Thornton, CO History
The Beginnings in Thornton, CO
In 1952 the new construction of homes was beginning in plot of land outside of Denver, CO. In 1953 these homes became the site of what is now Thornton, CO, which was named after the governor of Colorado at that time.
The beginning of the city’s history is with Sam Hoffman, who was the builder of this community. By 1954, forty families settled in this development. Before the construction of these homes, the land was used solely for farming.
The community of Thornton was the first one that was fully planned in Adams County. It was also the first to provide municipal services in full using a single tax levy. This levy included recreational services and free trash removal.
By 1955, only three years after its inception, the city had 5,500 residents. By 1956, the city was fully incorporated and became a city in Colorado.
In 1960, the first library opened in the town of Thornton, CO and the population had grown to over eleven thousand. Moving toward the mid-60s, the city purchased Northwest Utilities and held the first annual festival where eight thousand people attended.
In 1967, the citizens approved home rule for the city. This means that the city’s charter is written by citizens and approved by voters, which essentially gives more control to the local government.
In 1970, the city’s 500,000-gallon water tower was built, and the city annexed more land at this time. A few years later, the city had a full-time parks and recreation department that began with the construction of a community recreation center.
In 1975 Thornton High School opened, as well as the new rec center. The seventies saw great growth in the city, and a water treatment plant was opened to serve its citizens.
During this decade, the population of the city grew to over 43,000 citizens. Two natural disasters happened in this decade as well. There was a tornado that touched down and a very significant blizzard that brought the city to a halt.
In 1985, the city created an urban renewal district; this district led the way in connecting a major highway to Thornton Parkway.
A citizen’s task force was created in these years to address all of the community’s recreational needs. With the inception of this task force, a championship 72 par golf course opened its doors.
The task force was also instrumental in opening up a state-of-the-art recreation center in 1994. In the year 1997 the city started a citizen’s volunteer organization as the city’s population grew to over 60,000 people.
The 2000s and Beyond in Thornton
In these years the major highways connected to Thornton grew, and the population was over 80,000 citizens. In 2005 the largest northern retail establishment opened at over 963,000 square feet.
The future of Thornton is bright, as the city is always moving with the technological advances of the time. In fact, the city of Thornton revises its comprehensive plan on a schedule of every ten years.
While Thornton strives to be a leader in advancement, it still holds onto its small town charm from its beginnings.
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