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Early Washington Avenue – Dan Abbott Collection

107 Years Ago

The May 17, 1917 Colorado Transcript was written during World War I. The United States had entered the war the previous month, and we were on the verge on instituting the draft.

This was going to put a strain on area farmers, as evidenced by the article, “Golden High School Boys Released From School Duties to Help With Crops.” At the request of President Wilson and Colorado Governor Gunter, all boys who chose to do farm work were to be dismissed early with full credit for the rest of the term. “Farmers who are in need of bright, husky young men should call up the Golden High School.”

A second article says that some of the boys from the Industrial school would also be permitted to work in the fields.

A third article mentions the “municipal gardeners” on the avenue. That year, the Fortnightly Club was organizing school kids to grow food in a couple of empty plots along Washington Avenue. Several adults were helping, with J.T. Williams furnishing fertilizer, others doing the hauling, and the City providing free water. The children were encouraged to grow food–a precursor to World War Two’s Victory Gardens. They sold produce that summer–one boy earning $10.

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