In the mid-to-late 1980s, the Jefferson County Historical Commission embarked on an ambitious Place Names Project to research, document, and catalog known geographic place names in Jefferson County, both contemporary and historic. A large committee was established, and its members scoured USGS quadrangles, history books, and other sources to write descriptions of areas with which they were familiar. The database of almost 2,500 entries was first placed on the county’s website in the 1990s. In 2020 it was transferred to Golden History Museum & Park, City of Golden.
Still a work in progress, you can peruse the descriptions here. We are continually refining the contents. Let us know if you see any errors.
Bear Creek Canyon Wagon Road (1872)
John Evans constructed this road to transport timber for railroad ties from his Evans Ranch west of Evergreen down to Morrison. In 1880, he turned the road over to the City of Morrison, which operated it as the Bear Creek Canyon Toll Road.
The YMCA Senior Citizens has a walking group that has covered all the greenbelts and even the high-line canal.
Post office 1875-1886 and 1889-1892.
Stop on the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad.
Stop on the Denver and Intermountain Railroad near Edgewater
The cemetery contains fourteen graves with internments dating from 1871 to 1900. This private cemetery contains the following family names: Belgin, Brewer, and Rogers. The Belgin family settled on the adjoining land in 1870 and received the land patent on their homestead in 1875. Current dimensions of the cemetery are 64′ x 29.5′.
May Bonfils Stanton, daughter of Denver Post publisher Frederick Bonfils, inherited a private fishing lake and acreage south of West Alameda Avenue. may bought more acreage to bring the total to 750 acres. The home she built here became her retreat. Belmar Mansion was a 20-room home of white Carrara marble in the style of Petit Trianon in France. The house was at the end of a long driveway off of Wadsworth. With her husband, Charles Edwin Stanton, the couple developed the master plans for the future Villa Italia Shopping Center on the Belmar property. The house was demolished in 1971.
Built circa 1919. Designated a county landmark 9/8/2003.
Built from 1868 to 1944. Designated a county landmark 4/5/2004.
This park has picnic tables and play area.
Booten Gulch is about .6 mile long and drains south to the slope of Mt. Tom. It is named for Daniel Booten, who squatted at the entrance and is credited with building Centennial House. Centennial Ranch is located on Ralston Buttes map at 7686 elevation and is located at: S17, T3S, R71W.
from the Cultural Contexts report, 2004:
Boulder Farm Road (1866)
This road ran approximately along Ralston Road, then north to Boulder following part of present-day Simms Street. It served farmers and ranchers northwest of Arvada.
from the Cultural Contexts report, 2004:
Boulder to Golden Wagon Road (circa 1865)
This road ran north-south parallel to the foothills, connecting Golden and Boulder.
This bridge was built c. 1870s and owned by the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railway.
Built circa 1895, outbuildings circa 1935. Designated a county landmark 3/7/2005.
The creek was once believed to have been named by John C. Fremont or his scouts, but that idea has been questioned more recently by historians with no definitive answer.
In the 1930s it was called the Clayton College Campground (a Denver organization), but its use was discontinued in late 1940s and later made into a campground and maintained by the Forest Service. It was named for the nearby creek.
First known burial was in 1881. The land was deeded by the Jerome family of Denver and Buffalo Creek in 1902 and is still in use. Maintained by the Buffalo Park Chapel Association with burial by permission and on payment of fee.
On Saturday, May 18, 1996 at 1:30 p.m. a campfire smoldered, unattended, close to Wellington Lake in Pike National Forest near the Buffalo Creek. Winds increased and flames took off, gathering momentum as the dry forest burned. By nightfall, a path of the inferno had consumed many acres and was continuing its course. All residents of the Buffalo Creek community and of Spring Creek were evacuated, and electricity was cut off. The North Fork Fire District Volunteers acted immediately; soon, firefighters and equipment arrived from many Jefferson County fire departments. Sunday brought help from surrounding states; the Secretary of Agriculture arrived from Washington, D.C.; helicopters assembled to dip buckets over and over again from the North Fork of the South Platte River after having flown low over the spreading flames. Slurry planes followed. The path of the fire was spread rapidly by the high winds heading toward County Highway 126, which was eventually crossed, threatening homes in Spring Creek and the Long Scraggy Camp. The Top of the World Campground was consumed, burning several cars. A command post had been set up at the North Fork Fire District Firehouse #1 on Highway 126 at the Buffalo Creek. The U.S. Forest Service assembled at the Meadows Group Campground, five miles up the creek, with canteens, sleeping arrangements and necessary equipment. The J.W. Green Mercantile Co. at Buffalo Creek community became the central information center for local residents, who were allowed into their homes only temporarily, and for the media, represented by television, radio, and newspapers. Sunday coverage was broadcast across the U.S.A. and soon telephone lines were busy making contact with year-round and summer residents, who were allowed to return to their homes on Monday. A Red Cross shelter had been opened at the Elk Creek Elementary School on Highway 285, and one was set up near Deckers at a “Y” camp staffed by The Salvation Army. The fourth day, Tuesday, it was reported the fire had covered ten miles with a two-mile width and burned over 10,000 acres of forest, destroying 18 homes or other structures. By Thursday, it was 40% contained and by the weekend it was 100% under control, with crews continuing to extinguish hot-spots.
