Golden’s Romano Home on National Register

romanoCross-posted, with permission, from Historic Golden Colorado on Facebook:

It is my honor and pleasure to announce the historic Romano family house has just been listed on the National Historic Register! Located at 16300 South Golden Road and familiarly known by its stone arch driveway entrance, the Romano home was originally built around 1924 by Camp George West commanding officer Leo Rundstein, made of fieldstone gathered from its vicinity, of the local architectural movement now recognized as the 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 still standing well preserved itself next door (and likely could make the National Register too if its owners so wanted). They operated the store and the La Romana fox farm here for many years while raising their family, as well as such operations as 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).

The Romano home, now proudly owned by Judge Sabino Romano, is one of the region’s best preserved historic landmarks, a time capsule of the 1920s inside and out, complete with original trellises, flooring, kitchen appliances, light fixtures, radiators, bathroom fixtures, furnace and more. It is the 2nd Italian-American landmark of Jefferson County to be recognized by the National Register (after the Cabrini Shrine) and the 2nd one in Pleasant View (after Camp George West). Congratulations to the Romanos for their worthy recognition!

The Samuel and Albina Romano House was listed on the National Register on September 26, 2016. It was designated as a Jefferson County Landmark in 2003.

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2016 Hall of Fame and Awards Event Report

Joe Tempel was honored Oct 20 for his many contributions to Jefferson County's cultural and historical preservation.

Joe Tempel was honored Oct 20 for his many contributions to Jefferson County’s cultural and historical preservation.

On October 20th, Joe Tempel joined the ranks of the Jeffco Historical Commission Hall of Fame at the 38th Annual Hall of Fame and Historic Preservation awards event. The award honors individuals significant to county history or the preservation of county history.

2016 Hall of Fame honoree Joe Tempel, with Dr. Martin Lockley, UC Denver emeritus professor and dinosaur track researcher.

2016 Hall of Fame honoree Joe Tempel, with Dr. Martin Lockley, UC Denver emeritus professor and dinosaur track researcher.

Among his many achievements, Joe Tempel was a founder of Friends of Dinosaur Ridge. He was nominated by Dr. Martin Lockley, leader of the effort to preserve the landmark and educate the public about the natural history of Dinosaur Ridge, a National Natural Landmark. Joe also was responsible for constructing the Dinosaur Ridge Visitor Center, the Discovery Center, and Triceratops Trail at the Fossil Trace Golf Course in Golden, along with interpretive signs. The improvements and professional guides at Dinosaur Ridge help educate 160,000 visitors annually.

For many years, Joe also served on the Board or as executive director of the Lariat Loop Heritage Alliance, where he was instrumental in the route’s designation as a National Scenic Byway in 2010. His fundraising efforts there supported the development of seven interpretive sites around the 40-mile historic route. The most recent, at the CDOT Woolly Mammoth parking lot, was dedicated in June 2016.

Norman and Ethel Meyer Historic Preservation Award

Donald Tallman, director of the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, accepted the Meyer Award.

Donald Tallman, director of the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden, accepted the Meyer Award.

The Colorado Railroad Museum was the recipient of this award, which honors efforts to preservation buildings and structures—and in this case, railroad cars— that reflect our heritage. The Railroad Museum opened in 1959 and currently displays more than 100 narrow and standard gauge steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars, and cabooses on its 15-acre site. Several of the locomotives are individually listed on the National Register, and the museum itself was designated a Jeffco historic landmark in 2011.

Jefferson County’s Historic Landmark Program

Alderfer family members with JCOS's Mary Ann Bonnell at the landmark presentation.

Alderfer family members with JCOS’s Mary Ann Bonnell at the landmark presentation.

At the event, the Alderfer Ranch House and Barn located in Evergreen, now owned by Jefferson County Open Space, became a designated county landmark. The Alderfer family accepted the Jefferson County Landmark plaque for the property, which was originally the 1873 James T. Hester Homestead. The buildings are a centerpiece of Jeffco’s Alderfer-Three Sisters Park.

Burdette Weare presented the Jefferson County Landmark plaque to Debra and Gary Wysocki, owners of the Big Red Barn in Conifer. This landmark along Highway 285 was originally part of the George Kennedy homestead, later known as Beaver Ranch, a gathering place for the area and a vacation destination in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Director Steve Sumner accepted landmark designation on behalf of the Center for the Arts, Evergreen.

Director Steve Sumner accepted landmark designation on behalf of the Center for the Arts, Evergreen.

The 1901 Arvada Jaycee Hall, earliest non-residential building in Arvada, and the early 1880s Soda Creek Schoolhouse (now the Center for the Arts, Evergreen) were also designated as landmarks in 2016. Read more on the Evergreen-area landmarks at

Learn more about the Jefferson County Historic Landmark Program on this website.

All photos courtesy Leda Thaler.

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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

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

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History of the Jeffco Archives

A variety of records are housed in the county archives.

A variety of records are housed in the county archives.

Our previous post on the anniversary of Jeffco’s Archives didn’t mention the key role JCHC played in the origins of the Jefferson County Archives. In a longer version of her anniversary archives article, which will appear in this fall’s Historically Jeffco magazine, archivist Ronda Frazier reviews this early history. Excerpts below:

As early as 1916, Jefferson County became aware of the importance of protecting and preserving its invaluable records after a fire broke out at the courthouse in Golden. At a special meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, funds were authorized to build a vault which would be sufficient in size to accommodate all the records of the county. The vault would be used by the Treasurer and the Assessor, and for overflow records from other offices. In 1979, a recommendation was made by County Clerk and Recorder Norm Allen to establish a County Archival Department which could be housed in the jail that would soon be abandoned. However it wasn’t until 1989 that an actual job description for an archivist was written and approved, with help from the Jefferson County Historical Commission.

In January 1991, the first County Archivist, Duncan McCollum, was hired. His office was in the Library Administration Building in Lakewood. With no budget or staff, he reported to County Librarian Bill Knott. … The County Archivist was directed to identify and locate all County public records; to develop a comprehensive plan and program for the management and permanent preservation of the County’s records (as mandated by the Colorado General Assembly); and to act as coordinator between the County and the Colorado State Archives to ensure that records retention requirements set by the State were met. …

In 1994, the Records Management Department was created. Offices and storage areas were moved to the new Administration and Courts Building, and staff positions were added. The department’s name was changed to Archives and Records Management in 1995 (the name was reversed to Records Management and Archives in 2009)… A County Records Manager position was added; Archives and Records Management became a section within the County’s IT Services Department in 2005. In 2010, the offices, archives reading room, and historical collections were moved to their current location in the Laramie Building at 3500 Illinois Street in Golden.

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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 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 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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