Elizabeth, Colorado

It seems the first settler in the Elizabeth area was Peter I. Van Wormer. He arrived in 1859 and built a cabin on Running Creek. At that time, the area was a mix of Ponderosa pine stands and open meadows. Some time after 1865, a sawmill was built on the east side of the creek and the town of Elizabeth began to form. That first sawmill was shortly wiped out in a flash flood, then was rebuilt on the west side of the creek in what is now downtown Elizabeth. It was that sawmill (and a couple other smaller ones close by) that helped convert the Elizabeth area into a mostly non-treed open plains area.

Because of the presence of the sawmill, the Denver and New Orleans Railroad was built through the settlement and by 1882, there were six trains passing through town on a daily basis. The train helped spur business and settlement in the town but the railroad went through a lot of changes until the Castlewood Canyon Dam broke in 1936 and destroyed all the track northwest of Parker. Within a year, all the iron was removed from the trackbed and the town kind of stagnated until folks started moving out of the Denver Metroplex and populating small towns nearby in the 1960's and 1970's. Today, Elizabeth is primarily a bedroom community for folks working in Denver.

Elbert County Related Pages

Elizabeth - Kiowa - Simla - Elbert County