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.
A legend tells of an Indian battle on this hill in which the Indian chief was killed and buried. In his pouch he had some hackberry seeds. Subsequently, a tree grew that could be seen from as far as North Denver. It is said that early wagon trains and stage coaches used that tree for a guide. In 1937, the tree was chopped down by vandals. A new tree was planted 75 feet to the west in a small park.
This school was built in 1966 and named for the Hill on which the legendary hackberry tree grew. Pioneers used this tree as a landmark. According to the myth, an Indian chief was buried on this hill and a seed from his medicine bag sprouted and grew into the gnarled tree. In order to straighten Wadsworth Blvd., the Colorado Highway Department attempted to move the tree. Arvada citizens were saddened when vandals destroyed the hackberry tree in 1937.
Hackberry Park is a joint North Jeffco and Hackberry Elementary School, Neighborhood Park and has been developed for the five to fourteen age group. Park and school have been named for the former, legendary Hackberry Tree.
The Arvada Garden Club was organized when the 135 year old Hackberry Tree was demolished in 1937. The tree was a landmark for the pioneers on their way to the goldfields to the west and was a source of many legends told by the Indians who roamed the area. The Arvada Garden Club planted Hackberry seeds at the original site in 1966, applied and received a Sears and Roebuck Co. grant of $1,404.90 for a Community Beautification Project for the park. In August, 1969, Richard S. Bartlett, Mayor of Arvada, proclaimed September 1, 1969, as Hackberry Tree Day. Also a Hackberry tree has been included as a symbol on the official Seal of the City of Arvada.
In Water District No. 7, this ditch has Ralston Creek Priority No. 15. May 4, 1866. Water was diverted from the south bank of Ralston Creek. Claimants in 1884 were Asahel Haines and Harmon Ballinger. Haines and Ballinger were early farmers in the area north of North Table Mountain. This ditch is shown on an c. 1900 map once used in the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Located in Water District #7, this ditch has Ralston Creek Priority No. 17, dated May, 1869. Water is diverted from the north bank of Ralston Creek, served as feeder for Tucker Lake. Claimants in 1884 were Asahel Haines and Leon Piquette. Haines was an early day farmer in the area. The original ditch appears on an c. 1900 map once used in the old Jefferson County Courthouse.
Asahel Haines pre-empted 159 acres at $1.25 per acre, northwest of Arvada c. 1859. In the required five years, Haines had paid $198.76 for the property, built a cabin and Haines Irrigation Ditch (1861), was given ownership of the property at Denver City, January 29, 1864, and received U.S. Patent No 144 on April 6, 1866. Six Haines children were born in the cabin, eventually a half story was added for two bedrooms and an addition on the north for two more bedrooms. Haines had a good business selling wares to the gold miners and to traveling merchants. He was a successful farmer and sold vegetables, eggs and fruit. It has been said that John Gregory camped on Haines property during the winter in the 1860s. After the property changed hands several times, Montie Blunn bought the cabin and grounds in 1946. Mr. Blunn repaired the cabin without the additions for his sons to use as a bunkhouse. At that time it was known as the Blunn Cabin. The City of Arvada bought the Blunn property, January 12, 1971 for the future Blunn Reservoir. The Arvada Historical Society proposed to the City Planning Department and to City Council that this cabin be preserved since it was the only one of its kind in the area. The City moved it to the newly built Arvada Center in 1978. It had to be dismantled, log by log , and rebuilt in the Museum area in the Center. By December, 1978, Christmas was held inside the cabin.
Built in 1924. Designated a county landmark 12/1/2003.
The water is diverted from the south bank of Ralston Creek. Claimant in 1884 was Asahel Haines. Asahel and Abi Haines were pioneers in the area north of North Table Mountain. Their log cabin is currently on display in the museum at the Arvada Center. This ditch shows up on a c. 1900 map once used in the Jefferson Courthouse, and a 1915 map similarly used, shows “Haines Estate” property. This ditch is Ralston Creek Priority #3, dating May 30, 1861.
