Colorado Business Hall of Fame Laureates George & David Griffith
These pioneering brothers helped establish Georgetown
Since its inception in 1990, the Colorado Business Hall of Fame has honored outstanding laureates who have made impactful contributions to the business community. The laureates are chosen each year from hundreds of nominations, selection committee chair John Freyer said, noting this year’s theme: “a mosaic of Colorado character and success.”
George and David Griffith
Young brothers and farmers George and David Griffith traveled from Kentucky to Colorado in 1858 in search of fresh mountain air and fortunes in gold.
“It is important to remember that our current success is built upon the legacies of the men and women who came before us,” selection committee chair Freyer said.
The adventurous Griffith brothers established a camp in the Clear Creek Valley in June 1859 that came to be known as George’s Town and would later become Georgetown. The men created the Griffith Mining District that was one of the earliest and most prominent mining districts in the Rocky Mountain West, noted Clear Creek County archivist Christine Bradley.
In summer 1859, George discovered gold in the Griffith lode at the base of what is now Griffith Mountain. They sent news home to their family and were joined by two other brothers, a sister-in-law and the boys’ father.
“In the spring of 1860, the four Griffith boys built their father a cabin and staked out for him the entire Georgetown valley as a homestead ranch,” according to the 1940 book “Georgetown,” by Benjamin Draper.
As other miners came to the area, the Griffith Mining District was incorporated in June 1860. George served as Clear Creek County commissioner from December 1861 to October 1863. As success in gold and the population dwindled, George left in search of fortune elsewhere, Bradley noted, and died in Texas in February 1880.
David also left and then came back in 1867 after the discovery of silver. He died in Georgetown in March 1882.