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From its founding in 1858 until today, Denver Colorado has seen it all from the devastating fire to the flash flood that swept the city even after the famine it had suffered. Denver strived to get back to its feet and become a fastest growing urban community. From the humble beginnings of fur trappers and prospector gold miners, the city ranks as one of the most peaceful and livable cities in the country.

Early settlers

Arapaho Indians, fur trappers, and traders often stopped at an area because of its many resources, this particular site, is now called Denver. The city was named after James W. Denver who served as the governor of Kansa Territory, which the city used to be a part of.

denver colorado

June 1858, marked an astounding find with the discovery of gold. A small group of prospectors from Georgia crossed the Colorado Territory in search of this highly valuable mineral. Although not much gold was found in the area, the news spreads like wildfire, and by 1859, the gold rush reached far and wide. It didn’t take long before wagons, tents, tepees, and log cabins were erected on the banks of South Platte River as fortune-seekers flocked into the area. These people came from all corners of the country bringing all their possessions and families in search of gold. Its popularity earned a name for which many called the extraordinary discovery as ‘Pikes Peak or Bust’.  

Not long after, the founding of the rival towns of St. Charles and Auraria on the opposite sides of Cherry Creek. In 1860, Denver City and Auraria were consolidated and a year later Colorado state was established.

Denver famous Gold Mines

Denver started out as a gold mining town founded in 1858 which is located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. With the abundance fish harvests of South Platte River, migrants flock to the area which grew rapidly. Most people who come to Denver were optimistic to struck silver and gold to many of its mining areas.

All dried up

Many did find gold in Denver but the supply quickly dried up and the city was transformed into a supply hub for other mines in the region. During the 1870s silver become more economically important than gold. Several mining fortunes were established right away but the period of opulence stopped in 1893. Soon, smelters closed, banks failed, and silver moguls lost all of their fortunes.

But instead of becoming a ghost town, it attracted another set of investors who quickly built a rail line from Cheyenne to Kansas. As the new rail became more accessible it brought fresh supplies of good as well as new people into the city. To prevent major decline, farming, cattle, and sheep ranching flourished providing a more stable source of income. By then, Denver became the new county set of Arapahoe County and eventually the state capital.

Catastrophic period

A devastating fire devoured the city in 1863 and a year later a ravaging flash flood swept what was left of the city. The catastrophe killed 20 people and causing millions of dollars in damage. An uprising by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians forced the city to give up its seat from Colorado. When the Indian war broke out, it cut all supply lines which left Denver in just six weeks ration of food, causing a famine in the city.

Being a strong-minded people, these hardships made Denver more determined not just to survive the series of catastrophes but to thrive as a community. The city of Denver raised their own money amounting to $300,000 to build their very own railroad when the Union Pacific Railroad bypassed Colorado. The new railroad met with the Union Pacific in Cheyenne, Wyoming attracting more investors and residents. This turn of events greatly affected the economic boom of Denver with the increased population from 4,759 in 1870 to 106,713 in 1890.

A new beginning

The convenient public transportations like rail and air travel turned Denver into a wide city during the 20th century. Denver’s economy was purely in the shipping of minerals and other useful ranch products. But it all changed with the war brewing on the edge, the city is strategically an ideal place to conduct federal activity as it’s located far from either coast. The Cold War deeply contributed to the economic development of Denver but ended in the 1990s. After the war, gas and oil companies find Denver their ideal place to start a new with the vast constructions of skyscrapers. The economy of Denver immediately booms with the combined spending of major investors and the federal government. From a small mining town, Denver evolved into a buzzing town with modern buildings and amenities.

After spending time exploring Denver Colorado and learning about its history, don’t miss the chance to drop by at LIVNFRESH shop for some awesome items.