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History of Lakewood, Colorado

Lakewood is a city west of Denver in Jefferson County. First settled in the late 19th century, it incorporated in the late 20th century and has been growing rapidly. The town was platted on July 1, 1889, by Charles Welch and W.A.H. Loveland. Loveland, who was the president of the Colorado Central Railroad, wanted to settle down in a new community following his retirement. For this purpose, he selected an area west of Denver along Colfax Avenue. For many years, wealthy residents of Denver chose the Lakewood district for their summer estates. The new town’s development received a boost in 1893, following the establishment of its first electric tramway. This tramway connected Lakewood with Golden and Denver. It became part of the Denver Tramway Corporation and was nicknamed "the Loop". The town became a center of attraction following the establishment of the Remington Arms Company ammunition factory in 1941. It was the largest federal government contract awarded in Colorado during that time. The arms company is now the site of the Denver Federal Center. Lakewood was incorporated in 1969 and is today the site of many federal government offices. Colorado Christian University, founded in 1914, has its main campus in Lakewood. Lakewood is also served by the main campus of Red Rock Community College. Lakewood history is kept alive at the Lakewood Heritage Center, where the Cider Days Harvest Festival has been an institution for more than 30 years. Recreation in Lakewood takes many forms. The Green Mountain Recreation Center is located close to the William F. Hayden Green Mountain Park on Lakewood's west side. Churches have been growing in Lakewood along with the burgeoning population. St. Jude Catholic Church belongs to St. Jude Parish, created in 1967. While the new church building was under construction, Masses were held at Alameda High School's auditorium, which was informally dubbed "St. Alameda's."