Haines Elementary School, in District Number 7, was named for Asahel Haines, who served in the District Number 7 School Board for several years. His wife Abi Haines, boarded teachers in their cabin which was built in 1864. Haines donated property for a brick school built in the mid 1860s. After his death, October 29, 1890, the school and property were inherited by David and his wife, Mary Lucinda (Haines) Ballinger. By 1977 the Haines cabin was still standing, but was in danger of being inundated by Arvada Reservoir. The Arvada Historical Society worked to save the cabin, which the City of Arvada moved to the museum in the new Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.
Feb. 13, 1888, it was reported that at the Hall and Jones coal mine they are loading five cars per day for the railroad company, besides supplying a large local demand. A new steam pump had arrived and an air shaft is being sunk over the mine. Sept. 11, 1878, mine had 200-foot shaft with 102-foot crosscut.
Small cave discovered in 1964. Aboriginal occupation dating from Woodland times. Discovery, description of site, and excavation detailed. The center of Golden can be seen from the cave entrance.
Hanging Rock was a dramatic-looking massive overhang of rock projecting over the track of the Colorado Central Railroad. It was among the most popular scenic attractions of the route.
Built ca. 1884.
This project is a unit of Wheat Ridge City Parks and is the location of the city community garden area. The 10-foot by 20-foot plots are rented by individuals from the city, which provides water and seeds. Gardens are administered by the Wheat Ridge Men’s Garden Club as a volunteer civic service.
G.W. Harkness came from Iowa to Arvada for his wife’s health in 1918. He purchased the Stepp Ranch in 1919 from Mrs. Missouri A.E. Stepp. The ranch became the property of his son and wife, Wayne W. and Esther B. Harkness, in 1939 until Wayne’s death October 25, 1994. Both had contributed to the Arvada community: Esther was a teacher and had taught at Ralston crossing Elementary School and also an early pharmacist and had practiced for fifty years. Both were members of Enterprise Grange for half-a-century. Wayne Harkness financed the paving of the roads in the Arvada Cemetery. The Ranch was probably named for Wayne W. Harkness, since he had added new barns, corrals, a brick home, and had farmed and ranched there for 55 years.
Land for a Sports Complex at 58th and Miller Street was acquired in a 99-year lease agreement between the State of Colorado, acting through the Department of Institutions, for 40 acres of State Home and Training School property (Ridge Home) to be used by North Jeffco for Recreational activities. Bill #264 was enacted by the Colorado General Assembly and approved by Governor Love, September 30, 1969. North Jeffco leases the property for $400 annually and 6% to 9% of the net income from concessions. This complex originally had four baseball fields and four football fields. Finally, The Sports Complex at 58th and Miller Streets was given a name at the 25th anniversary celebration of the North Jeffco District in 1981. It was named for Harold D. Lutz, the attorney who organized North Jeffco Recreation and Park District in 1956, and continued as the District’s attorney until 1994. His other contributions to Jefferson County were: he filled an unexpired term as Jefferson County Judge in 1950 and was elected to that office in 1952 for an additional four years; he was appointed the attorney for Jefferson County R-1 School District for 18 years; he also organized and is the attorney for Foothills Park and Recreation District and for Evergreen Park and Recreation District. Additions to the Sports Complex following the name change were: Purchase of 13 acres to the East from Stan Lassak et al in 1993; a batting cage; more football and baseball fields; and elaborate firework displays on the fourth of July which can be seen for miles around.
Harriman Lake, actually a reservoir, is situated west of Kipling Parkway and south of Quincy Avenue. It is fed by the piped Arnett-Harriman Ditch. It is named after George W. Harriman, who was called by historian Wilbur F. Stone”the father of the storage reservoir system.” Harriman, the son of a shoemaker, came from Canada by way of Wisconsin. Once in Colorado, he began working in the hotel business in Central City and in Kenosha Park, on Park County. In 1870, he started his ranch in Bear Creek Valley where he began homesteading with 160 acres which he eventually increased to 850 acres. He took over the two-year-old Arnett Ditch, completed it and renamed it Harriman Ditch. He built the reservoir in 1873, which also bears his name. Harriman was County Commissioner in Jefferson County when the old courthouse was constructed in 1883. He moved to Fort Logan where he died in 1915.
