Autumn Fest 2023
Autumn Fest is a free celebration of Golden featuring hands-on activities for the whole family, including crafts, big trucks, and even farm animals. Join us to welcome the fall season at Golden History Museum (923 10th St.), proudly sponsored by:
Free and Low-Cost Family Activities
- make-your-own thaumatrope station and lawn games (hoop toss, ladder ball, and cornhole)
- 4-H petting zoo
- craft stations
- BIG TRUCKS (Streets, Fire, and Police Departments)
- costumed Civil War interpretation
- karate demonstration
- Colorado Volunteer Infantry Group
- Jeffco Open Space
- Boulder Apple Tree Project
- Mines Museum of Earth Science
- Golden Library
- Foothills Art Center
- Golden Street, Police, and Fire Departments
- Golden Public Art Commission
Autumn Fest Gallery
Location and Pricing
Unlike most GHM&P programs, there is no registration for Autumn Fest.
Membership pays for itself with just a few programs for your family. Join us.
More Golden history
Check out the Golden History Museum & Park blog for the latest behind the scenes videos and stories, personal memoirs, and history tidbits about Golden.
In 2021, Golden History Museum & Park embarked on a new project to elevate Indigenous voice and representation in the Museum’s exhibits, collections, programs and interpretation. Learn about the progress the Museum has made in the past two years as well as plans for future exhibits, research and outreach. Admission is free, but sign-ups would be appreciated.
Native American Uses of Plants of the Rocky Mountain Region
With a little bit of knowledge and a good digging stick a resourceful person can find plenty to eat among the wild plants of Colorado. This virtual cornucopia of seeds, berries, and roots provided a year-around supply of nutrients and calories to sustain the native populations for thousands of years. Some of these plants, such as wild plums and pinion nuts, require only a slight stretch of the modern imagination to be considered for tonight’s dinner. Others, such as the slime covered cattail root, stinking gourds, nauseous rabbit brush, and the aptly named pincushion cactus, take a bit more thought.
Thankfully, the collection and preparation of these plants is often described in ethnographic accounts from the late 1800s and early 1900s. These accounts provide great reading and valuable analogies for the interpretation of plant remains from archaeological contexts.
This 45-minute PowerPoint presentation will cover the excavation and extraction of botanical remains from archaeological sites, the interpretation of the remains, and a review of some of the plants and their uses. Many of the plants discussed are common in the yards and wilderness areas of Colorado, either as our treasured flowers or as one of those pesky weeds.
About the Presenter
Meg Van Ness has been an archaeologist for over 50 years with most of the time spent in the middle of the continent: the Midwest, Northern Plains, Rocky Mountains, and Southwest. She has a BA in anthropology from the University of Missouri and an MA from Northern Arizona University – both in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology. The first 16 years were spent working on various projects through universities and archaeological consulting companies, followed by 15 years at the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation within the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office. Beginning in 2005, and until her retirement May 2023, she was an archaeologist for Mountain-Prairie Zone of the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – National Wildlife Refuge System. Her primary interests are the archaeological remains of prehistoric plant use, Depression-era buildings and structures, and new discoveries.
Looking to learn the history of bad whiskey recipes, shady ladies, gambling and con men of Colorado? Author Randi Samuelson-Brown will be presenting on vice in old west Colorado and the people that helped make it wild.
Randi Samuelson-Brown is originally from Golden, Colorado but now lives in Denver. A passion for Colorado history was instilled by her father from early on, and she certainly latched on to the more notorious aspects of live in Colorado and the West. She was a finalist in the 2021 Colorado Book Awards for the Bad Old Days of Colorado. Her newest book is Brand Chaser – Book #1 of the Dark Range Series.
When not writing in her free time, Randi is often riding horses and traveling around Colorado and the West, finding inspiration from people, places, and open spaces. She loves speaking at museums and organizations, and especially loves to meet readers.
Books: Brand Chaser, The Bad Old Days of Colorado: Untold Stories of the Wild West, Market Street Madam and The Beaten Territory.
This lecture dives into the history of Indigenous psychedelic medicine use in Colorado.
When did it become illegal in the United States to use the active ingredients in some of the plants/fungi in the region? How did healers and medicine people who carried the traditional knowledge work with the substances after criminalization? What active ingredients/compounds are now legal again nationally or at the state level? This lecture covers historical uses from an anthropological discipline.
Dr. Otañez: Chair and Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department, University of Colorado Denver. One of his research areas is psilocybin use among people of color in Colorado and building corporate accountability in the global psychedelic sector. In fall 2023, Dr. Otañez and his co-author Aaraón Díaz (Mexico City) are publishing the first volume in a four-volume book Art-Based Narratives as Resources to End Cannabis Stigmatization in North America.