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Brighton History Detective is on the Case: Uncovering a Mural of Intrigue

Updated: May 28

Case Number: 000022, Identify Hidden Characters of Intrigue: “Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza” Mural, by Hans Joseph Geist  Mural Plaque: Intro to Brighton's History The Intriguing Identified: Mural Key for the Location of Each Historical Subject

Accessing (Summary) Background History with Mural Plaque QR Code

In addition to the above detailed investigative dossiers, you can access a summary document (with links to more detailed histories), written by local historian, Robin Kring. The historical background covers the 20 subjects that artist, Hans Joseph Geist, has brought to life on the “Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza.” Access the mural histories directly from the QR code provided beneath the mural description plaque, installed at the Founders Plaza site, located on the corner of South Main Street and East Bridge Street.

Historical Background (BCAC On-line Version)

The Brighton Cultural Arts Commission (BCAC) has also published an on-line version of the Historical Background summary, available here.

Public Art Project by the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission

The mural is a public art project of the Brighton Cultural Arts Commission (BCAC), an art, culture, and humanities 501©(3) Corporation, and its Brighton Public Arts Committee.(BPAC). The BCAC mission is "to provide support for the production, presentation, exhibition, advancement, and preservation of art, music, theatre, dance, language arts, zoology, botany, and natural history for the City of Brighton."

     The mural was made possible with funding from the Scientific and Cultural Facilities (SCFD) and Brighton Lodging Tax grants.

Sleuthing the Historical Background of the Mural

"The Brighton History Detective®," aka Robin Kring, recently went on an investigative journey to uncover the historical background behind the new "Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza" Mural, by artist Hans Geist, located at the corner of Main St. and Bridge St.

Mural Plaque: Introduction to Brighton's History

Brighton, Colorado was founded by former railroad man, Daniel F. Carmichael, with the filing of the first land plat (south of Bridge St.) on Feb 16, 1881. The area was originally known as Hughes Station, a Denver Pacific Railway depot. Just 21 months after Carmichael’s filing, Dewey W. Strong, a Ft. Lupton farmer, filed some of the first plats north of Bridge St. on Nov. 10, 1882. The town was incorporated on Jul. 6, 1887. The properties of the two founders converged on this site, now known as “Founders Plaza,” and which once housed Carmichael’s grand Opera House (built 1888). Carmichael’s dream of a town “that would be a credit to the splendid valley of the Platte” and Strong’s community promotion culminated in Brighton becoming known as the “Garden Spot of Northern Colorado.” Brighton’s fertile crops and factory center once made it the largest shipping point of vegetables in Colorado and home of the showcase factory of the Great Western Sugar Co. As the Adams County seat and home of ideal community spirit and diverse culture, Brighton’s eclectic agricultural area continues to shine as a gem of the “Historic Splendid Valley.”

Key: Mural Location of Each Historical Subject

Refer the following graphic of the plaque for the “Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza” Mural, to identify the name of each mural subject (shown in the corresponding caption).

About the Artist, Hans Joseph Geist

“As an artist, I have found inspiration and motivation in preserving the memories and significance of those cultures or places which might have otherwise been forgotten.”

― Hans Joseph Geist

"Our hearts were so touched by the passion and pre-research Hans put into each historical subject, he brought to life on this colorful mural (from his original proposal to the last brush stroke). This mural will certainly be a treasured "bright spot" of Brighton ― and help to carry on our proud heritage for many years to come"

― Robin Kring

Read the complete inspiration behind the work of Hans Joseph Geist, the Artist of the Historic Brighton at Founders Plaza mural, in the Brighton History Detective® dossier, The Case of the New Mural and its Artist (Hans Joseph Geist). See more of Hans art at: Art by Hans Geist on Facebook.

About the Writer, Robin Kring

ROBIN KRING aka the Brighton History Detective® is a local historian and an author of 8 books and over 100 magazine articles.

Kring lives with her husband in Brighton, on the former home site of Brighton’s founder, D.F. Carmichael (and later the first Adams County Courthouse and County Jail). She is a local history speaker, museum docent, and a frequent tour guide presenter.

Passionate about Brighton and its local history, Kring has spent recent years sleuthing and writing stories of the town’s characters and places of intrigue. She enjoys writing and volunteering for the local museums, and has served on the Brighton Historic Preservation Commission (two separate terms, and led the Colorado Preservation, Inc. Most Endangered Places Team for documenting and photographing the historic Brighton Great Western Sugar Factory. Kring was recently recognized with a 2023 Brick Award for her continued efforts to encourage interest and preservation of Brighton’s history and treasured places, helping to generate community pride and heritage. Additionally, Kring has written for and served as a member of the Brighton Cultural Plan Team and Brighton Cultural Arts Commission.

Loving everything old from books to manners, Kring is fascinated with Victoriana, often writing and giving presentations on the subject.

Kring had a previous career in marketing, specializing in thematic design to enhance organizational goals and metrics. Her books, publications, and script-writing on event marketing have sold worldwide (including Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, and Australia) to professional event planners representing the likes of: Disneyland Hotel, MGM Grand, Harvard Business School, NBC, and TV Guide. Her Party Creations Book of Event Design was used as a textbook supplement in George Washington University's Professional Certificate in Event Management program and California junior colleges. It was nominated for the Esprit Award of the International Special Events Society for “Best Industry Contribution” in 1995.

Never meeting anything she didn’t like to write, Kring’s portfolio of publications throughout the years also include technical manuals for instrumentation operation and maintenance, “Miss Marple Wanna-Be” fiction, and home-study business courses.

Discover More of Kring's Writings

Find more Brighton stories of yesteryear, mystery, and intrigue by Kring at Brighton History Detective Blog at, on the Authors Blog tab. Investigate Kring's published materials , such as a Stroll through Elmwood: a graveside (or bedside) tour of a cemetery's most intriguing and not-to-be-forgotten at Clear Creek Publishing, Publications tab.

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