A Little History
The discovery of gold in the Rockies in 1858 caused thousands of settlers from the Midwest to reach this territory in search of such precious metal. When the Colorado Territory was created in 1861, the Indians were forced to leave their lands and move to the Arkansas River area. In response, they set out to storm the crossing routes between Denver and the Missouri River. As punishment, the Colorado Third Cavalry under Colonel John M. Chivington attacked one of the Indian villages at dawn on November 29, 1864, and murdered several hundred men, women, and children. This action came to be known as the Sand Creek massacre.
The first mining boom lost intensity, and until 1870 the population did not exceed the 60,000 inhabitants necessary to acquire the status category; The arrival of the railroad and the development of irrigation on a large scale throughout the eastern territory of the Rockies caused the influx of people to Colorado. In the meantime, ranching flourished favorably by driving cattle from Texas to the pastures of the Colorado plains. The category of state was obtained in 1876, year of the centenary of the nation. Over the next twenty years, the state grew and prospered as a result of the discovery, in the late 1870s, of the silver mines at Leadville.
When the exploitation of gold and silver was reduced in the early twentieth century, Colorado’s inhabitants invested some of the mining profits in the development of tourist activities, exploiting the climate and beauty of the state mountains. Luxury hotels were built, and in 1915 the Rocky Mountain National Park was opened to the public. In the 1960s and 1970s, some ski resorts, such as Aspen and Vail, located in the highest regions of the state and favored by the long duration of the snow, experienced a remarkable improvement in their infrastructures. Also, during the 1970s, aerospace and electric companies moved to the city of Front Range, whose population increased considerably.