City of Black Hawk celebrates 155th birthday

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Picturesque mountain community preserves the past and prepares for the future

By Diane Mulligan

The mountain city of Black Hawk celebrated its 155th anniversary on Monday, March 11th. It was on that date in 1864 that the gold-mining hotspot was officially incorporated.

Black Hawk had been a flurry of activity for five years before becoming an official city, following a history-making lode gold strike in 1859. That’s when prospector John H. Gregory first discovered lode gold in the narrow ravine that was then part of the Kansas Territory. “Gregory Gulch,” in the northwest part of the city, drew thousands of would-be miners to find their fortunes.

Black Hawk was connected by railroad with Denver in 1872, bringing refined gold out of the mountains and helping fund Denver’s growth. Black Hawk’s population peaked in 1880 with about 1,500 residents.

Colorado voters kicked off a new gold rush in 1990 when they voted to allow limited stakes gambling. Over the past 30 years, nearly $1 billion has been invested in land, casinos, and related development. Today, this picturesque mountain city generates over 85% of Colorado’s gaming revenue and contributes $100 million annually in taxes to the State of Colorado for tourism, historical preservation, and higher education.

Today, the City of Black is a quick getaway from Denver, an indoor and outdoor playground where you can enjoy red-hot gaming action, fine dining, and a day in the pristine Colorado mountains.

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