Colorado History and Genealogy Project





Chicago-Colorado Colony Colorado ~  1870

This colony, yet in its infancy is one of the most important that has yet selected this Territory as its home-site. Unlike the Union Colony, it originated at the West, and is chiefly composed of Western men. With their characteristic enterprise and grit they have found a location just where every locating committee, preceding them, had overlooked it; close to coal, iron, timber and building-stone; well watered; near railroads and markets; and comprising a soil, facilities for irrigation, water-power, and general physical features every way desirable. The lands selected, amounting to nearly 60,000 acres, lie along the rich valleys of the Boulder St. Vrain, Left Hand and Little Thompson creeks. They include the lower range of foot-hills, and extend eastward, from the base of the mountains, for a distance of about twenty miles. The site for the new town, which is to be the radiating centre of the new community, is located about a mile north from the little village of Burlington, in Boulder County. It is to be called Longmont, and is distant from the nearest railway station about eight miles. It is thirty three miles from Denver, and about the same distance from Greeley; fifteen miles from Boulder City, and from twenty-five to fifty miles from the heart of the silver and gold mining regions of Boulder and Gilpin counties. From Longmont the mountain view is magnificent. The foot-hills are not more than eight miles distant, and Long's peak lifts its snowy crest 10,000 feet above the little hamlet, nearly due west, and, apparently but an hour's drive, is distant about thirty miles. It is worth a journey of a thousand miles even in a break-bone stage coach, to witness a winter sunrise dawning upon this grand monarch of mountains.

The Boulder valley is one of the richest and most beautiful in Colorado. The stream is clear, rapid and full of trout, affording facilities for irrigation, water power and sport in about equal proportions. The county abounds in rich metallic deposits, gold silver, copper and iron while "Boulder Coal" is already as well known in Colorado as "Erie" in the Cleveland or Chicago markets. In fact, the coal fields of Boulder County are absolutely inexhaustible.

Thus favorably situated, and carefully managed, the Chicago-Colorado colony cannot but prove a success. The mistakes of its predecessors need not be repeated, while its managers can certainly learn much from the experience of others. The spontaneity of the organization in the beginning; the prompt and unhesitating action of the locating committee, and the enthusiasm with which every man connected with the enterprise throws himself into the work, are all characteristic of the locality from whence they come. Irrigating streams of water already cover much of the colony's lands, and the management have promptly ordered nearly 2,000 acres of grain to be sown. Lumber is on the ground; buildings are going up; the village of Burlington has surrendered unconditionally, and most of its citizens have joined the incoming colony. Until the advent of these tireless, driving, steel-sinewed and steam-driven Chicagoans, the little community, now so full of ambition and enterprise, was in a hopeless state of human hibernation.

To reach the colony from the East, tickets should be purchased to Denver, where connection is made with the Boulder Valley railroad to Erie, the present terminus of the latter, and but eight miles distant from Longmont.

Rocky Mountain Directory & Colorado Gazetteer

Source: Rocky Mountain Directory and Colorado Gazetteer, 1871, S. S. Wallihan & Company, Compilers and Publishers, Denver, 1870.


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