History of Globeville

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Globeville’s early history is interwoven with that of both Denver and Colorado’s beginnings. In the summer of 1858 a small amount of gold was discovered in the South Platte River near Cherry Creek and forged the beginnings of the city of Denver (Denver). Hoping to strike it rich, tens of thousands of people rushed into Denver within only one year’s time (H). Denver’s gold rush turned to bust and by 1860 most the miners either headed to gold boom towns, such as Central City, in the mountains or went home (Denver, H).

The fortune of silver and gold discovered in Colorado’s mountains were locked inside complex ores consisting of granite, quartz and other metals that rendered them useless, unless they could be separated (Egan. NPS). Miners originally imported stamp mills and Spanish arrastras to extract the gold and silver but both these methods were inefficient and lost upwards of 70 percent of the sought after mineral (NPS). In 1867, chemistry professor Nathanial P. Hill discovered an efficient method called the Swansea process to separate the precious metals and opened the Boston Colorado Smelter in Blackhawk (NPS).

The nation’s first transcontinental railroads were also being completed in the late 1860’s. The Union Pacific Railroad’s transcontinental rail was completed in 1869 originally went through Cheyenne and missed Denver entirely (Denver, H). Denver resident’s raised the needed funds and built their own railroad to Cheyenne and the Kansas Pacific Railroad came directly Denver shortly after (Denver). As a result, Denver became a successful railroad hub by the mid-1870’s that served as the mining industry’s center for the western US (H).

The completion of the railroads in Denver provided an advantage to smelting compa...

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