The 1950s

The Golden Hill Climb, an auto race up Lookout Mountain, is held. The event is short-lived and ultimately cancelled by Colorado’s governor for safety reasons.

Glenn L. Martin Company builds its new Titan missile factory in Waterton Canyon


  • All Jefferson County school districts consolidate into the state’s largest school district, Jefferson County R-1
  • Construction of Morrison's first firehouse behind the original town hall off Mt. Vernon Ave. begins. Used for the next 20 years.

July 3, 1950

Denver Tramway Company ends streetcar service, buses become the primary means of transportation

October 25, 1950

Ground breaking for construction of the new $575,000 courthouse at 17th and Arapahoe in Golden


  • Coors Brewery begins brewery tours for tourists
  • Jefferson County Board of County Commissioners apply to the Department of Commerce for a site for an airport

February 13, 1951

Jefferson County Civil Defense department is established. Name changes to Department of Emergency Preparedness in 1973.

July 10, 1951

Ground breaking for first building of the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant in Jefferson County


  • Jefferson County Public Library established by the Board of County Commissioners
  • KFEL Channel 2 begins broadcasting television signals throughout the Denver Metro area from Lookout Mountain
  • Newly invented metal street signs replaced the old wooden signs throughout the county
  • Owl's Head fire near Mount Evans burns 200 acres

January 25, 1952

Denver Boulder Turnpike opens

March 1, 1952

Sheriff Enlow forms the Sheriff's Mounted Posse inducting 25 residents of the Evergreen area and Dr. John Hunt as their leader

April 10, 1952

A B-25 bomber crashes on Mount Tom west of Golden after taking off from Golden Memorial Airfield. Ten airmen and one civilian die in the crash.

August 1952

Television sets were sold for the first time in Jefferson County

November 1, 1952

First locally televised football game between Colorado School of Mines and Idaho State; Mines loses the game

November 15, 1952

First nationally televised Colorado football game, Colorado School of Mines versus Colorado College, played at the School of Mines’ Brooks Field and shown on KFEL-TV Channel 2


  • Second Jefferson County courthouse completed in Golden at 17th and Arapahoe; demolished in 1999
  • Jefferson Symphony Orchestra begins performing
  • Rocky Flats nuclear weapons production facility begins production of bomb components, manufacturing plutonium triggers
  • Uranium-rich ore discovered on land northwest of Golden. The Schwartzwalder Mine is the most productive uranium mine in the U.S until operations cease in 2000.
  • Sheriff Enlow begins the Youth Division program to educate younger citizens in the field of law enforcement


  • Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society (JCRS) transforms into the American Medical Center at Denver, concentrating on cancer research. Name later changed to AMC Cancer Research Center and Hospital.
  • Sacred Heart of Jesus statue at Mother Cabrini Shrine on Lookout Mountain carved by Italian sculptor. Shipped from Italy in five pieces.

August 10, 1954

Five prisoners of the county jail escape by sawing bars off a high window


  • Martin-Marietta Company (originally the Glenn L. Martin Company), now Lockheed-Martin, established in South Jefferson County near Waterton
  • Coors Brewery produces over one million barrels of beer

April 1955

The first dial telephones went into operation in Jefferson County

June 2, 1955

Sheriff Enlow announces an evacuation plan for Jefferson County in case of nuclear attack or enemy strike on the Colorado front range


Conifer residents May and Rudy Long start an ambulance service, transporting patients to locations from Fairplay to Denver

March 1956

Sheriff Carl Enlow indicted on tax evasion

August 30, 1956

Grand opening of Lakeside Shopping City west of Lakeside Amusement Park on W 44th Avenue. First fully enclosed and air conditioned shopping center in the United States.


  • County jail and Sheriff’s residence built next to the 1953 courthouse at 16th and Arapahoe Streets in Golden. It is later used as the Assessor / Treasurer building.
  • Coors Brewery workers strike over wages and benefits
  • Coors ends all malted milk operations after 40 years

January 1957

Indictment of Jefferson County Sheriff Carl Enlow for income tax evasion related to slot machine and gambling payoffs. Found guilty and sentenced to three years in the State Penitentiary.

February 1957

JCRS Shopping Center opens on West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood

May 1957

Jefferson County Public Schools’ "Operation Kids" created for mass evacuation of school kids in case of an atomic attack


  • Town of Bow Mar established and incorporated, located in both Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties
  • Bandimere Speedway opens


  • Coors develops the first two-piece aluminum can, begins marketing beer in 7 oz. cans
  • Colorado Railroad Museum opened by Robert W Richardson and Cornelius W Hauck to preserve historic railroad equipment
  • Westernaires relocate to "Fort Westernaire" near the Jeffco Fairgrounds in Golden and an arena is built
  • Bob and Jim Echter begin Echter's greenhouse operation in Arvada as a grower of cut-carnations

March 1959

Plans for the Jefferson County Airport are approved for a site southwest of Broomfield

August 1, 1959

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Jefferson County Airport are held at the site near Broomfield. Westernaires perform and construction of the airport begins.