First Resident/Agriculturalist

First Resident/Agriculturalist (HMY5E)

Location: Golden, CO 80401 Jefferson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 45.39', W 105° 13.374'

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David King Wall, one of Golden's early permanent settlers, arrived from South Bend, Indiana on April 30, 1859. He brought a great deal of garden seed and tools with him. King defied the common belief that growing a garden would be impossible due to the high altitude and arid conditions. He had experience during the California Gold Rush in the use of irrigation. Wall dug a ditch from Tucker Gulch to irrigate his two-acre farm in the area of the rail yards at Depot Street. He successfully grew vegetables in this garden, which has been credited as the first farm in Colorado. So eager were the miners (who had subsisted on a diet of largely beans, game and very tough beefsteak) for fresh vegetables that they paid Wall fabulous prices for his produce. Wall realized a $2,000 profit from his 1859 crop.

In addition to his agricultural business, Wall grubstaked Arapahoe Bar miner John Hamilton Gregory, enabling the miner to prospect in the mountains. Wall supplied food in exchange for a share of whatever gold Gregory might find. On May 6, 1859 Gregory made one of the most famous gold discoveries in Colorado history, helping confirm the faith of the gold rushers and putting the rush into full boom. Wall became one of the original founders of Golden when the town was organized on June 16, 1859. In November 1859 John C. Wall joined his brother David in working on his farm, but died within a year. The wall brothers built Colorado's first produce store where the tower of the Golden Visitors Center stands today. It was a 2-story frame building with a false front, measuring 18x36 feet.

David Wall made the farm larger for the 1860 season, expanding it to encompass 20 acres including the bench above the original farm. Despite a late frost, David Wall made an $8,000 profit in that second season.

From January-June 1862 David Wall served as one of the original Jefferson County Commissioners. After David Wall abandoned farming, his building served as Mason Seavey's grocery store, home of the Jefferson County government, and then Jefferson County Jail before it was destroyed by an arsonist in 1876.

Spencer Cabin

Between the Wall brothers' vegetable stand and Clear Creek stood the Spencer Cabin. George Eliphas Spencer, Lucien w. Bliss, Fox Diefendorf, and James A. Dawson lived here during the winter of 1859-1860. George Spencer was instrumental in founding Breckenridge and later served as a Senator from the state of Alabama. Bliss was Secretary of Jefferson Territory and spent a good portion of this term as acting governor in the absence of Governor Steele. Jim Dawson may well be the earliest known building contractor in Colorado. His most prominent work was the Overland Hotel in downtown Golden, then the largest building in the city. At the outbreak of the Civil War Dawson joined the 1st Colorado Volunteers of the Union Army. Lieutenant Dawson and his men fought in the mountains of New Mexico to repel an invasion of the Confederate Army which was intending to raid the large stores of gold in the region. These gold bars then served to help fund the Union Army, affecting the outcome of the war. Dying later in the war, Dawson is remembered on the Civil War Memorial in front of Colorado's capitol.
HM NumberHMY5E
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 9:20pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 480905 N 4400755
Decimal Degrees39.75650000, -105.22290000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 45.39', W 105° 13.374'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 45' 23.40" N, 105° 13' 22.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)303, 720
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1040-1050 Clear Creek Trail, Golden CO 80401, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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Nearby Markersshow on map
0.02 miles
Irrigation and Farming
0.02 miles
Golden City
0.02 miles
0.02 miles
Golden and Clear Creek
0.03 miles
0.03 miles
0.03 miles
Early History of Clear Creek
0.03 miles
Settlement of Clear Creek Valley
0.03 miles
Gold in Clear Creek
0.03 miles
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