Arvada, city (1990 pop. 89,235), Jefferson and Adams counties, N central Colo., a suburb of Denver; inc. 1904. Primarily residential, Arvada has some light manufacturing. The Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is there.

The City of Arvada is a suburb of the Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area and a Home Rule Municipality in Jefferson County and Adams County, Colorado, United States. Olde Town Arvada is located northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Arvada was 104,830 on 2006-07-01. Arvada is the eighth most populous city in the state of Colorado and the 239th most populous city in the United States.


The first documented discovery of gold in the Rocky Mountain region occurred on 1850-06-22, when Lewis Ralston, a Georgia prospector headed for the California gold fields, dipped his sluice pan into a small stream near its mouth at Clear Creek. Ralston found about 1/4 ounce (6 g) of gold worth about five dollars. Ralston's companions named the stream Ralston's Creek in his honor, but they all left the next morning, drawn by the lure of the California gold fields.

During the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1858, Ralston brought another group of prospectors back to the site of his first discovery. The placer gold in the area soon played out, but hard rock deposits of gold were found in the mountains to the west. Some of the miners abandoned their search for gold and returned to farm the rich bottom land along Ralston Creek and Clear Creek. They found an eager market for their crops among other gold seekers. The Territory of Colorado was formed on 1861-02-28, and the farms in the valley expanded to feed the growing population of the region.

In 1870, the Colorado Central Railroad laid tracks through the area on its route from Golden to link up with the Kansas Pacific Railroad and the Denver Pacific Railroad at Jersey Junction, north of Denver. On 1870-12-01, Benjamin F. Wadsworth and Louis A. Reno platted the Ralston Point townsite along the railroad. To avoid confusion with other communities along Ralston Creek, Ralston Point was soon renamed Arvada at the suggestion of Wadsworth's wife, Mary, in honor of her brother-in-law, Hiram Arvada Haskin. Benjamin Wadsworth became the first postmaster of Arvada. Colorado was granted statehood on 1876-08-01, and the Town of Arvada was formally incorporated on 1904-08-24. A vibrant agricultural community, Arvada claimed the title "Celery Capital of the World."

Arvada grew rapidly during the latter half of the 20th century. Arvada became a Statutory City on 1951-10-31, and a Home Rule Municipality on 1963-07-23. By the end of the millennium, the population of Arvada exceeded 100,000.

Missionary shooting

On December 9, 2007, Matthew J. Murray walked into the Youth With a Mission Center in Arvada and, after he was refused his request to stay overnight, opened fire and killed two people, injuring two more. However, services were held as usual that morning at Faith Bible Chapel, because as Pastor Gary said, "Evil can't win." A memorial was held the following Wednesday, December 12, in which Youth With a Mission leaders forgave Murray's family for what happened.


The City of Arvada is a Home Rule Municipality with a council-manager form of government. The Arvada City Council has seven members: a mayor and two councilmembers elected at large, and four councilmembers elected from council districts.

Arvada City Council
office incumbent
Mayor Bob Frie
Councilmember At-large Aaron Azari
Councilmember At-large Marc Williams
Councilmember, District One Don Allard
Councilmember, District Two Mark McGoff
Councilmember, District Three and Mayor Pro Tem Lorraine Anderson
Councilmember, District Four Bob Dyer

The City Council selects the city manager. The Arvada City Manager is Craig Kocian.


Arvada is located at (39.819962, -105.110975).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.8 square miles (85.1 km²).84.6 km²; (32.7 sq mi) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.5 km²) of it (0.58%) is water.


Arvada is the western terminus of Interstate 76, which begins at the intersection of Interstate 70 and State Highway 121. Other state highways in Arvada include State Highway 72, State Highway 93, and State Highway 95. Major highways near Arvada include Interstate 25, Interstate 270, U.S. Highway 36, and U.S. Highway 287.

The Amtrak California Zephyr passes through the City of Arvada each morning and each evening. Full Amtrak passenger and parcel service is available at the nearby Denver Union Station.

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) currently serves Arvada with seven local bus routes (31, 51, 52, 72, 76, 80, 100), seven express bus routes (58X, 68X, 72X, 76X, 80X, 82X, 108X), the CC regional bus route, and the Arvada Call-and-Ride service. RTD plans to provide Arvada with a commuter rail Gold Line along the old Colorado Central Railroad route (now operated by the Union Pacific Railroad) by 2015. Although this date is currently in question and should be resolved at the August 2008 RTD board meeting. In question is the fastrax budget which is at least 30% over budget. The remedy will either be a. push the time line out several years b. cut lines or c. go to the voters for another tax increase. Flynn, K.:"Fastracks Budget off the Rails"],

Arvada is served by Denver International Airport and nearby Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.


As of the census of 2000, there were 102,153 people, 39,019 households, and 27,742 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,128.1 people per square mile (1,207.6/km²). There were 39,733 housing units at an average density of 1,216.7/sq mi (469.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.04% White, 0.66% African American, 0.65% Native American, 2.17% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 3.08% from other races, and 2.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.82% of the population.

There were 39,019 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.5% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.9% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $55,541, and the median income for a family was $63,273. Males had a median income of $42,126 versus $30,802 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,679. About 3.5% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 6.1% of those age 65 or older.

Sister cities

Notable residents

See also


External links

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