The gold mining town of Denver, Colorado was founded in November of 1858. OF course the gold eventually dried up but the city still boasts of the scenic Rocky Mountains and the South Platte River, at the banks of which it is located. For years, shipping was the source of employment for most of the locals, however in the 21st century, Denver has become a hub for transportation with a good number of skyscrapers that have emerged downtown.
Denver now commonly referred to as “The Mile High City”, was founded in the Kansas territory and was named after James W. Denver to honor the then governor. The city was incorporated in the Colorado territory in 1861.
Denver was a sparsely populated city until 1870. The arrival for railroad was a turning point in the city’s history & folk from all over started to flock in. The city’s population rose to 100,000 from about 5,000 during this period. The railroad also brought along with it ample job and trade opportunities. In fact, Denver became one of the most populated cities in America during that period, second only to San Francisco, California.
The year 1893 saw an economic boom come to an end as steps were taken by then president Benjamin Harrison to close the value gap between gold and silver – popularly called as the ‘depression of 1893’. This resulted in the U.S. gold reserves getting depleted which actually created a panic in that same year.
Growth slowly began to pick up in Denver when the government began to promote the cultivation of wheat, sugar & tourism and manufacturing service industries were concentrated upon. Denver was often referred to as ‘The Cow town of the Rockies’ because of the Denver Livestock Exchange. Denver saw significant growth in the early 1900s as brickyards, canneries, tanneries & stockyards came up, drastically improving the city’s economy. As a matter of fact, Coors Brewing was set up in Denver which went on to become the third-largest beer maker in the U.S.
After the Word War II, headquarters of a lot of oil and gas companies were moved to Denver. This complemented the R & D of fuel sources in Colorado. Because of this, large skyscrapers started to come up in the city during 1970s. And this also resulted in Denver becoming one of the largest telecommunication and transportation hubs in the country.
Another event that had a serious effect on Denver was the drop in oil process during the 1980s. Being the heart of the oil and gas industries, Denver’s economy took a nosedive. A lot of people were out of jobs and migrated from the city. The city could only recover because of the presence of energy and mining industries that brought good revenue.
A landmark event in the city was the completion of the Denver International Airport (DIA) in September 1994 under the leadership of Mayor Frederico Pena. However the project, started in 1989 was delayed which cost millions of dollars to the city.
A lot of sports and recreation centers emerged in the city with the opening of the South Platte Valley such as the Elitch Gardens Amusement Park, Coors Baseball Field, Pepsi Athletic Center and the Ocean Journey Aquarium.
Colorado History Museum, built in 1977 is a historic place of interest in the city. The museum has a collection artifacts and documents which are of immense historical importance. Other notable places in Denver are the Denver Art Museum, Denver branch of the U.S. mint and the Museum of Nature and Science, which opened in 2003, is the most digitally advanced theater in the world.
Denver is home to various sports teams like the Denver Broncos who play in the NFL, Colorado Avalanche (NHL) and Denver Nuggets (NBA) to name a few.
This was a short post on the history of Denver. If you have something to add to this, do let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.