Western History & Genealogy Blog

Creating West Colfax

West Colfax Welcome Sign (Denver, Colorado)
Stuart Street Historic District (West Colfax, Denver, Colorado
Western Hills Motel, West Colfax neighborhood (Denver, Colorado)

As part of the Creating Communities project here at DPL we are scanning materials in the library’s archive and using these materials to tell the story of neighborhoods in the Denver metro area. Eventually these scanned images will be part of a website that you can visit to find out more about the communities featured.

As we researched the West Colfax neighborhood, we decided that in addition to using the library’s materials, we would survey the community ourselves and document buildings, parks, landmarks; anything that would give us a feel for West Colfax. Armed only with our cameras and our wits, five of us set out on a warm September day to explore.

As we drove and walked we saw homes (both old and new), schools, parks, places of worship, businesses and restaurants. There was a sense of history, as seen by the stately homes on Stuart Street; a sense of stability, as seen by the many local businesses and residences and a glimpses of steps forward with the construction of new urban housing.

A few of the images taken on our expedition are included here. More images will be available soon on the Creating Communities Flickr site.

In early 2010, the Creating Communities website will be available for exploring and you will be able to learn more about seven different neighborhoods in the metro area. You will even be able to upload your own photos and narratives to the website and help tell the story of your community.

West Colfax Survey

You should talk to Lyle Miller at the Colorado Historical Society, who is an expert on the history of West Colfax Avenue and its resources. He has taken photos of most of the buildings and gathered historical documentation for many of them.

West Colfax History

Thank you for your suggestion. The Creating Communitites project is a collaborative effort with several local institutions participating, including the Colorado Historical Society. There will also be opportunities for individuals to contribute their personal collections to the neighborhood histories in our interactive Creating Communities website...coming in 2010.


Hasn't there been a book written about the history of Colfax already?

City of Colfax

I believe West Colfax was just "Colfax" in the nineteenth century. My book, Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel, has accounts of Colfax between 1889-1894 as "The Colorado Monte Carlo" due to the migration of the gambling dens to that location during anti-saloon and gaming reforms.

I am looking forward to learning the history of the seven neighborhoods.

Jeff Smith website blog