On July 12, 1996, eight weeks after the Buffalo Creek Fire in Pike National Forest, a torrential rainstorm hit the area for several hours and an ocean of black water rushed downhill from the site of the fire into Buffalo Creek and then on to the North Fork of the South Platte River. It then joined the South Platte River carrying bridges, propane tanks, outhouses, sheds, and other small structures. Many homes were damaged, and County Highway 126 was caved in for one-eighth of a mile. Water, electricity, and telephones were immediately out of use. Reconstruction took many months, and 1997 found a new water system completed, a large fire station built on high ground, and the Community Hall also removed and reconstructed.
The present center was built in the early 1930s by the U.S. Forest Service after closing several ranger stations in Pike National Forest between the community of Buffalo Creek and Lake Wellington. In 1968, this station and one at Bailey in Park County were consolidated into the South Platte District and located in Lakewood, Colorado. The Work Center at Buffalo Creek community is manned at the present time by timber crews, fire crews, and recreation crews.
This facility offers unique recreational opportunities for visitors in wheel chairs. The trail is specially treated to create a natural looking hard surface with average slope of 3% or less, linked with a wheelchair accessible bridge. Vantage points for anglers have been provided. Two campsites at Baldy Campground are modified for wheelchair visitors as are outhouses, cooking grills, and picnic tables.
This was a popular summer resort for Denver people, was first platted by John J. Jamieson, September 11, 1888, but was again platted by him in company with William G. Jamieson and Catherine Main, and the same filed June 10, 1889.
This subdivision was named for the community of Buffalo Creek.
It was established Aug.16,1878 with John Mitchell as the first postmaster and has been in continuous operation ever since. On Sept.13,1963, it was converted to a rural branch of the Pine Post Office and serves the community with the third generation of the Green family as postmaster. Many brass mail boxes are rented by residents of the community and by surrounding property owners. It serves as a precinct polling center for all elections.
It was built in 1889 of brick with two outhouses (still standing). Fire destroyed the structure three times – and it was rebuilt each time. Pupils attended from miles around until the 1950s when consolidation of the county schools took place. Since the 1980s, the building has been a private home. It was named for the Buffalo Creek community.
BLM: 83026 #1
Owner: Prach, Joseph F, April 15, 1956 to July 22, 1986
This is a water company operated by invested property owners at Buffalo Creek community and built at the turn of the century by John L.J. Jerome. It was considered sophisticated for its time and continues to operate successfully.
The spring supplies a portion of the water used in the Buffalo Creek community.
A log school built in the 1870s by Selim Vezina and Antoine Roy, which has been called Evergreen’s first school. Classes ceased there in 1937 when the district consolidated with Evergreen. Caroline Vezina, in about 1948, had the school moved log by log to her home on Evergreen Hill, and the Evergreen Women’s Club had it moved to its present site between the Evergreen High School and Wilmot Elementary School.
Post 1930 site consists of a scattering of historic trash on the south slope of a ridge. Artifacts include black powder cans, food cans, muffler, small bottles, machine parts, tobacco cans, cable, and stove pipe.
This was a stop on the Colorado & Southern Railroad route and 39.6 miles from Denver. It was located about 100 yards downstream (North Fork of the South Platte River) from the J.W.Green Mercantile Co. which housed the ticket office from the 1880s until 1937 when the railroad ceased operation.
It was named for the nearby community of Buffalo Creek and is popular with rock climbers.
The Buffalo Rose Saloon was built in the 1870s. Historic maps indicate that this building has been a saloon from at least 1886. The building appears on the 1878 map of Golden and is therefore one of the early commercial buildings in the town. The bar in the saloon today was brought from Missouri in 1890, according to the staff. In 1985 Ken Mueller purchased and remodeled the saloon. He retained the nineteenth-century furnishings.
Water tank and building constructed in late 1800s is now gone. The later reservoir was moved to the other side of the road on #126.
Inquiry produced no information on the source of the name.
This c. 1900 site consists of a prospect pit. It is a shallow depression on a narrow ridge top on the north side of Coal Creek Canyon.
Two-story brick structure.
Located in Water District #7, this ditch diverted water from the south bank of Ralston Creek. Claimants in 1884 were Robert Bunny and Harmon Ballinger. Priorities granted were #6 (6-6-1862) and #9 (6-5-1864) on Ralston Creek. Bunny and Ballinger were both area farmers, and the ditch was named for them.
This c. 1889 two-story, rectangular, brick, front hipped roof, Four Square house was built for Thomas and Jane Burch.
Small lake located on Lilley Gulch just south of the Leawood subdivision. This lake is named after the landowner B.E. Butz, who is shown as the landowner on the 1899 Farm Map.
Byrne was a short street that eventually became the north end of Pierce Street when that street was extended to West 48th Avenue.