that guide our work are as follows:

  • To value older generations’ talents and experience
  • To provide the care residents need, when and where they need it
  • To connect residents to the people and things that mean the most to them
  • To support residents and families with spiritual care that speaks to who they are

Learn more about Elk Run Assisted Living Community at elkrunassistedliving.com/

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Jefferson County Historical Preservation Symposium 2017 – Landscape Shapes History

The Jefferson County Historical Commission and Jefferson County Open Space teamed up to present the 2017 Historical Preservation Symposium.  Set in the historic Timbervale Barn at the Hiwan Heritage Park, in Evergreen Colorado, the Symposium focused on how landscape shapes history.

Speakers gave presentations on how landscape shaped the settlement of Jefferson County and how the settlers changed the landscape to take advantage of Colorado’s abundance of natural resources including rock, minerals, gold, water, soil and timber.


  • Bob Raynolds, Denver Museum of Nature and Science – Geology and Paleontology,
  • Don Finley, Prospector – Prospecting: Past and Present,
  • Andrea Keppers, Jefferson County Open Space – Ranching in JeffCo,
  • Cynthia Shaw, Jefferson County Historical Commission – Arts and Crafts Architecture

Panel discussion: Cynthia Shaw (Chair – Jefferson County Historical Commission and Director of the Boettcher Mansion), John Steinle former administrator of Hiwan Museum and local historian), Mary Ann Bonnell (Jefferson County Open Space, Visitor Services Manager), Bud Weare (retired historian), Elaine Hayden (Jefferson County Historical Society)

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2017 Historic Preservation Symposium

This year, the Jefferson County Historical Commission is teaming up with Jefferson County Open Space to present the Historic Preservation Symposium on “Landscape Shapes History.”  The Symposium will be held on May 13th at the Hiwan Museum in Evergreen.  Registration is now open through Eventbrite.  Space is limited–Register early to reserve a spot!  Link to registration page on Eventbrite


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Jefferson County’s Judge’s Wall Displays the History of the 1st Judicial District

Beginning in December 2016, walls in the Jefferson County Courthouse showcase the history of the 1st Judicial District, which includes Jefferson and Gilpin Counties. The project is part of a four-phase plan to display information about the judges of the 1st Judicial District. The presentation includes photos and biographical information about the judges, information about the Merit Selection system used since 1967 to appoint and retain judges, and illustrations of the current and past Jefferson County courthouses. Carol Perricone, wife of retired Judge Gaspar Perricone, illustrated the Hall of Justice, and Doyle Harrison illustrated the Courts and Administration Building. These drawings are featured in the Merit Selection Era section. The Election Era section will display Carol’s illustrations of two earlier courthouses.

Phases I and II were introduced at a reception Thursday, December 15, 2016, with current and retired judges, as well as representatives of the Colorado Supreme Court Library and the Bar Association, in attendance. Phases I and II reflect the current judges and retired/former judges who were appointed during the Merit Selection Era. These phases are complete and the results are displayed along two corridors on the first floor of the courthouse. Phases III and IV are in progress and will display information about judges who were elected and served from 1876 to 1969, and judicial officers who served during the ‘Territorial Era’ and ‘Frontier Era’ before 1876. The Judge’s Wall has been a combined effort of the Jefferson County Historical Commission (working committee members Bonnie Scudder, Margaret Chapman, Richard Gardner, Dennis Dempsey and Doyle Harrison), Caren Stanley-1st Judicial District Administrator, Dan Cordova-Colorado Supreme Court Law Librarian, and Ronda Frazier-Jefferson County Archivist. Commissioner Casey Tighe recommended the JCHC assist with this project.

JCHC members volunteer their time. Hundreds of hours were spent researching, writing bios, editing, verifying, tracking down photos, and planning the display. This was truly a team effort, and all of the committee members did a super job. Even a few friends and family members of committee members pitched in. The support, tremendous assistance, and guidance of Dan Cordova, along with Katharine Hales, of the Colorado Supreme Court Library, were much appreciated. Court Administrator Caren Stanley had wanted to see something like this for the district’s judicial officers for several years and was delighted to participate.
—Bonnie Scudder, manager of the project

Descendants and friends of former 1st Judicial District Judges are encouraged to contact the Jefferson County Historical Commission with information, pictures, and/or questions about the project. The Commission is particularly interested in receiving information about the judges who served before 1970 as we are gathering materials for Phase III and IV.  If you have information or questions, please contact Bonnie Scudder at bscudder AT evochs.com. More on Jeffco’s website: Judge’s Wall Will Record Jefferson County Judicial History

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Hank Alderfer’s Yesteryear

hankbookYesteryear: Tales from Colorado Front Range Mountain Communities
by Hank Alderfer, with Barbie Alderfer

Last night, November 30, 2016, marked the first appearance of Hank Alderfer’s long-awaited memoir of life in the Jeffco foothills in and around and beyond Evergreen. More than a hundred area residents, lifelong or newer friends and well-wishers, gathered at the Evergreen Lakehouse to see this book and pay tribute to its author. Most went home with at least one copy! Peter Eggers acted as emcee of the evening, riding herd on presenters who included friends and colleagues like John Ellis, Mimi Nelson, John Steinle, Linda Dahl, John Erlandson, and others.

