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Early postcard showing Chief Hosa Lodge (map)

89 Years Ago
The May 9, 1935 Colorado Transcript proclaimed "No Work, No Water." The previous week, two representatives from the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) visited City Council to ask Golden to provide water for a new CCC camp going in at the base of Genesee Mountain.

Council responded that it was a pity that no Jefferson County men had been employed at the previous camp, at Hosa Lodge. The CCC took the hint and employed more Jefferson County men in their later projects. Golden provided water.

The CCC was–and remains–one of the most popular Roosevelt-era programs. It was designed to provide jobs for young men during a time of very high unemployment. The men were provided with food, clothing, shelter, schooling, job training, and $30/month. They were required to send $22 of that wage home to their families. The CCC left many lasting monuments throughout America.

One of the CCC structures in Red Rocks Park – now used as the trading post

Chief Hosa was the first camp in this area, but it was later joined by camps in Morrison, Mount Vernon Canyon, and on Lookout Mountain. The “boys” provided many valuable services: they fought fires and built roads and bridges. They laid pipe for Golden’s reservoir on Lookout Mountain and built curbs and gutters in our residential neighborhoods. They planted over a million trees in Colorado during a single year, and worked on eradicating pine beetles and grasshoppers during major infestations. They filled sandbags during floods and helped repair damage afterwards. One of their most spectacular accomplishments was building Red Rocks Amphitheater.

Early view of Red Rocks Amphitheater

In 1939, the Transcript‘s George Kimball wrote the following:

While many of the Roosevelt administration’s innovations have been severely criticized…it’s mighty seldom that any partisan has the nerve to publicly find fault with the workings of the Civilian Conservation Corps. In reality, the CCC is one of the grandest things ever conceived for the good of humanity and the rising generation, as well as bringing lasting benefit to the general public. Hundreds of thousands of young men between eighteen and twenty-three years of age who might be loafing about the streets, pool rooms, accumulating wrong slants on life and drifting into mischief and petty crime, have been salvaged and are being taught how to become useful, respected citizens.
Colorado Transcript
– June 8, 1939

The CCC was shut down when the United States entered World War II, as the young men were needed in the military.

This interesting website includes articles about several of the projects in this area:

Genessee Park
Colorado New Deal Sites Named National Historic Landmarks
Little Park Shelter House – Morrison CO
Bear Creek Canyon Scenic Mountain Drive – Morrison CO
To Stand for Centuries

Want to learn more about Golden's exciting history? Join us on Saturday morning for a Wagon Ride Through Golden History!

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