Golden is the Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat of Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Golden lies along Clear Creek at the base of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Founded during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush on 16 June 1859, the mining camp was originally named Golden City in honor of Thomas L. Golden. Golden City served as the capital of the provisional Territory of Jefferson from 1860 to 1861, and capital of the official Territory of Colorado from 1862 to 1867. In 1867, the territorial capital was moved about 12 miles (19 km) east to Denver City. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 18,867 in 2010.
The Colorado School of Mines, offering programs in engineering and science, is located in Golden. Also there are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Earthquake Information Center, Coors Brewing Company, CoorsTek, Spyderco, American Mountaineering Center, and Colorado Railroad Museum. It is the birthplace of the Jolly Rancher, a candy bought out by the Hershey Foods Corporation. Famous western showman William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody is buried nearby on Lookout Mountain, as well as the city being home to Yeti Cycles.
Established as a gold-rush town, Golden City quickly became a leading economic and political center of the region, being a center of trade between the gold fields and the east, a crossroads and gateway of important roads leading to the mountains, and a center of area industry. Golden City was established on 16 June 1859 along Clear Creek west of Denver, named in honor of Thomas L. Golden. Important businessmen and prospectors such as William A.H. Loveland and George West were among the first to settle in Golden. By the end of 1860, Golden City had been popularly elected the seat of Jefferson County and was capital of the provisional Jefferson Territory. As drafted in the territorial constitution, the capital of the Jefferson Territory was initially proposed to be Golden, then with a population of 700, as a result of its proximity to mountain mining towns, and greater ability to hold a congressional quorum than had Denver. Golden City was temporarily removed from the status of territory capital as a result of an act passed on 5 November 1861 by the territorial government. Colorado City, a small town to the south of Denver became the new temporary territorial capital, but saw only one short event at this location. This status was quickly revoked, however, as on 4 August 1862, the territorial government voted formally to move back to Golden.