Plans for the 2019 City of Wheat RIdge 50th Anniversary are underway. Stay tuned to our Facebook Group @Celebrate WR 50 and the website to learn more, and if you want to get involved in the planning contact Laura McAvoy at Lmcavoy@ci.wheatridge.co.us or 303-235-2819
The first exciting project for 2019 is the Passport to Wheat Ridge. This is your very own passport to dozens of Wheat Ridge businesses and events! This passport includes discount offers and coupons from businesses across the City, along with information about signature special events that build relationships within our community.
The 2019 Passport to Wheat Ridge is a limited edition tour around the City, as there will only be 500 printed and they will only be available for the 2019 year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the City of Wheat Ridge.
The proceeds from the 2019 Passport to Wheat Ridge are funding the restoration of the Wheat Ridge Police Department’s first patrol car, Unit 1, and will support other programs hosted by WRPD such as Operation Blue Santa, National Night Out and the Child Safety Fair. Unit 1 will be making appearances at events throughout 2019 once the restoration is complete.
To order your Passport at a special discount, attend the 2018 Holiday Celebration (December 1) or stop by City Hall. Preordered Passports to Wheat Ridge are $20.00 and will be available for pick up on Monday, Dec. 17, 2018. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, the Passport to Wheat Ridge will be $25.00 and available for purchase online or at City Hall.
If you are a business wanting to participate in the Passport to Wheat Ridge, please contact Bridget Dvorak, email@example.com, or Sara Spaulding, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information about placing an offer or an ad
1859 - Wheat Ridge “roots” were first established during the Gold Rush of 1859, when the City served as a rest stop for miners headed to mountain gold camps. It was later named Wheat Ridge for the golden ridges of wheat noted by travelers passing along the Overland Trail.
1859 - Built in 1859 on the 1st registered homestead in the State of Colorado, the Coulehan-Johnson Cabin was originally located at about 48th and Upham on the Stevens farm. It was then moved to the Wolf farm and then moved to Johnson Park by Judge Samuel Johnson. The Cabin was later moved to its current home at the Historic Park in 1985.
1867 - The first school in Wheat Ridge was constructed in 1867 at W. 32nd ave and Wadsworth Blvd. It was built by Martin N. Everitt on his land and is said to be where the school district evolved from.
1870 - The History of Richards-Hart Estate: James Richards arrived in Colorado with the rest of the 59-ers to find a fortune in gold. By the late 1860s he was successful enough to marry and purchase 160 acres on Sloan's Lake, where he built "Lake Side" circa 1870. Richards was also a prominent and active citizen in the early Wheat Ridge community. He was an officer of the School Board District Number 8 and a delegate to the Republican State Convention in 1882. He continued to be a prominent businessman until his death in 1883, while the family lived in the house until 1911.
1873 - The second Everitt School was completed in late 1873 on the land once owned by Abram Slater at W. 38th Ave. and Teller St. The building is now a residence. The school accommodated 25 children at full capacity. The teacher was paid $40 a month and her salary later was raised to $60.
1886 - Samuel Bert White and his family located on a tract of land on which the sod house stands, known as the "Soddy," built in 1886. Mr. White was interested in horticulture and raised several acres of celery, and also sold celery seeds to those who were interested in raising celery as well.
1887 - "This photo of the Wheat Ridge School picnic in the spring of 1887 is said to include all the residents of Wheat Ridge plus three from Denver and two from Golden." - the Wheat Ridge Sentinel. There are approximately 52 people in the image.
1888 - Abram Slater is pictured standing outside his home that was built in 1888. Slater was a pioneer, Wheat Ridge rancher who arrived in the area in approximately 1859 looking for gold. In the late 1870s, Slater donated land for the construction of a one-room schoolhouse. Today, Stevens Elementary School sits on that site. Slater Elementary was also named after Slater.
1893 - Photo of Ernest Apel Farm in 1893. In 1890, Apel rented a plot of land to begin a truck garden with John Brown. In 1891, John Brown returned to the East coast. Ernest stayed in Wheat Ridge and went on to become a very successful truck farmer, later bringing his son Arthur and son-in-law Joseph Bacher into the business.
1905 - Wheat Ridge High School Boys Basketball Team, 1905-06 Champions.
