The state capital, Denver, was originally called "Denver City" when it was founded in 1858. It was named after James W. Denver, the governor of the Kansas Territory, and the city's founders hoped that he would help promote their new settlement. However, Governor Denver never actually visited the city.
Saguache County, located in the southern part of Colorado, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Ute and Apache, who primarily relied on hunting and gathering for their sustenance. Spanish explorers arrived in the late 16th century, with Catholic missionaries establishing settlements in the region in the 17th century.

In the early 19th century, the territory that is now Saguache County became a part of Mexico as a result of the Mexican War of Independence. Following the Mexican-American War in the mid-1800s, the area was ceded to the United States. The county itself was created in 1866 and named after the largest town within its borders, Saguache.

The discovery of gold and silver in the nearby San Juan Mountains brought a rush of settlers and prospectors to Saguache County in the late 19th century. The mining industry took off, attracting people from various backgrounds and nationalities. The town of Bonanza, later renamed Pitkin, boomed with mining activity, becoming one of the most populated towns in the region during this time.

However, the mining rush eventually declined, and Saguache County's economy shifted to agriculture. The fertile San Luis Valley, where the county is located, became an important agricultural hub, specializing in potato farming. The county also saw the construction of railroads, which facilitated transportation and trade.

Today, Saguache County continues to rely on agriculture, as well as outdoor recreation and tourism. The county's rich history is still evident in its beautiful landscapes, preserved historic sites, and vibrant local culture.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Saguache County, Colorado.

  • 1840s: Ute Native Americans inhabit the region where Saguache County is located.
  • 1800s: Spanish explorers traverse the area, including the Southern Ute Reservation.
  • 1851: Fort Massachusetts is constructed as a U.S. Army outpost to protect settlers from Native American attacks.
  • 1866: Saguache County is officially established by the Colorado Territorial Legislature.
  • 1874: The town of Saguache is founded and becomes the county seat.
  • 1879: The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad reaches Saguache, boosting the local economy.
  • 1880s: Mining activities in the county lead to a population boom.
  • 1930s-1940s: The Great Depression and Dust Bowl cause a decline in agriculture and population.
  • 1960s-1970s: The county experiences an increase in tourism and recreational activities.
  • 1994: Rio Grande National Forest, a popular destination in Saguache County, is designated as a wilderness area.
  • 2002: The Missionary Ridge Fire, one of the largest wildfires in Colorado history, affects parts of Saguache County.
  • Present: Saguache County continues to be known for its scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, and small-town charm.