The history of the development of the transport route has three phases: wagon road, rail line, and finally a U.S. Highway. This history begins in 1860 when William A.H. Loveland headed the drive to build a wagon road through Clear Creek canyon. By 1872, he laid a rail line over the route, the first narrow gauge railroad in the Rocky Mountains. Loveland's was a newer type of railroad; a smaller version from the standard gauge track which derives from the measurements of ancient Roman chariots. Trains made the change in Golden from standard gauge, used in the flat prairies to the east, to the narrow gauge used through mountain passes. The railroad builders conquered the steep and winding slopes, even the infamous "Toughcuss" narrows. The railroad greatly improved the economy of the region by allowing larger loads and faster transport between mining towns and communities on the plains.
During the 1930s, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal construction program designed to employ jobless workers, built the automobile highway through Clear Creek Canyon. U.S. Highway 6, replacing the old rail line, now allows tourists and truckers an easy and scenic access to the mountains.
Background photo: The Denver and Intermountain Railroad, electric Interurban trolley car #818 in Golden, circa 1941. Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection
|Series||This marker is part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects series|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Monday, September 8th, 2014 at 6:26am PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||13S E 480934 N 4400779|
|Decimal Degrees||39.75671667, -105.22256667|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 39° 45.403', W 105° 13.354'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||39° 45' 24.18" N, 105° 13' 21.24" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Area Code(s)||303, 720|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 1054-1098 Washington Ave, Golden CO 80401, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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