Historical finds made along the North Metro Rail Line
Posted on 11.21.16
The 1911 trestle bridge that was found earlier this year was not the only historical find along the North Metro Rail Line route.
Crews working on the North Metro Rail Line project made some finds of old, historical items in the Colorado Boulevard and 100th Avenue area as well as at the Eastlake at 124th Avenue station site.
With the help of some of our environmental subcontractors and the Colorado State Historic Preservation Office we were able to document these items properly.
Last year an archaeological search was conducted by subcontractors, Pinyon Environmental Inc. and SWCA Environmental Consultants (SWCA). Data recovery was performed to ensure artifacts from the historic Union Pacific Railroad Dent Branch Northern Mainline stops at Quimby and Eastlake were uncovered and properly documented before heavy construction began in the area.
In the study, the team excavated and uncovered some items that they could date back to the late 1800's. Many of them were household items and consumer goods left by the workers who resided in the station area during rail construction and operations.
Some items were preserved so well that the maker's mark was easily identifiable. This enables historians to uncover more information about them. As an example, a liquor jug dating from the early 1900s was labeled Adolf Goldhammer Wholesale Wines and Liquors at 2633 W. Colfax Ave. in Denver (pictured above right).
One of the most intriguing discoveries was a revolver. Based on the newspaper dates, researchers estimate that the gun was discarded in the 1930's.
Data recovery efforts at these sites resulted in a large catalog of archaeological materials (over 2,000 total).
They provide insight into the lives of these early industrial workers. They also serve as a comparative sample for future researchers.
SWCA is currently transferring ownership of the artifacts to RTD. RTD will share these artifacts with local and regional collections that might be interested, including possible use at the City of Thornton historic collections.