One of the stops made by stage coaches, wagons and travelers on horseback was the Old Store’s place, Westfield Farm, on the southwest corner of the Sheridan-Mississippi intersection. Because this primitive trail was one of the early routes into present day Lakewood, it gave the intersection of South Sheridan and West Mississippi historical significance. In 1908, Leo Hart and Lena Fischer married and in the early 1920s they bought property on the north side of Morrison Road and South Sheridan Blvd. Hart turned the old root beer stand into a small restaurant and called it Hart’s corner. Built in 1924, this vernacular wood frame structure had additions added on until 1950. The bar and restaurant is an irregular plan, 56′ long and 48′ wide, with a hipped roof. Deciding to cater to the cars as well as the motorists, Hart’s installed four gas pumps in front of the eatery around 1926. By 1929 he was earning a comfortable living and bought 90 acres of land which extend south to Louisiana Avenue to build a brick house. He also put up a grocery store across from his restaurant, with eight cabins with garages for the tourist trade. These later were expanded to 16. Hart also had a 1,000 foot deep well drilled which supplied his home and business with pure water. Leo’s son, William S. Hart still lives in the immediate vicinity of the Hart enterprise. Leo Hart died in 1939 and Tommy Hart operated the family business until his death in 1978. Hart’s Corner Tavern was sold to the Moutsos family. The Moutsos now run the old tavern under the name of “Tommy’s Corner.” Business continues to be brisk and remains the oldest business in the City of Lakewood.
An early alternate name for Pleasant Park, indicative of the mountain grass hay grown in its meadows.
Hay Road was an early name for Pleasant Park Road, running east from Conifer. Named for the hay fields it ran to in Pleasant Park.
A “Georgetown Road” crossroads on Soda Creek seven miles north of Bergen Park c. 1873-1879. Named for pioneer Ben Hayward who was murdered in 1879 by two men who hired him to take them to Denver. They stuffed his body in a culvert where it was found the following spring. The men were caught and before their trial were seized by a lynch mob and hanged in Golden.
Hayward Junction was where Soda Creek now runs under Interstate 70, and construction of the latter obliterated the site.
This is the site of the Wheat Ridge City Administration Building and is named for the Hayward family that sold the property to the city. This was the long time farm of the John Olsons. Bike and walking paths, a playground, picnic tables, and a fountain are features of the park. The fountain source and site is the former artesian well of the Olsons. Steve Driftmier, the last owner of the Wilmore Dahlia Farm and Nursery at West 38th Avenue and North Wadsworth Boulevard, landscaped and donated the garden on the eastern edge of this park dedicated to the W.W. Wilmore family. A veterans’ memorial is to be erected here.
On March 19, 1880, Elbert Headley Filed for a homestead in this location and built a one-room log cabin. The furniture consisted of one crudely made table and an oil drum stove. Headley and another miner named Young occupied this cabin while working a nearby mine. It still stands today on land owned by Carl and Mildred Kuehster.
William Henderson was a active citizen and developed one of the first subdivisions in Wheat Ridge and gave his name to the street. It became Pierce Street when the master plan was made.
This plat was recorded December 28, 1882, and an amended plan was recorded December 3, 1884. The street was named for a Mr. Henderson. Henderson Street later became the present Pierce Street.
Claimants May 13, 1936, of this Water District #7 reservoir were Richard Calkins and heirs of John S. and Henry A. Calkins. Construction started April 15, 1877, and was filled from Clear Creek, Little Dry Creek (Kelly Creek) and Ralston Creek via Farmers High Line Canal. In 1959 the City of Westminster acquired the rights to the lake. It was abandoned March 19, 1982, and water was transferred to Standley Lake for Westminster use. The original construction was done by Henry D. Calkins.
