Littleton is situated along the Platte River in a natural
basin adjacent to both Denver and Jefferson counties. Only ten miles
from the bustling center of downtown Denver, Littleton strives to
retain its small town tradition of commitment, involvement and pride
within the 13.5 square miles and approximate population of 40,000
residents. Homes for sale come in a variety of traditional and newly-
built styles and since the city has developed most of the useable
land, the population remains stable and constant. Littleton is serviced
by major arterials, C470 and a light rail system. It has nationally
acclaimed schools, smaller class sizes and over half the teachers
have advanced degrees.
of Littleton can be traced to the "Pikes Peak" gold rush
of 1859. Along with the gold-seekers came merchants and farmers
to provide the necessities of life. As the fledgling metropolis
of Denver City began to grow, the need arose to construct a series
of ditches to carry water to farms and businesses without ready
access to rivers and creeks in this arid land. Among the engineers
hired to lay out this system was young Richard Sullivan Little of
first schoolhouse, restoration on the Littleton Historical Museum
Surveying in an area several miles south of Denver, Little fell
in love with the site of present-day Littleton. Upon filing a home
stake and other land claims, Richard brought his wife Angeline from
the East in 1862, the dry climate all but curing her asthmatic condition,
and began to farm. The Littles joined with several neighbors to
build the Rough and Ready Flour Mill in 1867, providing a solid
economic base in the community for years to come.
In 1872, the
Littles filed a plat to subdivide much of their property into the
village of Littleton. When the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad reached
the area in 1871, settlement began at a rapid pace. By the time
of Colorado’s statehood in 1876, there were schools, churches,
a hotel, stores and many of the other trappings of civilization.
In 1890, the 245 residents voted to incorporate the Town of Littleton.
A milestone in the history of Littleton came in 1902 when the old
Arapahoe County (dating from pre-Colorado Territory days) was divided
into Arapahoe, Denver, Adams, Washington and Yuma Counties. Then-Governor
Orman named Littleton the temporary county seat, placing it in a
favorable position to defeat rival Englewood in the general election
in 1904. Gaining the permanent county seat brought not only government
employees and businesses, but all of their support services. Littleton’s
place among Colorado’s cities was assured.
remained the staple industry of Littleton until after World War
II. Beginning with electronics and pneumatics, moving to munitions
and finally to aerospace, manufacturing became the important employer
and a magnet for the boom in housing development during the fifties,
sixties and seventies. Littleton added Arapahoe Community College
in 1965 and Chatfield Reservoir in 1972 to further enhance its appeal.
When Littleton celebrated its centennial in 1990, its population
had grown to 33,661and has grown to 40,340 in the year 2000.