Elizabeth, Colorado

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The Town of Elizabeth is a Statutory Town that is the most populous town in Elbert County, Colorado, United States. The population was 1,434 at the U.S. Census 2000.

Contents

History

According to records of the area the first settler was a man named Peter I. Van Wormer in 1859 on Running Creek, which today runs through Elizabeth. Following him on his journey was pioneer and trapper Justin Marlow. Aside from Marlow, others followed establishing small ranches in the area that was then forested with ponderosa pines in an open glade like growth habit suitable for both ranching and timber operations. The Elbert County History (ISBN 0-88107-128-5 edited by Margee Gabehart) is not clear on when exactly the mill that eventually caused the formation of the town of Elizabeth was set up. It was apparently on the far north end of the land belonging to Thomas Phillips (who settled in the area in 1865) and to the east of the creek to provide water to the steam engine. This first mill was wiped out in a flood and thereafter was reestablished by Alden Bassatt on the west side of the creek near what is today Main Street in Elizabeth. Thereafter it was sold to the Weber brothers of Kansas and became known as the Weber Mill. P.P. Gomer set up another mill operation in 1860 or 1861 to the north of the Weber operation on Leroy Evans' Ranch.

The workers settled near the Weber Mill and a community started to grow with the first three blocks being given by Charles Garland and Thomas Phillips in 1880. The Denver and New Orleans Railroad, which was started by Governor Evans among others, in 1881, arrived in the nascent town by May 1881. With trains eventually going through six times daily the town grew much faster than the other nearby settlements and Thomas Phillips applied for a town plot on June 19 of 1882.

The D&NO went through many changes, becoming the Denver, Texas, and Fort Worth and being purchased by the Colorado and Southern. The Memorial Day flood of 1935 speeded up a process of service being discontinued and track pulled out that started in 1913 along some parts of the line. Service to Elizabeth continued until 1936 when the Castlewood Canyon Dam broke destroying the track northwest of Parker, Colorado. The remaining track between Parker and Elizabeth was removed by 1937.

The town revived due to the usual Colorado pattern of artists and freethinkers moving to small towns in the late 1960s through the 1970s. By the 1980s many new residents were arriving as the town became a bedroom community for the Denver metro area with the area around Elizabeth becoming the most populous part of the county. Though few live in the town itself more than half of county residents use an Elizabeth address.

Geography

Elizabeth is located at 39°21′36″N 104°36′0″W / 39.36°N 104.6°W / 39.36; -104.6 (39.359954, -104.600063)[5].

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