Founded in 1858, Denver was originally a mining town. The city experienced a boom in the late 19th century when silver was discovered in the nearby hills, and this led to an influx of people and money, and Denver soon became known as the “Queen City of the Plains.”
The early 20th century saw more growth for Denver, as the city became an important transportation hub thanks to the construction of Union Station and several railroads. The town grew throughout the twentieth century, becoming a major center for finance, government, and industry. Denver is known for its beautiful scenery, vibrant culture, and friendly people.
Denver was founded in 1858 by General William Larimer, a land speculator from Kansas. Larimer chose the site because it was located at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek—two bodies of water that provided ample opportunity for irrigation and transportation. The city was initially called “Denver City” to lure people from nearby Auraria, which had already established itself as a mining town.
The city experienced its first population boom in the late 1860s when gold was discovered near Pike’s Peak. This led to an influx of miners and fortune-seekers, many of whom decided to stay in Denver after striking it rich (or not). In 1861, Denver was officially named the capital of the Colorado Territory.
The Silver Boom
Denver’s second population boom came in the 1880s when silver was discovered in the nearby hills. This led to another influx of miners and prospectors hoping to make their fortune. The silver boom helped put Denver on the map; by 1890, the city’s population had reached almost 100,000. The silver boom also led to the construction of several important buildings downtown, including Union Station and Tabor Grand Opera House.
The early twentieth century saw more growth for Denver as it became an important transportation hub thanks to the construction of Union Station and several railroads that ran through the city. Denver also became an important center for finance and government; today, it is home to numerous banks, financial institutions, and state and federal government buildings.
Denver’s twentieth century saw continued growth as it became an increasingly important center for industry and commerce. Today, Denver is known for its beautiful scenery—the Rocky Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for the city—its vibrant culture—the city is home to numerous art galleries, museums, and theaters—and its friendly people. If you’re ever in Colorado, be sure to pay a visit to this historic city!