Category Archive for: ‘Erie History’

What’s in a name? Erie, Colorado

by Jim Stull People often ask how Erie received its name.  The best documented answer is that it is named after Erie, Pennsylvania.  Richard van Valkenburg, considered the “Father of Erie,” named the town after his last official residence before becoming a circuit preacher and providing religious services at various towns and outposts across the great prairie in his quest …

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Canfield and the Longmont “Baby Railroad”

by Jim Stull The town of Canfield was located on the eastern border of Boulder County, just west of Erie, at Jay/Jasper Road and N. 119th Street. It was platted in the mid -1870s and named after Isaac Canfield.  In 1873, Isaac Canfield discovered a rich coal seam; he and his brothers named it the Rob Roy mine. William O. …

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mckenzie well

The McKenzie Oil Well

The McKenzie Well was the site of the 1901 discovery of the Boulder Oil Field, the first discovery of oil in the multi-state Denver Basin.  Florence driller Isaac Canfield  noticed Boulder’s typography was similar to Florence.  Oil seeps and petroleum odors abounded, and Canfield pinpointed the first oil source using a dowsing rod.  This is the same Isaac Canfield that …

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Jim Baker: The Revenant Connection

by Jim Stull If you have read about Erie, you’ve learned that Jim Baker is believed to have been the first white man to visit the area, living along Coal Creek, mining coal from the east bank, and hauling it to Denver for fuel for businesses. Jim is also renowned for his service as a scout and Captain in the …

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An entertaining look into Erie’s history

Among the items in the Erie Historical Societies collection is an almost complete set of the Erie News printed from June of 1903 thru January of 1906. The editor was Clyde Stanley a 16 year old. The following are excerpts taken from the pages of those papers. 1903 – The Erie News September 4, 1903 Mrs Tony Konantz and Irene …

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Before the Homesteaders

by Nancy Gruber Thousands of years before you or I thought of making Erie our home, an ancient people lived and hunted these lands. The first scientifically proven indications of humans in this area go back to the end of the last Ice Age and were called the Clovis Culture. A cache of 85 stone tools found at the Mahaffey …

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Jean Wilson - Erie Colorado - Photo courtesy of Sue Larson.

Jean Wilson made major contributions to Erie’s growth and development

by Jim Stull Jean Evelyn Wilson was born February 23, 1894, in Erie Colorado. She was the third of four children of James Lyon Wilson and Charlotte “Lottie” (Richards) Wilson. She attended Erie schools, graduating from the 11th grade in 1910, and from the State Teacher’s College of Colorado in Greeley in 1913. She moved to Hanna, Wyoming, where her …

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