Boulder History

Boulder has always had a rich history as far back as has been recorded by man. Boulder is situated where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains of North America in a climate that is abundant in resources for people and animals. From thousands of years ago to the days of the Native Americans and through the first European settlers to modern times, Boulder has always been full of colorful history.


Many arrowheads and early artifacts have been found around the Boulder area providing evidence that the Boulder valley has always been a popular hunting and living place as far back as people have been recorded in the North American Rocky Mountains. With the glacier fed stream pouring out into the fertile Boulder Valley, it was sure to have had plenty of great hunting and living for the early hunter-gatherers.
From the small amount of Native American history that we have today, we know that the Southern Arapahoe Native Americans had villages around Boulder and used the Boulder valley as a winter ground when the snows in the mountains got too deep. The Southern Arapahoe probably had a good existence in Boulder before all of the settlers started moving in and taking over the valley.
When settlers started arriving, the two different lifestyles clashed. The Native Americans were accustomed to wandering around to all of the good hunting spots to secure game for their families, and the settlers were trying to take over all of the good spots for farming and colonization. Disputes started and before long the settlers out numbered the Native Americans and the Native Americans were forced out of Boulder Valley.
Boulder as a colonized town/city has had a short history compared to other countries and even much of the eastern parts of the United States. The first recorded settlers arrived in 1858. At that time, Boulder became a supply town for the gold rush days in the mountain towns before setting down and becoming a full-fledged town with farms, ranches, schools, public works and infrastructure.
During the twentieth century, Boulder became industrialized and modernized with the rest of the nation and grew some of the most successful modern industry in the world. In Boulder today, there are a dozen or more leading companies in the world of cutting edge technology.
In our history section, we have several articles on some of the more important events and subjects that have shaped Boulder and made boulder what it is today. Browse some of the categories and read about some of these great events and stories that Boulder can provide. And then go out there and explore Boulder!