GOLDEN GOES WILD WHEN GLORIOUS NEWS OF VICTORY IS RECEIVED

Colorado Transcript, November 14, 1918

To say that the people of Golden went wild Monday when the glorious news of peace came over the wires, is putting it mildly, to say the least.

Armistice Day 1918 in Golden CO

City of Golden Collection

Golden got the news shortly after it was received in Denver, and about 1:30 Monday morning the people of the city were awakened with bells, whistles and shots, and then began a period of celebration that will long be remembered here.

The first news that Germany had surrendered came to George W. Parfet, a friend in Denver phoning the glad tidings to him. Mr. Parfet phoned to Alderman C.W. Owens, and he in turn spread the news to a number of friends. H.T. Curry, I.H. Petrie and H.D. West had the joy and honor of ringing the first taps on the central station fire bell, and only a few moments elapsed before everybody in the city knew what the noise was about.

Great Patriotic Demonstration Made in Celebration of War’s Ending–Golden Gets Liberty Bell

Armistice Day Celebration, 1918, in Golden CO
City of Golden Collection

Fred Robinson was one of the first on the job, and he got a young cannon to working, with double charges of powder in the shells. Bells and whistles in all sections of the city took up the chorus, and in less time than it takes to tell about it, a joyous crowd had gathered on Washington Avenue.

There was a scurrying for boxes and barrels and boards, and soon the flames of a great bonfire lighted up the streets. Robinson opened up a box of giant fire crackers, and the few people who remained in their warm beds were unable to get any more sleep that night.

Everyone who came down town took a turn at ringing the fire bell, which continued to peal out the glad tidings for more than seven hours, without cessation, sometimes as many as ten people would have holds on the bell ropes at the same time. Finally the strenuous ringing cracked the famous old bell, and it had to give up its share of the celebration. However, the church bells and north side fire bells continued to ring out for Liberty.

It has been suggested many times that Golden’s cracked fire bell be taken off the tower and mounted in a conspicuous part of town, to show that Golden has a Liberty Bell, the same as Philadelphia. It is likely that this action will be taken, as every one seems to be in favor.

Armistice Day 1918 in Golden CO

City of Golden Collection

Fearing that possibly there might be some people in the city who had not heard of the news of victory, a crowd pressed Duvall-Davison’s big truck into service, and two big buzz saws, hung on iron bars, were placed in it. The pounding of these saws with sledge hammers made a din that would awaken the dead. Men and boys with drums and horns and cowbells mounted the truck, and every section of town was visited.

Then back to the bonfire again, and still the noise increased. By daylight the throng was still more increased, and breakfast was forgotten in the joy and excitement of the occasion. Flags began to appear, and soon the avenue took on a gay appearance.

Armistice Day 1918 in Golden CO

City of Golden Collection

At 9:30 the Industrial school band appeared and a big parade was formed, with scores of autos, trucks and marchers. Led by the band the Grand Army men, members of the Red Cross and other organizations, the procession started, and when all were in line, the parade stretched out for fully six blocks and in spite of the short notice that people had, it was the biggest and finest parade Golden had ever seen. American, French and British flags were in profusion, and the sight was one never to be forgotten.

When the parade was finished, and the crowd gathered on the avenue again, speeches were made by Richard Broad and others, and Frank J. Reinhard asked the people to remember, this hour of joyfulness the necessity of the fund for the United War Work, which will keep the boys happy while they await the order to sail for home.

Armistice Day 1918 in Golden CO

City of Golden Collection

More band music followed, and then the noise-making instruments began again. It seemed as though the people could not make sufficient noise to express their joy over the big event.

The war was over, and finally there ended a day which Golden people can never forget.

Other communities in the county held big celebrations. Arvada, Morrison, Evergreen and other towns gave vent to their feelings, and every village and hamlet in Jefferson county went delirious with joy, for the war had ended, and the boys would soon be coming home.


The Golden Transcript (originally called the Colorado Transcript) has been publishing since 1866. The Golden History Museum has been working on digitizing the old issues, and they’re currently up to June of 1948. You’ll find old Transcripts online at coloradohistoricnewspapers.org.  You can contribute to the cost of the digitizing project with a donation to the Golden History Museum.