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Notice posted February 2019:

This site is no longer being updated. For news from the Jefferson County Historical Commission, please look for us on Facebook (@JeffcoCOHistoricalCommission) or at the Jefferson Co. website. We are also on Twitter, @JeffcoHistory.

Posts and pages here are being retained as a searchable historical record. The site was actively maintained on WordPress on behalf of the Jeffco Historical Commission from 2011 to 2018, and was available at from 2004-2010.

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2018 Jefferson County Historical Commission Historic Preservation Symposium – “Building Community: A Historical Perspective”

The Jefferson County Historical Commission (JCHC) held its 2018 Historic Preservation Symposium on May 19th at the Lakewood Heritage Center.  This year’s theme was “Building Communities: a Historical Perspective.”

John Steinle, a member of the JCHC, spoke about “How Volunteers Create Communities.”  His presentation included interesting facts about the roles that various local volunteer groups have played in preserving the rich history of our state.  One example is PLAN Jeffco.  PLAN Jeffco was created by a group of volunteers in 1972.  Working with the League of Women Voters, PLAN Jeffco put an initiative on the ballot to create a tax funded county open space program to buy and preserve natural and cultural areas of value.  The present-day result is seen in the Jefferson County Open Space parks that many of us enjoy including Apex, Elk Meadow, Matthews-Winter and Deer Creek Canyon parks.  A copy of John Steinle’s outline for his talk can be accessed here: Steinle Outline Volunteers Talk

Husband and wife team Bonnie and Richard Scudder, both JCHC members, spoke about “Saving the Historic Octagon & Barn at Shaffer’s Crossing: The Power of Community.”  This presentation focused on efforts to save an historic Octagonal building at Shaffer’s Crossing near Staunton State Park that has stood since 1900, and has had a myriad of uses, including a facility for barn dances, the Urmston School, a grange hall, community center, horse barn, sheep barn, and church.  The Octagon at Shaffer’s Crossing is currently owned by the Archdiocese of Denver.  The building was selected this year for inclusion on Colorado Preservation, Inc.’s Most Endangered Places List.  For more information about the ongoing efforts to save the Octagonal building click here: Saving the historic Octagon and barnfinalJeffco presentation; Looking ForwardHow Volunteers Create

Holly Boehm, Principal Planner, City of Lakewood spoke about “Growing Community Interest in Preservation through Cultural Resource Surveys.”

Finally, Caitlin Lewis, Museum Curator at the Lakewood Heritage Center spoke about “Looking Forward While Valuing the Past.”  Ms. Lewis discussed some of Lakewood’s history, the genesis of the Lakewood Heritage Center and ongoing community involvement in preserving Lakewood’s history.

The Lakewood Heritage Center is housed on several acres of open space land.  It boasts a collect of over 30,000 artifacts and is home to ten historic structures including the 1869 schoolhouse where the Symposium was held.  You can learn more about the Lakewood Heritage Center here:

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2018 JCHC Historic Preservation Symposium – May 19, 2018

Registration is now open for the 2018 JCHC Historic Preservation Symposium.  This year the theme is Building Community: A Historical Perspective.  Register early. Space is limited and last year we sold out! Here is the link to register!

jchc-symposium-flyer 2018-everbright

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Judges Wall Celebrated November 2nd


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by Bonnie Scudder, Chair, Jefferson County Historical Commission Judges Wall Project

The Jefferson County Historical Commission, 1st Judicial District, and the Colorado Supreme Court Law Library celebrated the completion of Phase III of the Judges Wall, which features biographies of 73 additional judges who served in the 1st Judicial District between 1858 and 1970. The display includes judges from the Gold Rush Era (1858-1861), the Colorado Territorial Era (1861-1876), and the Election Era (1876-1967). Photographs accompanied biographies for the majority of these judicial officers. This display joins the 46 judges featured in the Merit Selection Era on the opposite wall, which was presented in December 2017.

The Judges Wall covers 159 years of judicial history. In addition to the judges, the display features three large sketches of early Jefferson County court houses by artist Carol Perricone, wife of retired Chief Judge Gaspar Perricone, a sketch of our current court house by Doyle Harrison, graphics designer, and an historical sketch of Gold Rush Justice, donated by the Gardner Family. In addition, several maps which include counties in the 1st Judicial District during different eras help demonstrate the evolution of the current 1st Judicial District. One map is a reproduction of an historical 1862 map of the Territory of Colorado, the first to show the 17 original counties (including Jefferson and Gilpin. This map was donated by Wes Brown and the Denver Public Library Western History Department.

Approximately 50 individuals attended the celebration. Chief Judge Philip McNulty was the first to speak and gave the “Welcome,” recognizing current judges, retired judges including Justice Brian Boatright, spouses, widows, including Joyce Jamison, children, grandchildren, and a great-grandchild, and other members of the judicial community. Cynthia Shaw, Chair of the Jefferson County Historical Commission spoke next, recognizing members of the JCHC and Jefferson County administrators in attendance, and explaining how this project aligns with the JCHC mission. Dan Cordova, who oversees the Colorado Supreme Court Law Library and has served on the Judges Wall Committee since its inception, introduced his staff who assisted on the project, and the members of the Judges Wall Committee. Bonnie Scudder introduced other individuals who have made significant contributions to the project, including Deborah Darnell of the Mountain Genealogists Society, Crystal Samms of the Gilpin County Library, and David Forsythe of the Gilpin County History Museum. She also spoke about the final phase which will include county judges from 7 or more counties that are no longer in Judicial District #1.

Members of the Judges Wall Committee are: Bonnie Scudder, Chair (JCHC), Rick Gardner (JCHC), Margaret Chapman (JCHC), Ronda Frazier, archivist (JCHC), Doyle Harrison, graphics designer (JCHC), Dennis Dempsey, planner (JCHC), and Dan Cordova (Colorado Supreme Court Law Library).

