Bear Creek

Bear Creek originates in the formally glaciated areas of Mount Evans in Clear Creek County and flows east into the South Platte River in Denver to the east of Jefferson County. The gravel terraces along Bear Creek were deposited by water during the latest glacial period about 1,500-1,000 years ago. At about that time, the people of the Woodland Culture left pottery and projectile points there (Glen R. Scott, p. 63). The first historical name was Grand Camp Creek, named French traders Auguste P. Couteau and Jules de Munn who held a grand trading encampment with natives along this river in 1815. Its second name was Lupton's Creek, named in the 1830s for Lancaster Lupton, founder of the fur trading post, Fort Lupton, in 1836, which is located along the South Platte River, near the present day Weld County Town of the same name. John McBroom was the first permanent settler on Bear Creek building a cabin in 1858. Two brothers Hodgson settled in Bear Creek Valley shortly after their arrival in Denver in the summer of 1859. On South Estes Street and south of West Yale Avenue, they built the Stone House between 1860 and 1864. In June 1861, the two brothers dug the Hodgson Irrigation Ditch from their properties into Bear Creek and recorded those appropriations in the following years. During the summer of 1861, most rich lands along Bear Creek were claimed and under irrigation. Joseph Rist obtained several parcels of land in the Bear Creek area in 1865 and built a flume from Bear Creek across Turkey Creek. David S. Green moved to Colorado in 1860. He moved to Bear Creek Valley with his mother and a sister. Charles A. Clark was an early sheriff of Jefferson County and a '59er. He moved to Bear Creek Valley in 1862 and owned land west of South Sheridan Boulevard, south of West Yale Avenue. Bear Creek and Turkey Creek are the source of many ditches. The narrow gauge Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railway was incorporated in 1874 and built along Bear Creek to Morrison with the intention to reach the Pacific Ocean. It was abandoned in 1933.
Quad Map/Date: Morrison, 1965 (1974); Fort Logan, 1965 (1974)
Sec/Town/Range: T5S, R70W, S1 N1/2, T5S, R69W, S6 N1/2, S5 SW 1/4; T4s R69W, S32,33; T4S, R69W, S33,34,35, E1/2
Elevation: 5400-5790
Source: "Lakewood, Colorado: An Illustrated Biography," 1976; Glen R. Scott p. 63; Cragin Collection, Colorado Springs Pioneer Museum, c. 1900.
Other Names: Grand Camp Creek, Lupton's Creek, Montana Creek
Last Modified: Wed, November 28 2012

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