Boulder County, Colorado

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Flatirons, Front Range, Aspenglo
7,000 BC Paleo Indians roamed in the mountains of Boulder County, while hunting game. Clovis and Folsom hunter-gatherers used to follow the game to higher elevations in summer-time. As the snows fell in mid fall, they followed creeks and streams to the natural sanctuaries where the game was in the foothills. [1]
Late 1500's Ute peoples were in all of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains for almost 100 years.. The Parianuche Ute band (Elk People), the Tabeguache (People of Sun Mountain Pike's Peak people), the Muaches (Cedar Bark People). As experts in hunting the Utes lived on Elk, deer, or other mountain game. In Summer, they gathered roots, yucca root, and wild berries. Summers they followed the elk, and bison up into high mountains such as Allen's Park. Winters- they moved into the valleys or foothills of 7,000 feet to hunt. The Ute had horses, by1640, obtained from the Spanish. [1]
Haystack Mountain had a village which was home of Native Americans in Boulder Valley, which were mostly Utes, Cheyennes, Comanches, Arapaho and Sioux.[2]
Longs Peak
1800's The Arapaho Plains Indians arrived in Colorado.. The Arapaho roamed over all geological zones. The two Indian tribes of Arapaho and Ute were in warfare. [1]
1820 The Cheyenne Indians, joined the Arapaho north of the Platte River, forming an alliance with the Ute for the hunting, wintering grounds. They won the access to the French-Anglo trading networks on the Front Range. The Indians had no immunity against the European diseases. Deaths in all Indian groups as they contracted smallpox while trading. [1]
1858 The population of a group of Arapaho fell from 10,000 to 3,000..[1]
Explorer, Stephen Long called the plains the "Great American Desert. This is where many of Boulder County 's cities and towns are found, such as Lafayette, Louisville, and Superior.
the largest is Boulder, Colorado. The land here has lakes, and agricultural dutches to bring water to the farms to convert dry soil to goods farmland. There are pastures, rich with lignite coal, iron ore, even small amounts of oil and gas. [3]
Lyons, Boulder, and Eldorado Springs are nestled west of the Plains, valleys and rock formations. The Red rock fountain formation rise above the plains. This is the source for construction stone such as the stone used to build the University of Colorado. Canyons twist around the ascending rock formations, as gateways to the mountains. They are also the drainage for rainfall when rain occurs, as well as the water from the north and South St. Vrain, Left Hand, North and South Boulder creek down to the plains. Communities here remind a person of the earlier mining towns. Surviving towns are Gold Hill, Eldora,. Jamestown, Ward and Nederland are incorporated towns.[3]
Nov 1, 1861 Colorado Territorial Legislature created the spectacular north-central county, known as Boulder County, Colorado. It has a 9,000 foot elevation change from east to west, offering beautiful views, wide variety of plants and wildlife. The High Plains has a steady climb through foothills, and mountains, (Longs Peak,14,259 feet.)[4] [3]

