On December 22 the Rocky Mountain News published an article about their September 2, 1904 edition which described the opening of the Denver Mint. Here are some excerpts. -Editor"The new United States mint, located at the corner of West Colfax avenue and Evans street (now Delaware) was formally taken possession of by government officials yesterday morning. Director of the Mint Roberts, now in Denver on his way to Washington from Alaska, was master of ceremonies at the dedication.
"The exercises took place on the roof of the new building. They were simple and brief, and the new flag which will hereafter fly from the great pole on the top of the new building was raised by three veterans of the civil war."
Maybe it was the fact that the mint was another over-budget, much-delayed government project that pushed it to the back of the paper, as if to the back of everyone's minds. The site for the new mint was bought in 1896 and construction began in 1897.
Before departing the same night on the Union Pacific, Director of the Mint Roberts prodded state officials about production.
Beginning in 1860, to handle the millions of dollars in gold and silver pouring into the city from the mines, the enterprise of Clark, Gruber & Company pressed gold coins and ingots in an office at 16th and Market streets. In 1863, that became the United States Assay Office. But even though the building was equipped with coining machinery, not a single coin was ever struck there.
Congress postponed the making of coins in Denver, citing, according to one official, " ... the hostility of the Indian tribes along the routes, doubtless instigated by rebel emissaries (there being a Civil War) and bad white men."
To read the complete article, see: Sept. 2, 1904: Coins begin rolling at mint (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/dec/23/sept-2-1904-coins-begin-rolling-mint/)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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