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Museum Hours
Written by Claudia Worth   
Sunday, 25 July 2010
The Wheat Ridge Historic Park and Museum Buildings are open for tours on Fridays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  We are also open at this time for research.  Special tours may be arranged by calling either Charlotte 303-467-0023 or Claudia at 303 467-0023.  The museum phone line is 303-421-9111 expect a answering machine we will return calls on the following Friday.
Last Updated ( Sunday, 25 July 2010 )
 
W, 38th in 1941
Written by Claudia Worth   
Friday, 10 October 2008

With the Ballot Issues to change the Wheat Ridge Charter to take out height and density limits this November, that would change the look of our historic

 

city, we have had several  inquiries of late about what W. 38th Avenue looked like in the late 30’s early 40’s.  While doing research for individuals on their

parent’s home we came across this article in one of the abstracts that we have in our collections.

 

THE MIDDLE GOLDEN ROAD

The East Jefferson, Sentinel Edgewater, Colorado Thursday August 28, 1941

 

(Prospect Trail of Long Ago)

Has kept pace with the years, and in its transition from an avenue of homes surrounded by beautiful trees and flower gardens, has been developed first. by a set of fearless pioneers and later by progressive business men, from the trail of the old time gold seekers into one of Jefferson county’s main business throughfares –

 

WEST 38TH AVENUE

 

by Mrs. Lulu, Trago

Wheat Ridge, Colorado

We have felt for some time that 38th ave. or the Middle Golden as it is sometimes called, deserves and should have a write-up, with a little of its past, its present, and a few of its pioneers thrown in for good measure.

This avenue early days, Prospect avenue, and long before that Prospect Trail.  A very fine marker to that effect may be seen at Elitch’s Gardens, on the paved walk north of the display windows.  This marker of bronze and was presented to the avenue May 21 1936, by the Daughters of Colorado, in honor of the gold seekers of 1856.

We understand that at one time a portion of this avenue west of Wadsworth, had a row of large shade trees growing in the center of it, and that an irrigation ditch or flume ran calmly along the center of it, also , a la 17th Avenue Parkway.

 

Well, times and avenues have changed should you have reason to doubt it, drive out and see for yourself.

 

The Wheat Ridge, 38th avenue of which I write, starts at Sheridan

Boulevard on the east and goes to Mt. Olivet on the west.  The avenue is

 paved all the way, and it also has a sidewalk as far as the brow of the hill, just west of the Lutheran Sanitarium, which is about two miles from the end of the bus line.

Driving west from the county line, at Sheridan Boulevard, we see before us a wonderful vista.  The avenue seems to be lined with trees, and far in the distance, at the end of the street are the lofty Rocky Mountains looming up to form a natural picture that any artist would delight to paint.

On this drive west during the daylight hours, we can obtain a very clear view of the snow capped Continental Divide; the fertile valleys, with Long’s Peak in the distance, also the entrance to two large canyons, the Clear Creek and Coal Creek canyons. We can see Look Out Mountain large letter “M” which represents our famous, Colorado School of Mines and Mt Evans.

At our right two mountain railroads can be plainly seen; one of these, the Moffat and Rio Grande, goes through the famous Moffat tunnel on over the divide to Salt Lake City, and finally reaches the Pacific coast.

At night, when all the lights are lighted this is a wonderful drive.  The many lights in the town of Arvada, also the lights of the Wheat Ridge Farm Dairy on W. 44th avenue, with the Leyden interurban cars in the distance, makes a grand display. However, this is not all, the incoming trains of the Moffat road, coming cautiously down the mountainside in and out through the many tunnel combined with the lights of automobiles coming down Lookout Mountain, make a site long to be remembered, especially those of us who were raised in the Middle West.

The large light on Buffalo Bill’s grave on Lookout Mountain shines out every night and to the far east we can see the two tall beacon lights at the Denver airports.

We will now take a daytime trip and start at Olivet Avenue and go east, and take note of some of the gardens and homes on the Middle Golden Road.

We first pass the James Lee ranch with its large rambling red brick house, which reminds us of the pictures we have seen of the poet, Longfellow’s home.  The Lee home was built in 1884. 

On the south we see the well kept gardens of  R. G. Bassett, who came to this community from England in 1892.

