Golden capitol dome gets golden renovation

DENVER- The golden dome on Colorado’s state capitol building is about to get a redo – thanks to a local mining company. It’s all part of the public-private partnership that is raising money to restore the capitol dome. The Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company recently took 24-karat gold out of its operation in southern Teller County. That’s the gold that will eventually end up being plated onto the capitol dome, following the same tradition established when it was built in 1908. The company liquified the gold at its smelting plant and poured it into what’s called a button.

It will be presented to the Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and other state leaders Thursday afternoon. That button will eventually be sent to a gold-leaf manufaturer so that when it’s applied to the dome, it will contain 100 percent pure Colorado gold.

As you may know, the dome has needed repair for some time now, and a group called Share in the Care Colorado is raising $13 million to complete the project. The state allocated $4 million from gaming-industry dollars. The entire project is set to be completed in 2014.

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4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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