Jefferson County has both an official and an unofficial history. Prior to the official formation and recognition of Colorado Territory by the US Congress in 1861 the area known as Jefferson County was part of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. However, in 1850, gold was discovered near Ralston Creek in what is present day Arvada. While this discovery of gold did not touch of a “gold rush” as the Pike’s Peak discovery did; it none-the-less drew a great many fortune seekers. Many of the early gold miners were the the people that put the “wild” in the Wild West. As the numbers of these early and adventurous fortune seekers grew, many of them began to feel a need for local government. Feeling that the territorial government in Kansas was far too remote, these early pioneers did what pioneers often won’t do and took matters into their own hands. On October 24, 1859 these early citizens voted into existence their own Territory of Jefferson. The following month the Jefferson Territorial Legislature organized 12 counties including Jefferson County with its county seat at Golden City, which became today’s Golden. Jefferson County in the unrecognized Jefferson Territory continued to operated in an extra-legal capacity until the formation of Colorado Territory in 1861, when it was reorganized into the official Jefferson County we know today. In 1862 the Territorial Capitol was moved from Colorado City to Golden City where it remained until 1867 when the Capitol was moved to Denver. Colorado’s first railroad was established in Golden by the Central Railroad Company in 1863. For many years, the City of Golden and the City of Denver, or more correctly prominent business interests in each, battled to establish primacy in key areas such as political influence, rail roads, cattle, and mining support. In the mid to late nineteenth century, substantial wealth was almost assured for the individuals that controlled the railroads in a given area, especially if that was a commercial hub for goods desired nationally. Colorado had two commodities in abundance that were in high demand; cattle and precious minerals. Jefferson County was home of many substantial early gold strikes including strikes at Idaho Springs and Black Hawk/Central City, which were the earliest commercially viable strikes in the state. Golden remained an important source of supply for mining towns and camps stretching deep into the mountains for many years. One of Golden’s most famous landmarks, Coors Brewing, owes its existence in large part to the miners’ heavy demand, or thirst, for supplies. Today Jefferson County contributes significantly to the Denver Metropolitan area’s population with some of the highest population densities in the state, particularly on its eastern side.