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.
Uranium mine owned and operated by Leigh D. Ohman, until 1958 then owner Bessie Nare.
1962: Seven tons of ore valued at $385.50 are extracted. The vein was located on surface in fault area and a 25-foot shaft. The veins runs about 12 inches wide. 12-foot by 18-foot frame compressor hause and shop. All underground waste used for road fill.
1964: Production 6.9 tons valued at $808.50
1963: Shaft sunk 35 feet then drifted 17 feet to surface; five feet by seven feet drift runs east 100 feet and another northeast for 75 feet. Ore is taken out from a very small vein and is all hand cobbed.
1965: shaft down 40 feet.
The Narrows was the narrowest point of Clear Creek Canyon along the Colorado Central Railroad.
The 50-foot by 30-foot grassy meadow area contains old farm equipment and a ramp structure. In 1874 the land was homesteaded by the Shankee family. The land had a berm used for potatoes, lettuce, and cattle grazing. In 1962 there was a peat moss mining operation located there. Remnants of the operation are a 20-foot by 12-foot by 11-foot 3-inch high ramp structure, a 3-foot 3-inch long metal scooper and a 4-foot 10-inch metal pulley.
Albert and Laura Sena (Christianson) Nelson emigrated from Denmark in the 1870s and purchased the first parcel of the family’s 320 acres. An early cabin, still standing, was built before a comfortable home was built in 1879. Three generations have occupied this dwelling. Leonard E. Smith was Arvada’s first chief of police from 1955-1966. After his death in 1984, his wife and daughter’s family resided at this century plus, year-old house. Albert Nelson was a railroad man and one of the first engineers on the Georgetown Loop Train.
Opened in April 1879 by M. Bertolin, the coal mine by 1800 had an 120-foot shaft and tunnel 300 feet to the north. The mine was timbered with six stopes. 15 men were employed and producing 25 tons of coal per day. March 1881 the coal mine’s buildings burned to the ground with a loss estimated 8,000 dollars.
The ranch was named for its location on New York Hill on the New York Trail, also known as the Leadville Free Road. Originally the main building was a stage stop, and the old foundations at one time showed clearly in the bottom of the canyon, where stock corrals are now located below the service road. The New York stage stop also attracted traffic from the Mount Vernon Canyon turnpike and was initially a welcome watering place. Early area settlers describe the two-story frame house being about 40 feet long with a double width barn that could accommodate two wagons side by side. The stage stop was purchased in 1868 by Mrs. Louisa C. Gifford, an English immigrant. Questionable activities at the ranch led neighbors to suspect Gifford of rustling. In 1886, Gifford was arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for larceny. Later that same year the house suspiciously burned to the ground and insurance investigators suspected arson.
Next the house was purchased by Judge Hoerne. In 1896, two of his daughters were drowned, when their horse and buggy were caught in a flood in Mount Vernon Creek.
In 1903, Anna Thiede Hackett and her husband, Mark Hackett, purchased the property.
Built ca. 1875. Mrs. Newland ran a boarding house, and many of the railroad workers ate there. It was an antique shop for ten years; then the use of the building was donated for the Morrison Museum, until it was moved to its present building in 1995.
The Newman house was built in 1876 by Cason Howell and it is the oldest house in central Lakewood. The Howell family came originally from Missouri, coming west for the gold rush in California and Alaska. They gave up their dreams of getting rich overnight and settled in the Lakewood area.
A Denver Mountain Park of 600 acres near Hwy. 285 on Foxton Road. It has picnic areas by reservation, circular pit fireplaces, volleyball, horseshoes, softball field and shelter houses. The park was acquired in 1939 and 1962 by gifts from the James Quigg Newton family. Name from previous landowners.
This coal mine opened in 1880 by Nicholls and Hoagland was producing 30 tons a day with 25 men. The 103 foot timbered shaft has a north tunnel running 200 feet and a south tunnel 180 feet following an 8-foot with coal seam. 1880 production was 11,000 tons of coal.
This coal mine was begun in 1876 and had a timbered shaft down to 67 feet.
This coal mine opened in October by John Nicholls. It is situated one-half mile west of the schoolhouse, on south side of Clear Creek. When the mine was first opened a shaft was sunk down a little over 100 feet with a south level opened out to 500 feet and a north level to 750 feet. In 1877 the shaft was sunk 50 feet more and a new level opened. In 1879 the shaft was sunk 65 feet further down to a total depth of 225 feet. At this level on north entry was opened north 150 feet and south 100 feet. 1880 production was 100 tons of coal per day. 25 men were employed with four teams hauling the coal.
