It's hard to imagine Colorado's capital city being anywhere other than Denver — but it almost was.

According to the Colorado Virtual Library (CVL), the Mile High City became the state capital via referendum in 1881, and yet another city nearly nabbed the title.

In the early 1860s, the former Colorado City, Golden, and Denver were territorial capitals of the Centennial State. However, when it came time to choose an official capital, Pueblo, Gunnison, Colorado Springs, Cañon City, and Salida all wanted to be it.

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Each of the cities' newspapers attempted to convince voters they were worthy of being the capital, but Pueblo had the strongest case. The Colorado Department of Public Instruction detailed the ordeal in A War-Modified Course of Study for the Public Schools of Colorado, Volume 1:

In 1974 the legislature came near making Pueblo the seat of territorial government, such a bill passing the House. In the midst of unrest and dissatisfaction with the with the existing government, a State Constitution Convention was called October, 1875, and by March of the following year had completed its work.

This work didn't bode well for Pueblo. History Colorado reports that the city garnered about 6,000 votes in the capital competition — a number that paled in comparison to Denver's 30,000+ votes.

According to CVL, the construction of Denver's capitol building began in the early 1880s. The building hosted Colorado's first legislature in 1895 and received its famous gold roof in 1908.

Pueblo may not be Colorado's capital, but there is still lots to love about the Steel City of the West. Check out some of the city's historic real estate in the gallery below:

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