Strategically located south of Denver, Douglas County welcomed fortune seekers headed to the capital city. But some newcomers decided to stay in the county and develop farms, ranches, and small businesses. In 1874, due to an increase in population, legislators compressed Douglas County to it present 843 square miles. It became known for its small, friendly towns and prosperous ranch spreads. In the late twentieth century, tens of thousands of people who appreciated the county’s relaxed lifestyle moved to new communities such as Highland Ranch and Lone Tree and mushrooming suburbs near Parker and Castle Rock. Since the 1990s, Douglas County has been one of the fastest growing counties in the nation with booming retail development, job growth, and strong school districts. But residents, many of them recent arrivals, criticized the detrimental effects of growth on the environment. In the 1990s residents formed the Douglas County Historic Preservation Board and Douglas County open lands Coalition to preserve the cultural and natural resources of the county and steer future growth according to community visions and goals.
Colorado territorial representatives named Douglas County for Democratic U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois, the “Little Giant” who had died of typhoid fever just after the start of the Civil War. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Territories, Douglas believed fervently in the expansion of the United States, the Unionist cause, and “popular sovereignty,” self-government for the territories and state governments. Colorado was a Republican territory, but the local politicians respected Douglas and named a strategically placed county after him.
During the 1890s, when Charles Hincke made this photograph at a spot near Parker, much of Douglas County was ranch land. Photo courtesy Colorado Historical Society.
“You cannot stop any group of people anywhere if they put their passion into something. All the lawyers and all the government in the world cannot stop people from caring if they’re willing to commit their time to it.”
Micki Clark, Douglas County Open lands Coalition.
Erected by Colorado Historical Society.
Location. 39° 22.391′ N, 104° 51.608′ W. Marker is in Castle Rock, Colorado, in Douglas County. Marker is at the intersection of Wilcox Street and 4th Street NE, on the right when traveling south on Wilcox Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Castle Rock CO 80104, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Castle Rock (here, next to this marker); Good Roads in Colorado (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Rock (about 300 feet away); Russellville - History of Franktown / Franktown Country - Timber Industry (approx. 5.9 miles away); Franktown (approx. 5.9 miles away); Southwest Rises The Summit of Pikes Peak (approx. 10 miles away); Ave Maria Chapel (approx. 11.2 miles away); Newcomb House (approx. 11.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Castle Rock.
Categories. • Government • Political Subdivisions •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 492 times since then and 120 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on , by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.