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Wheat Ridge City

Wheat Ridge City Hall is located at 7500 West 29th Avenue, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033; phone: 303-234-5900.

Beginnings [1]

Until Wheat Ridge incorporated as a municipality in 1969, the area struggled to acquire basic services in the absence of local government. State Senator Henry Lee reportedly provided the name Wheat Ridge, referring to an area where grain grew along the ridges that the Overland Trail passed through from Denver to Central City and Blackhawk. During the nineteenth century, Wheat Ridge included the state's first grange hall, a church, school, post office, Lutheran Sanitarium, stores, wheat farms, and vegetable stands. Fruits and vegetables grew prolifically on farms in the area, and farmers sold their produce at markets in Denver and mountain towns. Pioneers included William W. Wilmore, who established the first nursery, which was followed by a number of others. Together with other Prohibitionists, Wilmore ensured that Wheat Ridge stayed dry until the 1950s. In the 1910s, George Olinger, owner of a local chain of mortuaries, built a large home at West 29th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard and established Crown Hill Cemetery across the street. Olinger also created subdivisions throughout the metropolitan area, including the 1920 Olinger Gardens in Wheat Ridge. By 1939 Wheat Ridge included a school, church, store, garage, restaurant, and post office. During the late 1930s and early 1940s, acquisition of modern water facilities became a major concern of residents. In 1939, the Jefferson County Republican reported that the local Water Committee found "some unbelievable conditions existing." Citizens were concerned about the potential for rapid growth in the future resulting in continued demand for water.

  1. Thomas H. Simmons and R. Laurie Simmons, historians, Front Range Research Associates, Inc.; Dawn Bunyak, Historian, Bunyak Research Associates, Historic Residential Subdivisions of Metropolitan Denver, 1940-1965, nomination document, 2010, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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