Brief History of Colorado

By | May 19, 2022

Population: 5 116.769 thousand people (2011)
Area: 269837.0 sq. km

According to, Colorado is one of the “Mountain States” of the United States. Thanks to archaeological research, it became known that already 11,000 years ago people lived on the territory of modern Colorado. Prior to European colonization, the Pueblo Indians lived in the south and southwest of the state, the Comanches in the east, the Shoshone in the north, and the Eta in the west. Since that time, unique rock dwellings created by the Pueblo Indians – Mesa Verde – have been preserved.

The first Europeans to explore this land were the Spaniards, who arrived here in the 16th century, and since the beginning of the 17th century, this territory has been a Spanish colony. The name Colorado comes from the Colorado River, which flows through this place, so named because of the presence of red-brown silt in it.

Some time later, Colorado was in the hands of the French, but already in 1803 the territory of Louisiana, which included Colorado, was sold by the French to the United States. In 1845, the United States withdrew the central part of Colorado, and in 1848 – its western part as a result of the war with Mexico. At first, the lands of Colorado did not attract Americans, but this did not last long. In the late 1850s, gold was discovered here, which led to crowds of immigrants. During the Civil War, the bulk of the treasure hunters successfully recaptured their place of extraction from the Texas invaders. On March 3, 1875, in order to obtain statehood, Congress passed a law containing claims to the territory of Colorado. On August 1, 1876, by decree of the President, Colorado becomes the 38th state of the United States.

In 1930, according to the census, the population exceeded one million people. During the Great Depression, the state suffered greatly, but after the Second World War, its condition is being restored. The main sectors of the economy are tourism, mining and agriculture.

Today, the state government pays special attention to its historical heritage. Colorado has many museums, parks, memorials dedicated to the most important and interesting moments in history.


Population: 106.400 thousand people (2010)
Area: 85.1 sq. km
Founded: 1870
City status since: 1904
Time zone: UTC-7, summer UTC-6
Altitude: 1662 m

The American city of Arvada is part of the state of Colorado. Arvada belongs to Adams and Jefferson counties. The city has an informal nickname “Celery Capital of the World”. The city received this nickname because of the high level of prosperity of agriculture in the area. The population of Arvada works for the most part in nearby Denver and Boulder.┬áSee Colorado counties.

The history of the development of the city is connected with the gold rush of the 1850s in Colorado. In what is now Arvada, in 1850, a Georgia native named Lewis Ralston found a small (6 gram) piece of gold that was worth about $5 at the prices of the period. The small river where the gold was found was named Ralston Creek. Ralston returned to the same place eight years later. The gold deposits here soon ended, but other deposits were discovered in the mountains to the west. Despite this, some decided to settle in this territory. They organized farms here and began to grow crops. In 1870, railroad tracks were laid in this area by the local Colorado Central Railroad Company. In the same year, Louis Renoand Benjamin Wadsworth marked a place on the map called Ralston Point. To avoid confusion with the names of other settlements, Ralston Point was renamed Arvada.

The history of the origin of this name is as follows: at the request of Benjamin Wadsworth, his wife Mary Ann had to come up with the name of the city. She suggested taking the middle name of her sister’s husband. His name was Hiram Arvada Haskin. It turned out that his mother had found the name in Scofield’s annotated Bible. There it meant the peninsula of Arvad, located off the Syrian coast. Benjamin Wadsworth was Arvada’s first postmaster. In 1904, Arvada was given the status of a city. Due to its proximity to Denver, Arvada grew and developed rapidly. Arvada’s urban status grew rapidly. Already in 1951 it became a “statutory city”, and in 1963 Arvada became a “self-governing territory”.


Population: 109.169 thousand people (2012)
Area: 85.1 sq. km
Founded: 1859
City status since: 1911
Time zone: UTC-7, summer UTC-6
Altitude: 1640 m

The city of Westminster is part of the state called Colorado. Westminster belongs to the counties of Adams and Jefferson. In the southeast, it shares borders with the largest city in the entire state – the city of Denver. In the list of the best places to live in the US, published by the magazine “Money”, Westminster was on the 24th line. The city lies at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in the center of the state. Six major highways pass through Westminster. The city is served by Rocky Mountain and Denver Airports.

The appearance of the first temporary buildings on the site of today’s Westminster occurred in 1858. This year, gold was discovered in a river valley called the South Platte, and this led to the emergence of a “gold rush”. Twelve years later, the first capital building with adjacent land appeared on the territory of the settlement. This building was owned by Pleasant DeSpain. It is because of this that the territory was first called Despain Junction. The railway depot appeared in the village in 1881. Four years later, real estate agent Xi arrived in this settlement from Connecticut. J. Harris. He began to buy “large lots” of local real estate, so after a while the village began to be called “Harris” in his honor. At the same time, some called him “Darrel Park”. The construction of the world-famous Westminster Castle began in 1891. Twenty years later, this settlement was incorporated and it officially received the status of a city. At the same time, Westminster took its current name from the castle built on its grounds.

Travelers who find themselves in Westminster should definitely visit the main attraction of the city – Westminster Castle (it is also called the “Column of Fire” and the “Big Red Castle”). This building is a university built in 1892. In 1979, the castle was added to the US National Register of Historic Places. Another of the main attractions of the city is the Westminster Shopping Center. It was opened in 1977 and demolished in 2011.

Brief History of Colorado