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Tracking Down the Origins of the G

the letter "G" painted in white on the cliff atop South Table Mountain
Photo by Barb Warden

At a neighborhood party last week, someone suggested that the "G" painted on South Table Mountain should be declared a local landmark. This got us wondering how long it had been there.

I took my usual approach to research, searching for "The G" in the old online Transcripts. The first result I found took me to the Avenue Flashes column:

There's a "67" on the rimrock near the "G" pinnacle--painting the "67" requires undying loyalty and service beyond the call of duty on the part of a few enthusiastic Golden High students--one fellow hangs from the rimrock by a rope and he paints the "67" as other students at the top of the rock hand down a broom in whitewash--the painter this year came out whiter than the "67"--but GHS tradition, recent as it is, was carried on....
Colorado Transcript
- August 25, 1966

The G, shown in the 1967 Golden High School yearbook

Since the writer referred to G-painting as a "recent" tradition, I thought it might have been have been painted in the mid-sixties. My next stop was the timeline that several local historians compiled several years ago. Their conclusion was, "1964: The letter “G” on South Table Mountain is painted for the first time by members of Golden High School’s Letterman Club." This aligned with my own (mid-sixties) guess.

I then turned to the collection of Golden High School yearbooks that the History Museum digitized last year. As I had hoped, I found photos where the G appeared in the background, starting with the 1967 picture shown above.

Going backward from that point, I found the G in earlier issues:

1964 Yearbook

To my surprise, I spotted the G earlier than the Timeline had indicated.

1962 Yearbook
1959 Yearbook

The earliest yearbook photos of the G appeared in the 1958-59 edition.

Finally, I recalled a discussion that took place a few years ago in the Facebook group, "You Might Be From Golden If." At that time, someone was suggesting that the G should be removed. The rest of the group was outraged at the suggestion. Much discussion ensued.

In the end, I found this statement from Jim Baker: "I am one of the original four that put it up there. The rest were Randy Harris, Roger Dunn and Stan Dunn. LEAVE IT ALONE or we might come back and do it again." In another Facebook conversation, he said he and his friends had done it in the summer of 1958.

So there we have a solid answer from a credible source, telling us that the G was painted in the summer of 1958.

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 The Golden History Museum has also digitized the historic collection of Golden High School yearbooks.