Construction commenced July 1876 on these two Water District #7 reservoirs. They are filled from Clear Creek via Agricultural Ditch and Lee Brothers Lateral. Claimant in 1936 was Jennie Lee. The Lee families were early farmers in the area, and their farms show on a 1915 map.
The name is self explanatory. The church was organized in 1943 at 13th and Simms and moved to Wheat Ridge in 1976.
Heritage Square had it’s grand opening in June of 1971. It is an “artisan’s marketplace” located just south of Golden. Heritage Square was purchased and redone by the Woodmoor Corporation (headed by Steven N. Arnold) after the Magic Mountain facilities went bankrupt.
Heritage Valley Park was one of 30 parks to be built by the City of Arvada. Citizens approved the bond referendum in 1974 and the park was constructed two years later. The two-acre site was a 6% land dedication from the developer and would relieve the pressure of Secrest Park. This is a basic neighborhood park, bounded on three sides by the Assembly of God Church.
On November 10, 1866, Pete Peterson and his wife deeded 160 acres of land in the Deer Creek Valley to Frank Hildebrand and George Seiter. The Hildebrand Ranch contained one farmhouse and various sheds. The original farmhouse was made of logs. The ranch was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (5JF188) on March 13, 1975 and is currently cared for by the Chatfield Arboretum.
Foundations for buildings, located both sides of Deer Creek Road. Established in 1895 and the first sizable settlement in the Deer Creek area.
The West Side Benevolent Society, an independent Jewish mutual aid society, established the Golden Hill Cemetery in 1908. The Hill Section, along the northern edge of the property, was reserved for indigent Jews buried at community expense, suicides (restricted from the main portion of the cemetery according to Jewish custom), and tuberculosis patients from the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society (JCRS) sanitarium and hospital. Most of those interred in the Hill Section were tuberculosis victims. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places (5JF975) on July 31, 1995.
Hill Street was platted at the far west end of Golden in the Golden City Mineral & Land Company’s Addition. It may have been named for famed smelting magnate Nathaniel P. Hill. It was placed on unusable terrain and later vacated.
Eight families started meeting in homes and in Allendale School. The church was organized in January, 1965, built and dedicated in 1966. Rev. Henry Thompson organized the church and was also the first minister in the new church.
Hillside Park was a City Park approved in the 1974 Referendum. This park was supplied with tiny-tot equipment for new families with small children.
This park has a basketball court, playground, and open play area.
Wheat Ridge native George Hively established his thriving blacksmith shop here in 1913. Hively had a jolly, outgoing personality and was active in many community activities. He had lost an eye from a forge accident. Hively was Wheat Ridge’s first fire chief and this structure housed the first Wheat Ridge Volunteer Fire Department truck.
In 1886 Mary Neosho Williams bought an extensive acreage from master carpenter and stone mason Jock Spence and had him begin construction on the 17-room log lodge with two octagonal towers. Mary William’s daughter, Dr. Josepha Williams married Canon Winfred Douglas and they called the lodge home for nearly 40 years. Darst Buchanan purchased the property in 1938 and it became Hiwan Homestead and headquarters for the 10,000 acre Hiwan Ranch.
Purchased by Jefferson County Open Space in 1974, Hiwan Homestead is now a working heritage center and museum operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 (5JF.195). Designated a county landmark 8/2/2004.
The Hiwan Ranch extended from Evergreen along either side of Highway 74 for many miles. The 10,000 acre ranch was assembled by Tulsa oilman Darst Buchanan and his wife, Ruth. The ranch was owned by the family from 1938 to 1966.
The name Hiwan, much used in the area, was chosen by Ruth Buchanan from an Anglo-Saxon dictionary that stated its meaning to be variously as, “members of a household,” “land let to members of a household,” or “members of a king’s household.”
In 1958 B&H Minerals operated this feldspar quarry. It operated for 150 days that year taking out 214,545 lbs. of feldspar valued at $1215.15. An open pit was opened around an old prospect hole and is about eight feet deep by ten feet long by 20 feet wide at the time. It is noted that the feldspar is of fairly good grade. At the site was nine feet by eight feet frames and sheet iron storage shed.
