The 1880s


March 6, 1880

North School opens in Golden to alleviate overcrowding at South School. Building demolished in 1965.

May 4, 1880

Adolph Coors buys out his partner Jacob Schueler, becoming the sole proprietor of the Golden Brewery


July 16, 1881

Colorado State Industrial School, for incorrigible young men between ages 7-16, later the Lookout Mountain School for Boys and Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center, opens in Golden. (Established by legislation February 12, 1881 by Governor Pitkin.)


Unplatted area comprising Wheat Ridge named by resident Henry Lee, who served as a state senator, 1885 to 1889. The area was first settled as farmsteads in 1859.

November 7, 1882

Election day earthquake of magnitude 6.2, the largest recorded in Jefferson County, shakes Golden, with effect particularly felt at Jefferson County Courthouse


  • Colorado School of Mines holds its first formal commencement for two graduates, William B. Middleton and Walter H. Wylie
  • Buffalo Creek's J.W. Green purchases general store from Morrison Timber Co., thus beginning the J.W. Green Mercantile. Original building burns down in 1896.


September 15, 1884

Sacred Heart College, now Regis University, opens in Morrison's "Swiss Cottage" with 24 students


  • Begun in 1870, the Welch Ditch is completed to carry water from Clear Creek to agricultural lands east of Golden
  • Coors Brewery gives people $0.45 for returning a dozen empty quart bottles
  • W.W. Wilmore establishes W.W. Wilmore Nursery at what is now 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge, specializing in growing dahlias


Community of Fairmount is established


Town of Broomfield established; originally called Zang's Spur, the town is located in Adams and Boulder Counties as well as Jefferson County

December 15, 1887

First electricity in Jefferson County as Golden Illuminating Company’s power plant goes online


George West's son, Leslie B. West, starts working for the Transcript

December 11, 1888

Chief Colorow, one of the most familiar Native American inhabitants in Jefferson County, dies of pneumonia at Ouray Agency, Utah


First international student graduates from the Colorado School of Mines

May 13, 1889

Edgewater town plat filed

July 1, 1889

Lakewood town plat filed

September 9, 1889

White Ash Coal Mine disaster when a tunnel built under Clear Creek in Golden floods, drowning ten men whose bodies were never recovered