The 1980s


  • Jefferson County Sheriff's Office establishes K-9 Unit
  • Tiny Town reopens including a puppet theater and pony rides
  • Jewish Consumptives' Relief Society at 6401 W. Colfax Avenue in Lakewood listed as a National Register Historic District


Coors begins producing Killian's Irish Red beer

March 31, 1981

Part-time Evergreen resident John Hinckley, Jr. shoots President Ronald Reagan and three others leaving the Washington DC Hilton Hotel in a deranged attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and released from a mental hospital in 2016.

June 3, 1981

The first of three tornadoes touched down at 2:23 pm at 6th & Sheridan in Lakewood. A second touched down in Thornton at 88th & Washington at 2:43 pm and a third in Fort Lupton at 3:31 pm.

July 4, 1981

Evergreen holds its first July 4th fireworks over Evergreen Lake


December 1982

Conifer holds its first Christmas parade


Tiny Town is again closed to the public

August 25, 1983

Three-year old Lori Poland, kidnapped from the front yard of her Sheridan home three days earlier by 21 year old Robert Thiret, is discovered in the pit of an outhouse near Chief Hosa


August 2, 1985

Head-on train collision directly under the Boulder Turnpike (Hwy 36) overpass kills five and blows the overpass completely out


  • Sheriff and Detention Facility completed in Jefferson County Government Center campus at 200 Jefferson County Parkway
  • Senator Gary Hart of Kittredge announces his run for the presidency


June 16, 1987

Jeffco Sheriff's Aviation Unit Bell 47 helicopter crashes on Scartop Mountain during a search and rescue mission


  • First Rhubarb Festival held in Pine Grove
  • A member of American Atheists tries to have the Mount Lindo cross extinguished permanently. In response, Jeffco Commissioners create zoning for landmark signs.


  • Elk Creek Elementary School opens
  • Wildfire in Mount Falcon Open Space Park chars 100 acres - believed to be intentionally set

May 1989

Tiny Town reopens after restoration

June 1989

FBI Agents and the Environmental Protection Agency raid the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant for investigation of environmental crimes, discovering numerous violations. Rocky Flats becomes a Superfund site.

Fall 1989

Human Services building completed in Jefferson County Government Center campus at 900 Jefferson County Parkway