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Colorado State Industrial School, in 1928 – Denver Public Library Western History Collection - Click to enlarge

The State Industrial School was founded in Golden in 1881. The School provided vocational training for boys. Over time, the options included broom making, stenography, carpentry, and blacksmithing. The boys also learned about agriculture by running a working farm.

The School initially had 5 acres of land, but by 1888, they had purchased an additional 40 acres. They laid out an extensive garden. An 1893 Transcript article said the school had 37 acres in cultivation, including garden, orchard, and vineyard. They grew apples, plums, pears, cherries, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, and gooseberries. They also cultivated watermelons, muskmelons, cantaloupe, rhubarb, tomatoes, turnips, cabbage, beets, parsnips, beans, squash, pumpkins, sweet corn, lettuce, spinach onions, asparagus, and cucumbers. They acquired still more land and grew fields of corn, alfalfa, and oats.

Two boys holding two horses.  Watertower, wagon with team of black horses, laden hay wagon with another team in back.
Boys showing workhorses (possibly Percherons) at the Industrial School – Denver Public Library Western History Collection

They also raised livestock–horses, cattle, hogs, and chickens. The boys took their animals to the State Fair in Pueblo and the National Western Stock Show in Denver, and regularly won prize money.

First Prize Percheron Stallion and Grand Champion ISAGO Fee $15 Mares to be in foal
Advertisement from the June 4, 1914 Colorado Transcript

110 Years Ago
The June 4, 1914 Colorado Transcript included this advertisement, offering stud service from the School’s award winning Percheron stallion. This horse had been a consistent prize-winner since the School acquired it in 1911.

The Golden Transcript (originally called the Colorado Transcript) has been publishing since 1866. The Golden History Museum has been working on digitizing the historic issues. You’ll find old Transcripts online at