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1952 Courthouse Cornerstone Time Capsule and Contents, 1877-2000 (Bulk 1952)

Identifier: Series-120

Scope and Contents

The collection contains the actual time capsule box and contents from the 1952 Jefferson County courthouse cornerstone in Golden. Box one contains the small copper box, measuring 8” wide by 12” long by 8” high. Three hand-written notes were taped to the bottom: "Frank Stanbro: The Greatest Deputy County Treasurer to Date. A Democrat. Aug. 2, 1952"; "Ruth K. Beville: The best South Carolina Democrat in Colorado. Position: Clerk for the most competent Treasurer Jefferson County ever had!!!!"; and "from the old line of Democrats and Residen[ce] of Jefferson County, Sadie Fishburn"

Box two of the collection contains documents such as the county’s 1952 Budget and Financial Statement; the courthouse bond; Abstract of Assessments and list of Tax Levies; and specifications for bids for construction of the courthouse. It also contains 1877 and 1951 proceedings from the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Colorado; postcards showing the 1877 courthouse and the Golden welcome arch; and a 1948-1950 Yearbook from the State of Colorado. The back of the postcard of Golden's welcome arch has a hand-written note that says: "Good luck to the County Clerk when this box is opened, Bob Newton, County Clerk, August 2, 1952." Photographs of the time capsule being removed from the cornerstone before the building was demolished and newspaper articles about the opening of the time capsule are also included.

Box three contains nine area newspapers:

Arvada Enterprise, July 31, 1952 Colorado Transcript, July 31, 1952 Denver Post, July 31, 1952 Golden Outlook, August 3, 1952 Jefferson County Sentinel, July 2, 1952 and July 30, 1952 (2 copies) Jefferson Record, July 31, 1952 Rocky Mountain News, August 2, 1952


  • 1877-2000
  • Majority of material found within 1952


Conditions Governing Access

Archives collection material is non-circulating, requires staff retrieval and is available for use by appointment in the reading room.

Biographical / Historical

In a public ceremony held January 10, 2000, members of the Jefferson County Historical Commission and Jefferson County Archives opened a time capsule recovered from the 1952 County Courthouse. The small copper box had been placed in the cornerstone August 2, 1952, when the courthouse at 17th and Arapahoe streets in Golden was built. Inside the box, which had been welded shut half a century earlier, were newspapers, postcards, county documents, Colorado Masonic publications, and a State of Colorado Yearbook.

The old Jefferson County courthouse, which stood behind the Hall of Justice building on what is currently the Colorado School of Mines campus, was sold to the school in 1994 and demolished in November, 1999. The time capsule laid at its dedication in 1952 was saved and opened in a public ceremony held January 10, 2000, at the Jefferson County Administration and Courts Building.


2.32 Cubic Feet (Three boxes: 1 Rec, 1 Doc, 1 F24)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Contents were found sealed in a time capsule that had been placed in the cornerstone of the Jefferson County courthouse on August 2, 1952. The courthouse, once located at the corner of 27th and Arapahoe Streets in Golden, Colorado, was demolished in November, 1999. Officials knew about the time capsule and retrieved it, opening it in a public ceremony held January 10, 2000.

Processing Information

Processed by Marge Benham in February, 2000. Revised by Ronda Frazier September, 2014

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Jefferson County Archives Repository

3500 Illinois Street
Suite 2350
Golden CO 80401 United States