National Register Listings in
Jackson County, Colorado

The town of Telluride, located in the San Juan Mountains, was once a booming mining town that produced millions of dollars' worth of gold and silver. Today, it is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic beauty and outdoor activities.
Jackson County, Colorado, located in the north-central part of the state, has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Ute, Arapaho, and Cheyenne peoples. In the early 19th century, European fur trappers and traders began exploring the region, establishing contact with the native tribes and opening up trade routes.

The first permanent settlement in Jackson County was established in the late 1860s as a result of the Colorado Gold Rush. Prospectors flocked to the area in search of gold and silver, leading to the establishment of several mining towns, including Teller City, Never Summer City, and Park City. These towns experienced periods of boom and bust as mining operations proved to be unpredictable and often unsustainable.

In the late 19th century, ranching and agriculture became the dominant industries in Jackson County. The fertile soil and abundant water sources attracted settlers who established ranches and farms. This shift in focus brought stability and prosperity to the area, allowing for the development of communities like Walden, the current county seat.

The 20th century witnessed the continued growth of agriculture and ranching in Jackson County. However, the decline in mining and the challenges of farming in a high-altitude environment led to some economic hardships. In recent decades, there has been a resurgence in tourism and outdoor recreational activities, as Jackson County is home to scenic landscapes, including the Routt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Today, Jackson County preserves its history through various museums and historical sites. It has become a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. The county's history remains an integral part of its identity, with its ever-changing economic landscape reflecting the resilience and adaptability of its residents.

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

  • 1859 - Gold is discovered in Jackson County, attracting thousands of miners to the area.
  • 1862 - The town of Hamilton is founded as a mining supply center.
  • 1870 - Construction of the Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad begins, opening up transportation routes in the region.
  • 1874 - The county is officially established and named after President Andrew Jackson.
  • 1884 - The Fraser River Valley is settled and becomes an important agricultural region.
  • 1902 - The town of Walden is incorporated, becoming the county seat.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression greatly impacts the county's economy, leading to a decline in mining and agriculture.
  • 1950s - The establishment of the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge helps to diversify the county's economy with tourism and outdoor recreation.
  • 1960s - The construction of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project provides irrigation water to Jackson County.
  • 2002 - The Routt National Forest and the Arapaho National Forest merge to form the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.