Have you ever realized that you can live in a town your entire life and not even know its history or origin story? That happens more often than we probably realize, so we thought it would be fun to dig a little into how Old Town Arvada came to be! Arvada isn’t only a great place to find prime real estate, it has a rich history dating as far back as 1850.
The Gold Rush
Image Colorado back before it was peppered with skyscrapers, was home to sprawling neighborhoods or busting at the seams with young professionals on every corner. When one could look in any direction and have unobstructed views of either majestic and towering mountains or of an expansive valley as far as the eye could see. That was Colorado in the late 1800s. Now, transport yourself to 1850, when a prospector from Georgia, Lewis Ralston, struck gold in a small stream at the mouth of Clear Creek, right in Arvada! The first documented sighting of gold in the area, in fact. Though the stream was affectionately named after him, Ralston’s Creek, Ralston left the next day to pursue his dream of hitting the gold jackpot further out in California.
Years later, during 1858’s Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, Ralston returned with a crew of prospectors where they encountered hard rock deposits of gold in the mountains further west. While some continued with their pursuit of gold, others left the gold game and decided to farm the rich lands along Ralston Point and Clear Creek; there they found an eager market for their crops among other gold seekers. Once the Territory of Colorado was formed in February of 1861, the farms in the valley expanded to feed the growing population in the region. Did you know? The area was such a vibrant agricultural community it was once known as the “Celery Capital of the World”?
How Arvada Came to Be
There was a lot going on in 1870! Just twenty years after the first documented gold-sighting, the landscape was already beginning to change with the unstoppable growth of the US railway system. The Colorado Central Railroad laid tracks throughout the area to link Golden, CO., the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and the Denver Pacific Railroad together. As the area became more densely populated, and to avoid confusion with other communities along Ralston Creek, the area then known as Ralston Point was named Arvada, and on August 14 of 1904, Arvada was formally incorporated. A lot has happened since, and by the end of the millennium, the population of Arvada exceeded 100,000 inhabitants!
Portions of Arvada are in both Jefferson and Adams Counties, and together with Denver, Westminster, and Thornton, they make up the state’s largest metropolitan area. Old Town Arvada is surrounded by miles of gorgeous open space, which means it’s the perfect mix of a lively and happening town, with the great outdoors right at your fingertips. Old Town is full of cute and trendy restaurants, locally-owned boutiques, and it even becomes a popular live entertainment venue during warmer months. It’s no wonder property values in the area are stronger than ever.
According to Realtor.com, the median list price of homes in Arvada, CO. was $525K in May 2021, trending up 11.7% year-over-year. The median listing price per square foot was $238, and the median sale price was $623K. That’s a lot of value, and better yet, Arvada is currently a buyer’s market! That means there’s enough supply to exceed demand. With over 40 schools rated as good or higher, and homes selling in around 35 days, it’s a great spot to look for your next home or investment.
If you’re looking to find homes in the Old Town Arvada area or any home in the Denver metro area, we can help. We’re a full-service brokerage committed to helping people find their next dream home. Contact us today and we’ll guide you through the whole home-buying process, from viewing to closing.