“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Golden in Jefferson County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Early History of Clear Creek

Early History of Clear Creek Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, July 4, 2011
1. Early History of Clear Creek Marker
Inscription.  For thousands of years native peoples have lived, hunted, and battled along this creek. The earliest western nation to claim the creek was France when it created the New World Province called Louisiana in 1682. In 1765 the French ceded the province to Spain. In 1800 France, under Napoleon’s rule, regained Louisiana, and in 1803 sold it to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

This creek had two names before it became Clear Creek. Its first known name was Cannon Ball Creek—so named by Frenchmen. In 1820 the American military exploration team led by Stephen H. Long noted it was named Cannon Ball Creek “from the size and form of the stones in its bed.” The creek’s second name came in 1832 when Louis Vasquez, a fur trader, built a fort upstream of the creek’s mouth. The creek then was called Vasquez Fork or Vasquez River. Louis Vasquez, for whom Vasquez Street in Golden is named, trapped and traded with natives and mountaineers along the river until around 1848. In 1859 gold rushers renamed the body Clear Creek reflecting the clarity of the waters.

Picture caption: Entrance of Clear Creek Canyon, circa

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1870. Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Department.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Notable PlacesWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1682.
Location. 39° 45.412′ N, 105° 13.37′ W. Marker is in Golden, Colorado, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Washington Avenue. Marker is at the Washington Ave. bridge. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Golden CO 80401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Settlement of Clear Creek Valley (here, next to this marker); Gold in Clear Creek (here, next to this marker); Farming (here, next to this marker); Tourism (here, next to this marker); Brewing on Clear Creek-Coors History (a few steps from this marker); Settler Farm Wife’s Initiative (a few steps from this marker); First Bicycle Mishap in Golden (a few steps from this marker); A Daring Rescue (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Golden.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 17, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 717 times since then and 36 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on December 17, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area view of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?

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Oct. 2, 2023