You know the towns… but do you know how they got their start or why they were given their name? If you don’t, you are not alone. Fortunately, we will be learning the abridged history of 13 Colorado towns, including:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
"Quality Of Life Is Our Commitment" has been the city of Montrose's motto since it became incorporated in 1882, and for good reason. The town (which was named for the novel "A Legend of Montrose") has served as an important regional shipping center for the famed Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, as well as a historically vital area for agriculture.
Originally called Artesia, the town was later renamed in 1966 as a way to cash in on the nearby Dinosaur National Monument. (It worked!)
The northeast Colorado town, whose motto is "tt's not what you show, it's what you grow", was named after Holyoke, Massachusetts.
4. Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs hasn't always been home to ski bums and beautiful resorts; in fact, Steamboat was originally home to Yampatikas Utes until European-American trappers began moving through the area in the early 1800s. When the town was officially settled in 1874, the remaining Yampatikas Utes were forced out of the area and onto reservations in Utah. Steamboat Springs was later incorporated in 1900.
Another important railroad town was that of Alamosa, which was established in 1878 by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad and housed an important rail center.
Talk about an honest mistake... The town of Burlington was accidentally laid out one mile west of its present-day location in 1887 by a man who had anticipated the arrival of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. The railroad arrived shortly thereafter and built their depot on the land that was (actually) allotted for the town. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad began running through Burlington in 1888.
7. Pagosa Springs
Located just north of the New Mexico border, the town of Pagosa Springs was named for its natural mineral water, which includes the world's deepest geothermal hot spring.
8. Fort Morgan
Any guesses as to what Fort Morgan used to be? If you guessed a military fort, you'd be correct! In fact, the old "Camp Wardwell" was established in 1865 to protect those traveling along the Overland Trail. The next year, the area was renamed Fort Morgan and remained open until 1868. The town itself came to be in 1884.
Founded after a large coal discovery in 1862, the town was officially incorporated only months before Colorado became a state and later housed a stop along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
How did the "Sweetheart City" come to be? Like several Colorado town's, Loveland was founded along a newly constructed railroad line (Colorado Central Railroad) and named for the railway's president.
This western town sure lives up to their motto of "Honor the Past, Envision the Future"... so much so that the town pays homage to their original settlers (AKA dinosaurs) through numerous museums, prehistoric sites, and trails that allow guests to get up close and personal with the past.
How did the city of Lamar get its name? Why, after Secretary of the Interior Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II (in hopes of having the area named a land office), of course! (Did the plan work? Sadly, no.)
Founded as a Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad town in 1880, Salida slowly shifted from trains after WWII to a mountain resort and recreation town.