Next come James Connollee who came here from Virginia in 1908, and the gardens of Miss Florence Anderson, whose parents came here in 1887.

We pass a thriving Red and White store, owned by Robert Rackley, and just across the street is the Prospect Valley school house which, was erected in 1923 and is a neat sturdy little four room brick building where children in the Prospect Valley can obtain work in the first eight grades to fit them to enter Wheat Ridge High School.  For nearly five years there has been a Sunday school held there, where children in the neighborhood, not attending elsewhere, can obtain Christian training.  The Sunday school is undenominational. Before reaching Howell avenue, we pass the Mile High Poultry Farm No. 1, which is second to none in Colorado.  Across the street is the home of the late Matt Haakenson, one time county assessor of Jefferson County.

The fine new residence of Albert Bongers deserves special attention, also the two story red brick Willow Springs store.  We notice the fine gardens of Gus Bloom, L.M. Moore, Teddy Erickson, John Crane and Roxie Losasso. Gus Bloom and Roxie Lossasso specialize in the famous Pascal celery.

The Prospect Valley Motor Inn, owned by Howard Crowe, has a good location and does a very good business. 

Near the late Gotfried Anderson ranch, we pass the good looking home of Mr. and Mrs. Sloniker and their son Gordon.  This place was formerly the Alfred Anderson home.  Gotfried Anderson and A.E. Johnson, the father of Oscar, Ellen and Myrtle Johnson, opened the first road form Wadsworth Avenue to Howell Avenue.

It is a far cry from this road or trail of 1887 to the West 38th avenue of 1941.  This street is directly connected with the city of Denver, and a stranger could not tell where Denver ends and Wheat Ridge begins.

Across from the Willow Springs grocery is the Glorieta Nursery, the home of Mr. and Mrs. E. J. White. They have 25 acres of fruit trees, shrubs, and flowers.

We pass the A.L. Doud and Swan Pearson ranches and come to the country home of Joe Pearson and wife.  Mr. Pearson came to this country from Sweden in 1887 and has always lived on the Middle Golden Road.  In 1905 they built their present home and set out the maple twigs that are now 36 years later, trees that bring shade and comfort on hot days.  Their five children are all married and gone.  Mr. Pearson deals in real estate and is connected with the Golden Bank at the present time.

 Mrs. Cora Taggart, a former postmistress at Wheat Ridge, lives in her neat brick bungalow adjoining the Pearson home.  Just across the avenue is the Lutheran Sanitarium, where patients come from all over the United States to rest and breathe this good., health giving ozone, which is found in much abundance in this mile high altitude, and this air is free to all, both rich and poor.  Thank God for good clean mountain air.

Just east of this sanitarium is the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Yousse.  Mr. Yousse is a contractor.

The next garden was the home of the late. J.B. Trago who came to this county in 1876, and resided in this home for 35 years.

Mr. and Mrs. Johnson own the Wheat Ridge Nursery at 7800 West 38th Avenue.  They hope in time to extend it to all of their ten-acre tract

 

Just before reaching Wadsworth Avenue we come to the famous Wilmore Dahlia Farm, which was the first of its kind to be started in Wheat Ridge and is very likely the largest dahlia farm in Colorado.  Mr. Wilmore and his wife came to their present home in March 1885.  They built up a fine business all over the United States.  When the writer asked him if this was not the case, he smiled his slow smile and said; “Yes, and to England, Australia, India, China and Puerto Rico.”  Mr. Wilmore has retired now and his son, Scott, who lives in an attractive home adjoining on the west is the manager. Mr. Wilmore’s former large red brick house has been replaced by a very nice new modern home of white pressed brick.  Mr. W. W. Wilmore and Mr. Joe Pearson may be seen as they appear today in the picture below.  (The picture is available for view at the Wheat Ridge Historical Society Museum.)

These two men have been outstanding in making West 38th avenue what it is today, one of the best, if not the best residential district outside of Denver.

The new edifice, which stands at the junction of Wadsworth and W.38th Avenues, is the Wheat Ridge Community Church.  This building was erected in 1930 at the cost of $15,000 and has a membership of 356. The Rev. Richard L. West is the pastor.  A comfortable parsonage stands near the church.

The R.T. Davis outdoor nursery is across the street, and is one of the beauty spots of this avenue.  It is run by R.T. Davis and his wife Lucy Wilmore Davis and assisted by their son Melrose.