Storytellers like Hank are not found along every trail. As Hannah Hayes wrote in the book’s Preface: “Retelling the past so vividly with such depth of dedication ensures Hank’s legacy.” More than 100 of Hank’s personal essays, most previously published in the Canyon Courier, are collected here, thanks to the cooperation of its editor, Doug Bell. With them are several newer pieces that help to round out the story.

In addition to his own lifetime of personal experience, Hank has collected decades of stories of the pioneer settlers from their descendants and chronicled them here. Today, the recollections he captured inform a regional history that would otherwise be lost. He has performed an invaluable service to future historians.

My feelings for Evergreen, its history and its land, grew from my mother, Arleta Anderson Alderfer, Tom Hayden, and his grandmother. My appreciation of oral history had its roots with those three people. They were down-home, always worked the land and enjoyed the simple ranching life. —Hank Alderfer, Yesteryear introduction

Hank Alderfer, right, with John Steinle

Hank Alderfer, right, with John Steinle

In 2007, Hank was named an honoree in the Jefferson Co. Hall of Fame. The Alderfer legacy remains especially significant to county residents via the preservation of the family ranch as the Alderfer-Three Sisters Open Space Park. In October 2016, JCHC named the Alderfer Ranch House and Barn as a county landmark, another highlight of historic preservation Hank and his family have made possible.

Our gratitude goes to Hank and Barbie, and all the others who made this book possible.

Getting to know Evergreen through a native’s eyes is a singular opportunity. This historical treasure will enrich life immeasurably for those of us who are lucky enough to be connected to this town. Hank’s strong, true and enduring mark is that of local historian. To learn from history is our responsibility. —Hannah Hayes, Yesteryear preface

I’ve already been enjoying the book… finding great tidbits in it. The stories in the book are rich and varied; this compilation is a terrific addition to Jeffco history and lore. I hope some of the great stories* shared last night were or will be captured somehow as well. —Sally L. White

*You can listen to some of John Ellis’s stories about Hank here, courtesy Evergreen Park and Recreation District.

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Anniversary of Arapahoe City

Based on information contributed by Golden historian Richard Gardner.

Dedication of the Arapahoe City monument, May 12, 1946. DPL X-6664 description of photo.

Dedication of the Arapahoe City monument, May 12, 1946. DPL X-6664 description of photo.

On this day in history, November 29, 1858, the Arapahoe City Town Company was organized. Although Arapahoe City existed for only a few years (1858-1863), it may have been the first town site in what later became Jefferson County. It was located about two miles east of Golden along Clear Creek. The Colorado Historical Society (and others) marked the site with a monument in 1946. The first building boom in Jefferson County was in the spring of 1859, when about 20 log buildings were constructed at Arapahoe City.

“Indians are thick here. We apprehend danger from them. They have sent us word by some of their chiefs to quit their country…

We have laid out a town by the name of Arapahoe City…”
—Thomas Golden

Settlers hunted game on the Table Mountains, including buffalo, elk, deer, and mountain sheep.

George Jackson and John Gregory settled at Arapahoe City. Jackson struck gold near Idaho Springs; Gregory found good prospects near Black Hawk. These finds sent the Colorado Gold Rush into full boom, leading to the settlement of this state.

“The rise and prosperity of Golden caused the decline and fall of Arapahoe. Many moved their log buildings to Golden.”
—Jerome Smiley, Colorado historian

Arapahoe City was the 4th gold rush town in Colorado, after Montana City, Auraria, and Denver (all pretty much in Denver’s realm now). It functioned as an important base camp for gold seekers heading to the hills. Prominent gold discoverers John H. Gregory (at today’s Black Hawk/Central City) and George A. Jackson (at today’s Idaho Springs) lived at Arapahoe City leading up to their famed gold strikes. Thomas L. Golden, whom Golden was later named after, was an officer of the town company. Although not part of the town itself the historic stone home of town surveyor George B. Allen, built in 1868, stands not far east of McIntyre on the south side. It’s made of stone he hauled out here from Council Bluffs, Iowa.

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Throwback Thursday: 1976 Centennial-Bicentennial

Who remembers this centennial-bicentennial logo for Jefferson County, designed by Linda Allen in 1976?


In fact, this auspicious national and state-wide celebration was a primary reason for the formation of the Jeffco Historical Commission in 1974. Several local historical societies asked the County Commissioners to appoint a coordinating committee to help plan the county’s celebration.

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