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History of Monument, Colorado

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Monument, Colorado, a small town, is located within El Paso County's northern part - the Tri-Lakes Region. The town is approximately 50 miles from Denver's south and 15 miles from Colorado Spring's north. The natural beauty that surrounds Monument, Colorado offers countless outdoor activities to revel in all year round which includes fishing, biking, hiking, and rock climbing.

Additionally, Monument is acknowledged as an ideal place to enjoy retirement, live unaccompanied by the hustle and bustle of cramped city life, or raise a family. Yet, the proximity of the town to larger urban areas such as Castle Rock provides convenient and easy shopping and travel to the city and Colorado Springs which features more than 50 attractions. In amongst quaint galleries, restaurants, and shops of Monument lies the rich history of the township.

In the 1860s, the then area of the town was initially settled. Its first settlers arrived primarily from Germany and Iowa. David McShane is acclaimed as one of the first homesteaders of Monument in 1865. McShane became the town's first postmaster and one of El Paso County's first commissioners. In 1870, Monument became a town when Henry Limbach acquired 160 acres of area and registered it as a town with the Department of Interior's Colorado Land Office.

As the preliminary shape of the town began to mark out, the settlement also began to increased as it served as a stop along the railroad of the Rio Grande in 1871. Monument, in the early days, was known as Henry's Station. The name of the town was then changed following the construction of the railroad and derived after Monument Creek and the huge monument rock located at Mount Herman's base which can clearly be observed from the town.

The town's first records can be found in a variety of volumes dating back to 1872 and are currently housed in El Paso County Courthouse. The railroad helped brought the necessities and people established small businesses which starts the creation and prosperity of the town as the new commercial hub of the area. In 1879, the town was incorporated and Henry Limbach was named the first Mayor of Monument. Limbach Park was established to honor the founder of the town, Henry Limbach, and is situated at the heart of the Monument.

Though Monument was once known for ice harvesting and potato farming, the economy is now driven by individually-owned, small businesses in the downtown Monument Plaza of the town. The Plaza highlights a unique blend of restaurants, boutiques, stores, and galleries, all within walking distance from and to each other. On the far side is the more recently established shopping center, Jackson Creek Center, offering a combination of national chain stores or big box and small retailers.

Nowadays, Monument is a historic, family-oriented, fast-growing small town with a few of the state's best schools. Along with its fun recreational activities and top-ranked schools, Monument also offers annual events that are family-friendly such as Movies Under the Star, Art Hop events, 4th of July Music Festival, Concerts in the Park, and more. Art is also significantly important to Monument's residents, demonstrated by numerous galleries and annual exhibitions of the Tri-Lakes Center of Arts. One of the first public art pieces of Tri-Lakes Views is the Ice Harvest by Lisa Cameron and Tim Upham. This art piece mimics the historical ice harvesting which took place on the region's lakes. ARTSites, established in 2009, includes several art pieces on pedestals all over the area of Tri-Lakes showcasing the arts and preserving the unique history of the region.

Historic Downtown Monument's self-guided tour travelogue and maps are available at various shops and at the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center which is located on 166 Second Street. The Palmer Lake Historical Society offers further historic information. The fascinating history, beautiful scenery, and friendly people are interwoven in the tapestry of Monument's growing community.

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