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Mapping prejudice in Jefferson County, Colorado: Project work to date

Official, historic real estate documents from Jefferson County, Colorado reveal patterns of systemic racism.

Project work to date

The Jefferson County Clerk & Recorder's Office has scanned most of the plats (plans) of new subdivisions within the boundaries of Jefferson County.  Those scans can be viewed and downloaded via the Clerk & Recorder's website.  I have examined those plats dated from the 1860s to February 1950.  I identified the plats that contained race-based language.  Although I was careful, it is possible I missed some.  It is also possible that other plats have not been scanned by the County, or have been lost through time.

With the great assistance of the County Archivist, I was able to download the scans of the plats in pdf format.  I converted the pdfs to jpgs.  I identified the location of the subdivision, and traced its boundaries on a map using GIS (Geographic Information Systems).  Besides the boundaries of the subdivision, I also noted, when available, the names of the surveyor, property owner (who was subdividing the land), financier, and notary.  

The County does have property deeds scanned but earlier than the 1960s they are listed as "miscellaneous" items.