My husband and I took a drive out to the Boulder County area of Colorado last weekend. We had heard about the town of Louisville from magazine articles that often name it as one of the best places to live, and were curious to see why. The drive north was certainly beautiful, as we had some magnificent views of the high snow capped Rockies, lying beyond the foothills, along the way. ( All photos will enlarge, for easier viewing of details, if clicked on)
The Flatiron Mountains, that we passed by in the town of Boulder, were instantly recognizable to us, as our son had attended the University of Colorado in Boulder for his Master degree in Boulder. You can see why he fell in love with this area of the country and decided to settle here after his graduation.
We soon arrived in Louisville and turned onto its Main Street. The city of Louisville was incorporated in 1882 and lies in Boulder County, six miles east for the city of Boulder and twenty five miles northwest of Denver. It's population is around 18,000 people.
The Miner Memorial statue in front of city hall on Main Street represents the past coal miners of Louisville, many of whom were immigrants of both Northern and Southern European countries, who built the town. In August 1877, the Welch Mine opened--the first of many coal mines to come. The Acme Mine operated directly beneath the original town of Louisville from 1890 to 1928 and produced nearly two million tons of coal. In all, thirty mines were located in and around the town, and locals did not have to travel far for work. After WW2 the demand for coal diminished and the mines closed in 1952, but by then Louisville had become a thriving suburb of Boulder and Denver.
The mining history in Colorado is not without it tales of strife and hardship and this year marks the 100 year anniversary of the Ludlow Mine Strike and Massacre and the Northern Field Mine Strikes, which included the Louisville mines. As both of my grandfathers were coal miners in Pennsylvania, I hold great sympathy and respect for the sacrifices these Colorado man made to improve work conditions and safety in the mines, and to earn a living wage.
The Louisville Historical Museum was located on 10001 Main Street. It was originally constructed in 1904 as a general store.
It features a variety of artifacts from the area and historic photographs
Next to the store is an original house that dates from the early coal mining era, and is now is set up to portray what a typical miner's home looked like......
...and its rooms were filled with period furniture and artifacts.
Some of the shops and restaurants we saw on Main Street in Louisville. Many are located in buildings that are original to the town from 100 years ago!
We stopped at the Blue Parrot Restaurant for lunch. Click to enlarge the above photo and you can read its story on the menu's front page. For four generations the Colacci family has been serving customers at this location since 1919. They call their food "Grandma Style" Italian.
The houses around the historic center of town are in a variety of cottage, craftsman and colonial styles.....
...while the homes further from the historic center were larger and on more property.
Some homes were well into the million dollar, and up, range.
Louisville is considered by many as a good place to live and raise a family for many factors--crime rate is very low, the schools are well respected, and its location near the technology rich Boulder and Denver corridor has kept job options and the housing market solid. It is also surrounded by over 1,700 acres of open space, with recreation opportunities in the Rocky Mountains only twenty minutes away, plus Colorado has sunshine 300 days of the year! It certainly was a nice community. We enjoyed our visit to Louisville and will visit again in the future.
I'm sure every town considers its area the best place to live. I enjoyed all the years I lived in Brooklyn, New York, and I now feel the same way about where I live in Littleton, Colorado. How do you feel about your home town? What do you love the most about it?
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