Built ca. 1872. Albert and Ena Rogers lived in this house. They had 10 or 11 children, who all went to the Morrison School about 1899 (census list of school children). Peter Christenson lived there also. It was rented to Grover and Nell Denbow about 1915, furnished, for $5 a month. Mrs. Rogers owned it all that time. Joe Hocking was the town marshal, a homesteader on Mt. Falcon, and a popular participant in rodeos.
This park has baseball field, basketball and tennis courts, playground and exercise trails.
The first school in the area was known as District 26 School, and was located a short distance east of the Hodgson School. The school was named after Robert and Alice Hodgson, early area homesteaders coming from England in 1860. They sold 160 acres to August and Alice Herzman and one acre of that was donated for a new school that opened in 1915 with 18 students. Ben Pearson was the first School Board President. School continued there until the Jefferson County School reorganization in 1950. The Hodgson School building was used by the Wild Rose Grange after 1940, and presently own it.
This park has a small lake, volleyball court, playgrounds, picnic tables and flower gardens.
In 1924-25, this structure was the Berrimore Hotel, and in the 1940s, it became the LaRay Hotel. Lu Holland remodeled it as the Holland House Motel and Restaurant . In 1992, a 2.9-million dollar renovation of the vacant building helped to revitalize downtown Golden. It is now in the design of Pueblo Revival with pale stucco interior, wood vegas, and a clay tile roof.
Cecil S. and Nancy Holley came to Wheat Ridge in 1877 for about a year before moving on to Central City and operating a Dillon to Leadville freight line. In 1880, they returned to Wheat Ridge and purchased the property on 38th Avenue west of Reed Street, extending north to 44th Avenue. Their large frame house was built on the original farm’s highest elevation and is currently listed as 3900 Quay Street. Holley was a Michigan University graduate and he and his wife were active in civic affairs. Holley served three two-year terms as a Jefferson County Commissioner and was a Justice of the Peace. His wife, Nancy, was an active Republican Committee Woman in the Wheat Ridge precinct. The couple had three sons: Cyril, Cyrus, and Ora. The second Wheat Ridge Post Office building was on their property at the northeast corner of W. 38th Avenue and Reed Street.
The church was organized April 24, 1952 with 109 charter members. The congregation first met in the Wheat Ridge Grange Hall. The name is the symbol of the crucifixion. In 1953 the church was built at 4500 Wadsworth Boulevard. The large facilities are the meeting sites for civic groups as well as broad and varied church programs. The building was remodeled and enlarged in 1992.
This membership was organized in 1954 as a Lutheran church and held it’s first meeting in the Masonic temple at 1440 Independence Street. Their sanctuary was built in 1956, which is a modern church architecture with its steeply slanted roof and free-standing steeple cross.
In 1876 operated by J.J. Bradshaw & Co. and showing traces of free gold.
Name changed to Ladybug Park, March 22, 1976.
The Homestead Ditch in Water District #7 has priority #18 (May 1871). The water comes from the south bank of Ralston Creek. Claimant in 1884 was Robert Faragher who was an early landowner in the area around Tucker Lake. This ditch appears on the c. 1900 map once used in the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Nov. 24, 1883, it was reported Henry Koch located for himself claims he calls the “Gertrude” and “Homestead”. Koch already has an interest in the Maggie Mine.
This property was originally purchased for irrigation easement from 15 previous owners. Bates Lake on the site was eventually drained and filled in. Funding for the park was provided by the 1974 Bond Referendum approved by the citizens of Arvada. The land was homesteaded by the Bates family and was named “In order to memorialize the hardy pioneers responsible for settling Arvada.” Homestead Park was agreed upon by the Park Naming Advisory Board for the Pioneers and the Bates family.
Founded by Andreas Erikeen in the 1920s. Between skiing, skating, tobogganing Homewood had its heyday in the 1950s, one record Sunday more than 800 people came through its doors.
