Boulder City and County, 1881

Boulder City and County, 1881

Once the government had mapped Colorado's natural resources and paved the way for settlement with the 1862 Homestead Act, settlers flocked to the Boulder valley. This 1881 map served as both a guidebook to Boulder and an advertisement for real estate. A variety of inset maps show the layout of downtown Boulder and many nearby mining towns.  

The names of homesteaders across the county appear in the main section of the map, on the sections of land they owned. Many of these homesteaders were the earliest irrigators in the valley. Their names live on today as the names of Boulder's ditches, which are shown as dotted lines on the map.  It is no accident that Leggett, Goodhue, Davidson, and Leyner were all listed as subscribers on the bottom this map.  They had all built ditches, had land and water to sell, and hoped to attract new immigrants to buy it.

EXPLORE: This map is available for viewing in high and super (broadband strongly recommended) resolution.

Map courtesy of the Carnegie Branch Library for Local History, and the CU Norlin Library Archives.