The history of Denver begins in the year 1858. Just nine years after the California gold rush started a gold fever in the country, a group of prospectors from the state of Georgia happened upon gold in the Rocky Mountains. People from all over the country heard the news that gold had been discovered in the Rockies. When they heard the news, they rushed to beat the other prospectors there.
There was a sudden flood of people trying to make their fortunes in the shadow of Pikes Peak in the Platte River Valley. Some of these people tried to make their fortunes by buying land to create towns for all the new settlers to live in. One of these people was General William H. Larimer, who called the town he laid out Denver in honor of the governor of the Kansas Territory, James Denver. The Kansas Territory was a vast area of land that at the time included what would eventually become Colorado.
Denver quickly grew with the influx of more prospectors every month. The gold in the area quickly panned out, but many of the settlers decide to stay and make lives for themselves in the fledgling town.
Denver had its share of problems early in its history. The first crisis it faced was the invasion of a Confederate Army during the Civil War. A hastily slapped together band of volunteer soldiers valiantly fought off the Confederates in the Battle of Glorietta Pass in March 1862.
The very next year the majority of the young town burnt to the ground in a devastating fire. The next year, 1864, a flash flood rolled through town, swamping all the buildings and drowning 20 poor souls. That same year conflict with nearby Indian tribes broke out, leaving Denver residents facing cut supply lines that threatened them with starvation.
These early troubles only stiffened the resolve of the residents of Denver. They endured all the hardships until the railroad came to town in 1870, ensuring the survival of the town and its role as one of the great cities of the West.
Denver grew by leaps and bounds in the following years. Silver was discovered shortly after the railroad arrived, leading to a booming mining economy that brought thousands of people into town. By the turn of the 20th century, Denver had become the major distribution point for goods in the West.
This role as a transportation center is still vital to Denver’s economy toady. It is also a very popular tourist town. Many corporations and manufactures make their home in Denver. The town is also a home to many US government entities, including a branch of the US Mint.