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: Buffalobill.org
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.