This county of 740 sq. mi.covers (3) topographic areas: 1) mountains in the west, 2) plains in the east, and a 3) trough that naturally extends from the plains and foothills.that runs between the plains and foothills. Its western boundary, next to Grand County, follows a jagged line of peaks in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Its (NW) northwest corner of the county holds the Rocky Mountain National Park, including Longs Peak. Its eastern boundary, also shared with Weld and Denver Counties, runs along the plains on the (E) eastern edge of Longmont. Boulder County borders Gilpin, Jefferson, and Denver Counties to the south and shares its northern boundary with Larimer County.[1]
Long's Peak, Fall
The population of 294,567 is mostly concentrated in Boulder, Colorado (County Seat) and Longmont, Colorado.. [1]
1851 - Niwot attended the signing of the Treaty of Fort Laramie, which preserved Arapaho rights to the Boulder Creek area. Thomas Fitzpatrick brokered the treaty, but died 3 years later. The Treaty of Fort Laramie acknowledged Southern Arapaho and Cheyenne ownership.[5]
1858 The first contact of the Arapaho with the white men was at a winter camp of the Southern Arapaho. Historians feel the mouth to Boulder Canyon, known as Settler's Park was the first camp for white men. Native Americans in the area were Cheyenne, Apache, Ute and Shoshone.[5]
1858-59 Colorado Gold Rush began in Boulder Canyon when prospectors discovered gold (about 12 miles up the Boulder Canyon. [1]
1858 After Gold was discovered, white people arrived to prospect and intended to leave by spring. They did not obey the treaty, moving into the foothills, then chopped down cottonwood trees, and killed the game for themselves. Thus the Indians also faced lack of shelter and less food.[1]
Oct 17, 1858 The Red Rocks near the entrance to to Boulder Canyon were where the first White gold prospectors settled.[2]
Feb. 10, 1859 Boulder City Town Company was organized by A.A. Brookfield, the first president, and 56 shareholders. There were 4,044 lots laid out at a purchase price of $1,000 each, a price that was later lowered in order to attract more residents.[2]
Jan 16, 1859 Gold was discovered in Boulder Creek fork. David Horsfal found a larger deposit called the Horsfal Lode. [1]
Feb 10, 1859 Aikens founded the Boulder City Town Company.. Near the Boulder Canyon, the city for Boulder, Colorado was platted. [1]
Mining map
1859 Coal mining in Boulder-Weld, called the Northern Field was northwest to north-northeast of Denver. (originally the Northern Field) coal field covers a large area northwest to north-northeast of Denver. This first wagon coal mine was the first coal mine, and located near Marshall (close to Boulder, Colorado. [6]
1859 When Coal was discovered, the sites of some of the oldest coal mines, such as Marshall Mesa, located on OSMP land near the town of Marshall. [5]
1860 Residents asked for the amenities: schools, railroad, hospital. The first schoolhouse was built in Boulder - located on Walnut and 15th Street. Boulder citizens petitioned to the legislature for a college. By 1861 the Territory of Colorado was created by the U.S. Boulder City was a supply base for miners prospecting in the mountains for gold and silver. It supplied miners' equipment, food, housing, horses, and gambling or drinking. Its residents were more settled than those in mining camps. [2]
1860 Within a year Boulder Creek gold deposits had yielded $100,000 in Gold. This discovery was called Gold Hill. After the Gold mining, miners began mining clay for bricks, limestone, coal and granite. [1]
1861 Boulder County became one of the original (17) counties after Colorado Territory was established. The Fort Wise Treaty was negotiated with Niwot and Little Raven, the Arapaho leaders Niwot and Little Raven were supposed to sign another treaty, which he refused. A small reservation for the Arapaho and Cheyenne down in Southeast Colorado had been formed. The treaty specified they were supposed to give up the Front Range to the white people, but did not want to remove the people from the plentiful land. Their people lived in Boulder Creek area two more violent years. Then the Arapaho ands Cheyenne were forcefully moved to Fort Lyon, (which is in present day Kiowa County). The White men assured both the Arapaho and Cheyenne they would be safe near the fort. They just wanted to live and trade for supplies and almost starved.[1][7]
1864 Colonel John M. Chivington led 550 volunteers to slaughter the Cheyenne-Arapaho camp at Sand Creek. They shot Niwot as he stood holding up his hands calling in English for the troops to stop. The few southern Arapaho under Little Raven were then removed to Oklahoma to Indian Territory in 1867. A sad day.[1]
1864 Coal mining began in 1860's with 223 mines in the area. This added to the other metal mines in Boulder County. Workers in the mines were organized in unions such as United Mine Workers. Boulder, Colorado and Caribou were full of saloons and were mining towns.. In contrast to Longmont, Colorado which concentrates on farming. The Deeds for land actually forbade alcohol consumption or the sale of it on the property. [1]
1867 Boulder, Colorado was designated as the Boulder County seat. Coal mining prospered. At this time Marshall, Colorado's population was higher than that of Boulder, Colorado. [5][2]
1870 Sam Conger struck silver near Caribou and organized the community. This area had many blizzards that winter. Sometimes the snowbound residents had to leave their buildings from second-story windows!!! Then Conger sold his mine to Abel Breed for $50,000. British miners began mining next..
1871 Nederland, Colorado was founded. It was also called Middle Boulder and became a mill and supply town town for the mines of Caribou. Longmont was founded 16 miles NE of Boulder by the Chicago-Colorado Colony.
1871 There were (23) twenty-three miles of irrigation ditches and (75) seventy-five buildings for the Longmont farming community. This includes the first library for Boulder County. After 1900 Longmont farmers were growing and selling wheat, pumpkins, peas, sugar beets. Longmont also plotted out parks, such as Lake Park (Roosevelt Park) where the Boulder County Fair has been held from 1891-1878. [1]
1873 Breed sold the mine for $3 million to the Nederland Mining Company, a Dutch group. Railway service tracks were gradually installed for railway service to Golden, Denver as well as the mining camps to the west. The first hospital was built. By 1874 the telegraph was established, the first bank was built with a water system.[2]
The University of Colorado-Boulder (CU) was founded in 1861, and was the state's flagship university. The Colorado Territory legislature gave Boulder, Colorado $15,000 for building it, if the citizens would match that amount also. [1]
University of Colorado
1874-1876 - When Boulder, Colorado secured a grant of 44.9 acres of land, then raised $15,0000 to match the state legislature's grant of the same value for University building, the construction began. Old Main was the first building opened on campus. It had classrooms, an auditorium, office spaces, and the living quarters for president, Dr. Joseph Sewall and family were there.. By 1882, the first all-male class of (6) graduated. [1][2]
1876 - Boulder Creek provides much of the water resources for OSMP history. The first reservoir was built at Red Rocks. [5]
1880's Stone quarrying such as Lyons sandstone is quarried and exists in Woods-Bergheim and the Anderson Quarries, the Third Flatiron, and Settler's park. (Some historic buildings in Boulder area used this quarried sandstone from Mountain Park. Timber was cut on lands located across the OSMP. Flagstone sidewalks installed for residents.[5] [2]
1882 A State law was passed to incorporate the city of Boulder as a 2nd class city due to its 1880 population of 3,000. [2]
