Golden Landmarks Association honored Lorraine Wagenbach as one of its 2002 Living Landmarks.
Lorraine, one of Golden’s most knowledgeable historians, lived in Golden for over 80 years. Lorraine grew up in Wide Acres and took the street car to school in Golden each day for 12 years. She enrolled in Denver University in 1936, and in 1942, she married Bill Wagenbach, a childhood friend. Lorraine remained a stay-at-home mother until her two children, Jim and Margo, were in junior high. She then returned to DU to get her degree in Business Administration. She worked at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) for 15 years.
In 1978, when Lorraine retired from CSM, she took courses in journalism at Metro State College and was published in the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. In 1983, she became a charter member of the Historic Preservation Board. At this time, she also began writing historical articles for the Golden Transcript, and continued writing articles and books.
In 1980, Lorraine edited a collection of stories written by members of the Pioneer Delphian Study Club, a women’s group started in 1929. Entitled “A Woman’s Life in Golden,” the book depicted the lives of members who lived in Golden. In 1987, “Golden: The 19th Century” was published by Lorraine Wagenbach and Jo Ann Thistlewood. In 1999, Lorraine published “St. Joseph’s Red Brick Church,” which relates the history of the Catholic Church in Golden from 1899 to 1949.
In 1991, Bill Coors asked 34 old-timers to make a video of Golden’s history from 1900 to 1950. Lorraine was the historian. The video took six months of painstaking research at the Pioneer Museum. Lorraine served on the Board of Directors of the Golden Pioneer Museum for two terms and worked at the museum as a volunteer for some time.
Lorraine Wagenbach had seen years of change take place in Golden during her 80 plus years as a resident. Ever conscious of the important need people have to understand their heritage, Lorraine has recorded hundreds of pages of the City of Golden’s history.
Golden Landmarks has been proudly honoring Living Landmarks since 2001. To support Golden Landmarks Association and its mission of historical preservation and education, become a member today or volunteer.