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MARKER DATABASE
“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 November 29, 2021

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Colorado ranks 31st 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 62 of them have entries in this database. In Colorado we have discovered historical markers in 175 cities and towns lying in 188 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 1,150 historical markers in Colorado, by our count. We have cataloged 1,148 historical markers and 320 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,452 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another two 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 November 28, 2021, and titled Cuerno Verde. It is in Colorado City in Pueblo 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
290 • World War II
288 • Patriots and Patriotism
287 • Industry and Commerce
282 • Air and Space
274 • Settlements and Settlers
154 • Notable Buildings
154 • Native Americans
121 • Environment
121 • Railroads and Streetcars
117 • Roads and Vehicles
    ... and others ...

Coloradans don’t want to forget their World War II history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Colorado about World War II—290 of them—than about any other historical topic. A close second is Patriots and Patriotism with 288 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the World War II topic was USS Colorado BB-45, added August 13, 2011. It had been erected in 1997 in Denver in Denver County. The last one submitted was submitted on April 8, 2021, and titled 68th Fighter Squadron. It had been erected in United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County. The earliest marker erected with the World War II topic that we have listed was erected in 1953. It is War Memorial, found in Dove Creek in Dolores County on November 15, 2020.

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 El Paso County, with 332 of them. It is followed by Denver County with 104 markers. The United States Air Force Academy area of El Paso County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 292. In Denver County the area with the most markers, 104, is Denver.

Historical Markers in These
Colorado Counties
332 • El Paso County
104 • Denver County
80 • Jefferson County
61 • Montezuma County
51 • San Juan County
40 • Larimer County
40 • Teller County
36 • Alamosa County
36 • Montrose County
33 • Gunnison 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 292 markers in or near it. And Denver also shows up again in next place, with 104 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 80840 at the top of the list with 292 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 85 markers. (80202 is assigned to Denver CO.)

Historical Markers Near These
Colorado Cities and Towns
292 • United States Air Force Academy
104 • Denver
70 • Golden
49 • Silverton
34 • Colorado Springs
33 • Cortez
31 • Gunnison
29 • Montrose
23 • Julesburg
21 • Chivington
    ... 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—also the last one submitted in all of Colorado—was uploaded on April 8, 2021, and is titled 68th Fighter Squadron, in United States Air Force Academy. The earliest marker erected in El Paso County that we have listed was erected in 1906. It was Zebulon Montgomery Pike, found near Cascade on January 21, 2008.

Latest entry from Colorado. Click to go there
By James Hulse, July 10, 2021
Latest Entry from Colorado
“Cuerno Verde”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Denver. The first: Union Station Area, was added January 9, 2008. It had been erected in 1988. The last: Votes for Women added on July 25, 2021. It had been erected in 2021. 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 175 of their markers in the database.

In addition, E Clampus Vitus—not government affiliated—also erected numerous historical markers in Colorado, and we have 188 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, Phillips 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!

Nov. 29, 2021