1882 Homesteads as old as this were using property protected as OSMP Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP). Ranches and truck farms began. [5]
Street car Chautauqua
The Bachelder Ranch has the original stucco ranch house (site of Chautauqua Park) where alfalfa and an apple orchard were grown. Street cars later were seen there.[5]
Settlers's Park was owned originally by John Brierly and family where they raised fruit and vegetables[5]
1883 The Rea family built their homestead at the mouth of the Gregory canyon where they had a vegetable business. Cattle operations were grazing and logging on the land utilized the protected land for grazing and logging purposes,. These were the Walker Ranch, and Dunn-DeBacker, Brammeier, and Blake operations. [5]
Gregory Canyon Road was built to give access to the the new gold fields at Black Hawk and Central City. Ranchers brought their cattle to Denver, Colorado from the western slope on this Road.[5]
1883 The First courthouse was built. This burned down in 1932.[2]
1890 A Railroad depot was built located near Water Street and 14th Street. [2]
1892 A private school, Mount St. Gertrude Academy was opened. Boulder city became known as a prosperous city, with its educational system, its nice neighborhoods. It was recommended for Boulder, Colorado to be widely known for the Chatauqua Auditorium. It was built in 1897.[2]
1893 - Caribou had many fires.. The silver prices crashed this year, which doomed Caribou for twenty years!.
1888 The Red Rocks Reservoir was replaced by the Silver Lake Ditch rights in 1888 (on OSMP land).. [5]
May 30, 1894 Boulder Creek flooded out of its banks due to heavy rains.. The flood water went through the canyon destroying mines, settlements, and bridges. The floodwater hit Boulder, Colorado by next morning. This destroyed telegraph lines, houses, the Red Light district and some poor neighborhoods were destroyed. jamestown, Crisman, Glendale and Sprindale also were flooded. This stopped coal, metal and all farmland agriculture to be flooded.[1]
1898 The Federal government bought Flagstaff Mountain, which offers views of the area nearby.
1900-1918 Conger struck another metal in Nederland. This was tungsten, a hard metal which is used in incandescent light bulbs and to strengthen steel. Nederland again became a hotbed of mining activity when Conger found the tungsten. Conger's tungsten mines produced tungsten until the demand lessened following the end of World War I. After this Tourism became the economy. Conger and Nederland revived during the Tungsten mining, then it was replaced by tourism.[1]
1903, 1910, 1927 The union and workers lobbied for higher pay and working conditions, with some ugly strikes in the coal mining towns in 1903, 1910–14, and 1927.[1]
Hotel Boulderado Opening
1910–14 The (2,700 miners) of Boulder County strike had violence between the strikers, guards, and scabs. Federal and state troops stopped the violence. Miners won a 20% wage increase and more safety measures.[1]
1927 - During the Miners Strike, Company guards at the Columbine Mine shot at the strikers and killed (6) as well as wounding (20) people. Federal troops stopped this clash between miners and guards. The Columbine ownership changed to that of his daughter, who improved the wages, safety conditions in the mines. Josephine Roche also was Colorado first female governor candidate, 1934. [1]
Flagstaff Mountain Cultural Landscape District became an historic district and cultural landscape. Here included are the Sunrise Circle Amphitheater, Flagstaff Summit Shelter House, Green Mountain Lodge, and Greenman Spring, the Wood Shelter, and Mouse Well. [5]
1934 the 2nd Courthouse which is currently present was built 1934. [2]
1934-1935 - The Civilian Conservation Corps built the Sunrise Circle Amphitheater, Green Mountain Lodge and the Halfway House which have trails and structures nearby used since that time.[5]
1941-45 During World War II The University of Colorado began operating the U.S. Navy's Japanese language school. When young men and women came for this, they stayed within the city. The tourism to Chatauqu declined following World War II.[2]
Post World War II Many of the trainees for that U.S. Japanese language school returned as veterans to attend the University on the GI Bill. This increased the population from 11,006 in 1920 to 20,000 residents in the late 1940's. Jobs were needed. Townspeople wanted to preserve their beautiful natural city, thus they recruited "clean" industry. The transportation was improved, and a new Boulder-Denver Turnpike. Research and development industries came after this.[2]
1959 “Blue Line” city-charter This restricted city water service to below 5,750 feet to protect the mountains from developing.[2]
1961 The Boulder Parks and Recreation Department (BPRD) began with an amendment to combine the parks and recreation. Boulder continued to expand following the completion of the turnpike to downtown Denver. [2]
1980 There were 20,000 students and faculty at CU-Boulder. It has many research institutes such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Today the total enrollment of the whole University of Colorado system is 44,500 and nationally well known University. The (CU) campuses throughout the state are:
1) University of Colorado–Colorado Springs
2) University of Colorado–Denver, and the Health Sciences Center in Denver.
Boulder Counry has some tech companies such as IBM and Ball Corp., an aerospace company, are headquartered in Longmont. The town has reaped the benefits of being near a major university, as it recruits many CU graduates for its burgeoning biotech, aerospace, and software and IT industries. In 2015 CU Health, citing a lack of access to emergency care across the state, began construction on a $160 million hospital at County Line Road and Ken Pratt Boulevard in Longmont.[1]
Sept 9, 2013 Heavy rains in Boulder County and (14) other Colorado counties caused bad floods. In Boulder County, the floodwaters damaged (1,200) houses, washed out (10) bridges, many miles of roads, power lines, trails, and killed (3) people.. People were evacuated when they were stranded - (!,600) and (100 people). Gov. John Hickenlooper declared a state of emergency, with $6 million of state funds for flood response and recover. Boulder County had $56 million responsibility. By 2014, volunteers, workers and residents removed 4,80 truckloads debris, rebuilt (5/10) bridges and repaired (22) miles of the trails. Residents formed the Long-term Flood Recovery Group.[1]
Boulder, Colorado and county economy increased as tourism brought in more residents and dominated the city in economy for (40) forty years. In summers, storekeepers, all lodging concentrated on the tourists to visit. Chatauqua residents increased, mostly from Texas. [2]
The Boulder, Colorado residential section was near downtown, and some was in Goss/Grove, Whittier, and Mapel Hill neighborhoods. When the commercial areas expanded, the downtown housing vanished. The above neighborhoods remained residential. When the University expanded, this began what is known as University Hill. [2]
Mount Sanitas was named after the sanitarium, located just east of the present trailhead. The South Mesa area contains many cabins and homesites. Doudy-DeBacker-Dunn house is homesite just past South Mesa Trailhead past a stone building on the north side of South Boulder Creek.[5]
The Marshall Mesa Historic District This received Colorado funding to build an interpretive trail on Marshall Mesa and describe the milling and coal mining in 1900's.[5]
The Fox Mine Office and the Hogan Stone Barn on Open Space and Mountain Parks lands near Cherryvale Road are listed on the National Register.[5]
Present The OSMP (Open Space and Mountain Parks) have been visited by tourists. The Mountain Park lands originally were used for hunting and planting. Some trails and roads are on aboriginal trails such as those to Gregory Canyon and Bear Canyon.


