January 2011 launched a year-long celebration of Jefferson County's 150th anniversary. Please join us in this historic milestone as we honor the history of Jefferson County.
Events | Timeline | Video | PastPort Program
Photo Scrapbook | Resources
The Pike’s Peak country, remote from the surrounding governments of Kansas, Nebraska, Utah, New Mexico, and Washington Territories, needed a local government. So, over the spring and summer of 1859 a small convention formed the self-proclaimed Territory of Jefferson, carved out of the surrounding recognized territories, and on October 24, 1859, held an election for the Provisional Government.
The first session of the provisional legislature of November 7, 1859, led by Governor Robert W. Steele, organized Jefferson Territory into 12 counties, including Jefferson County. On January 2, 1860, Jefferson County held its first election.
From 1859 to 1861 the territorial capital wandered between Denver City and Golden City, but much of the administration was handled at the home of Gov. Steele in the Jefferson County foothills town of Mount Vernon, located south of the present-day Interstate 70 and west of the Morrison Road exit.
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Jefferson County Insights Sesquicentennial Video:
Happy Sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary!
Jefferson County has a lot to celebrate with this amazing milestone. Watch the Jefferson County Insights video and the interview with John Steinle, director of the Hiwan Homestead Museum, and Rose Lewis, Chairman of the Jeffco Historical Commission, to learn a little bit about how Jefferson County came to be what it is today.
Select the Jeffco Insights
image to watch the video
in a new browser window,
leaving this web page.
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PastPort is a program designed by the Jefferson County Historical Commission to encourage visitation and appreciation of local historic sites within the county. For 2010-2011, eight special sites have been selected that have attained recognition on the National Register of Historic Places or as a National Natural Landmark, with a road trip on a National Scenic Byway thrown in for extra fun. From the Denver suburbs to the Rocky Mountain forests, these places showcase what makes Jefferson County unique.
We encourage explorers, young and old, to take a trip through time in their own back yards, from the Age of the Dinosaurs to the Gold Rush to the 20th Century. You will visit mansions and sod houses, ghost towns and thriving cities. Elementary-aged explorers who visit all eight of the sites by August 1, 2011 and have their PastPorts stamped will receive a special-issue Time Traveler badge.
Download your PastPort pages from the Jeffco Historical Commission 'Historic Jeffco' website, get on your walking shoes and open your imaginations to living history.
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Most photos courtesy of the Jefferson County Historical Society.
Last Modified: Mar 16, 2012 01:04 PM