History of Arvada
The history of the city and its beginnings are closely tied to the first discoveries of gold in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado. Gold was first discovered there in 1850. However, the people who discovered the gold, a team led by Lewis Ralston, decided to keep heading west towards California, where they believed the gold industry would be more lucrative. The creek where he first panned gold out of, however, is still called Ralston’s creek, however.
However, Rolston brought a team back to the spot of his gold discovery in 1858. Instead of looking for gold themselves, many settlers in this area started farming and realized that the gold seekers would pay good money for their crops. The settlement continued to grow with the arrival of the Colorado Central Railroad in 1870. In that year, Benjamin F. Wadsworth and Louis A. Reno platted the Ralston Point town site along the railroad, but in order to avoid confusion with other communities along Ralston Creek, Ralston Point was given the name of Arvada. The name of the city honors Hiram Arvada Haskin, who was the brother-in-law of one of the town’s original settlers, Mary Wadsworth.
The Town of Arvada was formally incorporated on August 14, 1904. In the coming years, the agricultural life of the community continued to grow, and soon after, Arvada came to be known as the "Celery Capital of the World."
The city continued to grow very quickly in the late 20th century as a suburb of Denver.
The area in and around Arvada gained notoriety in the news in 1957, when the area became contaminated with radioactive materials, and it was the scene of a very serious plutonium fire both in 1957 and again in 1969.
Since Arvada is located in the general vicinity of Denver, transportation is very well developed. Several large highways run through the city, including Interstate 76, SH 72, SH 93 and SH 95. Interstate 25, Interstate 270, U.S. Highway 36 and U.S. Highway 287 all run through and near the city as well.
The Amtrak California Zephyr passes through Arvada twice every day. This route is known for being one of the most breathtaking scenic routes through the Rocky Mountains that exists, making it one of the most popular rail routes in America.
There are seven local bus routes of the Denver Regional Transportation District that operate in Arvada. The city is also located very close to both the Denver International Airport and the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.
There is not much economy to speak of in the suburb other than a few retail corridors along the major streets of the city. This is because the cast majority of Arvada’s residents work in Denver and Boulder, making it mostly a commuter city.