Government Offices

1883 The First courthouse was built. This burned down in 1932.[2]
Boulder Co. Courthouse


Size - total area of 742 square miles (1,900 km2), of which 726 square miles (1,880 km2) is land and 14 square miles (36 km2) (1.9%) is water.
Location- north central Colorado.
Shape - The county forms a rectangle. Western boundary is the continental divide.
Plains - called the High Plains are in Eastern Boulder county with altitude of 5,000 feet.are in :Topography changes from the plains in the eastern part, then foothills, montane, sub-alpine to Longs Peak at 14,259 feet.
Most altitude there is 9,000 feet.
Vegetation plants, vary, wildlife varies with the altitude
Recreation skiing Exploring, hiking.
Crops -Hay, forage crops (23,397 acres) and wheat (1,764 acres), egg and poultry.
Elevation -9,000 foot elevation changes from east to west, offering beautiful views, wide variety of plants and wildlife. The High Plains has a steady climb through foothills, and mountains,
Highest Peak (Longs Peak,14,259 feet.)
Size, This county of 740 sq. mi. sits across (3) topographic areas: 1) mountains in the west, 2) plains in the east, and a 3) trough that naturally extends from the plains and foothills.that runs between the plains and foothills. Its western boundary, next to Grand County, follows a jagged line of peaks in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. Its (NW) northwest corner of the county holds the Rocky Mountain National Park, including Longs Peak. Its eastern boundary, also shared with Weld and Denver Counties, runs along the plains on the (E) eastern edge of Longmont. Boulder County borders Gilpin, Jefferson, and Denver Counties to the south and shares its northern boundary with Larimer County.[1]
The population of 294,567 is mostly concentrated in Boulder, Colorado (County Seat) and Longmont, Colorado.. [1]

