Arvada, CO

Before Colorado became a state in 1876, Arvada was already a vibrant community, and its history is marked by many significant events, such as the first discovery of gold in the American West. It was also an important agricultural center, particularly for celery, and it was a major location in the history of the Colorado Central Railroad. Lewis Ralston, while gold panning in Clear Creek in June 1850, made the first known discovery of gold.

Although Ralston traveled to California in search of gold, he came back in 1858 to lead a group of prospectors to the Cheyenne and Arapaho homelands in the hopes that they would strike it rich along the banks of the creek that now bears his name. Although explorers did find gold at the junction of Ralston and Clear Creeks, the amount was insufficient to warrant the installation of canal-powered sluice boxes. 

They moved upstream with hopes of finding richer deposits and even veins of gold. At Gregory Gulch, they made the historic discovery that ignited the 1859 California Gold Rush. Ralston and his gold-hunting party dug canals that ended up being crucial to the real future of farming in Arvada, but they didn’t know it at the time. Don’t forget to check out this place in Colorado too.

Colorado Central Railroad reached this far west by 1870, and by then there were enough people living there to warrant the establishment of a U.S. Post Office. Benjamin F. Wadsworth, the town’s leader, asked his wife, Mary Ann, to come up with a name for their new settlement. Her sibling tied the knot with a man named Hiram Arvada Haskin. Mother had picked out Hiram’s middle name from a geographical reference in their old Scofield Bible. Thus, the city of Arvada was established, taking its moniker from a Syrian island. The town was first established as an organized territory in 1870, when Wadsworth and his friend Louis Reno platted the town. Only about a hundred people lived there at most. Established in 1904, Arvada is now home to over 120,000. If you are in need of a Helical Pier Contractor, click here.