Marcello Nicolino purchased the Continental Oil Company gas staion and the Reno property in 1925. He razed both of these establishments and built the two-story brick Nicolino Block at this site. Dawson and Dawson Cash-and-Carry opened the first “serve yourself grocery” on the first floor, living quarters and offices on the second floor. In 1928, the grocery was purchased by a Piggly-Wiggly grocery and a meat market was added to the west of the building. Tenants and businesses changed but the building remains in 1994.
Niver Canal, in Water District #7, is an outlet of Standley Lake used to deliver water easterly, and out of Jefferson County.
Embracing a large portion of the mountain area of present Jefferson County, Niwot County was rather short lived. It was formed by Thomas Bergen and citizens of the districts of Bergen, Junction (the Conifer area) and Mount Vernon in 1860, rejecting the new Jefferson County and seceding from the Provisional Government, declaring their independence from all but the United States government. Name is of an Arapahoe chief named Niwot, translated into English means “Left Hand.”
The two-story, brick building was named for Jacob C. Nolan. He had the building constructed in 1908. The second floor was used as an early telephone company and the other half of the floor as a meeting place for clubs. The Post Office was located on the ground floor, and, at various times, three drug stores occupied the east half: Ullery’s, Mahannah’s and George Wendt’s Drug Store.
Located east of South Pierce Street and south of Coal Mine Boulevard, this school was built in 1970. It was named for the Normandy Estates subdivision in which it is located.
These flat topped mountains, or mesas, are capped by a basalt flow that originated from a volcano in the vicinity of Ralston Buttes during the Tertiary period. On North Table Mountain three successive flows are evident, and on South Table Mountain the latest two flows are evident, which, together, reach a thickness of about 150 feet. In 1913 a funicular, an inclined cable railroad, ran to a dance hall on Castle Rock, the westernmost promontory on South Table Mountain. In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan burned crosses atop the rock. The dance hall burned down in 1927. Today the slopes are littered with landslide debris. Certain slide areas have affected irrigation ditches, railroads and highways. In one area along West 32nd Avenue the asphalt is over 13 feet thick because successive layers of pavement have had to be placed to maintain the street level.
This Jefferson County District R-1 School was built in 1962 and was named because it was located north of Arvada.
North Arvada Park was created by E. J. Hoy and Ann Lee Hoy on April 7, 1955. This housed a Friendly Market Grocery Store and several small shops to begin with. It has been remodeled now and has many shops and has been expanded to the North to about 67th Avenue.
Calvin W. Ferguson, Thomas R. Danow, Thomas M. Skinner, and Adolphus W. Petrikin subdivided this land August 25, 1890. This ground cut into smaller acreage lots and most was later subdivided into smaller home sites.
The District No. 2 elementary school was built in 1885. Students were divided into two districts, those north of Ralston Creek attended North School, which became a simple but appropriate name for the school. Those students who lived south of Ralston Creek attended the Brick school on Wadsworth Ave. North School continued to operate intermittently until 1925.
A creek beginning about one mile east of Conifer and flowing past Pleasant Park Cemetery, south of Oehlmann Park, through Homewood Park and joining the South Fork of Deer Creek at Phillipsburg. Name source unknown.
Entered in the National Register of Historic Places on October 9, 1974, and the boundaries expanded in 2008.
See Buffalo Creek, the Waterway.
This fire department was organized in 1971 for specific purpose of providing closer and faster fire protection for the Buffalo Creek, Pine and Foxton areas. Self supporting until 1992 when by vote of residents, a Protection District was formed. At the present time, among active members are 11 Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and 4 Cardio Pulmonary Resusitation (CPR) experts, plus many other volunteer fire fighters.
This road was the northern continuous route into Golden.
from the Cultural Contexts report:
“North Golden Road (circa 1862)
This road ran between Denver and Golden along present-day West 44th Avenue. It provided access to the 1859-1870 settlement of Arapahoe City.”
North Jeffco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District was initiated by a group of interested people in 1955 at 7510 Grant Place, the office of Attorney Harold Lutz. Unlike a city park department, North Jeffco was organized in 1956 as a Special District, governed by State Statutes with an elected board which provides recreation and park needs for the community. Revenues to support the District are provided by a mill levy, user fees, Arvada City Ordinance requiring all annexations and developments to dedicate six per cent of net land for development of parks, Supreme Court Statutes which require that a certain per cent of the lottery money be allotted to various recreation districts, and six bond issues approved by voters in the District for specific park and recreation facilities. Several cooperative agreements have been formed over the years between this District, Jefferson County R-1 School District, City of Arvada, and Jefferson County Open Space funds to save lands for parks and recreation. Currently, the name has been changed to North Jeffco Parks and Recreation District. In the beginning, North Jeffco had a budget of $15,000: four parks, McIlvoy, Melmon, Hoskinson and Wadsworth, which were transferred to North Jeffco by the City of Arvada; and, with the approval of the 1957 bond referendum, built Arvada’s first swimming pool, named North Jeffco Pool for the newly formed District. Thirty-years later, North Jeffco is alive and well and still growing! The overall increases by 1994 were: A budget of $7.1 million; mill levy 3.633;
The North Jeffco Metropolitan Recreation and Park District Building included an Ice Arena which opened April 1, 1969. Architectural Steel Building Company constructed this facility and Tolin Refrigeration Company installed the refrigeration equipment. The Ice Arena has been a successful recreational asset for the public, high school regional tournaments, Arvada Junior and Senior High School Hockey Associations, skating lessons and figure skating.