The Honor Roll was erected October, 1947 at W.12th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard on Memorial Field, honoring men from all branches of the military services.
This school was built in 1952 and was named for Chet Hoskinson the developer of Hoskinson Subdivision in which the school was located. By 1991 the school was sold for a private residence.
City of Arvada leased land to North Jeffco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District to manage, maintain and control property for recreation and park purposes for a period of 99 years. The lease in Alta Vista Subdivision for 2.5 Acres was signed in February, 1958, and the park was developed by 1973. The park was named for Chet Hoskinson, who developed 256.5 acres of land west of Arvada following World War II. In the 60s and 70s he left further development to his brothers and entered into politics. He was elected to Arvada City Council in 1963, served as a Jefferson County Commissioner, and was appointed to a committee by Governor Lamm.
The c. 1874 Howell House is associated with the early settlement and agricultural development of what is now Lakewood. Most of the other homes from this period in Lakewood have been demolished, leaving only a few properties like the Howell House to convey this important aspect of Lakewood’s early development. It was listed on the State Register of Historic Places (5JF1010) on September 11, 1996.
This was a major street through this area. It is now Kipling Street.
It was built in early 1890s by J.A. Hudson with hopes that Buffalo Creek would become a popular tourist center on the narrow-gauge railroad that operated from Denver. A grocery was located on the first floor and an ice-cream parlor. On the lower floor was a barber shop and the hotel rooms were above. An early photograph shows a sign: Hotel Buena Vista. Records show that a Mr. Robb owned the hotel in 1942 when Al and Charlotte (Lottie) Ray purchased it and operated it summers until 1963. The property was purchased in 1972 by Teen Challenge of Colorado who changed it into a Christian School and Mountain Home for youth and operated it until middle 1980s when Teen Challenge moved their headquarters.
In 1883, J.J. Clark, a Nevadaville businessman hired “the best carpenter in Central City” to build a home on the site he had homesteaded in the late 1870s. Hand-hewn logs from the property and lumber and shingles from an on-site sawmill went into the two-story house. In 1920, the Lucius Humphrey purchased the property. Their daughter, Hazel Humphrey, grew up and lived out her life there as a well known citizen and historical activist.
This property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (5JF184) on December 31, 1974. The home is now the center of the Humphrey Memorial Park and Museum.
The Humphreys Dredge Tailings consist of a long series of cobblestone dunes stretching along Clear Creek through Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin Counties. During the 1930s Clear Creek was uprooted by the Humphreys Dredge for the gold it contained, with large buckets scooping the riverbed and spitting it out the back into piles after gold was extracted. The Humphreys Dredge was the third and last gold dredge to operate in Jefferson County.
About .5 mile long. West ridge accommodates good path for foot traffic in and out of lower reaches of Guy Gulch. For destruction of gulch entrance see Evergreen Quad – Quarry. Railroad station was Colorado and Southern, Rand, 1952.
Established in May 1865 at Bradford Junction with George W. Hutchinson Postmaster. Joseph B. Hutchison was postmaster in 1867. The post office name was changed to Conifer in 1894.
In 1879 an English couple, Mr. and Mrs. Kemp and their eleven children arrived at Bradford Junction, and for the next six years school was held there in a small wooden building which some derided as a shack. This was the first school in what was to become Conifer. It may have been called Hutchinson School because that Post Office had previously gone by that name. About 1885 a new Hutchinson School was built about one quarter mile south, near the present entrance to the Conifer High School. School was held there until 1911, when District 9 started school in the abandoned Reformed Mormon church situated just south of Kitty Drive and west of Highway 285. The name was changed to Junction School. None of the buildings exist today.
This Water District #7 lake is filled with water diverted from Clear Creek via Farmers High Line Canal. Claimant in 1936 was the Farmer’s High Line Canal and Reservoir Company. Construction began in 1871. Named for early land owner in the area shown on the “settlement map” in “Waters of Gold.” Farmers High Line Canal acquired the lake from Mr. Lothrop in December 1890.