Golden is on the far west side of the Denver Metroplex, in the valley between uplifts of Dakota sandstone before the Front Range really rises up. I don't know the full history of the town but this is where Adolph Coors started his first brewery, and that brewery is still one of the largest employers in the immediate area. The photo to the left is looking southeast across Clear Creek in downtown Golden, with Table Mountain in the background. A lot of business names in Golden seem to revolve around Table Mountain. Just west of town is Lookout Mountain, where you'll find the gravesite of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, and 2 more sources for local business names.
Golden was originally a gold mining camp founded during the height of the Pike's Peak Gold Rush (June 16, 1859) and served as the capital of the Territory of Colorado from 1862 to 1867, at which time the capital was moved about 15 miles east to Denver.
Golden looks quite prosperous with a busy visitor's center just north of Clear Creek. In crossing the bridge over Clear Creek you'll see lots of small historic plaques describing many different facets of Golden's history. The city hosts a number of annual events: Buffalo Bill Days, the Wild West Auto Roundup, and the Golden Fine Arts Festival among them.
I came into Golden around mid-day on a Friday at the end of August. The restaurants were busy, there were some folks in the stores but the streets were not busy at all. You can see from these photos that the town's downtown architecture is quite the mix of Victorian, Territorial and "Neo-Anywhere." A lot of it had a sort of Dutch-German feel to me. There were some beautiful life-size (and larger) bronzes on most street coners. And I thought the wooden Indian chained to the pole was a great touch (hint, hint).
A few blocks southwest of downtown Golden is the campus of the Colorado School of Mines, a premier engineering, science and technology school originally founded in the 1870's. Today, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is located here, too. Apparently school was in because I couldn't find a parking spot within quite a few blocks of the place. There were students walking and on bikes all over the place so I decided instead to continue on my journey up to the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway and then into Rocky Mountain National Park.
A few more blocks south of downtown is US Route 6, a road I traveled on many times as a kid, going from the East Coast to the West Coast and back again. Taking that road west and heading up that deep canyon brought back a lot of memories, but when I came to Blackhawk, I didn't recognize that place at all. But that story is on a different page here somewhere...
The Golden Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center
Clear Creek passes through town
In the heart of downtown Golden
The American Mountaineering Center in Golden, a premier center for mountaineering education and research
In the city park between the American Mountaineering Center and Clear Creek
Looking east up another side street, the Coors Brewery in the background
The Coors Building on Main Street, with a bronze statue of Adolph Coors on the street corner
Table Mountain Inn in downtown, Pueblo style 300 miles from the nearest pueblo
Foss Drug Building, now a repertory theater space
The Astor House Museum, a block west of downtown