Located about 30 minutes from Denver, Boulder is a city that’s home to over 107,000 residents, making it the most populous community in Boulder County, CO. Nestled at the foothills of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Boulder offers unparalleled outdoor activities, a culturally enriched lifestyle, terrific weather with 300-plus days of sunshine a year, and a great array of restaurants, shopping centers, and other attractions.
Before Boulder became one of the top cities in Colorado however, it went through a colorful history dating back to the 1800s, when explorers were lured by the riches of gold. In this page, we’ll take a step back in time to give you a glimpse of Boulder’s rich history.
The start of Boulder
It was the promise of gold that paved the way to Colorado’s settlement, as the eastern United States experienced economic depression in the 1850s. Boulder County’s first settlement was established in 1858 at Red Rocks, which is known today as Settler’s Park.
A.A. Brookfield, one of the early settlers, established the Boulder City Town Company in 1859, which became the starting point of Boulder City. Brookfield later on became Boulder City’s first president, and land along Boulder Creek was divided amongst sixty shareholders.
During this time, Boulder City was considered part of Nebraska Territory. It officially became a Territory of Colorado when a Federal Bill was passed in February 1861. Boulder then became the county seat in 1867.
Mining played a very important role during Boulder City’s earliest stages of development. It attracted more settlers into the area, breathing life into supporting facilities such as hardware and supply stores, rooms and board houses, transport services, and drinking and gambling establishments. Soon, a solid agricultural industry started to take shape.
The town of Boulder was officially incorporated as a city in November 1871. The earliest residential areas were established in the Downtown, Whittier, and Mapleton Hill districts. As more and more commercial establishments opened up in the Downtown district however, residential properties in the area started to dwindle, and better quality homes were constructed in the Whittier and Mapleton Hill areas.
Boulder flourished with big business during the 1950s to the 70s. Prestigious companies such as IBM, Ball Aerospace, and Celestial Seasonings set up shop in Boulder, creating new jobs for the city’s rapidly growing population.
Today, Boulder is home to more than 107,000 residents, including more than 29,000 students at the University of Colorado. While the city has certainly gone a long way since its humble beginnings, many of its best qualities still remain to this day. For one, Boulder never lost its picturesque surroundings and its dedication to preserving the natural environment. Although it was once considered an uninhabitable area in the Great American Desert, it has flourished into one of the finest cities in the region, moving past numerous obstacles and setbacks along the way.
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