Our previous David Weekley representative is moving on. We’re so thankful he guided us through the challenges and helped us get the new lot. Today we had a meeting with him and his replacement. We know we’re in good hands.

After the transition meeting, I explored transitions of the past. I’d heard of Hidden Lake but never seen it. Seems to be well-named. Hidden Lake is in a valley a mile west of Midtown, between Lowell and Sheridan Boulvards south of 68th Avenue. It was created by the 1880s in what was then empty countryside. The shallow lake filled with silt for decades before it dredged in the 1980s. Excavated soil was used to construct I-76 south of Midtown. Houses were built around the lake and today the north shore is in Westminster, south is Arvada, and the east is unincorporated Adams County.

Jim Baker

Another special place is a half-mile south along Lowell. Jim Baker Reservoir was an old gravel quarry from the 1950s, eventually sold to Westminster in 1988 to store water for the city. That’s when the lake was given its name.

Jim Baker was a mountain man – renowned trapper, Army scout, interpreter and guide. In 1859, Baker built a cabin and trading post near 53rd Avenue and Tennyson. In the 1860s, Denver was a new city five miles southeast. Baker operated a ferry and later a toll bridge across Clear Creek along the Denver–Boulder Wagon Trail.

Jim Baker never saw the lake that bears his name, but it helps make sure he’s never forgotten.

© Robert B Pickering 2017