Lafayette, Colorado

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The City of Lafayette (pronounced /ˌlɑːfeɪˈɛt/[citation needed]) is a Home Rule Municipality located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the city population was 23,884 on 2005-07-01.[6]



Lafayette is located at 39°59′42″N 105°6′2″W / 39.995°N 105.10056°W / 39.995; -105.10056 (39.995078, −105.100527).[7]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.9 square miles (23.1 km²) of which 8.9 square miles (22.9 km²) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) (0.67%) is water.


Lafayette was founded in 1878 by Mary Miller. She and her husband, Lafayette Miller, had moved to the area to farm land acquired via the Homestead Act in 1871. In 1874 the Millers moved to Boulder. Lafayette Miller ran a butcher shop and was a town trustee. Lafayette Miller died in 1878, after which Mary Miller moved back to the farm with their six small children. In 1884 coal was discovered on the Miller farm and in 1887 John Simpson sank the first shaft, thereby starting the coal mining era. In 1888 Mary Miller designated 150 acres (0.61 km2) of the farm for the town of Lafayette, which she named after her late husband. In July 1888 a second mine, the Cannon, went into operation and the first houses were built. On January 6, 1890,[2] the town of Lafayette was incorporated. As stipulated in the original town deeds, no alcohol was sold east of what is now known as Public Road.[8][9]

Lafayette quickly became a part of the coal-mining boom that all of eastern Boulder and southwestern Weld counties were experiencing, with the Cannon and Simpson mines being the largest and most productive. By 1914 Lafayette was a booming town with two banks, four hotels, and a brickworks. Lafayette was also the location of a power station that served Louisville, Boulder, Longmont, and Fort Collins.

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