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Parker Town

Douglas County, Colorado

Parker Town Hall is located at 20120 East Main Street, Parker, CO 80138.
Phone: 303‑841‑0353.


Beginnings [1]

In 1858, gold was discovered in Colorado and during the next year, over 100,000 people followed the trails here in search of their fortunes. As the focus changed from gold to land, small towns and settlements sprang up, including our own 'Pine Grove.' Pine Grove traces its beginnings back to 1862 when Alfred Butters built a one-room building in a grove of pine trees about a mile south of the present-day Mainstreet. The cabin became a place to purchase provisions and a refuge for weary travelers. Although it was not a post office as we recognize one today, messages and letters could be left there for other travelers. In 1864, the 'post office' was sold and moved to the 20-Mile House site in present-day Parker. The 20-Mile House was the sixth in a series of mile houses (or way stations) on the Cherokee Trail between Denver City and Pine Grove. The Cherokee Trail followed Cherry Creek into Denver and brought travelers from many southern and eastern states using the Arkansas River route. Later, the Smoky Hill South Trail, a more direct but problematic route, brought in people from the Missouri River area.

In 1882, a railroad, the Denver & New Orleans, began serving the area. The depot was named Parker's, no doubt because James Sample Parker had given a 100-foot right-of-way across his land to the railroad. That same year, the post office was renamed Parker to end confusion over another Pine Grove in the State, and this area began to be called Parker, Colorado.

Although the railroad provided some impetus for growth in the town, significant progress really began in 1897 when the Littleton Creamery was built. By the turn of the century, Parker boasted a hotel, post office, two blacksmith shops, railroad depot, section house, water tower and pump house, three mercantile stores, dry goods store, saloon, livery stable, brick works, stockyard, creamery, barber shop, school and some homes. After its initial growth period, the town went into a slump. In 1931, the railroad stopped running and in the 1940s, the population was down to 150.

Parker grew slowly over the subsequent five decades with several ups and downs in its economy. In 1981, the Town incorporated with one square mile of land and a population of 285. During the 1980's the town saw a rapid increase in population that transformed a rural crossroads community to a small town of more than 6,000 people in 1990. The population boom continued to grow from approximately 23,000 people in 2000 to roughly 46,000 in 2012. Today, Parker is no longer among the fastest growing communities in the United States, however, the Town is currently growing, but at a much more modest pace. Although the town is expected to grow by another 11,000 people in the next 25 years, our goal is to still maintain the 'home town feel' that is important to our citizens.

  1. Town of Parker, Colorado, Parker 2035: Changes and Choices," 2012, www.parkeronline.org, accessed November, 2015.