Cannon Ball Creek, Coors, and Kayaks: A History of Water in Golden, Colorado

March 16, 2022 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Golden History Museum
923 10th Street
CO 80401
$0 members; $10 non-members

Cannon Ball Creek, Coors, and Kayaks: A History of Water in Golden, Colorado


“Golden, Colorado, and Entrance to Clear Creek Canon [sic], from Castle Rock Mountain Scenic Incline Railway. Denver Mountain Parks.”

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Even people from Tonapah, Nevada know that Golden, Colorado is home to Coors Brewery, and that Coors is so good because it is brewed with “Rocky Mountain water.” In the American popular mind Golden is linked to fresh, clean water. Our job, over the course of an evening together, will be to try and trace the history of water in Golden from the earliest days of native use to Euro-American trapping, irrigation farming, and eventually the creation of a kayak park and tubers’ paradise. The conversation will be set against the larger backdrop of the present drought in the American West that underscores the importance of Clear Creek and fresh water for the future of Golden.

About the presenter: Matthew S. Makley

Matthew S. Makley, PhD, is a Professor of History at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is the author of two books. His most recent, The Small Shall be Strong: A History of Lake Tahoe’s Washoe Indians (2018), won an American Library Association’s award for “Outstanding Academic Title.” Born and raised at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Makley has lived in Golden since 2007. While his heart is in the canyons and valleys of the Sierra Nevada, he has come to call Colorado and the Rockies home.


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