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Excerpt from the 1873 Birdseye View Map of Golden with the Golden Mill and the mill race that powered it highlighted. - Click to enlarge

The Golden Mill was one of the City’s earliest industries, having been built in 1864 by David Barnes. The mill race that powered the mill was built at the same time, giving the business very senior water rights. Mr. Barnes also built the impressive Italianate mansion that still stands behind the Mill on Water Street (now subdivided into apartments).

David Barnes home at 622 Water Street (map)

In 1876, Jesse Quaintance bought the business with its mill race. He and his son Brough ran the business until Jesse’s death in 1889. At that point, Brough turned to other types of business.

Golden Milling Company, circa 1900 – Golden History Museum collection

Fred Buckman was running the mill in 1898 when a newly formed company, The Golden Milling Company, purchased the mill. The new company was owned by several prominent local businessmen, including J.H. Linder of Linder Hardware and J.W. Rubey of the Rubey Bank. They hired J.F. Vivian to manage the business.

Golden Mill, circa 1910 – Golden History Museum collection

The Peery brothers of Tennessee bought the Mill in 1920 and operated it successfully for several decades. Their son Mayford joined the business. Mayford had graduated from Golden High School and the Colorado School of Mines before serving as a pilot during World War II.

Golden Mill, circa 1950s – Golden History Museum collection

After the War, the flouring industry changed, local farming was disappearing, and small mills like the Golden Mill were no longer cost-effective. At the same time, the old mill race was increasingly regarded as a hazard, as more than one child drowned in it. In 1952, the City paid to electrify the mill and bought the 1864 water rights. They filled in the old mill race in 1954.

The Golden Mill in 2015 - Photo by Dave Powers

The business continued under the “Golden Mill” name, even though they were no longer milling. It served as a feed store for about 60 years, and in 2021 it was remodeled to serve as a food hall, also under the name of Golden Mill.

Many influential Golden people have been associated with the Golden Mill throughout its 150+ year history.

  • The Quaintance family went on to own large swaths of the state, ran the Castle Rock funicular and dance hall, and still own the Castle Rock part of South Table Mountain.
  • John F. Vivian became Mayor of Golden and his son, John C. Vivian, was Governor of the State of Colorado.
  • The Peery family was responsible for a significant part of Golden’s post-World War II development. Peery Parkway was theirs, of course, and they built the Gold Apartments and Golden Office Building east of Parfet Park. Norman D. Park on Ford Street was named after Mayford and Winnifred’s son Norman, who was killed in Viet Nam.
  • City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Ed Ramstetter owned the Golden Mill feed store until his death in 2003. Ed’s picture can be seen on the Ford Street bridge, on the rail closest to the Golden Mill.
Ed Ramstetter plaque on the Ford Street bridge, near the Golden Mill

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!