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Colorado Facts and Figures

 

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on March 3, 2024

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Colorado ranks 34th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Colorado is a state in the United States of America located in the American Mountains. It is also in the Southwest region. Colorado is some 104 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 576 thousand people. The state is divided into 64 counties and all of them have entries in this database. In Colorado we have discovered historical markers in 183 cities and towns lying in 205 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 1,294 historical markers in Colorado, by our count. We have cataloged 1,290 historical markers and 329 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,603 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another four historical markers in Colorado that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first Colorado marker in the database, University of Denver, was added November 6, 2007. It was photographed near Idaho Springs in Clear Creek County and was erected in 1996. The last one added was submitted on February 9, 2024, and titled Hunting in the "Bull Pen". It is near Walden in Jackson County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Colorado was erected in 1905. It was this one: Grand Army of the Republic Monument, and one of our correspondents found it in Fort Collins in Larimer County on May 9, 2023.

Colorado Historical Topics
323 • Industry and Commerce
320 • Settlements and Settlers
301 • Air and Space
294 • World War II
291 • Patriots and Patriotism
171 • Notable Buildings
169 • Native Americans
129 • Railroads and Streetcars
128 • Roads and Vehicles
123 • Environment
    ... and others ...

Coloradans don’t want to forget their Industry and Commerce history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Colorado about Industry and Commerce—323 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Settlements and Settlers with 320 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Industry and Commerce topic was Union Station Area, added January 9, 2008. It had been erected in 1988 in Denver in Denver County. The last one submitted was submitted on February 9, 2024, and titled Ranching: An Enduring Legacy. It had been erected near Walden in Jackson County. The earliest marker erected with the Industry and Commerce topic that we have listed was erected in 1916. It is In 1862 This Log House was Used as a Station House, found in Laporte in Larimer County on May 30, 2021.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Colorado? What we know is that Christmas 1806 is the most viewed entry in the database from Colorado since it was added in 2013. It is located in Salida in Chaffee County. This year so far, the most viewed Coloradan entry is located in United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County. It is Flying Cadet Class 41-G.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Colorado county with the most historical markers listed in this database is El Paso County, with 363 of them. It is followed by Denver County with 117 markers. The United States Air Force Academy area of El Paso County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 311. In Denver County the area with the most markers, 117, is Denver.

Historical Markers in These
Colorado Counties
363 • El Paso County
117 • Denver County
82 • Jefferson County
62 • Montezuma County
51 • San Juan County
48 • Larimer County
47 • Fremont County
45 • Teller County
41 • Las Animas County
36 • Alamosa County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Colorado with the most markers we again find United States Air Force Academy at the top of the list with 311 markers in or near it. And Denver also shows up again in next place, with 117 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 80840 at the top of the list with 311 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 80840 is assigned to USAF Academy CO including the United States Air Force Acad, and US Air Force delivery areas.) It is followed by ZIP Code 80202 with 90 markers. (80202 is assigned to Denver CO.)

Historical Markers Near These
Colorado Cities and Towns
311 • United States Air Force Academy
117 • Denver
72 • Golden
49 • Silverton
45 • Colorado Springs
33 • Cortez
31 • Gunnison
29 • Montrose
26 • Florissant
23 • Julesburg
    ... and others ...

Getting back to El Paso County, the first marker added to the database from there, The Continental Divide, was added January 20, 2008. near Cascade. The last one submitted was uploaded on September 10, 2023, and is titled Rock Park, in Castle Rock. One of the earliest marker erected in El Paso County that we have listed was erected in 1906. More than one was erected that year. This is one of them: Zebulon Montgomery Pike, found near Cascade on January 21, 2008.

Latest entry from Colorado. Click to go there
By Craig Baker
Latest Entry from Colorado
“Hunting in the "Bull Pen"”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Denver. The first we touched on earlier: Union Station Area. The last: Rian Kerrane added on September 30, 2023. It had been erected in 2019. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1909: Colorado Soldier's Monument, added on January 15, 2008.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

History Colorado is currently in charge of the familiar wood and now the full color illustrated official historical markers found all over the state. You will also find official markers erected by the State Historical Society of Colorado, a predecessor. We have 192 of their markers in the database.

In addition, E Clampus Vitus—not government affiliated—also erected numerous historical markers in Colorado, and we have 205 of their Colorado markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Colorado. Click to go there
Jewish American Society for Historic Preservation, June 21, 2019
A History Colorado Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Colorado have been marked with history. Check out Baca County, San Miguel County and Phillips County. We've only found two historical markers in the first and one in each of the other two. Visiting one or more of these parts of Colorado might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Mar. 3, 2024