Arvada is a residential suburb of Denver in Jefferson County, at the edge of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The first activity in the area was the search for gold. The first known discovery was in 1850. In 1858, Lewis Ralston, who had found the original nugget in 1850, returned with more miners. A settlement developed to meet the requirements of the miners. Ralston left but the others eventually found the rich lodes that brought about the 1859 gold rush.
With the Colorado Central Railroad passing nearby, it was decided in 1870 to create the Town of Arvada along the route. Arvada was the middle name of the brother-in-law of one of the founders. At first, the trains simply slowed down to drop off sacks of mail for the postmaster, but by 1872, trains stopped to pick up and drop off passengers.
In 1904, Arvada was incorporated. Railroad Street, later to become Grandview Avenue, was the principal business district. The first edition of the Arvada Enterprise went to press in 1908.
The area suffered from dust bowl conditions during the 1930s.
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