1909 - The George Smith Store was built on W. 38th Ave. between Reed and Teller Streets. It was the only store in the area at that time. Orders were taken at the store, and delivered the following day by a driver with two horses and a wagon. During the winter months when the snow was too high, the groceries were delivered by sleigh.
1913 - In 1900 Fred Bunger moved to Wheat Ridge where he was active in gardening, raising fruits and vegetables and doing a commission business. He was also the community's first postmaster, serving for nine years. The post office was built in 1913 at 38th and Teller. It was later moved to the Wheat Ridge Historical Park.
1926 - Wheat Ridge's first fire truck was a Julius Pearse and was bought in 1926 from the Columbia Gardens Fire Department. At that time the fire department had twelve members, and George Hively was the first fire chief. The fire truck was located at the Wheat Ridge school grounds on W. 38th Ave by Upham St. before the station was built.
1927 - The property was deeded to the Jefferson County School District in 1883 and the first school was built on the site in 1884. The original building was destroyed by fire in the 1920s, after which noted Denver architect and developer Temple Buell designed the existing red brick school building in 1927. Additions on both sides of the building were constructed in the 1950s.
1958 - Wheat Ridge High School was built in September 1958.
1966 - The current Everitt Middle School location opened in 1966 as a junior high school with 1,090 students.
1969 - June 17, 1969 was election day in Wheat Ridge. The campaign to incorporate Wheat Ridge as a city started after it was announced that if Wheat Ridge did not incorporate, they would become a part of "Jefferson City". When the final votes were tallied on election day, the score read: 3183 for incorporating Wheat Ridge, 2636 against. Thus, the City of Wheat Ridge was born.
1969 - In honor of the City’s birthday, the area’s agricultural history and carnation production, a festival was born. The Carnation Festival is one of the longest running festivals in Colorado, the first was in August of 1969. In the 1960s, the city had 32 different carnation growers and sent flowers to the White House every Monday morning. The bouquet was displayed in the front foyer with a card stating: “With compliments to our nation’s capital, Wheat Ridge Colorado, Carnation City,” per the Wheat Ridge Historical Society.
1969 - The first elected Mayor of Wheat Ridge was Albert "Ed" Anderson. He was elected in August of 1969.
1969 - The first patrol car, Unit 1, was purchased on September 30, 1969 from Johnnie Harper Ford. Unit 1 is a 1969 Ford Galaxie.
1969 - When Wheat Ridge was incorporated as a city, the City was given 100 days to put together a Police Department. The City hired off-duty officers from Jefferson County on October 1, 1969. The first patch was the Jefferson County patch with the Wheat Ridge banner across the top.
1970 - The first full-time Wheat Ridge Police officers were sworn into WRPD on January 1, 1970. There were seven officers and two patrol cars. In February of 1970, four more officers were hired on, bringing the force to a total count of 11 officers.
1970 - The original City Seal of Wheat Ridge was designed by Eron Johnson, age 18, grade 12, at Jefferson High School. Johnson submitted a drawing to the citywide contest for kids to design the new City Seal, and won the grand prize on April 25, 1970. This seal was used until 2007 when the City voted to rebrand and design a new logo.
1970 - Ed Pinson was sworn in as the new Police Chief for WRPD on June 4, 1970.
1974 - Wheat Ridge Historical Society was founded in 1974 during an effort to preserve The Soddy. The Historical Society seeks to bring the community together and to give every generation a chance to learn about how the past has shaped our present.
1976 - The Richards-Hart Estate was purchased by the City of Wheat Ridge in 1976 for approximately $200,000. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 5, 1977. The estate is tucked away in a historic Wheat Ridge neighborhood, and is a wonderful site for weddings and receptions, rehearsal dinners, parties and community gatherings.
1979 - Wheat Ridge qualifies it's first year as a "Tree City." The Tree City USA program is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. Wheat Ridge has achieved this title every year since 1979.
1981 - The first-ever Farmers 5000 was held in August of 1981. Athletics, along with Key Club ran the race for many years, but they needed a larger organization to help with funding the race. The PTSA has been running the race as its main fundraiser ever since it took over from the athletic department.
2017 - The Wheat Ridge Housing Authority (WRHA) began working with Hartman Ely Investments (HEI) in February 2015. HEI thoroughly vetted several reuse scenarios before ultimately pursing a redevelopment of the site into 16 apartments. The Authority sold the property on December 9, 2016 and completed the project in 2017 to repurpose the interior of the school and to restore the exterior.