Brighton’s “Sugar Sweet” Times shares Community’s Memories of our Sugar Beet Days and Great Western Sugar Company

Brightons-sugar-sweet-times-010216-2Brighton, Colo. – Clear Creek Publishing announces the release of Brighton’s “Sugar Sweet” Times — Memories of our Sugar Beet Days and Great Western Sugar Factory. Inspired by the very personal connection between Brighton-area residents and their sugar beet history, Local Historian Robin Kring has collected stories and photos from several community members to create a snapshot of Brighton’s proud history.

“These stories of our sugar beet days represent a small-town community spirit that still lives on today and gives both original and new residents a sense of belonging,” says Kring. “Many of those living here have fond stories of working at the Great Western Sugar (GWS) Company factory (or know someone who did) at one time or another. Sugar beet growers and their families warmheartedly recall with pride their roots in Brighton’s history. All fondly talk of the GWS factory like a personal friend and share a spirit of recognition to the sugar sweet times that established Brighton as an agricultural hub responsible for the community’s economic opportunities.”

The 40-page publication contains memories and photos of Brighton’s sugar beet days, a saving treasured-places overview, fun sugar-beet facts, and several “sugar-sweet” recipes made with GW sugar. Copies are available at or online for $5.00 each from Welcome to the Bookstore, located at 1295 E Bridge St., #103 in Brighton, (303) 921-6508 or www.welcometothebookstore.com.

The publisher’s profits will be donated to local history and preservation projects and organizations. “Brighton’s “Sugar Sweet” Times was written to show how a treasured place and its stories can touch so many lives, and how memories of our sugar beet days and Great Western Sugar Factory continue to inspire us,” shares Kring.

The former GWS Company is such a treasured place. Unfortunately, GWS experienced a gradual decline of operations profitability and was forced to close the factory in 1977. However, the iconic, white sugar-silos of the original factory, built in 1917, still stand tall against the sky-blue backdrop of this Colorado Plains city and exemplify how a treasured place can remind us our proud heritage.

The Amalgamated Sugar Company purchased the site, located just north of Brighton’s Main Street, in 1985 and currently operates it as a storage and terminal site. However, some factory buildings/structures are plagued by environmental safety hazards, such as asbestos, and are at a risk for loss like so many other former-GWS buildings. The Brighton former-GWS sugar factory site was recently nominated for Colorado’s Most Endangered Places List. If selected, the opportunity for recognition and long-term saving of this treasured Brighton place is increased by sharing rehabilitation (economically-sustainable reuse) ideas, financial assistance ideas, and other helpful support by Colorado’s historic preservation community.

“Asbestos must first be removed whether a building is demolished or rehabilitated. An owner can’t lose with rehabilitation because of possible financial assistance available with rehabilitation plans and the increased property value resulting from rehabilitation,” said Colorado State University student, Kirby Page-Schmidt, at the 2015 Saving Places Conference.

“The legacy of the Great Western Sugar Company and the sugar beet industry in general is critically important to the agricultural history of Colorado,” adds Thomas J. “Dr. Colorado” Noel, Professor of History and Director of Public History, Preservation & Colorado Studies at University of Colorado Denver.


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