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National Register of Historic Places
The following sites in Jefferson County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Jefferson County Historical Commission’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony acknowledges these designations.
Landmark Designation Program
The Jefferson County Historical Commission is accepting nominations for the Landmark Designation Program. This is a voluntary program that encourages County residents to nominate, with the property owner’s consent, significant a historic site, structures and/or a district for Jefferson County Landmark status. The purpose of the Landmark Program is to enhance the County’s historical awareness by designating those historic sites, structures and districts which exhibit exceptional cultural and/or architectural and significance as a County Landmark property.
The Landmark Program is organized and administered by the Jefferson County Historical Commission and the Landmark Designation Committee. The Landmark Designation Committee (LDC) is charged with reviewing the applicant’s completed Landmark Nomination Form to determine if the historic site, structure or district is potentially eligible for designation. Once the application is reviewed by the LDC, LDC’s recommendation will referred to JCHC for final determination.
Those historic properties nominated as a Jefferson County Landmark are recognized with a Certificate of Designation at the County’s annual Hall of Fame Awards Program which usually occurs in the fall. The nominated Landmark property owner is also eligible to participate in the Landmark Plaque Program.
Jefferson County Recognized Landmarks (PDF)
Landmark Designation Program Overview (PDF)
Landmarks Program Guidelines (PDF)
Landmark Designation Application Form (PDF)
Landmark Designation Owner Consent Form (PDF)
Hall of Fame Ceremony and Honorees
The annual Hall of Fame Ceremony is a public event at which two new designees to the Jefferson County Hall of Fame are announced and historic sites placed on the National Register of Historic Places and the State Register of Historic Sites are recognized. Finally, historic properties designated through the newly created County Historic Landmark Program are recognized with a Certificate of Designation.
Each year since 1979 two individuals significant in county history or in the preservation of county history, one living and one deceased, have been named to the Hall of Fame. Their portraits are on display in the County Administration Building.
The public is encouraged to submit nominations of individuals to the Hall of Fame. Nomination forms usually are due around the first of May each year.
State Historical Fund Grants For Historic Preservation
The State of Colorado provides grant funding from the State Historical Fund for qualifying historic preservation projects.
The Norm & Ethel Meyer Award for Historic Preservation in Jefferson County Colorado
Every year, individuals and organizations across the county are active in preserving some aspect of Jeffco’s built history. In 2010, JCHC initiated a new tradition of recognizing special contributions to preservation of our valuable historic resources in the county.
This award is named in honor of the Norman and Ethel Meyer Family, who were honored as the first recipients, in recognition of their longstanding efforts to preserve evidence and structures from Jefferson County’s ranching history. Their dedication is evident in Meyer Ranch, much of which is now protected as Open Space; their preservation of the Midway House, their home since 1950; Norm’s long service to the Jefferson County Historical Commission; his preservation work on historic toll roads in the Conifer area; and designation of the Lubin-Blakeslee House and Meyer Ranch large barn as county landmarks.
- 2021: Tesoro Cultural Center
- 2020: Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society
- 2019: Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
- 2018: Conifer Historical Society & Museum
- 2017: Denver Parks & Recreation and Denver Mountain Parks Foundation
- 2016: Colorado Railroad Museum
- 2015: Lariat Loop Heritage Alliance
- 2014: Friends of Dinosaur Ridge
- 2013: Jefferson County Open Space
- 2012: Pine-Elk Creek Improvement Association
- 2011: Golden Landmarks Association
2021: Tesoro Cultural Center
The Tesoro Cultural Center is the recipient of the 2021 Norm and Ethel Meyer Award for its dedication to preserving and educating the community and visitors about the many cultures that make up the Southwest’s rich cultural art and history.
The Tesoro Foundation, now doing business as the Tesoro Cultural Center™, was founded in 1999 by the late historian, Samuel Paul Arnold; current Executive Director, Holly Arnold Kinney; and the late Dr. Mary Fox Arnold, patroness of the arts and educational organizations.
Tesoro Cultural Center is the only Jefferson County educational organization whose mission is specifically to emphasize diversity and varied cultural legacies through lecture series, annual Indian and Spanish Markets, events that enshrine the Latinx traditions of the American Southwest, and interactive educational programs about the diverse cultures in Colorado during the fur trade era.
Tesoro Cultural Center is in close contact with important artists and tribal leaders of the Southern Cheyenne and Arapahoe, and they participate in events at the Fort.
2020: Ken Caryl Ranch Historical Society
Image: The Bradford-Perley House preserved by the Ken Caryl Ranch Historical Society
The Ken-Caryl Ranch Historical Society (KCRHS) is the recipient of the 2020 Norm and Ethel Meyer Award for its dedication to preserving and promot-ing the history of the notable Ken-Caryl Ranch in Littleton. The extensive work of the KCRHS has led to the recognition of not one but five sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These include:
- Bradford House III (listed in 1980);
- Bradford House II (listed in 2001):
- Ken-Caryl South Valley Archeological District (listed in 2003):.
