Understand the Background of Highlands Ranch, CO
The background of Highlands Ranch, CO begins over a hundred years ago. The community lies just south of Denver and is surprisingly quite young. Today, the community has expanded its suburbs greatly and overall shown significant growth and development.
Early Settlers in Highlands Ranch, CO
Like a lot of the Colorado Front Range along the Southern Rocky Mountains, the first inhabitants were Native Americans. Several nomadic tribes lived in the area before it was claimed as part of Louisiana in 1682 for France.
There was a little back and forth with the property between Spain and France before the land was given back to France in 1801.
The United States purchased the land from France as a part of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase, but the land remained uninhabited for a while. In fact, the area wasn’t explored until 1820 when the Stephen Harriman Long Expedition was launched.
The lack of water in the Highlands Ranch area caused people to settle more in the Denver area, and this community didn’t get permanent settlers until 1870.
The Highlands Ranch Mansion was completed in 1904 after the area grew as a farming and ranching community. Due to the lack of water, people got creative and had to find ways to make farming work despite that. The first owner of the mansion, Samuel Allan Long, was a pioneer of dry land farming methods.
The Colorado Gold Rush and Suburb Growth
The Gold Rush caused a great number of people to flock to Colorado in hopes of becoming rich. Most of these people settled north of Highlands Ranch, in Denver and other neighboring cities. This area continued to prosper as a farming and ranching community.
This unincorporated area became a point of interest after being bought by The Mission Viejo Company. This company made big plans to develop the area as a suburb, and some of those plans are still being executed. These plans outlined the future downtown area, public library, major streets as well as education and recreation centers.
Another exciting part of the plans was for a lot of green space dedicated to the public for park use and bike paths. This was very nice for the surrounding neighborhoods that continued to pop up around the area.
After the community’s foundation in 1981, the first houses were built, and the first public school followed a year later. Highlands Ranch built a branch for the public library system in 1991.
The Modern Community of Highlands Ranch, CO
Throughout the following 25 years the number of residents in Highlands Ranch has grown immensely. In 1991 (the city’s 10th anniversary), the community sported 17,000 members. By 2006, the resident count was up to 86,000. Local businesses continue to thrive, and being so close to Denver makes commuting very easy.
Residents have a large variety of community events, high quality of life, and happy lifestyles. It is a popular residential community for growing families, but there are also plenty of activities for visitors and tourists passing through.