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The Pike’s Peak gold rush of 1859, with its influx of farmers, merchants and seekers of gold, was instrumental in the development of Littleton, Colorado. Businesses were opened and land was irrigated for farmers by hired engineer Richard Little, who was was then a resident of New Hampshire. Little fell in love with the area and not only named it, but brought his wife and family there to live in 1862. Little farmed the land and in 1867, he and some neighbors built a flour mill, which was the community’s solid economic base for many years after.
The Little’s subdivided their land in 1872 and in 1871 the Denver/Rio Grande railroad reached Littleton, which caused rapid growth in the area. In 1876, when Colorado officially became a State, Littleton boasted stores, churches, hotels and schools. Agriculture was still the main industry and remained so until after the second World War. Today aerospace, electronics and pneumatics industries play a big role in Littleton’s economy.