Dating back to the earliest Gold Rush days, Arvada has been documented as the sight of the first gold found in Colorado in June 1850 and Gold Strike Park at the confluence of Ralston and Clear Creeks was constructed in its honor.
News of gold traveled fast and by 1860, more than thirty land claims had been filed in the Ralston/Clear Creek valley by men who came for gold but stayed to develop farms and establish a home. At one time, Arvada was known as the “celery capitol of the world”!
Benjamin Franklin Wadsworth was the first developer, purchasing a land claim in 1863, making plans for a post office and school, and naming the new town after his wife’s brother-in-law, Hiram Arvada Haskins. He settled his family into a primitive log cabin and the formal notice of the new town, population 100, was posted on December 1, 1870. The town grew and agriculture thrived as railroad and trolley lines from Denver were built. One of the first large businesses to be located in Arvada was E.E. Benjamin’s Flour Mill in 1925. Located at 5590 Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, the mill can still be viewed today. Arvada was officially incorporated in 1904 and became a city in 1951. (For an extensive history of Arvada, visit www.arvadahistory.org)
Located about 10 miles northwest of Downtown Denver and 20 miles from Boulder, Arvada has become known not only for its historic Olde Town, but also as a convenient commuter town, especially with three stops along RTD’s G Line Commuter Rail. It covers about 33 square miles, is the 7th most populous city in Colorado and belongs to JEFCO and Westminster public school systems.
Today, historic Olde Town is listed on the National register of Historic Places and maintains its turn-of-the-century “Main Street Americana” charm. Many shops, restaurants, breweries, galleries, festivals and events welcome both visitors and locals alike. Arvada boasts almost 125 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails throughout the parks and open spaces and in 2014, the League of American Bicyclists designated Arvada as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community. www.visitarvada.org
Arvada started out being the business and social center of the valley and many early traditions continue. In addition to the draw of Olde Town, Arvada has a thriving arts culture. Since its opening in 1976, the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities has grown to become one of the nation’s largest multidisciplinary arts centers, devoted to all aspects of the arts and serving more than 350,000 visitors each year.
The annual Arvada Harvest Festival, held the weekend after Labor Day is a favorite, dating back to Arvada’s earliest days. Six other festivals occur throughout the year. Visit www.arvadafestivals.com for more information.
“I love living and working in Arvada because the community is so friendly and supportive of small businesses. From family events to arts and culture to breweries there are so many things to do and a vibrant and diverse economy providing many ways to meet people. It truly feels like a small town just minutes away from Denver, Red Rocks and a quick commute to Boulder and Golden.” ~ Kathryn Tighe, CHR Realtor
“I loved growing up in Arvada. Not only was I close to almost everything Colorado has to offer, but it has the best restaurants, bars, hiking trails, parks and even wildlife! I always felt safe walking to and from school and loved how close the community was. My fondest memories are visiting the many pumpkin patches in Old Town Arvada around Halloween time and being part of the Old Town Arvada parade and Harvest Festivals. Having lived there for nearly 25 years I know it is a great place to grow up and raise a family!” ~ Tiffany Roybal, CHR Transaction Management