Welcome to the Arvada Historical Society
We are located in Arvada, Colorado, on the northwest border of Denver, in Jefferson County. Our history began when Lewis Ralston discovered gold here in 1850, at the confluence of an unnamed tributary of Clear Creek (now known as Ralston Creek) - the first documented gold strike in Colorado. By the early 1860s, the land was being farmed, watered by ditches essential to agriculture in our semi-arid region. Benjamin Wadsworth and Louis Reno platted the town, and Wadsworth established the first post office in 1870. Agriculture was the mainstay of the town. Arvada, at one time was renowned as the "Celery Capital of the World."
In May 2005, the Arvada Historical Society, founded in 1972, moved into the historic McIlvoy House. We are excited that our collections of historic photographs, documents, books, and newspapers, among others, are now available to the public. Come visit us at 7307 Grandview Avenue - we'll put on the coffee pot and chat about Arvada, or perhaps look through the photos. Maybe you'll recognize a face or place. There's nothing better than a visit from a neighbor to make our day!
Our dedicated volunteers are organizing and cataloging the collections, and we plan to begin posting information from the archives here at our website.
We invite you to browse our website and learn more about the history of this community, Arvada, which we call home. Visit often, and remember to bookmark this site!