Murder on Table Mountain

This is a chapter from my book, NOTORIOUS JEFFERSON COUNTY (The History Press). This tale took place on Golden, Colorado’s famous landmark, Table Mountain.

In the late summer of 1910, a 59-year-old Denver woman named Maria Laguardia vanished. An 1890 immigrant from Italy, she married Michael Laguardia in 1875. The couple had no children.

Maria was known to carry hundreds of dollars stashed amongst the folds of her clothing, and her worried nephew and niece thought she might have been the target of a robbery. They contacted Mrs. Laguardia’s “god-daughter,” Angelina Garramone, who, along with two other women, was the last person seen with Maria. Angelina assured them that Maria Laguardia was alive and well and had simply gone off to meet her long-lost husband. Sixteen years earlier, Michael Laguardia had also disappeared after getting into some “trouble” involving a young girl.
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New local history book: Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

A new local history book came out recently, an event that doesn’t happen often. “Coal Creek Canyon, Colorado: Tales from Times Past,” edited by Vicki Moran, tells the story of that lovely canyon that lies west of Highway 93 between Golden and Boulder. Continue reading

Shoenberg Farm helped feed patients at National Jewish Health

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

While many of Colorado’s pioneers arrived looking for the legendary potato-sized gold nuggets, a good number of folks came to find a cure for tuberculosis. Around the time of Colorado’s gold rush, a new medical movement was stirring, known as the sanatarium movement. Sanataria (or sanitaria) were popping up all over Europe and the United States, many of them offering hotsprings as a cure for every ailment. Continue reading

The White City: Lakeside Amusement Park

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

The town of Broomfield, Colorado was originally called Zang’s Spur. Philip Zang, a prominent Denver brewer, once owned huge chunks of what is now Broomfield.

Philip’s son, Adolph Zang, also an industrious businessman, maintained a family home in Broomfield, which still stands on Poppy Way. Adolph invested in a wide variety of ventures, including the creation of the famous Lakeside Amusement Park. Lakeside today is one of the oldest amusement parks in the nation and is the oldest in Colorado that still operates in its original location. Continue reading

A Taste of “Notorious Jefferson County”

My new book has just come out. This book, called “Notorious Jefferson County,” is quite different from my previous work, “Forgotten Heroes and Villains of Sand Creek.” Although it’s about murder, it’s somehow a lot less serious than the Sand Creek story, though of course, the victims might argue with that. Let’s just say it was much less emotionally draining than writing about Sand Creek.

You might call this book historical true crime. The stories are all murder cases that took place within Jefferson County, Colorado about a hundred years ago. Continue reading

Adventures in Research: Where was the village of Midway?

During the past few months, I made a number of road trips through Jefferson County looking for specific places that appear in my book, “Notorious Jefferson County.” These are spots where notorious murders took place back during the turn of the last century. Continue reading

Who Killed the Western Rail Lines?

In a few days, I will turn in my manuscript for Notorious Jefferson County, which is a regional history book about strange and infamous murder cases from the turn of the last century.

One “character” that appeared over and over in these stories was the Denver and Interurban tram (also called the Denver and Intermountain tram). Continue reading

Tragic Lyden Brothers were founders of Leyden

This article is an excerpt from “Notorious Jefferson County” by Carol Turner. It first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

In 1859, two ambitious Irishmen named Michael and Martin Lyden bought property and began raising stock in the northern end of Jefferson County. They enjoyed great success and were soon reported to be quite wealthy. One of the brothers, 40-year-old Michael Lyden, built a home in the foothills where Ralston Creek emerges from the mountains.

Around mid-June of 1866, Michael Lyden was reportedly followed home to his ranch from Denver by four unidentified men. These men hid themselves in the bluffs overlooking his ranch. Continue reading

Semper Farm last remnants of old village of Semper

This article first appeared in the Broomfield Enterprise.

Just east of Wadsworth Boulevard, tucked away behind a bank of old growth trees at Pierce Street and 92nd Avenue, is a charming spot called Semper Farm. Continue reading