|Denver City was founded in November 1858 as a mining town during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in western Kansas Territory. That summer, a
group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas, had arrived and established Montana City on the banks of the South Platte River. This was the
first settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver. The site faded quickly, however, and by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in
favor of Auraria (named after the gold mining town of Auraria, Georgia), and St. Charles City.
On November 22, 1858, General William Larimer, a land speculator from eastern Kansas Territory, placed cottonwood logs to stake a claim on
the bluff overlooking the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, across the creek from the existing mining settlement of
Auraria, and on the site of the existing townsite of St. Charles. Larimer named the town site Denver City to curry favor with Kansas Territorial
Governor James W. Denver. Larimer hoped that the town's name would help make it the county seat of Arapaho County, but unknown to him
Governor Denver had already resigned from office. The location was accessible to existing trails and was across the South Platte River from the
site of seasonal encampments of the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The site of these first towns is now the site of Confluence Park near downtown
Denver. Larimer, along with associates in the St. Charles City Land Company, sold parcels in the town to merchants and miners, with the
intention of creating a major city that would cater to new emigrants. Denver City was a frontier town, with an economy based on servicing local
miners with gambling, saloons, livestock and goods trading. In the early years, land parcels were often traded for grubstakes or gambled away
by miners in Auraria. In May 1859, Denver City residents donated 53 lots to the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express in order to secure the
region's first overland wagon route. Offering daily service for "passengers, mail, freight, and gold," the Express reached Denver on a trail that
trimmed westward travel time from twelve days to six. In 1863, Western Union furthered Denver's dominance of the region by choosing the city
for its regional terminus.
The Colorado Territory was created on February 28, 1861, Arapahoe County was formed on November 1, 1861, and Denver City was
incorporated on November 7, 1861. Denver City served as the Arapahoe County Seat from 1861 until consolidation in 1902. In 1867, Denver
City became the Territorial Capital. With its new-found importance, Denver City shortened its name to Denver. On August 1, 1876, Colorado
was admitted to the Union.
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|MORE TRAVEL LINKS!
|A TASTE OF COLORADO
|The Mile High City
In More Ways Than One
|DENVER'S AMAZING HARD ROCK CAFÉ
|THE PARAMOUNT CAFÉ
|DENVER'S COYOTE UGLY SALOON
|ME & MY MIMES
|The City and County of Denver is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. State of Colorado. As of 2014,
Denver is also the most populous county in Colorado. Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge
of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is located immediately
east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 12 miles east of the foothills of the Rocky
Mountains. Denver is nicknamed the Mile-High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile (5,280 ft) above sea level,
making it one of the highest major cities in the United States. The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal
reference for the Mountain Time Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.