Grand Junction, Colorado has a rich history that has shaped the city that we know today.

According to the history of Mesa County, long before humans discovered the land that we refer to as Grand Junction, Colorado, dinosaurs inhabited the area which was simply a floodplain with a humid climate.

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Who Lived in Grand Junction, Colorado First?

The first people to call this area home were Fremont Indians around 200 A.D according to Grand Junction, Colorado history.

By about 1300 A.D the Freemont Indians had moved on and the Utes decided to call the same land home about one hundred years later.

When Was Grand Junction, Colorado Incorporated?

Spain had control of the area that Grand Junction is located in today up until 1821. That same year, Western Colorado became part of Mexico.

By 1881 the Ute Indians were forced to relocate by the U.S. government so that the area could be opened for development.

The same day that army troops were forcing the Utes off the land, homesteaders, ranchers, and town builders were claiming their stakes.

George Addison Crawford was one of the first people to purchase a plot of land in the area and incorporated the city of Grand Junction on July 22, 1882.

What Was Grand Junction, Colorado Called Originally?

Before landing on Grand Junction, the town toyed with several other names for the area.

Ute was the first name for the city and honored the previous occupants. The name didn't stick and was followed by the moniker West Denver. 

Ultimately the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers ended up being the inspiration for the name we know today due to their grand junction.

Grand Junction, Colorado Growth Through the Years

Since its incorporation, Grand Junction quickly became one of the most populated areas West of the continental divide.

The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad arrived in November of 1882 and sparked major growth eventually leading Grand Junction to take the county seat.

By 1883, there were 59 businesses listed in Grand Junction and by 1900 the city had 181 businesses and 3,503 residents.

Today, Grand Junction is the largest community in Mesa County with a population of approximately 62,000 people.

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