The City of Lafayette

In 1862, Lafayette and Mary Miller came across the country in a wagon with thousands of other immigrants to make their homes along the front range of the Rocky Mountains.

They originally stopped in a small settlement, now known as Longmont, and two years later made their permanent home in the present site of Lafayette.  In 1871, they began farming on land they acquired through the Homestead Act.

After the death of Lafayette in 1877, Mary Miller began to run the 1,280-acre farm on her own with their six small children. 

In 1884, the richest vein of coal in Boulder Valley was discovered on the Miller Ranch.  Mary Miller platted a 150-acre town site in 1888 and named it Lafayette, after her late husband.  The town was incorporated in 1889 and continued to thrive for the next 50 years in an economy based on coal mining.

In 1900, Mrs. Miller founded the Lafayette Bank and became the first female bank president in the world.

Coal mining was a large part of the early history of Lafayette.  The area had many coal mines and eventually in 1956, the last coal mine in Lafayette ceased operation.  When the coal industry declined, Lafayette relied on agriculture for its continuing prosperity.  As Denver and Boulder grew, Lafayette became primarily a residential community.


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