10 Things You Might Not Know About Boulder

boulder band

Boulder has a rich and exciting history that few who call Boulder home even know. Our partners at the Museum of Boulder share much of this history through their Boulder Experience exhibition. Before you check it out for yourself, how many of these Boulder facts and stats do you know?

  1. The first lots platted in Boulder in the late 1850s sold for $1,000. These lots were part of the Nebraska territory until 1861 when the Territory of Colorado was created by the US Congress.
  2. Chautauqua was created in 1898 by a group of Texan educators trying to escape the smoldering Texas summers. Over 4,000 people were in attendance when Colorado Chautauqua opened on July 4th of that year.

    Chautauqua 1898 – Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

  3. Boulder’s first library, Carnegie Library was funded by a $15,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie in 1907 in response to a request from Clara Savory who went on to serve 19 years as the City’s librarian.

    Carnegie Library 1924 – Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

  4. Even though Prohibition ended in 1933, Boulder was dry for 60 years until voters finally overturned the ban in 1967.
  5. The original County Courthouse on Pearl Street burned in 1932 and was replaced by the building there today. The current building was constructed using buff sandstone.

    Courthouse on fire 1932 – Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

  6. During the Great Depression, two Civilian Conservation Corps camps were set up in Boulder, and men serving here constructed the Sunrise Amphitheater on Flagstaff Mountain.

    Civilian Conservation Corps camps 1934 (left) Sunrise Amphitheater construction 1934 (right) – Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

  7. The second man to orbit the earth, Scott Carpenter, was born and raised in Boulder. He was part of NASA’s Project Mercury in 1959. Carpenter was also the fourth American in space.
  8. In 1967, Boulder became the first city in the nation to approve a tax to purchase open space property. Boulder now boasts an impressive 45,000-acre Open Space and Mountain Parks system.

    Huggins Park 1919 – Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

  9. Penfield Tate II served as Boulder’s mayor from 1974-1976 and was the first and only African-American mayor to date. Before becoming Mayor, Tate served on Boulder’s City Council from 1972-1974.

    Penfield with Arapahoe Chemicals employees c 1974 – Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

  10. The first commercial batch of tofu in the US was made in Boulder by Steve Demos (founder of White Wave Soy Foods).

Learn more about Boulder’s unique past in The Boulder Experience exhibit at the Museum of Boulder.

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