National Register Listings in
Dolores County, Colorado

The first documented discovery of gold in Colorado was in 1858, when a group of prospectors found gold near present-day Denver. This discovery led to the Pike's Peak Gold Rush and a population boom in the area.
Dolores County, located in southwestern Colorado, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ute, Apache, and Navajo. These tribes, known for their hunter-gatherer lifestyle, greatly depended on the region's natural resources for survival.

European explorers began to arrive in the area in the 16th century, including Spanish conquistadors searching for wealth and trade routes. In the 19th century, fur trappers and traders ventured into Dolores County, attracted by the abundant wildlife and the potential for lucrative business with Native American tribes.

The establishment of mining camps in the late 19th century brought a wave of settlers to Dolores County, seeking their fortune in gold, silver, and other minerals. The town of Rico, which originally served as a supply center for the mining industry, quickly became the county seat. Mining operations expanded throughout the county during this time, particularly in the towns of Dunton and Stoner, attracting thousands of fortune seekers.

However, the mining boom did not last forever, and by the early 20th century, many mines had closed, leading to a decline in population. Today, Dolores County is known for its stunning natural beauty, including the San Juan National Forest and the Dolores River, which attract outdoor enthusiasts and recreational activities like hiking, fishing, and rafting. It continues to retain its historical charm and offers a glimpse into the region's fascinating past.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Dolores County, Colorado.

  • 1881: Dolores County is established on February 19, 1881 by the Colorado General Assembly.
  • 1890s: The town of Rico experiences a mining boom as numerous mines are established in the area.
  • 1901: The Dolores County Courthouse is built in Dove Creek, becoming the county seat.
  • 1984: McPhee Reservoir is completed, providing water for irrigation and recreation.
  • 1996: The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument is established in Dolores County.
  • 2001: Groundbreaking occurs for the Dolores County Public Library, serving the community.