A Brief History of Aurora, CO

With over 350,000 residents today, it’s kind of hard to believe that Aurora started with only 39 residents back in 1891. But the rich history of Aurora will paint a picture of what transpired between its incorporation and the city it has become.

The town of Fletcher

The town of Aurora started out as Fletcher, named after one of the developers. The small town was designed with a water system and indoor plumbing. A rocky start that included a drought which put an end to the water system and then the Silver Panic of 1893 put the town in debt. Fletcher left and the town was renamed Aurora in 1907. Somehow the town persisted and with 2,000 residents in 1928 the state recognized Aurora as a city.

World Wars

Part of Aurora’s rich heritage is based on the military. After the second world war there were three military bases; Lowry Air Force base, Fitzsimons Army Hospital and the Buckley Air Base. The development and growth of these bases started as early as 1918. Even so, the population was only 3,500 in the 1940 and 11,500 in 1950. In 1965 it had grown to over 60,000. Do you see a trend…?


Wait, let’s draw some comparisons to Aurora’s big brother, Denver. The original rapid growth for Denver was stimulated by the gold rush and the fact that it was the terminal for four different railroads coming together. So in 1928 when Aurora made city status with 2,000 residents Denver had almost 300,000. In 1950 when Aurora was at 11,500 Denver was at 400,000. Denver’s population today is right around 700,000, or twice that of Aurora’s 350,000. So the growth and development of Aurora has all come in the last fifty years! It is growing 84% faster that similar cities making it the 54th largest city in the United States today.

Why the Growth

Between a solid infrastructure, the continued additions of reservoirs, parks, and recreational facilities, schools, retail growth, there are also solid facts behind it all. The following statistics all outperform the national sets. Lower unemployment, better job growth, equal tax rates and equal household incomes. It is just that your income will go further due to the very reasonable cost of living. The fact that two major interstates meet directly west helps out travel accessibility, as does the Denver International Airport.

The X Factors

The community has done a very good job maintaining its own identity. Some of the warm and fuzzies are the mild climate. 243 days of sunshine a year on the average improves the quality and value of life. The rich history of Aurora has built character that is appreciated by all. Even now you can find more than 100 languages spoken in Aurora creating a diverse and exciting atmosphere. Build it and they will come is the saying. There are over 250 restaurants now offering many, many ethic menus. Aurora continues to grow at a rapid pace, now the third largest city in Colorado. A real diamond in the rough!

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Aurora, CO is a great place to live as a whole. Read more about why we think so here.