Morrison/Morrison Historic District


Address3 mi. S. of I-70 at mouth of Bear Creek Canyon, 80465
QuadMorrison, 1965 (1980)
SectionS35, T4S, R70W
Elevation5750-7200
SourceHorton & Crain, "Morrison Memory Album"; Plat of original town, Jefferson County Records, Book 1, Nov. 28, 1874, pg. 14.
Initialdate1992-12-03 00:00:00-07
PersonJAC
Latestdate2012-12-03 00:00:00-07
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HistoryMorrison was laid out into lots on November 21, 1874 by the Morrison Stone, Lime and Town Company. Although he did not sign the plat of the town, George Morrison was an early resident. He was a Welsh stonemason, who owned parcels of land and built some of the stone buildings, including his own home, in what became the platted portion of town. Governor John Evans was connected to the founders through the Denver South Park and Pacific Railroad, which had been built earlier the same year. The economic reason for being was to haul stone, lime for brickmaking, coal and lumber, which was being timbered farther up Bear Creek Canyon and hauled by horseback to the rail head. Cut to the nearby rock formation, called "Garden of the Titans" by its promoter, John Brisben Walker, passenger traffic soon became a large part of the railroad's freight. The town soon reached its peak population of 750 in 1880, even boasting a funicular railway up the face of Mt. Morrison (grades for the tracks can still be seen behind the amphitheater at Red Rocks Park). The decline that followed was due to the slow down in lumbering and mineral and stone extraction. By 1910 the population had dwindled to 250 where it remained until 1939. Population gradually increased to the present day population of 465. Morrison was named a Colorado Historic District and place on the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 1976 (5JF.176).
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