James H. Baugh was a 27-year-old Missouri native who came to Colorado with thousands of gold seekers in the spring of 1859. He arrived in Denver City on June 1, 1859. Surely he spent time placer mining for the precious metal. No doubt he traveled West out of Denver bound for the gold fields of Upper Clear Creek. On his way to Golden he must have seen the fertile valley formed at the base of the mountains. In 1859, placer mining occurred along this plains section of the river but little gold was discovered.
Baugh's success or lack of success in gold mining is not recorded for history. However, on August 15, 1859 he located on a spot just north of the main road (Prospect Trail) between Denver and Golden City present day West 44th Ave. Baugh's claim for the 160 acre homestead was imprecisely executed because there was no legal Land Office in which to file a claim, no survey to establish section lines and no legally constituted recorder to record the legal instruments. The land, which was part of a land grant to Polomia Garcia y Padilla, a veteran of the New Mexican Volunteers of the Navajo Indian Wars, was finally legally assigned to Baugh in 1867.
Read the full history of the Baugh House