- Things to Do
- Living in Golden
- About Golden
- Visiting Golden
Golden was founded in 1859, during the Colorado gold rush. While some gold was found in Clear Creek, it chiefly served to provide a route into the mountains. The large gold deposits were discovered in Black Hawk, Central City, and Idaho Springs. Golden served as a supply town for those heading into the mountains.
Many of the towns established during the gold rush vanished as quickly as they had arisen, but Golden had staunch advocates, and over time it became the Territorial Capitol, a railroad hub, the county seat, the site of the state mining college, and the home of Adolph Coors Brewery. These enterprises helped keep Golden on the map. It remained a small but vital town through two World Wars and a Great Depression. Even today, with a population of about 20,000, Golden is dwarfed by its neighbors: Arvada has approximately 113,000 residents; Wheat Ridge, 31,000, and Lakewood 149,000. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau)
Golden embraces its small town identity. The historic downtown is the focus of frequent community gatherings, such as street fairs, races, festivals, and parades. The City emphasizes parks and walking trails, as a way to foster both fitness and social interaction. Civic engagement runs high in this town, where public meetings are well-attended, every board and commission opening has a dozen applicants, and people watch (and later discuss) City Council meetings on cable TV and through the city website.