Research Articles and Documents

   parks articles button circles   


Municipal Facts
1918 cover featuring
Mt. Evans and Mountain Parks

How We're Getting Eight Dollars for One

--from the Colorado [Golden] Transcript, May 22, 1913

How the Lookout Mountain and Mount Zion Road Is Being Built--Means Much to County

By Richard Broad, Jr.

The work on the new wagon and automobile road to Mount Lookout and Denver's mountains parks, which is now in progress, necessitating the employment of a large number of men and teams, and requiring quite a large financial outlay, may be the subject of criticism by some of the taxpayers of this county, who may not understand the county's part in the matter, and who may thus be led to criticize our board of county commissioners for incurring a considerable expense on a road which may seem of minor importance, or one for the construction of which there may not seem to be an immediate necessity, particularly when there are so many other old established roads which are so urgently in the need of repairs. But there are particular reasons why this road must be constructed at this time in order to effect the saving which its present construction insures to the people of this county. In order that a better understanding may prevail as to the objects and purposes of this road, of the county's real interest in it, and of its actual outlay through its present construction I am led to write this article, prefacing the same by stating that I have no more interest in the matter than any other citizen whose interests lie within this county and whose property is subject to taxation therein.

This road is the result of the present combination of four interests. First-The State Highway Commission in interested, for the reason that it is intended that this road shall be a part of State Primary Road Number One, which shall be a link in the great transcontinental route. Next comes the City of Denver through its Mountain Park Board, which is interested in getting a good road with the most scenic attractions to its mountains parks in this county. Then comes the County of Jefferson to which this road will be of greater benefit than its own outlay represents, as it makes a safe and sure connection with its mountain districts and with the counties beyond, when ordinary mountain roads located in the depths of mountain canons are liable to be out of commission. And lastly comes the City of Golden, unofficially of course, but which is bound to be benefited to a considerable extent by the increased travel through its borders.

Of these four interests the State Highway Commission virtually took the initiative and incurred a great measure of the responsibility. The commission offered $15,000 toward the construction of this road, provided the county commissioners would agree to raise the other $15,000. This would have been too great an undertaking for the commissioners at this time with all the other roads so urgently needing their attention, but the City of Denver through its Mountain Park department offered to give $7,500 toward making up the county's share. Even then the commissioners felt some hesitancy in assuming responsibility for the expenditure, but a subscription paper was circulated in Golden with the result that nearly $3,000 more was raised and a total of $3,750 was apparently in sight, reducing the amount which the county commissioners would have to appropriate to about $3,750. The expense of constructing this road will therefore be divided about as follows:

  • State Highway Commission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $15,000
  • City of Denver, Mountain Park Department . . . . . . . . 7,500
  • County of Jefferson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,750
  • Golden subscriptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3,750
  • Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . .  $30,000

Therefore for the expenditure of about $3,750 from the county's treasury the county commissioners get $30,000 of permanent road work for the county's benefit. It would seem as if they should be entitled to unanimous commendation. There are several mountain canons that I can name where this amount of $3,750 and more has been spent several times in years past for road work of which not a vestige remains today. Mountain floods confined between canon walls obliterate with distressing frequency and completeness. The present road as laid out, should be beyond the reach of such calamities.

When constructed this road, being a part of a great state highway, will have to be looked after by the State Highway Commission. Being also the chief connecting link between Denver and its system of mountain parks, that city will also be interested in its being kept in proper repair. The future upkeep of this road should entail but little expense to the taxpayers of this county.

The construction of this road-- joining as it does the North Golden-Denver Boulevard-- together with the construction of the other roads now being planned between Denver and the mountains through the district east and south of Golden between Denver and Morrison, is almost certain to bring considerable travel our way, ultimately adding to our population, building up new industries in our midst, increasing our valuation and making our prosperity more assured and more permanent. Believing this, as I do, and having heard rumors of some adverse criticism of our board of county commissioners for aiding in the construction of this road, I have made this statement, for I believe that whenever our board of commissioners can get eight dollars worth of permanent road construction for each dollar expended from the county treasury they are justified in taking advantage of the opportunity, even if they have to strain a point to do so.

Such opportunities seldom come to pass.

Notes: You may be wondering, just who is the civic-minded Richard Broad, Jr.? It may be true that he had "no more interest" in the Lariat Trail completion than any other citizen, but he had a long history in public service. When the above article was written, he was the newly elected mayor of Golden, and he served two terms so selflessly that, in February 1917 when he refused to seek re-election, the Colorado Transcript editorials noted that "The City Needs You, Mr Broad", adding that he "has been absolutely non-partisan during the two terms that he has served as mayor, and he has at all times devoted his time and his energies to the city's welfare." Is this the same "Mr. Broad" who, in September 1898, was deposed from his position as chairman of the "Silver Republican state central committee," causing a "sensation" in Colorado Springs and creating political turmoil for the upcoming convention? Follow his story at Colorado's Historic Newspapers.

Denver Mountain Parks, 2006-10.
All rights reserved.

Sponsored by the City & County of Denver