Adjacent counties

  • Continental Divide - on West
  • Larimer County on North
  • Weld County on East,
  • Broomfield County on East
  • Jefferson County - on South
  • Gilpin County on South
  • Grand County on West

Protected areas

  • Recreation has historically been the most important land use on OSMP. The city's protected land has supported a wide variety of activities, from hiking and camping to community steak fries and family picnics.
  • West of the Peak to Peak Highway is land owned by the federal government, managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service and extends to the Continental Divide ( the western boundary for Boulder County. The County has parts of National Parks and National Forests such as Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness and Roosevelt National Forest.[3]


  • The estimated population of Boulder County for 2017 is just over 323,000.
  • Although Colorado is a conservative state, Boulder County has a liberal pocket named, "People's Republic of Boulder", which is a wealthy suburban community that is pro-conservation. As a result the city has 145 miles of hiking trails, attracting hiking enthusiasts yearly.
  • Boulder County is culturally and economically diverse. .
  • Category: Allenspark, Colorado|Allenspark
  • Category: Altona, Colorado|Altona
  • Category: Bark Ranch, Colorado|Bark Ranch
  • Category: Bonanza Mountain Estates, Colorado|Bonanza Mountain Estates
  • Category: Boulder, Colorado|Boulder
  • Category: Coal Creek, Boulder County, Colorado |Coal Creek
  • Category: Crisman, Colorado|Crisman
  • Category: Eldora, Colorado|Eldora
  • Category: Eldorado Springs, Colorado|Eldorado Springs
  • Category: Erie, Colorado|Erie
  • Category: Glendale, Boulder County, Colorado|Glendale
  • Category:Gold_Hill, Colorado|Gold Hill
  • Category: Gunbarrel, Colorado|Gunbarrel
  • Category: Hidden Lake, Colorado|Hidden Lake
  • Category: Hygiene, Colorado|Hygiene
  • Category: Jamestown, Colorado
  • Category: Lafayette, Colorado
  • Category: Lazy Acres, Colorado
  • Category: Leyner, Colorado
  • Category: Longmont, Colorado
  • Category: Louisville, Colorado
  • Category: Lyons, Colorado
  • Category: Mountain Meadows, Colorado
  • Category: Nederland, Colorado
  • Category: Niwot, Colorado
  • Category: Paragon Estates, Colorado
  • Category: Pine Brook Hill, Colorado
  • Category: Pinecliffe, Colorado
  • Category: Seven Hills, Colorado
  • Category: St. Ann Highlands, Colorado
  • Category: Sugarloaf, Colorado
  • Category: Sunshine, Colorado
  • Category: Superior, Colorado
  • Category: Tall Timber, Colorado
  • Category: Valmont, Colorado
  • Category: Ward, Colorado

County Resources



  • Category: Gold Hill Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado
  • Category: Columbia Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado
  • Category: Green Mountain Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado
  • Category: Mountain View Memorial Park, Boulder, Colorado
  • Category: Sacred Heart of Mary Cemetery, Boulder, Colorado
  • Category: Eldorado Springs Cemetery, Eldorado Springs, Colorado
  • Category: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Erie, Colorado
  • Category: Hygiene Cemetery, Hygiene, Colorado
  • Category: Jamestown Cemetery, Jamestown, Colorado
  • Category: Lafayette Cemetery, Lafayette, Colorado
  • Category: Burlington Cemetery, Longmont, Colorado
  • Category: Foothills Gardens of Memory, Longmont, Colorado
  • Category: Mountain View Cemetery, Longmont, Colorado
  • Category: Louisville Cemetery, Louisville, Colorado
  • Category: Lyons Cemetery, Lyons, Colorado
  • Category: Nederland Cemetery, Nederland, Colorado
  • Category: Niwot Cemetery, Niwot, Colorado
  • Category: Sunset Cemetery, Boulder County, Colorado
  • Category: Sunshine Cemetery, Sunshine, Colorado
  • Category: Superior Cemetery, Superior, Colorado
  • Category: Valmont Cemetery, Valmont, Colorado


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