Mead, Colorado

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Mead is a Statutory Town in Weld County, Colorado, United States. The population was 2,017 at the 2000 census.

Mead was mentioned as the origin of a silver dolphin pendant in Bones, Season 2, Episode 11. Some outside scenes from the movie Die Hard 2 starring Bruce Willis were filmed at the Highlandlake Church near Mead (Of note is that "Highlandlake" is spelled as one word as opposed to two words, e.g., "Highland Lake"). As of 2010, there are no traffic signal lights in the town of Mead. The telephone central office for Mead (exchange 535) was recently upgraded to provide more advanced calling features, including DSL. Another upgrade of note is that the "all volunteer" fire department now has a full-time staff. Also of note is that Mead High School opened south of the town of Mead in 2009. There had been a high school in Mead, but it closed in the early 1960s. The motto of the town has been "the little town that could" although this has not been ubiquitously used in all literature or signage. Alternatively, and on the Mead web site the motto is, "A little town with a big future".

Contents

History

The Town of Mead was platted on February 16, 1906 and incorporated on March 17, 1908. The Town was named for Dr. Martin Luther Mead, the father of Paul Mead. Paul Mead was the nephew of Highlandlake founder, "Deacon” L. C. Mead, who had emigrated from Chicago and built his homestead at what is now Highlandlake. L. C. Mead was well known locally for his work with the Highland Ditch Company while that Company was surveying and building Highland Lake on his property. The Highland Ditch and its reservoir system was one of the first farm irrigation systems in the country and was, at that time, a subject of wide agricultural study at many of the country’s agricultural education institutions. The small unincorporated community of Highlandlake is still in existence and is located approximately 1 ½ miles northwest of Mead.

In 1905 the Great Western Railroad built a feeder line from Longmont to Johnstown to gather and take the sugar beet harvest to their refinery in Longmont. The railway passed directly through Paul Mead’s property. It was decided by the businesses at Highlandlake to relocate to this railway siding, which led Paul to plat a new town adjacent to the tracks. For the next two decades the Town prospered as farmers used this siding to get their crops to the market.

At its peak, Mead had three general stores, a hotel, a combination grocery store and meat market, two saloons, a butcher shop, a filling station, two auto garages, an implement company, two livery stables, a lumberyard, a blacksmith shop, a drug store, a hoe and harness repair shop, a post office, two doctors’ offices, two banks, a bank (Mead First National and Farmer's) and a newspaper (Mead Messenger). Two of the churches in existence then are still active today. There was also a pickle factory, a hay mill and a pea-hulling factory on the outskirts of the community.

There are indications a pickle plant existed before the Great Depression. This information comes from a 2003 submission by Marvin Hubenthal to the historichighlandlake.org website.] The pickle plant was part of the Empson canning factory in Longmont. In Mead, cucumbers were sorted and cleaned before being sent to Longmont to be canned.

An additional note. The United Church of Christ - Congregational of Highlandlake, is the official name of the church building where some outside scenes of the church in DieHard II with Bruce Willis were filmed. Originally built in 1896, the church is owned by Historic Highlandlake, Inc, the local historical society for the Highlandlake/Mead area, and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The building has been maintained by members of the Highlandlake community as a community center since 1917, after the church closed its doors.

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