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The Jefferson County Historical Commission 2017 Hall of Fame and Historic Preservation Awards

The Jefferson County Historical Commission Hall of Fame and Historic Preservation Awards event was held on October 12, 2017 at the Mount Vernon Canyon Club.  The event honored Hall of Fame recipients, Meyer Award winners, recent historic landmark designees and Writers Award winners.

Norm and Ethel Meyer Award

Since 2010, the Jefferson County Historical Commission has given the Norman and Ethel Meyer Award to individuals and organizations to recognize special contributions to the preservation of Jefferson County’s historical resources.

This year, JCHC is pleased to give the Award jointly to Denver Parks and Recreation and the Denver Mountain Parks Foundation (DMPF) for their collaborative work in restoring and improving the Denver Mountain Parks — some of which are located in the Jefferson County foothills.  The best known of these are Genesee Park, Lookout Mountain Park and Red Rocks Park.

The joint awardees formed a public/private partnership, working together to improve the Denver Mountain Parks and restore their historic structures.  DMPF, which is a non-profit foundation raises funds and provides public education to assist Denver in improving the parks; and Denver Parks and Recreation brings its budgeted funds and provides professional staff to plan, design and implement the improvements.

Together, they have crafted a plan to restore 13 historic structures, including well houses in Bergen Park, Little Park and Filius Park, shelters in Genesee Park and Corwina Park and the iconic chimney in O’Fallon Park.  To date, restoration work has been completed on the Chief Hosa Shelter, the Patrick House in Genesee Park and shelters in Newton Park. The team has also worked to create a new logo for the Denver Mountain Parks and is working on interpretive signs and maps for the parks.

As part of its fundraising efforts, DMPF has published both a video and a book called Denver Mountain Parks – 100 Years of the Magnificent Dream.  The book includes an extensive history of the parks and photography by John Fielder and W. Bart Berger.  Copies of this beautiful book can be purchased through DMPF’s website: Denver Mountain Parks Foundation

The Jefferson County Historical Commission applauds the work of Denver Parks and Recreation and DMPF and wishes them ongoing success in restoring and preserving the history within the Denver Mountain Parks.

Jeffco Landmark Designations

The Octagonal Barn (Evergreen)

The Octagonal Barn was built in 1927 by local builder Al Rugg for three brothers – George, Oscar and Ted Johnson.  The Johnson brothers used the barn as their blacksmith and repair shop, and as a cattle barn.  They kept a pet bear outside in a cage, and locals would stop by to feed it.  The barn is significant for its association with historic area landowners: the Bergen, Johnson and Buchanan families, as well as for its distinctive octagonal architecture.  It is one of the few remaining examples of octagonal architecture in Jefferson County.

Today, the barn is home to The Blue Angler, a business which provides education for anglers and guided fly fishing tours.  Bluequill Angler

National Register of Historic Places

The Romano Residence (Golden)

The residence of Samuel and Albine Romano was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in September of 2016.  The house is a one-story Arts and Crafts style bungalow.  The Romano home was originally built around 1924 by Camp George West commanding officer Leo Rundstein.  Made of fieldstone gathered from its vicinity, it was built in the local architectural movement now recognized as Golden Rustic. In 1927, it was purchased by Emery and Mary Barlock, immigrants from Budapest and Yugoslavia. Emery John Barlock ran the first cash store in Golden and began raising mink here. In 1929 it became the home of Italian immigrants Samuel and Albina Romano, who that year built their own Golden Market, which is still standing and well preserved.  They operated the store and the La Romana fox farm here for many years while raising their family.  They also had the Fox Trot Inn dance hall and a tenant trading post in the reassembled Boston Company building (itself unfortunately burned down, but its motel court very much still standing nearby).

You can read more about the Romano House on this Historic Jeffco website: Historic Jeffco – Romano House -national-register/

And view its National Register application, here: Romano House

Hall of Fame

Buffalo Bill Cody

William F. Cody was born in 1858.  Cody received his famous nick-name, Buffalo Bill, while he was scouting for the U.S. Army.  Cody became a well-known showman, appearing in his own show called the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show.  The show featured real cowboys, cowgirls, Lakota Indians and wildlife.  Buffalo Bill came to be a symbol of the American Frontier, both in American and Europe.  Buffalo Bill died in January of 1917 in Denver and is buried in a cement covered grave on Lookout Mountain.

More details about the life of Buffalo Bill Cody can be found on the website for the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave:

Robert Alvin (Bob) Briggs

Bob Briggs was honored for his many years of public service—both as an elected official and as a volunteer.  Mr. Briggs served as the Mayor of the City of Westminster, on the Colorado Legislature as a Representative for District 29, and as an Adams County Commissioner.  Among his other endeavors, Mr. Briggs also served as a Chair and board member for the Westminster Chamber of Commerce; a Board Member of the Regional Transportation District; Chair and Board Member of Westminster Open Space Board; and a member of the Butterfly Pavilion Board of Directors

You can read more about the award winners and read the Writer’s Award winning articles, in the 2017 edition of Historically Jeffco.

Photos by Leda S. Thaler, a member of the Jefferson County Historical Commission.


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2017 Hall of Fame October 12!

This event is free of charge, however space is limited. Please RSVP TODAY to: Dennis Dempsey, at 303-271-8734 or

Download detailed invitation.

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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

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Jefferson County Historical Preservation Symposium 2017 – Landscape Shapes History

This event is past. See Landscape Shapes History for a report on the 2017 symposium.

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 More on Jeffco’s website: Judge’s Wall Will Record Jefferson County Judicial History

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