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Current Theme: History
Timeline of Significant Events in the Boulder Area

Timeline of Significant Events in the History of
Boulder County, Colorado

Humans are living in Colorado.
15,000 Years Ago
9,000 Years Ago
The American elephant becomes extinct.
Humans move into the Boulder watershed.
7,500 Years Ago
7,500 Years Before Present to around 150 Years Before Present
Ancestors of the Ute Indians travel through the mountain regions, while waves of various Plains Peoples pass through the high plains..
Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado searches for gold, and inadvertently introduces the horse to Colorado.
Comanche Indians take over control of the Plains.
The French explorers Paul and Pierre Mallet name the Platte River.
Late 1700s to Early 1800s
Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians move into the Plains; the Comanches move south.
Zebulon Pike is the area's first official American explorer. He says of Pike's Peak, "No man could possibly reach its summit."
Major Stephen Long's expedition explores the Boulder area for the U.S. government. He describes the plains east of the Rockies as the Great American Desert.
Jim Bridger and other mountain men search for beaver.
The Ft. Laramie Treaty gives the Arapaho and the Cheyenne Indians the land north of the Arkansas River and east of the Rocky Mountains (an area which includes the Boulder watershed).
The Thomas Aikens' party of 15 gold seekers arrives in Boulder. They camp near the red rocks of what is now Settlers' Park.
Jefferson Territory (later the State of Colorado) is established.
The Boulder City Town Company is formed and founds Boulder City.
  Gold is discovered at Gold Run.
Lower Boulder Ditch becomes the first irrigation ditch to be filed in Boulder County.
The Pony Express operates in western states for nine months.
Boulder builds the first schoolhouse in what will become Colorado.
Miser's Dream Gold Mine begins operation in Ward.
Colorado Territory is established in Congress.
The Treaty of Ft. Lyon moves the Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians to a small reservation between the Arkansas River and Sand Creek.
Boulder County is established.
The Homestead Act is passed by Congress, granting 160 acres of free land to settlers.
Colonel Chivington leads the Sand Creek Massacre of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians.
Silver discovered at Caribou.
Boulder County population reaches 1,939.
The road to Nederland is built through Boulder Canyon (it has 33 bridges).
Colorado is admitted as the 38th state of the United States.
The University of Colorado is established.
Boulder City is renamed Boulder.
The Colorado Supreme Court, in Coffin v. Left Hand Ditch Company, affirms the doctrine of prior appropriation, or "first in time, first in right" in water rights disputes.
Boulder City gets electric lights.
The Boulder Daily Camera begins publication.
Women are granted the right to vote in Colorado, which becomes the second state to grant this right, after Wyoming.
The "100-year flood" hits Boulder. Rapidly melting snowpack combined with heavy spring rains causes extensive flooding of Boulder Creek.
Coal mining is begun in Superior.
Chautauqua is organized by a group from Texas.
Arapaho Glacier is officially determined to be a glacier.
Barker Dam and Barker Reservoir are completed.
Arapaho Glacier is deeded to the City of Boulder by President Herbert Hoover.
Major storm event on September 4th causes damage in Eldorado Springs along South Boulder Creek
Major drought in Boulder area helps motivate plans for water storage projects.
Boulder Reservoir constructed to store water from Federally funded transbasin diversions.
Citizens vote in favor of the "Blue Line" which curtailed the city of Boulder from delivering water services above a certain elevation. PLAN Boulder is formed by those who helped organize the Blue Line campaign.
Flooding along Boulder Creek and tributaries on May 7th and 8th cause some $325,000 damage
Arapaho Glacier downgraded to a snowfield due to to reduced size caused by melting

Timeline developed by Phil Nugent.Thanks to Robin Eckulund for the original timeline and The Naropa Institute and its publication, "The Many Voices of the Boulder Creek Watershed," © 1996.


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Last Page Update - Tuesday December 27, 2005