“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Colorado Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on December 3, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Colorado ranks 36th 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 58 of them have entries in this database. In Colorado we have discovered historical markers in 154 cities and towns lying in 167 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 944 historical markers in Colorado, by our count. We have cataloged 943 historical markers and 67 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,010 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another historical marker 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.

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 November 29, 2020, and titled Twentieth Air Force. It is in United States Air Force Academy in El Paso 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 1906. It was this one: Zebulon Montgomery Pike, and one of our correspondents found it near Cascade in El Paso County on January 21, 2008.

Colorado Historical Topics
239 • Settlements and Settlers
229 • Industry and Commerce
122 • Notable Buildings
121 • Native Americans
110 • Environment
101 • Roads and Vehicles
100 • Railroads and Streetcars
70 • World War II
69 • Parks and Recreational Areas
69 • Exploration
    ... and others ...

Coloradans don’t want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Colorado about Settlements and Settlers—239 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Industry and Commerce with 229 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers topic was Smoky Hill Trail, added January 11, 2008. It had been erected in 1936 in Denver in Denver County. The last one submitted was submitted on November 26, 2020, and titled All Aboard for Alamosa!. It had been erected in Alamosa in Alamosa County. The earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers topic that we have listed was erected in 1912. It is Old Fort Morgan, found in Fort Morgan in Morgan County on January 1, 2012.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Colorado? What we know is that The Continental Divide is the most viewed entry in the database from Colorado since it was added in 2008. It is located near Cascade in El Paso County. This year so far, the most viewed Coloradan entry is located in Salida in Chaffee County. It is Christmas 1806.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Colorado county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Denver County, with 102 of them. It is followed by El Paso County with 86 markers. The Denver area of Denver County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 102. In El Paso County the area with the most markers, 45, is United States Air Force Academy.

Historical Markers in These
Colorado Counties
102 • Denver County
86 • El Paso County
80 • Jefferson County
61 • Montezuma County
40 • Teller County
36 • Alamosa County
34 • Montrose County
32 • Gunnison County
32 • Sedgwick County
30 • Garfield County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Colorado with the most markers we again find Denver at the top of the list with 102 markers in or near it. It is followed by Golden in Jefferson County with 70 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 80202 at the top of the list with 84 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 80202 is assigned to Denver CO.) It is followed by ZIP Code 80401 with 68 markers. (80401 is assigned to Golden CO including the Evergreen, and Lakewood delivery areas.)

Historical Markers Near These
Colorado Cities and Towns
102 • Denver
70 • Golden
45 • United States Air Force Academy
36 • Cortez
34 • Colorado Springs
30 • Gunnison
27 • Montrose
23 • Julesburg
21 • Florissant
20 • Glenwood Springs
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Denver County, the first marker added to the database from there, Union Station Area, was added January 9, 2008. It was erected in 1988 in Denver. The last one submitted was uploaded on June 20, 2019, and is titled The Birth of Denver Mass Transit, in Denver. The earliest marker erected in Denver County that we have listed was erected in 1909. It was Colorado Soldier's Monument, found in Denver on January 15, 2008.

Latest entry from Colorado. Click to go there
By William Fischer, Jr., October 10, 2020
Latest Entry from Colorado
“Twentieth Air Force”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Golden. The first: Buffalo Bill, was added April 10, 2010. It had been erected in 1924. The last: First Building Site added on July 14, 2020. It had been erected in 1927. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1924: Buffalo Bill, added on April 10, 2010.

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 148 of their markers in the database.

In addition, E Clampus Vitus—not government affiliated—also erected numerous historical markers in Colorado, and we have 161 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 San Miguel County, Ouray County and Broomfield County. We've only found one historical marker in each. 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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Dec. 3, 2020