Downtown: Where Greeley Began

Nathan Cook Meeker founded Greeley in 1870 with the establishment of the Union Colony, a joint stock company formed in New York to build a moral community in Colorado Territory. The people who joined Meeker shared his views on temperance, religion, education, cooperation, agriculture, irrigation and family values, which he deemed vital for the success of the town. The Locating Committee, made up of Meeker and several other men came to Colorado Territory in February of 1870 and found the ideal location for a colony in Colorado: over 50,000 acres at the confluence of the Cache la Poudre and South Platte rivers and next to the railroad. In April and May of the same year, colonists arrived to find the beginning of an oasis in the arid Colorado plains.

John F. Sanborn platted Greeley in 1870 in a grid, with Lincoln Park surrounded by various types of buildings including governmental, commercial and educational. He based the layout on several eastern towns with wide tree-lined streets and a central park. -Meeker built his home of adobe brick to encourage colonists to use adobe. His home was near the edge of town to show his optimism in the future growth of Greeley. This house is now the City of Greeley’s Meeker Home Museum.

For more information about the history of Downtown Greeley, please check the City of Greeley’s Museum’s website or contact Betsy Kellums, Historic Preservation Specialist at (970) 350-9222.