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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Colorado History

- Colorado History -
The History of Littleton, Colorado


South Plate River Valley
Prehistoric Times - The Colorado Gold Rush of 1859

20,000 - 4,000 BC
Prehistoric man (Paleo-Indian) used the South Platte River valley for hunting and camping. These early inhabitants probably stalked hairy mammoths, possibly stampeding them over cliffs.

7000 - 6000 BC
Early hunters at Lamb Springs. This prehistoric site, two miles southwest of Littleton, was discovered by Charles Lamb in 1960.

4000 - 2500 BC
Altithermal period - During this time, the local climate changed to hot and dry, pushing prehistoric hunters off the plains.

South Platte River Valley; Long's Expedition
South Platte River at the mouth of Waterton Canyon - sketch from Stephen Long's Expedition.

2500 BC - 1700 AD
Nomadic Native Americans hunted and foraged within the South Platte Valley.

1720
The Spanish military expedition of Pedro de Villasur to the South Platte River. At that time, the South Platte was known as "Rio, Jesus Maria."

1763
French claims to the Platte River drainage ended, while the Spanish reasserted claims.

1770 - 1800
Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes migrate into the region, coming from the north.

Cheyenne Warrior

1800
Spain receded its land claims back to France.

1803
The Louisiana Purchase - Napoleon Boneparte of France sold the land to the United States.

Zeb Pike

1806 - 1807
Zebulon Pike led an expedition through Colorado looking for the headwaters of the Red River.

(See Pike's Expedition for more information.)

1800 - 1840s
Fur trappers and traders visit the region, occasionally camping in the area.

1815
Trappers rendezvous held north of Littleton's future site, near Bear Creek.

July 7, 1820
An exploration expedition was headed by Major Stephen H. Long to make a record of plant and animal life and geological formations. Traveling along the South Platte River, Long's expedition passed the future site of Littleton.
Maj. Stephen H. Long

1840s
Captain John Charles Fremont's expedition to Colorado described the terrain and sighting of the Rocky Mountains, but did not mention anything specific about the future site of Littleton.

August 1858
Gold was discovered in the sands of Little Dry Creek, four miles north of the future site of Littleton. Prospectors led by William Green Russell panned about $500 of gold dust from the gravel banks where Little Dry Creek joins the South Platte.

A Colorado Miner Panning for Gold

August 26, 1858
The Kansas City Journal of Commerce reported:
"The New Eldorado!!! Gold in Kansas Territory!! The Pikes Peak Mines! First Arrival of Gold Dust at Kansas City!!!" We were surprised this morning to meet Mons. Bordeau and Company, old mountain traders just in from Pikes Peak. They came in for outfits, tools, etc., for working the newly discovered mines on Cherry Creek, a tributary of the South Platte. They bring several ounces of gold, dug up by the trappers of that region, which in fineness equals the choicest of California specimens."

1859
The Colorado Gold Rush.

Pikes Peak or Bust

October 24, 1859
Colorado adopted the territorial government by a vote to 1852 to 280. A year later, the population of the territory of "Jefferson" (as Colorado was then called) was estimated at 48,000.


The History of Littleton, Colorado
1. | History of Littleton: Prehistory - 1859 Colorado Gold Rush |
2. | Littleton in the Early 1860s / Founding Fathers |

3. | 1860s: Lewis Ames, Littleton's First Teachers and School,
Indian Troubles and Early Buildings in Littleton
|

4. | Littleton 1870 - 1879: Railroads, 1st Church, Highline Canal |
5. | Littleton in the 1880s: Avery Gallup, First Newspaper |
6. | The City of Littleton in the 1890s: First Mayor, Pickletown |
7. | 1900s: South Arapahoe County, Littleton Named County Seat |
8. | Littleton 1910 - 1920s: Town Improvements / Industry |
9. | Littleton, Colorado in the 1930s and 1940s |
10. | The Boom of the 1950s and 1960s in Littleton, Colorado |
11. | Littleton: 1970s to Present, Concrete Pods and All |
12. | Littleton Trivia and Stuff You've Always Wondered About! |

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- Colorado History In Depth -
Lecture Notes, Reading, and Information:

| The Cheyenne Migration to Colorado |
| The Gratlan Affair, Massacre, Fort Laramie Treaty |

The Cheyenne Social Club
| A Cheyenne War Story: Wolf Road, the Runner |
| Cheyenne Traditions and Beliefs, Sacred Stories |
| Horses, Warriors, War Pipe, Sweatlodge Ceremony |
| Cheyenne War Parties and Battle Tactics |
| The Scalp Dance and Other Cheyenne Dances |

Fort Union
| The Sante Fe Trail and Fort Union |
| Sumner - Ninth Military Department / The First Fort Union |
| Early Arrivals to Fort Union, Daily Life at Fort Union |
| Captain Grover - The New Fort Union, the Confederate Threat |
| Fort Union Arsenal, William Shoemaker, End of Fort Union |

Americans from the East
| Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase |
| The Expedition of Zebulon Pike |
| Pikes Peak or Bust / Colorado Gold Rush |

Colorado's Role in the US Civil War
| The Civil War, Fort Wise / Fort Lyon |
| Mace's Hole, Colonel Canby, F.C.V.R. | Fort Weld |
| The Pet Lambs, John Chivington |
| General Henry Sibly, Battle of Valverde, Fort Union |

Cripple Creek District Labor Strikes
| The Western Federation of Miners / State Militia |
| The 1893 - 1894 Strike | The Strike of 1903 - 1904 |
| The Mine Owners Association |
| Crimes and Military Rule in the Cripple Creek District |
| Marshall Law in Cripple Creek District / End of the Strike |
Early Cripple Creek District
| Photos, Fire, and Life in Cripple Creek |
| Other Colorful Towns in the Cripple Creek District:
Gillett - Colorado's Only Bullfight, Victor, Independence
|
| A Guide to the Miners' Gritty Lingo |

More Colorado History Information
| Bent's Fort Photos, Personalities, Plans, and More |

| What Was Easter Like at Bent's Fort? |
| Colorado Trivia, Miscellaneous Old Photos,
Western Personalities, Forts, and More
|

| Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads |
| Heraldry of the Branding Iron |
| Project Aims to Clear Infamous Cannibal, Alferd Packer |
|
Lead Gives Alferd Packer's Story More Weight |
| Legendary Colorado Love Stories: Baby Doe Tabor & More |
| Colorado Pioneer Women: Elizabeth Byers |
| Early Denver Jokes / The History of April Fools' Day |
| History of the US Memorial Day Holiday |

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Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Advanced Placement Modern European History | Rise of Nation State England | World History |
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