Years ago I had the opportunity to work in a library in the Carbon Valley region of Colorado. The library served the tri-cities of Frederick, Firestone, and Dacono in Weld County. I decided to head back to the area to continue the series of blog posts I am doing to visit towns that are often passed through, but not often destination spots in Colorado and the west. On this trip I found that the town of Dacono had some controversial stories about their name and a law in the 1980s that people are still talking about.
Da Co No
There are multiple stories about how Dacono got it's unusual name. The only thing that it seemed could be agreed on is that the name Dacono comes from three ladies names, Daisy, Cora, and Nona, who those women were is still mysterious.
Dacono was founded by Charles L. Baum, organizer and president of the Consolidated Coal and Coke Co. He also developed the Weld County coal fields which were once the largest in the state. While working near Dacono I heard the rumor that the name was a combination of his wife, his mistress, and an ex-girlfriend's names, but after some research I couldn't find any resources to back this lore up. An article published in the Rocky Mountain News in 1958, accessed in Western History / Genealogy on microfilm, quotes the grand daughter of Charles L. Baum as saying that the names were of Charles' wife, Daisy; the minister who married them, Nona Brooks; and a close friend of the family, Cora. A Farmer and Miner article from 1937 states that the town was named after his wife and sisters. With the research I performed using historic newspapers I was never able to find the real true story, Mr. Baum is probably the only one who knows for sure.
No Pac-man allowed
The other controversy that I encountered while researching the town of Dacono was an ordinance passed in the early 1980s prohibiting kids from playing video games. A Rocky Mountain News article published in 1983, accessed in Western History / Genealogy states that the town was so wrought with truancy and delinquency which was believed to be a result of the surge in video game popularity that they banned video games from public spaces. The ordinance was later changed after many lawsuits were filed by a local business who housed many of the popular video games. The ordinance was changed in 1983 to only prohibit game playing during school hours for those under age 18. I would love to be enlightened in the comments section as to whether there still stands an ordinance against game playing in Dacono.
There is no such ordinance anymore. Great article!
Stan, thanks for the ordinance link. That's just the thing I was looking for while writing this.
I still live in Dacono, and lover to learn about the history of this small town.
As per historical voice recordings of J Sharpe, his family came here in 1909 and father worked for the mine and Mr. Baum. He said that the name of the town came from 3 of Mr. Baum's neices. These recordings are available on the City of Dacono website in the document center.