- Bradford-Perley House (listed in 2015):
- John C. Shaffer Barn (listed in 2019).
In addition to these nationally recognized efforts, the KCRHS works diligently to communicate with residents of the Ken-Caryl area about the historic sites which surround them. The efforts of the KCRHS reach to all aspects of the historic relics in the area.
2019: Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave
Image: William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody posing for a photo.
2019’s theme of Historical Tourism made the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave is a natural choice for this award. The entire site has been a popular tourist attraction since it opened nearly a century ago. The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave—owned and operated by the City and County of Denver and part of the Denver Mountain Parks system—exists to preserve the memory of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917). To this end it maintains the Cody gravesite and related structures on Lookout Mountain Park; collects, cares for and interprets artifacts associated with Cody’s life and times; and records Cody’s ongoing influence on American culture.
2018: Conifer Historical Society and Museum
Image 1: Illustration of the Little White School House by the late Doyle Harrison.
Image 2: Restoration; Volunteers install flashing/moisture barrier and a french drain around the foundation.
Conifer Historical Society and Museum is known for their efforts in preserving, renovating and maintaining the complex of buildings around the Little White Schoolhouse in Conifer; for securing the inclusion of the complex on the National Register of Historic Places; and for promoting knowledge of the area’s history through a continuing series of successful programs.
2017: Joint Award to Denver Parks & Recreation and Denver Mountain Parks Foundation
Image: Corwina Shelter, in Corwina Mountain Park, was designed by J.J.B. Benedict.
This year, JCHC is pleased to give the Award jointly to Denver Parks and Recreation and the Denver Mountain Parks Foundation (DMPF) for their collaborative work in restoring and improving the Denver Mountain Parks. The best known of these are Genesee Park, Lookout Mountain Park and Red Rocks Park. The joint awardees formed a public/private partnership to improve the Denver Mountain Parks and restore their historic structures. DMPF is a non-profit foundation that raises funds and provides public education to assist Denver in improving the parks; and Denver Parks and Recreation provides professional staff to plan, design and implement the improvements.
2016: The Colorado Railroad Museum
Image: The Galloping Goose is one of many historic “structures” at the Colorado Railroad Museum.
The Colorado Railroad Museum was honored for its efforts to structures— in this case, railroad cars—that reflect our heritage. The Railroad Museum opened in 1959 and currently displays more than 100 narrow and standard gauge steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars, and cabooses on its 15-acre site. The museum itself was designated a Jeffco historic landmark in 2011, and many of its railroad cars are on the National Register.
2015: Lariat Loop Heritage Alliance
Image: An interpretive kiosk was developed near the mural in downtown Morrison.
The Lariat Loop Heritage Alliance was formed in 2000 to promote the natural and cultural heritage along the 40-mile Loop that runs from Golden to the top of Lookout Mountain, continuing to I-70, on to Evergreen, down Bear Creek to Morrison, and back to Golden. In 2009, thanks to the efforts of the Alliance, this route was designated a National Scenic Byway. This partnership of heritage organizations includes museums, parks, businesses, and chambers of commerce. Interpretive kiosks have been installed at Beverly Heights (Golden), downtown Morrison, downtown Evergreen, and the Buffalo Bill Museum. Two more sites are under development.
2014: Friends of Dinosaur Ridge (FoDR)
Image: Longtime volunteer T Caneer teaches kids about dinosaur tracks.
For 25 years and more of preservation work on Jeffco’s prehistoric resources at Dinosaur Ridge and Triceratops Trail, as well as an outstanding record of public education and interpretation. The Friends, with a corps of dedicated volunteers and a handful of staff members, manage programs and tours at two visitor centers and now host 100,000 visitors a year.
2013: Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS)
Image: Baehrden Lodge opened to the public for tours in July 2013.
For stewardship of more than 52,000 acres, much of which includes historic ranch lands; restoration and management of historic structures including Hiwan Homestead, Boettcher Mansion, and Baehrden Lodge, maintaining their public use as assets to the regional community. In 2012, JCOS celebrated its 40th anniversary in land preservation.
2012: Pine-Elk Creek Improvement Association (PECIA) and Friends of the North Fork Historic District
Image: The Pine Grove Community Center is owned and was restored by PECIA.
For restoration and stewardship of the Pine Grove Methodist Church (now the Pine Grove Community Center), designation of six county landmarks in the community, establishing and updating the North Fork Historic District, and spearheading the formal return of the historic name “Pine Grove.” PECIA has been active in the Pine Grove area since 1947, creating a strong community presence through the annual Rhubarb Festival and, in recent years, sponsoring historic tours for elementary school students.
2011: Golden Landmarks Association (GLA)
Image: Astor House Museum, now part of Golden History Museums.
For saving the Astor House from demolition in 1971; working to achieve national register designation for five historic buildings and three historic districts; saving other area landmarks, some now part of Clear Creek History Park; and saving and restoring the Brickyard House. GLA is one of the oldest non-profit historic preservation organizations in Colorado.