Arapahoe City

Address: 44th & McIntyre, Fairmount, 80401

Located three miles east of Golden on West 44th Avenue, Arapahoe City was founded on November 29, 1858 atop a bench of high ground overlooking the sand bars along the north bank of Clear Creek. The town was named after the Arapahoe Indians who lived in the area and had threatened to attack the town. It had 700 white inhabitants in 1859. There were nearly 30 houses built on the site in 1859. Its buildings appear to have consisted of log structures, some simple one-room homes, and one at least being a two-story storefront building. The town originally began to assemble when the Doniphan Company found the gold-bearing sands of Arapahoe Bar, and the down was placed overlooking the claims. A town company was formed, including G.B. Allen as town secretary, Thomas L. Golden as treasurer and Marshall Cook as president. Samuel S. Curtis became the postmaster and surveyor. Arapahoe City was the first town in Jefferson County and the fourth town founded in northern Colorado after Montana City, Auraria and Denver City. It served as a staging place for miners going to the gold fields, and included prominent early citizens such as John H. Gregory, George A. Jackson, Ned Wynkoop, Samuel S. Curtis, Thomas L. Golden, Thomas K. Pollock, and David K. Wall. Gregory and Jackson spent the winter of 1858 at Arapahoe before making famous gold discoveries in the mountains. The lure of lode gold in the mountains soon overshadowed Arapahoe Bar, and miners soon moved on to the mountains and nearby Golden City. Arapahoe City was virtually abandoned by 1863, as buildings were dismantled and moved elsewhere.
Quad Map/Date: Golden
Sec/Town/Range: S24, T3S, R70W
Elevation: 5700
Source: Manley, "Arapahoe City to Fairmount," pp. 11-13. Hafen, "Colorado Gold Rush: 1858-1859," pp. 203-204.
Other Names: Arapahoe Bar.
Last Modified: Wed, May 24 2000

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