Sloan’s Lake History
Sloan’s Lake is widely thought of as an oasis near Denver. But Sloan’s Lake wasn’t always apart of Denver’s unique scenery. In 1861, Thomas M. Sloan dug a well with hopes to farm the land. Overnight, the well overflowed and flooded 200 acres. Thomas woke up the next morning to the beginnings of what would eventually be known as Sloan’s Lake.
The area quickly became an attraction to behold. People came on horseback to witness the phenomena and watch as water spread. It wasn’t until the establishment of Fort Logan, spurring the creation of Sheridan Boulevard, that development in the area truly began to take off. Increased traffic near the lake brought with it new residents and new ideas.
In the 1880’s, the concept of Manhattan Beach Resort was born. The resort set up shop on the north shore of Sloan’s Lake, drawing visitors from all over. Although it was abandoned in 1914, the resort was the first amusement park west of the Mississippi. Among other attractions, Manhattan Beach included a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, hot air balloon rides, wrestling bears, aerial acts, and boating rides.
In 1892, the Poor Sisters of St. Francis opened the doors of St. Anthony’s Hospital to the community. At the time, the hospital only had 180 beds but was still able to provide healthcare to railroad workers and miners alike. The community around the hospital blossomed and the area came to be known as the West Side. As Denver grew, so did the hospital. By early 1990’s the hospital had grown to nearly 1 million square feet. Eventually, St. Anthony’s outgrew it’s 19-acre campus. Plans to build a new facility in Lakewood were announced in 2005, and the Sloan’s Lake location was shut down.
Present Day Sloan’s Lake
The south shore of Sloan’s Lake, once the site of St. Anthony’s Hospital, is being shaped into a sustainable urban neighborhood. Restaurants, breweries, housing, and a new Alamo Draft-house are all coming within the next few years. Placing Sloan’s Lake at the epicenter of an urban revival. Couple that with the quiet surroundings and easy access to downtown or the mountains, Sloan’s Lake is quickly becoming one of Denver’s most desirable neighborhoods.
Sloan’s Lake and the surrounding park are second only to City Park in acreage. It’s a wonderful setting for walking, running, biking, or picnics. The lake also has its own marina for those who enjoy boating activities. And the views from Sloan’s lake are nothing short of spectacular. To the east, the Denver skyline lights up the sky. To the west, the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains are ever-present.
The community itself is very diverse. There are families that have lived here for generations, with a recent influx of young business professionals and transplants mixed in. Housing styles ranging from Victorian to contemporary duplexes, modern condos, and cozy bungalows give the neighborhood an eclectic vibe. Surrounding neighborhoods, Edgewater and the Highlands, are well-known for their boutique shopping and dining experiences, as well as their trendy nightlife scene.
For land-locked Denverites, Sloan’s Lake is truly an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city.