The 1890s


June 27, 1890

Westminster platted as Harris Park. It is originally called Harrisburg. The name is changed to Westminster in 1908.

July 21, 1890

Severe rain storm begins after a long dry spell causing Clear Creek to flood, claiming three lives in Clear Creek Canyon


George West gives half ownership of the Transcript to son Leslie, publisher becomes "Geo. West & Son"

September 20, 1891

The first tramway to Lakewood and Golden from Denver begins service by the Denver, Lakewood and Golden Railway Company. It later becomes part of the Denver Tramway Corporation and is popularly known as the “Loop.”


July 4, 1892

Mount Olivet Cemetery opens. It is called "The New City of the Dead.”


  • World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago where Coors exhibits beer and the Golden Pressed and Fire Brick Co. showcases their products; both companies win awards
  • Brooks Field, home of the Colorado School of Mines’ football team, opens

November 7, 1893

Women's suffrage approved statewide by a 55% to 45% margin. Jefferson County men approved suffrage by 62%, which was higher than the statewide average of 55%.


April 3, 1894

Golden citizens elect the first woman to hold public office anywhere in Jefferson County: Ella Deaver is elected Treasurer of the City of Golden

May 30-June 1, 1894

Floods hit Clear Creek, Bear Creek and South Platte, causing major damage along rivers and in Golden and Morrison

November 1894

Ball lightning lights up the sky over Golden


Sparks from a passing train start a fire in Buffalo Creek, burning the original J.W. Green Mercantile building and much of the town

July 24, 1896

Great Flood from massive thunderstorm inundates Bear Creek, Clear Creek, Cub Creek, Golden Gate Canyon, Mt. Vernon Canyon, South Platte River and Tucker Gulch. Twenty-nine lives are lost at Evergreen, Golden, Morrison and Mt. Vernon Canyon, with great material destruction in Clear Creek Canyon, Golden and Morrison.


First female student, Florence Caldwell, graduates from the Colorado School of Mines

Harley Dean West, George West’s younger son, makes his debut writing for the Transcript from the front during the Spanish-American War

August 28, 1898

Train wreck near Dome Rock Station takes the life of William "Billy" G. Westall, engineer for the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad. Guiding a train with 450 passengers back to Denver, Westall discovers the tracks ahead of his train are blocked. He does his best to stop the train but it hits the debris and keels over, pinning Westall and seriously injuring him. His passengers all survive but he dies later that night.


City of Golden passes ordinance to prohibit donkeys, cows and sheep from running loose in the streets

September 4, 1899

A.O.U.W, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, erect monument to honor Billy Westall near the Dome Rock Station along the North Fork of the South Platte River, about halfway through the canyon. Students from West Jefferson Middle School work to preserve and restore the monument 2012-2014.