For the past two years, Dutch Heritage Gardens has partnered with Castle Rock to assist in beautifying the historic down town area. Be sure to visit Downtown Castle Rock and see the end result of “Operation Castle Bloom” on both the city street corners and at over 150 different local businesses with large and small boxes, as well as railing and window boxes!
History of Castle Rock Located in an area shielded from the winter storms of the mountains and just outside the reach of the extreme heat of the plains, the Colorado Front Range foothills offered an excellent location for Native Americans and the game they sought for food. Timberlands, grassy plains and foothills, drained by the Arkansas and the Platte rivers, created a sufficient supply of vegetation and water to maintain the antelope, buffalo, deer and rabbit necessary to the Native American diet.
White settlers were drawn by rumors of gold and by land made available through the Homestead Act of 1864. However, the discovery of rhyolite stone in the butte near Plum Creek is what put Castle Rock on the map.
One of the original homesteaders, Jeremiah Gould, owned 160 acres to the south of “The Rock.” At that time, the community consisted of just a few shacks for prospectors, quarry workers and other hired hands. In 1874, Gould donated 120 acres to “be known as Castle Rock.” It was then that the six streets named Elbert, Jerry, Wilcox, Perry, Castle and Front were laid out. The Courthouse Square was designated and 77 lots, each 50 by 112 feet, were auctioned for a total of $3,400.
Within a year, the new train depot brought the Denver & Rio Grande Railway to the community. Soon, it was unloading supplies for ranchers and shipping rhyolite from the three local quarries and cheese from the dairy farms in the surrounding area. The depot now houses the Castle Rock Historical Museum on Elbert Street, where visitors can relive the 125 years since the Town’s inception.
Castle Rock has continued to prosper and grow, with a current population of more than 50,000. Rhyolite remains a material of choice for decorative rock work and can be seen in many historic buildings.