Highland currently has a population of 9300 people.
Highland is often confused with the suburb of Highlands Ranch, located approximately 20 miles to the south. The similarity in name is merely a coincidence.
After the May 1864 flood wiped out parts of Denver, new people moved up the hill to the west. The Fifteenth Street Bridge made the western hills accessible and as the years passed streetcars made the area even easier to reach.
In 1875, Owen Le Fevre and other developers petitioned the Arapahoe County Commissioners to establish a village government. After annexing Potter Highland and Highland Park, they formed the Town of Highland which became a city in 1885.
Residents were fairly homogeneous. Most were Protestant and they tended to vote Republican. Many men participated in the Masonic Lodge and other similar clubs. In 1892, the young men of Highland formed the North Denver Athletic Club which gave them facilities similar to those enjoyed at the Denver Athletic Club, playground of Denver's elite.
The women joined churches and other societies. One society of note was the North Side Women's Club, where they heard lectures and completed good works around the area.
The residents also counted on Owen Le Febre's artesian well for clean drinking water and the breezes from the west provided clean air by blowing away any smog. Residents supported bond issues for schools, a library, and other civic improvements because they expected to have those services. The founding fathers eventually found it difficult to maintain such city services. In 1896, after considerable discussion, the residents voted to allow Denver to Annex the town.
Separated from the city by the South Platte River and neighboring railyards, Highland remained suburban in character for some time while attracting a variety of immigrants. Large numbers of Italians migrated to the area, as well as a group of Scottish settlers who formed a small enclave in the area. (Actually the Scottish settlers story is an urban legend. Scottish Highlands was a project of nineteenth century developers who wanted to "brand" a new neighborhood with a distinct identity. Hence the Scottish names and quaint curvy streets. The original name was Highland Park. (from Rebecca Hunt)
The arrival of the Denver Tramway Corporation streetcar line in Highland better connected the area to downtown Denver and led to growth. As a streetcar suburb, Highland developed commercial centers near streetcar stops, some of which still exist today, including 32nd Ave and Tejon, 32nd Ave and Zuni (then called Gallop), 32nd Ave and Federal (then called "The Boulevard" or "Boulevard F"), as well as 32nd and Lowell in the West Highland neighborhood, now renamed "Highland Square". Most of the information in this history section came from Dr. Rebecca Hunt's 1998 dissertation, Urban Pioneers:Continuity and Change in Two Denver, Colorado Neighborhoods, 1875-1998.
The redevelopment of the Central Platte Valley in the late 1990s and early 2000's saw Highland's fortunes rise. Highland became much more accessible to downtown with the construction of the Millennium Bridge and Platte River bridge in the Central Platte valley, along with the construction of the Highland Bridge over Interstate 25 in 2006. Preservationists stepped in to save some of the city's most architecturally interesting areas within the Highland neighborhood, such as Potter-Highland Historic District and Stonemans' Row Historic District. Proximity to downtown led to rapid growth of the area in recent years, while the area today is one of the more sought-after city-center neighborhoods. Consequently, considerable redevelopment is occurring in Highland along with a noticeable rise in density, as high-end condominiums and lofts replace older structures and parking lots. However, Highland still offers a large stock of historic single family homes -- now some of the closest historic single family construction to Denver's original town site on the South Platte River.