Houses in Parker Colorado
Pinery Recollections, From the HOA’s November 1997 Newsletter
The lure of gold brought the first settlers to our immediate area. In fact, gold was first discovered in Colorado just down the road by Levi, Oliver and William Russell, for whom Russellville is named. Their discovery was heralded in the Kansas City Journal of Commerce in 1858 and sparked the stampede of one hundred fifty thousand 59’ers along the Smoky Hill Trail (Hilltop Road), the Overland Trail, and the Cherokee Trail (Parker Road) to the Pikes Peak Gold Region. Russellville has often been called the “Birthplace of Colorado”. Lack of water caused the miners to quickly vacate the Russellville site and move on to more promising finds along Little Dry Creek, Cherry Creek and the South Platte Rivers, from whence Auraria and Denver were born, and to the Pikes Peak Region.
As the miners moved on to the gold-rich mountains to the west, farming, ranching, cattle, and timber industries sprang up in their wake. It was from the vast “pineries” of the Cherry Creek and Plum Creek Valleys that the first homes in Denver were built. Some of the lumber came from our “Pinery” and the Black Forest pinery immediately to the south. If one looks closely at our surrounding land, it appears that only the largest ponderosas were harvested back in the 1860’s and 70’s. Most of our largest trees in The Pinery today are about 170 to 180 years old. These trees were only about 60 years old back in the 1860’s and apparently were not considered worthy of harvesting. The majestic ponderosas within our “Pinery” today were spared the ax of the settlers and stand in tribute to our neighborhood’s name.