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|History of Denver|
Located at the eastern base of the Rocky Mountains, the capital city of Colorado was established by a party of prospectors on November 22, 1858, after gold was found at the confluence of Cherry Creek and Platte River and is now the site of Denver's bustling downtown. Within a couple of years, roughly 100,000 people migrated to Colorado, causing the federal government to establish the Colorado Territory in 1861.
Gold was the initial draw to Denver and gave way to the railroads. The rails were preceeded by two early Denver leaders, William Byers & Governer John Evans, insisting the local Native Americans be removed from the area. After forcibly dispossessing the Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples, Denverites built a network of railroads that transformed their town into the banking, minting, supply and processing center not only for Colorado, but also for neighboring states.
Denver's initial big boom began in 1870 when the first railroads arrived, and 1890, when the population exploded from just under 4,800 to over 106,000. Colorado became a state in 1876 at the beginning of this boom, earning it's nickname "The Centennial State". In just 20 years, it became the second most populous city in the West, second only to San Francisco.
Population growth slowed dramatically when the depression of 1893 hit, coupled with repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act. Within a few years, Denver's civic leaders began promoting economic diversity by introducing manufacturing, tourism & service industry, stockyards and brickyards. It was about this time that the National Western Stock Show began its annual event in Denver which is still in full swing today.
Post-World War II growth was brought on by many regional or national oil and gas headquarters relocating to Denver. The 1970s and early 1980s saw a building boom of skyscrapers in downtown Denver. The 1970s energy boom spurred a proliferation of suburban housing subdivisions and a second office core known as the Denver Tech Center, or DTC.
Denverites enjoyed a revival in the 1990s with many major changes and additions to a rapidly growing city. Denver's most recent real estate surge primarily lasted from the early 1990s to the early 2000s. During that time the city was able to secure its place on national & international transportation maps with the opening of Denver International Airport in 1995, which is the nation's largest airport in terms of area and capacity for growth. In addition, downtown Denver experienced a renaissance of sorts. The Colorado Rockies baseball team began play in 1993, with its beautiful new ballpark, Coors Field, transforming Lower Downtown. LoDo became the hot spot for loft and condo projects, as well as numerous eateries, breweries & shops. Current Mayor John Hickenlooper opened Colorado's oldest brew pub, Wynkoop Brewery, in 1988.
Population & Demographics
The population of Metro Denver, as of the 2006 Census Bureau, has reached 2.7 million people. The growth rate has consistently outpaced the national rate every decade since the the 1930s. Statewide population is nearing 4.8 million. Much of the overall population lies along the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Median household income in the Metro Denver area is $55,714, 15.6 percent higher than the natinoal median income of $48,201. The ethnic breakdown in Metro Denver, as of 2006, shows 67.1 percent Caucasian, 21.9 percent Hispanic or Latino, 5.2 percent African-American, 3.4 percent Asian, 0.5 percent American Indian.
The moderate temperatures and 300 days of sunshine per year give people ample opportunity to take advantage of Denver's amenities, parks & lakes. Overall, the climate here is rather arid, as is evidenced by the 16" of annual precipitation. Historically, July is the hottest month of the year, with average temperatures at 88 degrees Fahrenheit; the coldest month is January, with temps hovering around 43 degrees Fahrenheit. The dry air is excellent for people with respiratory ailments. According to U.S. News & World Report, Denver's National Jewish Medical & Research Center is the #1 ranked respiratory hospital in the country. At the same time, Denver's weather has been called erratic by many people as snow in the summer months in not out of the question.
Check out information on Colorado's parks and recreation opportunities by clicking here
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