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A long red wooden shed with signs saying WOOD, COAL, G.H. Stuart Co., and Scales
G. H. Stuart Co. Store at 11th and Ford Streets

43 Years Ago
For 30 years G. H. Stuart's menagerie of junk has stretched along side Clear Creek at 1051 Ford St. Come June 1, the Golden landmark will close.
Golden Transcript
- April 28, 1981

I’ve always found the G.H. Stuart Co. store intriguing. In 1951, Mr. Stuart bought a 30 year old coal business from the estate of Guy Buckman. Stuart continued delivering coal to the citizens of Golden, but soon added many new lines to the business. He became a scrap iron dealer and then added sand, wood, and flagstone. He added used bath tubs and stoves to his product line, followed by–well, pretty much anything that might have resale value. He sold used glass, used auto parts, and used trucks.

Stuart’s burgeoning scrap operation was located on Ford Street, on the south side of the Creek – excerpt from the 1938 Sanborn Fire Map

As the range and quantity of his inventory grew, Mr. Stuart needed more space. 11th Street didn’t really extend beyond Ford Street, so he leased the right of way from the City, put a fence across it, and began storing his excess scrap iron and other goodies in that area. In 1954, both the City and Stuart were sued by the Agricultural Ditch and Reservoir Company, who said they needed that right of way to access their headgate and the ditchman’s residence. The lawsuit dragged on for a couple of years, and the city finally suggested to Mr. Stuart that the best way to resolve the issue was to move. I don’t know how the lawsuit was resolved, but Mr. Stuart was still there 27 years later.

The Golden Transcript published an article about Mr. Stuart in 1976. It began with, “G.H. Stuart has the kind of job most little boys dream of–collecting all kinds of ‘junk’ from nuts and bolts to antique bridles. He found a place to store his treasures 25 years ago, at 1051 Ford St., and he’s been buying and selling from this location ever since.” He recycled materials from the telephone and electric companies, Coors Brewery, Coors Porcelain, and other manufacturing companies.

The article says that at that time (1976), Stuart was selling lead, brass, copper, and iron to welders, recycling old batteries and radiators, and collecting “tools, pipes, appliance parts, chains, ropes, wheels, and old mailboxes” He reported that ladies liked to buy some of his odds and ends as decorating pieces–“old stoves, shovels, pails, and small pieces for decoupage.” Stuart said that he was doing what he really liked, and what he had always wanted to do. His store assistant reported that “He’s always happy, and I guess that’s what counts.”

Google satellite view showing the former location of G.H. Stuart’s store

Mr. Stuart closed the store in 1981, when Coors was getting ready to open their Wellness Center. The Denver Post got a nice picture of him, as he was getting ready to retire. He died in 1991 and is buried in the Golden Cemetery.

Golden Daily Transcript, July 6, 1971

Many thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and many thanks to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!