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Evergreen…Then and Now

Brad Eich - Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Over the past 22 years as a real estate professional, I have helped many people from around the country relocate to the Evergreen area.  I have been a resident of Evergreen and Conifer since 1976, and I have watched the region develop and evolve throughout my time here.  Recently, I was walking around Evergreen Lake and as I passed the dam, I noticed a stamp marking the year of its construction, “1927.”    I was reminded that people have been drawn to this unique community for quite some time, and I began to consider…what is it about this mountain foothill town that makes it so special?

In the 1880’s, ranchers, loggers and miners descended on Evergreen to utilize the land and to partake in the abundant supply of natural resources.  During those early years, it might take three days to venture down to Morrison or Golden via lower Bear Creek to fetch supplies.  During the 1920’s, electricity was introduced to the area, supplying power to 500 permanent residents (a number that surged to 5000 in the summer).  The current site of Evergreen Lake was a lush meadow then, producing hay and doubling as a baseball field.

Proclaimed to be “The Crown Jewel” of Denver Mountain Parks after its construction in 1927, the dam and the Town of Evergreen quickly became popular front range destinations.  The Roosevelt’s vacationed at Troutdale in the Pines.  Later, Eddie Ott’s (now the Lakeshore Center) featured cowboy night, monthly hoedowns and special shows with Lawrence Welk and Tommy Dorsey.  The 60’s saw the introduction of the Little Bear, which attracted the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Buddy Rich and later, Willie Nelson and countless other talents. To this day, the town is still a popular summer vacation spot where folks come to fish, hike, ride, golf, boat and enjoy the countless events that Evergreen entertains.

I moved to Evergreen from Ohio and I can still remember the profound contrast.   My parents chose Evergreen for the quality of life and natural beauty, as well as the strong sense of community and easy city access.  I quickly learned that Evergreen was convenient to skiing and that the summers were nothing short of heaven.  Evergreen Parkway did not exist, and the only grocery store was a mom and pop on Main Street.  The community was an eclectic mix of cowboys, hikers, bikers, skiers, hippies and artists, and most everyone shared one thing – a love for the outdoors.  It was with this shared passion that the community continued to blossom.

Now there are over 40,000 residences with amenities and housing to match.  The community is flourishing with wonderful schools, churches and civic organizations.   The rustic feel of the downtown area has been preserved and the region’s natural beauty still abounds. There is quick access to downtown or DIA.  I have traveled to many places around the world and it has always been refreshing to call Evergreen home.

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