Wesley Slater and his wife live just east of this nursery.  Mr. Slater is a real pioneer, having lived in and around Wheat Ridge all of his life.  Mrs. Slater runs a fruit and vegetable market, a very good market by the way, and it is closed over Sunday, which is very commendable.

The neat home and attractive grounds of Homer L.Pearson representative from Jefferson County, comes next.  He,  with his brother. Joe Jr., have a thriving greenhouse at the rear of this home.

We might mention here the Ruth Benson nursery.  the Katt nursery and the Schumann green house, making in all nine nurseries and green houses on this avenue; also just across Sheridan are the world famous Elitch’s gardens.

Another very nice country home as we came along the avenue was the Henry Willis residence a 7700 where the popular “Heiny” resides with his wife and two children.

 

We now come to the business section.  The Home Owned Store which does a fine business, winter or summer, rain or shine, depression or no depression, owned and run by the genial and obliging Earl Chambers, who is everyone’s friend.  In the same block with him is a café, run by Al Green, the office of the Wheat Ridge Water company, and a fine up to-date drug store ably managed by Ross Gordon.

Across the street is the new $129,000 Wheat Ridge High School, with a good grade school on the same grounds.  Mr. Paul Stevens is the superintendent, and Miss Ellen Johnson is the principal of the grade school.  This school rates high and parents often move to this community to send their children to this school.  It was built in 1936.

Across from the high school we find the location where the two Weakland brothers, John and Walter, continue to make friends and gain new customers in their gas, oil and ice business.  In the same block with them is a barbershop and grocery store.  This is the Fred Bunger block. 

George Hively has put up a fine new building in which he displays a good line of hardware and paints.  His wife assists him in the store, while he operates a blacksmith shop in the rear.

Also in this businesses district is the Barnee Garage and Dry Goods Store owned by Mr. Joe Bickley.  Then there is a trailer camp and a novelty store.

The Wheat Ridge Post Office stands on the corner of the old Holley ranch.  Mrs. Roxie Broad is the capable postmistress and Charlene Riedel her able assistant.  The Holleys were also pioneers and came to this place in 1877.  This ranch is now sub-divided into lots for comfortable dwellings.  A part of it is called “Upland Acres”.

There are some modern apartments west of the post office and Percy Haskins has a real estate office just east.  Across the avenue is the home of W.F. Smith.  Mr. Smith is employed at the state capitol.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Bunger came here in 1890.  They too are pioneers.  Br. Bunger was one of the persons responsible for having the post office changed from Edgewater to Wheat Ridge.  He was the first postmaster at Wheat Ridge.

We notice the Cosmopolitan Courts, erected by Mrs. Al Anderson and also a little farther on the large modern garage owned and operated by Al Anderson.

Just across the avenue are the good looking homes of Mrs. Hattie Witham and the estate known as Pinehurst.

Green Bowers, owned by Charles Wilmore, is one of the many nurseries and fine well kept suburban homes on this avenue of beautiful homes.

We find many more filling stations before we reach Sheridan Blvd. and the Pence and Sedgley Garage; also near here is the Woodside Lumber Company, the Anderson Coal and Feed Company., The Mountain View Creamery and a large Safeway store. The land just south of here was formerly owned by Mrs. Burch one of the few remaining pioneers, who has her home near by.  Many fine up to the minute homes have been erected on this land and also on the land known as Stewart’s gardens;  north of the avenue Alex Ritchie and his wife also live at these gardens.  They two are pioneers.

We are pleased to record the fact that no intoxicating beverages are sold on this stretch of West 38th Avenue.

The rapid growth of this entire Wheat Ridge district is exemplified by the manner in which the choice locations in the Pearson-Woodside addition; located just south of 38th Ave. on Sheridan have been bought up by prospective homeowners.  Mr. Woodside informs us that since they platted this district about one year ago, that 43 new homes have been completed there.

Drive out and enjoy all the natural beauties, the many out door nurseries, the dahlia farms, and the very good roads.  West 38th has all of these, and we also have a very fine class of loyal patriotic American citizens.

Long Live West 38th avenue, the Middle Golden Road, the old Prospect Trail of long ago.

   
Last Updated ( Thursday, 04 September 2014 )
 
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