About Quizzes

Lafayette, Colorado

Lafayette, located in Boulder County, Colorado, was a hunting ground for the Ute, Arapahoe and Cheyenne people before the arrival of gold seekers in 1863. Unable to find enough of the precious metal, many gold seekers continued towards the Rocky Mountains and California. Others settled down and took to farming and hunting. Mary and Lafayette Miller arrived at the future site of the town in 1871. The couple acquired land under the Homestead Act and began to farm. In 1874, the Millers moved back to Boulder and set up a butcher shop. Following the death of her husband in 1878, Mary Miller returned to her old farm in Lafayette. Even though the farm fared well, Mary’s interest turned to coal mining. Since coal was mined in nearby Marshall, she hoped that coal would be found here. She was right; coal was discovered on the Miller Farm in 1884. Mining began in 1887. The following year, Mary Miller platted 150 acres of her land for a new town, to be built around the coal mine and named after her husband Lafayette. By July 1888, the town featured new homes. With the establishment of more mines, Lafayette prospered. Mary Miller established the Lafayette Bank in 1900 and was elected its president, making her the only female president of a bank in the world. The prosperous town even featured a power station that met the needs of Boulder, Louisville, Longmont and Fort Collins. The Mary Miller home still stands on Michigan Avenue. With the increasing usage of natural gas, demand for coal decreased, leading to the closure of coal mines in Lafayette. Black Diamond Mine was the last to close down in 1956. Following the closures, agriculture became the main driving force of the town’s economy. The economic boom in neighboring Denver and Boulder proved advantageous for Lafayette. More people settled along the town borders, which led to its growth and more commercial/industrial enterprises. The Wow! Children's Museum is a place for toddlers and school age children. The Miners Museum, operated by the city of Lafayette, is in the Lewis House, an example of housing during mining's heyday. Centennial Peaks Hospital is in Louisville, about five miles away.