The United States Air Force Academy is located in Colorado Springs, and was established in 1954. It is the youngest of the five U.S. service academies.
Gilpin County, located in the central part of Colorado, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyenne. Their presence can still be felt through the numerous archaeological sites scattered across the county.

The first Europeans to explore the area were Spanish explorers, who ventured into the region in the 16th century in search of gold and silver. However, it wasn't until the mid-19th century that Gilpin County saw a significant influx of settlers. With the discovery of gold in nearby Central City in 1859, prospectors flocked to the area, giving rise to a mining boom.

The mining industry became the backbone of Gilpin County's economy, attracting people from all over the country. Numerous towns, such as Black Hawk and Nevadaville, sprung up, each supporting a vibrant mining community. The area became known for its rich silver and gold deposits, attracting big mining companies and individual prospectors alike.

Over the years, Gilpin County experienced both prosperity and decline as economic and mining conditions fluctuated. The area faced several setbacks, including fires and mine closures, but it always managed to rebound. Today, Gilpin County has shifted its focus from mining to tourism. Visitors come to explore its historical mining towns, try their luck at the casinos in Central City and Black Hawk, and enjoy the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

Throughout its history, Gilpin County has been a testament to the resilience and adaptability of its inhabitants. From the Native Americans who first inhabited the land to the prospectors and miners during the gold rush era, the county's history is deeply intertwined with the pursuit of wealth and opportunities provided by the region's rich mineral deposits.

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

  • 1859 - Gold was discovered in the area by John H. Gregory
  • 1861 - Gilpin County was established
  • 1862 - Central City became the county seat
  • 1872 - Gilpin County became known as the "Richest Square Mile on Earth" due to its significant mining activity
  • 1874 - The Central City Opera House was built
  • 1886 - The narrow gauge railroad reached Gilpin County, connecting it to the Denver and Rio Grande Railway
  • 1893 - A fire destroyed many buildings in Central City, leading to a decline in mining activity
  • 1956 - The Central City Parkway was opened, improving transportation to the area
  • 2007 - The last active mine in Gilpin County, the Henderson Mine, ceased operations