In 1966 North Jeffco Metropolitan and Recreation District was granted 200 acres for North Jeffco Mountain Park from the Bureau of Land Management, through the National Recreation and Public Purposes Act. By 1976, three miles of foot trails and picnic tables were installed. It was hoped North Jeffco would have the first Braille Trail constructed in the State, and in 1989 Arvada- Jefferson Kiwanis organization refurbished the trail by contributing $100 and labor. Because of its remote area, it would be too difficult to manage or maintain as a Braille or a Mountain Park.
Ralston Creek Bridge Construction on Garrison Street in 1979 was to save as many trees as possible. North Jeffco Foundation received the Standard Oil Service Station at 58th Avenue and Garrison as a gift. The canopy of the station was relocated at Oak Park where it serves as a picnic shelter. A pavilion east of the main North Recreation building was dedicated June 27, 1980 and is called Pioneer Picnic Pavilion. The Foundation raised $45,000 from members of the community for the construction of the pavilion.
Richard Cole Cannon was the great-grandson of Lyman H. Cole, who purchased 1,000 acres of ranch/farm land in the Arvada area in 1880. Eight hundred acres of the Cole property was lost in the 1893 depression, only two hundred acres was passed on to his son Alvarado Brown Cole. A contract between the City of Arvada and NJMRPD was agreed to on October 28, 1957 for 14.5 acres of Emma Louise Cheatley’s and Richard Cole Cannon’s property. North Jeffco gave the city certain water rights in exchange for 20 years free rent. The North Jeffco Center Park Building was constructed by Boulder Architectural Steel Buildings Corp. and the dedication was held at 9101 Ralston Road on March 5, 1960.The original building consisted of an all purpose room, District Administration Offices, Assembly Room , Arts and Craft Room, Kitchen, Utility Room and Rest Rooms.
In the 1980 North Jeffco Recreation and Park District Bond Issue, $750,000 plus $100,000 contingency fund, was earmarked for the Senior Center. The successful passage of the bond election resulted in the purchase of White’s Store and dedication was held January 29. 1982 as the North Jeffco Senior Recreation Center.
In the six years since the South School opened, Golden’s population had escalated so much that by 1879 North School had to be added to the town. North School was built in 1879 on Washington Avenue and what is now Sixth Street. It was opened on March 6, 1880 for the first six grades only. Mrs. Gertrude Wheeler Bell (for whom Bell Junior High School at 1001 Ulysses Street is named) served for many years as the firm, but kind principal of the school. North School operated in the same location for the next 58 years.
In 1937, North School was purchased by Jefferson County. The ration boards of World War II were located there along with the Jefferson County Welfare Department. The building was condemned in July 1965. It was demolished to make way for the new freeway through Golden
North Side Ditch, in Water District #7 was priority No. 50 (June 30, 1867). The claimant in 1884 was Annie Lees. The ditch diverts water from the north bank of Slough Ditch via Clear Creek. This ditch is shown on c. 1900 map, once used in the Jefferson County Courthouse. Lees owned land east of Ward Road, north of W. 44th Ave.
1883 assays showed 40 1/2 ounces silver and 50% copper per ton of ore.
A sizable creek, traffic artery and residential corridor which begins on the east high slope of Conifer Mountain, runs to near Conifer, northerly along Highway 73 toward Marshdale, then easterly to join South Turkey Creek near Tinytown. Name origin unknown.
Origin of name not learned.
Feb. 1888, 163 foot shaft struck coal in 13 and 4 foot veins. Evan Jones 1889, shaft is down to 275 feet.
Lakecrest Park was changed to Northey Park in 1992. Mike Northey was an Arvada Police Officer who died in the line of duty August 13, 1979.
Northwest Friends Church was organized and started meeting in Hackberry Hill Elementary School in 1977 for $25 per week. A building at 9889 W 66th Avenue became available and was purchased in 1979 for the Northwest Friends Church. The first pastors of the new Church were Tom and Lynette Bousman, 1979-1984.