Denver real estate has been dominating the national conversation for quite some time but did you know that Colorado is dotted with charming Mayberry like country towns?
Milliken Colorado is one of these seemingly untouched towns.
Here is a brief history of Milliken brought to you by the Milliken Historical Society~
The Founding of a Trading Post
Many people came from the east to settle in western Weld County and eastern Larimer County. Many of the establishments
settled are Towns that the two counties govern today. Milliken was one of the many sites settled at this time. It began as a
trading post in the 1860s and in 1905 was recognized as the Hillsboro community. This trading post was established as a result
of visionary investors who wanted to take the Denver, Laramie and Northwestern Railroad, the Denver Laramie Realty Company,
and the Northwestern Land and Iron Company and develop a railroad line from Denver, Colorado to Seattle, Washington.
Several Towns and stations from Denver along the Platte River were utilized as trade centers for agricultural products grown in
the area. The railroad served as a transportation commodity on a line that traveled through Hillsboro and stopped with a small
extension to Greeley. The railroad and investors' visions of transpiring economies as a result of their creation failed
Milliken: An Early Foundation
By 1908, Hillsboro was beginning to be overlooked by another Town creation, Milliken. Named in honor of Judge John David Milliken, the President of the Northwestern Land and Iron Company and General Counsel of a legal department that oversaw three companies involved in the railroad line, the Town was slowly recognized. On October 1, 1910, the Town annexed Hillsboroand was recognized by the State of Colorado as the Town of Milliken. Hillsboro currently lies on the southwestern corner of the present Town.
Milliken's Rough Beginning
The Town struggled to get started. There was a high expectation with population and industrious growth, which immediately concerned citizens. 1911 brought local residents to voice their opinion on the matter after visiting Denver and Chicago and expecting a similar comparison. Fires erupted that decade, which impacted and destroyed homes, manufacturing, and commercial buildings, which were viable to the young Town's birth and growth in decades to come. In 1917, the Denver, Laramie, and Northwestern Railroad was abandoned and dismantled as a result of legal and financial difficulties. The founding of this railroad ultimately was one of Milliken's expressed failures. Railroads and agriculture continued to be the primary foundations of the Town in the 1920s. Milliken was known for growing sugar beets, potatoes, corn, and wheat and exporting goods with the railroad. Cattle feeding too was popular, and therefore, both cattle and sugar beets were among the largest exported items during the late 1920s and 1930s.
Milliken's Pull Forward
Milliken was home to two large potato decks in the 1950s. Trucks would collect the largely grown crop, bring it to the potato decks and export it on train. Milliken also had CAP (Colorado Alfalfa Products) farms, which were immensely favorable. They would produce hay pellets and ship them by rail. As a little Town recovering from the depression, many were still worried about how they were going to survive or even worse, how well their government was performing. McCarthyism struck many of Milliken's residents with feverish trust in their government. As prior decades had, Milliken was similar to the nation in the 1960s. Many hippies and yuppies roamed the streets and the economy was starting to positively shift. Schools began to consolidate, the Town organized its first Fire District, and new water was distributed to residents from the Little Thompson River. The late 1960s and early 1970s brought about a large building boom within Town limits. Suddenly the Town had a considerable amount of affordable housing units. The Town missed the disco era, but was still heavily pursuant on cattle feeding, having a tremendous amount of cattle on the Erlich lot.
Transformation to a Competitive Community
Milliken was still a community that was trying to keep up with its counterparts in the 1980s. The Town took a large progressive step in 1985 and 1986 by turning its dirt roads into paved streets. Generally the Town was in favor of the progressive move but there were those who opposed it as well. The animosity shared allowed others to exchange unbelievable opposition stories, which are being collected for Milliken's story, the Official History Book of Milliken. During the 1990s, Milliken grew and so too did its government. The Milliken Community Complex was constructed and in 1996, the Town government moved in to further benefit their citizens. The government grew in 2004 with the opening of the Milliken Public Works Facility. In 2009, the government will extend its quarters once more when the Police move from their historic building to a new facility directly across the street from their current one.
Milliken is a place filled with many stories. Some are sad and others make one explicitly curious with detail. The Town has a wonderful balance between archaeological and historical artifacts, as well as growth where it is needed most with the citizens and business close in mind with all actions executed. If you are looking for a community that is diverse in nature and kind in personality, Milliken is the place for you.
*From the Milliken Historical Society
Read Full Article here: http://millikenhistoricalsociety.org/history.htm
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