Colorado State Archives
Were the Anasazi?
From approximately A.D.1 to 1299 A.D. the prehistoric
cliff dwellers (Anasazi) lived in southwestern Colorado.
Native American Groups Lived in Colorado?
Big Game hunters occupied parts of Colorado by 9200 B.C. The Anasazi
developed their great cliff dwelling culture from 1 A.D. to 1200
A.D. Many other Native American groups have
lived in Colorado since. The Utes lived in the mountains, the Cheyenne and
Arapahoe resided on the plains from the Arkansas to the Platte rivers,
and the Kiowas and Comanches lived south of the Arkansas River. The
Pawnee tribe hunted buffalo along the Republican River and the Sioux
sometimes hunted on the outskirts of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe lands.
Was the First European to Step Foot Into Colorado?
In 1541A.D. the Spanish explorer, Francisco
Coronado may have crossed the southeastern corner of present-day
Did the United States Acquire the Land Where Colorado Is Today?
Through the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 the United States
acquired a vast area which included what is now most of eastern
Colorado. By the Treaty of Hidalgo in 1848, Mexico ceded to the United
States most of that part of Colorado not acquired by the Louisiana
Purchase. In 1850, the Federal Government purchased Texas' claims in
Colorado, and the present boundaries of
Colorado were established.
Was the First Permanent European Settlement in Colorado?
The earliest permanent European
settlements were planted in the San Luis Valley. San Luis, on the
Culebra River, was settled in 1851, followed in the next few years by
San Pedro, San Acacio, and Guadalupe.
Did the Colorado
Gold Rush Begin?
William Green Russell discovered a small placer gold
deposit near the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek
in 1858 which spurred the gold rush in Colorado.
Were Some of the Earliest
Towns that Developed in Colorado After the Gold Rush?
St. Charles (renamed Denver City), and its rival, Auraria,
were settled on the east and west sides of Cherry Creek (now lower
downtown Denver) in 1858. Soon after these towns were established,
Boulder City near the mouth of Boulder Canyon was founded. To the north,
on the Cache La Poudre River, a fur trader, named Antoine Janise, began
a settlement called Colona which later changed its name to La Porte.
Arapahoe City and Golden Gate were established to the west of St.
Charles and Auraria in the closing days of 1858, while to the south, at
the mouth of Fountain Creek, the town of Fountain City (later to be
named Pueblo) was laid out. Another site, El Paso, was staked out near
Colorado Became a State What Was It Called?
Colorado was originally part of
the Nebraska, Utah, Kansas, and New Mexico Territories. In 1859 a
provisional territorial government was formed, called the Territory of
Jefferson. In 1861 Congress created the Territory of Colorado.
Did the State Get Its Name?
The Spanish first called the area "Colorado"
because of its red colored earth. In 1861 Jefferson Territorial
officials decided that "Colorado" would be a good name for the
territory. The Colorado Territory then became the State of Colorado in
Did Colorado Become a State?
On August 1, 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant issued the
proclamation of statehood. Colorado was the
38th state to join the Union.
Were the First Territorial and State Governors?
William Gilpin was the
first territorial governor appointed by President Lincoln in 1861. John
L. Routt was elected Colorado's first governor after statehood in
Colorado Involved in the Civil War?
The Colorado Volunteers
aided in defeating Confederate General Henry H. Sibley's Army at La
Glorieta Pass, New Mexico, in 1862.
Was the Capitol Built and Who Designed It?
Elijah E. Meyers designed the
Colorado Capitol. The cornerstone was laid in 1890 and by late 1894 the
building was complete enough to allow the governor and other officers to
move in. Completion of the Capitol may be
said to have been achieved in 1908 when the dome was leafed with gold
and the electric bulb was installed on top of it.
Was the Penitentiary Opened and Who Was the First Inmate?
The first territorial prison
was established in Canon City in 1868. The first prisoner was John
Shepler in 1871 who was committed to the institution from Gilpin
County for larceny.
Did Women Get the Right to Vote in Colorado?
Colorado was the second state in the nation to extend
suffrage to women in 1894 after Wyoming.
Were the Present Counties Formed?
See our Web page for information
about each county.
Designed the State Flag?
Do the Colors in the State Flag Symbolize?
The colors of the state flag
symbolize certain geographical features of Colorado. The gold stands for
the abundant sunshine that our state enjoys. The white represents the
snowcapped mountains while the blue stands for our clear blue skies. The
red represents the ruddy color of much of our state's earth.
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