Lake City Timeline

 

Significant Dates:

  • August 27, 1871 – Harry Henson and three others discovered the Ute-Ulay vein located about five miles upstream from the mouth of present-day Henson Creek.
  • February, 1874 – Hinsdale County was formed from parts of Costilla, Conejos, and Lake Counties, and, at the time, included present-day Mineral County. The original county seat was San Juan City (known today as Dabney's), located in Antelope Park about twenty miles above present-day Creede.
  • February or March, 1874 – A prospecting party of six men, one of which was Alferd Packer, camped along the Lake Fork of the Gunnison and around Lake San Cristobal. Five of the party met their demise.
  • August, 1874 – Enos Hotchkiss, working on Otto Mears' Saguache and San Juan Toll Road, came across promising mineral veins while in the Lake San Cristobal area. After filing the Hotchkiss (Golden Fleece) claim, Hotchkiss traveled four miles down the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River and built the first structure on the present site of Lake City.
  • August 20, 1874 – The skeletons of five men were discovered at the foot of a steep bluff near the banks of the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River (now known as Dead Man's Gulch) by John A. Randolph, an artist on a sketching tour for Harper's Weekly Magazine. The remains were identified as Israel Swan, Frank Miller, George Noon, James Humphrey, and Frank Bell – the ill-fated companions of Alferd Packer.
  • August 22, 1874 – Hinsdale County Coroner appeared before Justice of the Peace Orlando A. Mesler at San Juan City, the provisional seat of Hinsdale County, and obtained a warrant for the arrest of Packer "dead or alive" that was directed to the sheriff of the county.
  • June 18, 1875 – A U.S. Post Office was opened on Gunnison Avenue.
  • June 19, 1875 – The Lake City Silver World, the first newspaper on the Western Slope, began publishing.
  • July 11, 1875 – The first stagecoach arrived in Lake City and began three trips weekly between Lake City and Saguache.
  • August 16, 1875 – The town site of Lake City was officially incorporated.
  • Early 1876 – Telegraph service was installed in Lake City by Western Union.
  • June 17, 1876 – The Hinsdale County Bank, the first banking institution on the Western Slope, opened its doors on Silver Street.
  • July 9, 1876 – The first Baptist service was conducted at a house in Lake City. The Baptist church was built in 1891 on Bluff Street and was dedicated January 17, 1892.
  • November 29, 1876 – Lake City Presbyterian Church, the first church on the Western Slope, was dedicated. Reverend George M. Darley built the church. In 1879, he built the adjoining manse, the first home for a minister in Western Colorado.
  • March, 1877 – St. James Episcopal Church was erected at Fifth and Gunnison.
  • In 1877 – A volunteer fire department (the Hough Fire Company) was started, and Lake City's first library was opened.
  • September 20, 1877 – Susan B. Anthony addressed the town's citizens on women's suffrage.
  • January 6, 1878 – St. Rose de Lima Catholic Church was dedicated prior to its completion in March, 1878.
  • Summer, 1879 – The Hinsdale County Courthouse was built.
  • 1880 – The two-story Lake City School was built. The Lake City Community School now stands on the original school site.
  • Early 1881 – Telephone service was established between Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray.
  • April 27, 1882 – Lake City's first and only lynching occurred on the old Ocean Wave Bridge. George Betts and James Browning, owners of a Bluff Street saloon and brothel, were hanged for the murder of Sheriff E. N. Campbell.
  • Late 1880s – Clara Ogden, one of Lake City's most famous madams, built the Crystal Palace dance hall, located in the town's red light district. Known as Hell's Acres, the red light district was located on the south end of Bluff Street close to Henson Creek.
  • August 15, 1889 – The first passenger train of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad's Lake Fork Branch arrived in Lake City from Sapinero. Track to Lake City was completed on July 20, 1889. The last train to leave from Lake City departed at 2:20 p.m. on May 25, 1933.
  • Mid-1978 - the Lake City Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its significant contribution to the heritage of the State of Colorado.