The 1970s


  • Construction of Interstate 70 between Ward Road and West Colfax Avenue - U.S 40 (4 miles) completed
  • Construction of Interstate 70 between State Highway 26 and Lookout Mountain Exit - Mount Vernon Canyon (2.8 miles) and between Lookout Mountain Exit and Genesee Mountain (2.4 miles) completed
  • Arvada's first public golf course, Indian Tree Golf Club, opens
  • The "Lawmen" singing group of Jeffco Sheriff's deputies invited to the White House by President Richard M. Nixon

January 15, 1970

Coors launches ’Cash for Cans’ aluminum recycling program

May 12, 1970

Denver is awarded the 1976 Winter Olympics. The organizing committee considers the Evergreen-Indian Hills area as a venue for the Nordic events. After public outcry over the costs and environmental impact, Denver officially withdraws on November 15, 1970, and the games are eventually awarded to Innsbruck, Austria.


  • Heritage Square opens on the old site of Magic Mountain
  • Foss Liquor in Golden, which had introduced a house brand whiskey called Ski Country, begins releasing unique porcelain art decanters
  • Jeffco Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad organized

June 10, 1971

Riot breaks out at Red Rocks Park before a Jethro Tull concert, resulting in the concert being cancelled and tear gas dropped on rioters from low-flying helicopters

December 1971

PLAN Jeffco is born


  • Jefferson County voters approve a one-half percent sales tax for Open Space, inaugurating the county’s award-winning Open Space Program
  • Construction of Interstate 70 through remainder of Jefferson County completed (between Genesee Mountain and El Rancho Exit (2 miles) and El Rancho Exit and Beaver Brook (4 miles)
  • NFL’s Baltimore Colts hold training camp at Colorado School of Mines
  • Lyle Fulkerson begins another Tiny Town restoration

August 24, 1972

The Arvada Historical Society is incorporated 68 years to the day after the incorporation of the City of Arvada


  • Colorado School of Mines celebrates its Centennial (100 years)
  • The Astor House in Golden listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Open Space becomes an official Jefferson County department

January 2, 1973

Highway 40 removed from state highway system and placed under county

May 30, 1973

Jefferson County Civil Defense Department (established in 1951) changes its name to Department of Emergency Preparedness

October 25, 1973

Jefferson County Historical Society established. Renamed Evergreen Mountain Area Historical Society in 2018.


  • First woman, Joanne K. Paterson, elected as a Jefferson County commissioner; she serves 1975 to 1979
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory established. Begins operating in 1977 as the Solar Energy Research Institute
  • National Earthquake Information Center moves to Colorado School of Mines in Golden
  • Casa Bonita restaurant opens in the JCRS Shopping Center on West Colfax Avenue in Lakewood. Awarded landmark status by the Lakewood Historical Society in 2015
  • Regional Transportation District (RTD) formed
  • Buffalo Creek's J.W. Green Mercantile placed on the National Register of Historic Places

June 20, 1974

Two small planes collide over Crown Hill Cemetery. One plane falls to the ground in the cemetery and burns, killing four. The other plane belly-lands in Sloan’s Lake; two men inside are able to get out before it sinks and are rescued by a boater.

July 22, 1974

Jefferson County Historical Commission established to guide the observances of the Centennial-Bicentennial year of 1976. The volunteer group now promotes the preservation and use of historical resources and sites around the county.


Jeffco Housing Dept. created to provide adequate housing for low and moderate income families residing in the county.


  • United States Marine Corps memorial erected at US 6 and Colfax - the only one outside of Washington, D.C.
  • Morrison Historical Sites listed on the National Register
  • Jeffco received national recognition for "progressive county development" by the National Association of Counties for two programs: the Jefferson County Conference and Nature Center and the Solid Waste Satellite Transfer Stations

July 3 & 4, 1976

The Festival of the West, a Centennial-Bicentennial project of the Jefferson County Historical Commission, is held at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds

July 4, 1976

New Christy Minstrels perform at the debut of the Arvada Center

August 1, 1976

Lakewood Heritage Center opens as Belmar Museum.


  • Federal government imposes a 55 mph speed limit to save gas during the country's energy crisis
  • Coors Brewery workers strike
  • Arvada’s iconic water tower, built in 1910, is decommissioned
  • Jeffco Sheriff's Office opens their new communications center which operates by microwave


  • Tiny Town closes and again falls into disrepair
  • Coors begins marketing Coors Light, the "silver bullet"

August 9, 1978

Major protest at Rocky Flats plant. 60 protesters, including Beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg, are arrested for trespassing

September 10, 1978

The Murphy Gulch forest fire breaks out at 11 am from a juvenile camp fire. 3300 acres burned.

November 4, 1978

Fire hits the Golden Transcript building at 1000 10th Street destroying its typesetting and layout equipment


April 28 & 29, 1979

An estimated 15,000 people protest near Rocky Flats; 286 protesters are arrested for trespassing

August 2, 1979

Heritage Square Alpine Slide opens and operates for 37 years before closing for good in 2015