150 Years of Boulder County

Timeline created by lauracsnider
  • Gold discovered in Gold Run near Gold Hill

  • Boulder City Town Company founded

  • The U.S. Congress created the Colorado Territory. William Gilpin becomes governor.

    The U.S. Congress created the Colorado Territory. William Gilpin becomes governor.
  • The first 17 counties in Colorado are created, including Boulder County.

  • First county fair in Colorado put on in Boulder County

    First county fair in Colorado put on in Boulder County
  • The town of Longmont is constructed during the summer by the Chicago-Colorado Company

  • Colorado Central Railroad extended from Golden up through Boulder and then Golden

  • Niwot is platted halfway between Boulder and Longmont on the railroad

    Niwot is platted halfway between Boulder and Longmont on the railroad
  • University of Colorado opens its doors.

    University of Colorado opens its doors.
  • The coal-mining town of Louisville was platted. The town was named after Louis Nawatny.

  • Ed Lyon formed the Lyons Townsite and Quarry Company where South and North St. Vrain creeks join.

  • The first sections of the Switzerland Trail of America were laid. The trail eventually connectted Boulder with Ward and Eldora.

    The first sections of the Switzerland Trail of America were laid. The trail eventually connectted Boulder with Ward and Eldora.
  • John Empson opens a canning factory in Longmont, which becomes the largest pea cannery in the world by 1905.

  • Town of Superior founded and named after the superior quality of coal found there.

  • Longmont Sugar Factory begins processing sugar beets.

  • The Moffat Lakes Resort Company was founded, which in turn, founded the town of Eldorado Springs.

    The Moffat Lakes Resort Company was founded, which in turn, founded the town of Eldorado Springs.
  • Construction began on Barker Dam, which flooded the meadows below Nederland and brought hydroelectric power to the area.

  • Coal miners go on strike in the coal fields of eastern Boulder County. The strike lasts four years.

  • The Valmont coal-fired power plant began operation on what was then Weisenhorn Lake east of Boulder.

  • The original Boulder County Courthouse burned to the ground, and a new one was built in the same spot.

  • The First Pay Dirt Pow Wow was held in Boulder to distract locals from the difficulties of the Great Depression. The Pow Wow, which lasted until 1979, took place on land bordered by 29th and 30th streets and between Pearl Street and Mapleton Avenue.

    The First Pay Dirt Pow Wow was held in Boulder to distract locals from the difficulties of the Great Depression. The Pow Wow, which lasted until 1979, took place on land bordered by 29th and 30th streets and between Pearl Street and Mapleton Avenue.
  • The Denver-Boulder Turnpike opened.

  • President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the new federal labs building in Boulder.

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicated the new federal labs building in Boulder.
  • Boulder voters approved the Blue Line, a wandering north-south boundary that roughly follows the 5,750-foot contour line. The citizens’ vote forbade the city from pumping water uphill of the line, essentially stunting development in the foothills above to

  • IBM announced that it would build a large plant between Boulder and Longmont. The new plant was the beginning of the area’s economic switch away from agriculture and toward the high-tech industry.

  • Boulder residents became the first in the country to vote to tax themselves to buy open space land.

    Boulder residents became the first in the country to vote to tax themselves to buy open space land.
  • Boulder County’s open space department was formed.

  • The Boulder County Comprehensive Plan was adopted. The document outlined where growth was and was not desirable, in general directing development to urban centers and protecting rural land between the towns. The same year, voters turned down the county’s

  • Commissioners passed a controversial “down-zoning” measure that made it more difficult to build subdivisions and other intensive developments in the county.

  • The Black Tiger Fire burned across Sugarloaf Mountain, destroying 44 homes.

  • After failed votes in 1978 and 1989, voters finally approved a sales tax to support open space acquisition for the county.

  • Broomfield became its own county, breaking away from Boulder County and parts of Adams, Jefferson and Weld counties.

  • Boulder County facilitated the “Super IGA,” an intergovernmental agreement with Boulder, Erie, Jamestown, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, Nederland and Superior. The agreement essentially defined growth boundaries for each municipality.

  • The Fourmile Fire burned more than 6,000 acres and destroyed 169 homes in Fourmile and Sunshine canyons. The historic Gold Hill town center was saved.

    The Fourmile Fire burned more than 6,000 acres and destroyed 169 homes in Fourmile and Sunshine canyons. The historic Gold Hill town center was saved.