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Denver

The City and County of Denver (pronounced /ˈdɛnvɚ/) is the capital and the most populous city of Colorado, in the United States. Denver is a consolidated city-county located in the South Platte River Valley on the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Southern Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is located immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately 15 miles (24 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is nicknamed the Mile-High City because its official elevation is exactly one mile, or 5,280 feet (1,609 m) above sea level.[2] The 105th meridian west of Greenwich passes through Denver Union Station, making it the reference point for the Mountain Time Zone.

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of the City and County of Denver was 588,349 on July 1, 2007, making it the 26th most populous U.S. city.[4] The 5-county Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2007 population of 2,464,866 and ranked as the 21st most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical area,[5] and the 12-county Denver-Aurora-Boulder Combined Statistical Area had an estimated 2007 population of 2,998,878 and ranked as the 17th most populous U.S. metropolitan area.[7] The 18-county Front Range Urban Corridor had an estimated 2007 population of 4,166,855.[4] It is also the second largest city in the Mountain West after Phoenix. The city has the 10th largest central business district in the United States.[8]

Denver City was founded in November 1858 as a mining town during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush in western Kansas Territory.[9] That summer, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas, arrived and established Montana City on the banks of the South Platte River. This was the first settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver. The site faded quickly, however, and was abandoned in favor of Auraria (named after the gold-mining town of Auraria, Georgia) and St. Charles City by the summer of 1859. The Montana City site is now Grant-Frontier Park and includes mining equipment and a log cabin replica.

On November 22, 1858, General William Larimer, a land speculator from eastern Kansas, placed cottonwood logs to stake a claim on the hill overlooking the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, across the creek from the existing mining settlement of Auraria. Larimer named the town site Denver City to curry favor with Kansas Territorial Governor James W. Denver.[10] Larimer hoped that the town's name would help make it the county seat of Arapaho County, but ironically Governor Denver had already resigned from office. The location was accessible to existing trails and was across the South Platte River from the site of seasonal encampments of the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The site of these first towns is now the site of Confluence Park in downtown Denver. Larimer, along with associates in the St. Charles City Land Company, sold parcels in the town to merchants and miners, with the intention of creating a major city that would cater to new emigrants. Denver City was a frontier town, with an economy based on servicing local miners with gambling, saloons, livestock and goods trading. In the early years, land parcels were often traded for grubstakes or gambled away by miners in Auraria.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Denver".