Like much of Colorado, Littleton’s history can be traced back to the Gold Rush of 1859. The Gold Rush not only brought miners to the community, but merchants and farmers as well. This allowed agriculture to rise as a staple industry of the city. With the population of Denver growing so rapidly, the need to construct an irrigation system that would connect farms and businesses to clean water became prominent. Richard Sullivan Little, an engineer from New Hampshire, was among the men hired to complete this task.
During his time in Denver, Richard fell in love with a piece of land a few miles south of the area. After he filed a home stake and other land claims he brought his wife, Angeline, from out east to join him and they started a farm. The Rough and Ready Flour Mill was built in 1867 by the Littles and a few surrounding neighbors. This provided a strong economic base for the community in the years to come.
When the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad made it to the area in 1871, the population began to boom. The Little’s filed to subdivide their land into the village of Littleton. By the time Colorado was made a state in 1876, the area had churches, schools, stores and a hotel, all the makings of a civilization. Finally, in 1890 the 245 residents of the village voted to incorporate the Town of Littleton.
For more information on Littleton and it’s history, please visit: www.littletongov.org